Isn't the FX1 good looking!

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tom hardwick
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Nobody seems to have mentioned it, so I thought I would. Isn't the FX1 such a good looking camcorder! It has a purposefulness of style, a form follows function design philosophy and an aesthetic symmetry to it that the VX/PD never had.

Just look at that awkward viewfinder on the VX2k that is even more awkward looking on the X2100. It sticks out the back a good inch behind even the biggest battery you can find, and looks about to snap off at any moment. Note the rather crude way the cylindrical lens barrel suddenly - and without warning - changes into the brick-like rectangular tape cassette / side
screen department. To my mind the camera just looks unbalanced, too long and thin to have any natural beauty.

Now look at the FX1. The top handle and the viewfinder look solid enough to break rocks with. The lens barrel continues with the cylindrical theme into the cassette compartment, and the side-screen's placement (top screen?) is
now not only miles better but is used as a door to access the tape transport, putting them right up there where they should be.

Gone is the ungainly VAP housing alongside the filter thread and at last the aperture control wheel is given pride of place, unhindered by any
side-screen. And how good to put space between the zoom and focus rings - on the VX it's far too easy to mix them up in the heat of the action.

The vertical row of minute buttons at the rear of the VX that control some pretty important features have been enlarged and dispersed - exactly what was needed in my view. It really does look to me as if some fresh thought
has won through in this design. There are compromises as there always will be, but far fewer than on the current SD model.

tom.

RayL
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Joined: Mar 31 1999

Tom, agreed, but think how good a 'big tape', on-the-shoulder version would look!

Yes, Ray's back on his hobbyhorse again, but for me the one big drawback of the FX1/Z1 design is the short recording time.

It's a great camera - but not for events. There is a real gap in the market.

Ray Liffen

tom hardwick
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I've tried the on-the-shoulder-cam and none of my horizons were level Ray. Do my shoulders slope that much?

hedleyw
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Quote:
Originally posted by tom hardwick:
I've tried the on-the-shoulder-cam and none of my horizons were level Ray. Do my shoulders slope that much?

Try a high heel on your right foot Tom ;)

Hedley Wright Web design: brettvalestudios.co.uk/webdesign.html Follow me on Twitter twitter.com/bvstudios

Richard Payne
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An 'in viewfinder' spirit level - hows that for an idea?

Alan Roberts
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Isn't that called the "horizon"? :D

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mooblie
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Exactly: isn't that what the viewfinder guideframe's for?

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Quite. Same with the rectangle that outlines the view. My point was that the shoulder-mount naturally sits perpendicular to my top shoulder muscle, whatever that's called. I suppose Arnie's camera is at even more of an angle to the vertical.

tom.

Richard Payne
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Joined: Sep 15 2000

Ah but how do you know whats level if it's dark !

Then the 'Payne patented luminous night shoot in viewfinder spirit level' would be invaluble.

You'll all be sorry when I'm rich and winning the Prince of Wales design award.

Alan Roberts
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Richard, if it's dark and you can't see whether it's level, does it matter? :D

How long can we keep this going?

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

RayL
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Joined: Mar 31 1999

If it's dark and you can't see whether it's level you need the 'RayL patented luminous night shoot in viewfinder spirit level with infra red illuminator', or RPLNSIVSLWIRI for short.

Ray
(you can tell when I'm waiting for a MPEG2 to finish encoding, can't you?

Richard Payne
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Oh no - youve beaten me too the patent office !

My special patent pending Audio viewfinder spirit level means I can shoot in the dark and even with my eyes shut......

I'll get my coat.

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

I think you guys have hogwashed my thread.

Alan Roberts
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So what's new? :D

But seriously, I like the FX1 as well, but with a few reservations. They haven't been innovative enough for my liking. I'd have preferred a 4:3 lcd, with all the screen info away from the picture. I'd have liked the monocular and flip-out to be removable, shoe connected, so I can have them at whichever end I like. I'd have liked the lcd to be completely removable, on IR or radio link with vt controls on it. I'd have liked the auto exposure system to work like most of the others (not to have to take total control to get any control).

And so on.

But I still like it lots. And I hope to like the Z1 more.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

tom hardwick
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''I'd have liked the auto exposure system to work like most of the others (not to have to take total control to get any control).''

Can you explain this more fully please Alan? I really like the shutter priority automation with instant iris lock and override. Is there a better way?

tom.

Alan Roberts
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I mean that, for example, to get exposure control (i.e. signal level), I have to take control of shutter, iris and gain. Just pressing the iris button lets me tweak the iris, but it compensates with shutter or gain so that the overall exposure remains the same. I reckon it's more sensible for pressing any of the "manual" buttons", you get control of that function and the camera doesn't compensate unless you deliberately choose to do so.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

If so, it's changed from the VX/PD system. On those cams the 'exposure' button toggles the iris between auto and lock, while the shutter speed and gain remain locked. I like this system; at any time (with everything locked down) you can push 'exposure' and effectively ask the camera what aperture it'd choose for the prevailing conditions. You can either a) accept this and do nothing, or b) twiddle the aperture control wheel to open or close the aperture.

tom.

Alan Roberts
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On the FX1, I pressed "iris" (I can't be sure that's what it's called though) and took iris control. Twiddling the knob didn't change the camera's signal amplitude, but it did changed the depth of field. So the camera was changinf either shutter or gain to compensate. The only way I could change the camera output signal level with the iris control was by pressing all the manual buttons, to fix shutter and gain. At least, that's what my faulty memory tells me.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

cstv
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Joined: Jul 26 2002

Sounds like the sort of thing it'd be nice to have a menu setting to switch between... like stills cameras do... full auto, shutter priority, apperture priority or full manual.

As for this viewfinder spirit level, i'm all for it! so long as the manufacturers state whether each cam has a real spirit level or some sort of "electronic" spirit level, perhaps based on the angle of horizontal lines on the screen... :D

tom hardwick
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Most current video cameras have full auto, shutter priority, apperture priority or full manual. Certainly the VX/PD series do so I would think the HDV versions will as well. I really can't think of a sensible use for aperture priority though.

tom.

cstv
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Joined: Jul 26 2002

I really can't think of a sensible use for aperture priority though.

erm... apart from setting the aperture so you can acheive a certain depth of field and then letting the electronics sort out the exposure...?

shuuter priority - now that's something i've never seen apoint to... i assume you have a use Tom...?

mark.

tom hardwick
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Aperture priority fine for still pictures Mark but is often disasterous for movies. I've seen aperture priority footage shot at an air show and propeller blades actually come to a stop and begin to revolve backwards - simply because the shutter speed was being continuously varied as the plane took off. Looked stupid. ''A certain depth of field'' is almost nonsense with the focal lengths we're dealing with as for 94% of the time everything's in focus at whatever aperture you shoot at anyway.

Movies should almost invariably be shot with shutter priority (and our eyes are designed the same way). The stacatto effect of high shutter speeds and the propensity to CCD smear these days makes 1/50 th sec the default you should stick with if at all possible.

tom.

Alan Roberts
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Agreed Tom, 100% right.

It's worth pointing out that our eyes effectively have variable shuttering (actually it's an integration time constant) that's a function of brightness. The brigther the picture, the shorter the integration in the eye, and the more you'll see any flicker. Conversely, the dimmer the slower, which is why 48Hz works in cinemas.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

paultv
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Joined: May 16 2002

Twiddling the iris knob on my FX1 varies the iris
and leaves the gain at 0db and the shutter at 50.

Works just fine.

:D

paul

tom hardwick
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But presumably as you pass 'open' the gain gets progressively applied Paul?

paultv
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Well, I go from closed, black, to F1.8, the gain remains at zero, if I continue to "open" the lens, nothing happens.

The camera is locked on shutter speed 50 and gain zero, with F1.8 to closed appertures available.

No other changes occur to the signal level or image.

Giving the gain button a stab, allows the gain to increase to the preset amount, hitting it again returns it to Odb.

You can of course manually adjust the gain using the 3 position switch as you would on a Beta or 570.

paul

cstv
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Joined: Jul 26 2002

very good thinking there Alan and Tom... hadn't looked at it like that before...