View Full Version : I'm so confused, FX-1?
05-27-2005, 08:17 PM
Right now I'm debating between the DVX100a and the FX-1. For the past 5 years (I'm 18 right now) I have been using a Sony TRV530, a digital 8 cam, and now I want to do some more serious aspects of film. The main purpose for the camera will be to shoot small films, and film wedding videos. Now I know the DVX100a has the 24p and the FX-1 doesn't. However I would have no problem going into post and trying to get a similar effect. One of my favorite types of films to shoot is Star Wars fan films,lol, sorry but I'm a Star Wars nut, fan films are a hobby of mine. Having a camera that can allow me to easily green screen in After Effects is a must....not to mention the capability to easily see all those sticks that will be turned into lightsaber blades. What cam would you choose? Thanks for all the advice.
05-27-2005, 09:26 PM
I would suggest that you get the DVX. I think that you will be pleased with it. The FX-1 does not have 24P. Based on your post, going from Digital 8 to HDV would not be necessary, considering the projects you say that you do. Remember, going with HDV will mean extra expense for monitors and computer power. The DVX kicks butt!!!
05-28-2005, 12:55 AM
No I would go with the FX1 any day.
The DVX is a good camera but the FX1 is a whole new ball game and the quality of the image is better. You can do 24P in post no problem with Nattress or DVFilm Maker.
Plus of course you can shoot in HDV, which kicks DV into touch any day of the week.
It's a no brainer. Get the FX1.
05-28-2005, 06:58 AM
Thanks for the tips. I'll have to do a little bit more research and in July I'll order one of the cams. If I do go with HDV I'm pretty sure my comp can handle it, at least I hope so, AMD 3200+ 64, 1GB Corsair XMS, X800pro, etc. Hey Rosestar when you mentioned the possible need for extra monitors would that be due because editing an HD image is so large? Right now I have a 17" CRT, I guess I could always hook up another through the DVI output with an adaptor.
05-28-2005, 08:31 AM
From what I've heard it's a beatch to greenscreen with the FX1. I've seen some pretty poor greenscreen results with it. It sounds like it's pretty doubtful that you'll need HDV. Until you have a delivery format to take advantage of the resolution you are stuck downrezzing to SD DVD. Why not try and pick up a used dvx100. A progressive picture is much easier to key and 24P will get you much closer to a fan film that looks like film versus a consumerish video looking one.
Before listening to our advice and being swayed one way or another you should try and find every camera you're interested in, and do some test shooting. It would be worth renting both an FX1 and DVX, shooting some green screen, shooting in different environments and then playing with the footage in your computer. The decision is yours, and it isn't a no brainer.
05-28-2005, 11:30 AM
Yea your probably right Issac. Even once HD cams with 24p come out for prosumers there still be priced much higher then the DVX100a and the FX-1, and I'm sure HD-DVD and Blue-Ray DVD recorders will be pretty pricy once they come out, not to mention the media. I have one last question that could help me decide.
1. What cam can give me the look that the orginal Star Wars had and or close to the prequels?
Thanks for the tips again
05-28-2005, 11:46 AM
05-28-2005, 12:08 PM
..IMHO if you think you need HD you should go with the new JVC camera it does 24p HDV. despite what anyone says.. you cannot "do 24p" in post. you can somewhat simulate the motion redition .. but its like a lamborghini kit on a fiero. your only getting somthing a little ways over 1/2 res AT BEST if theres motion,(and 24p only makes a difference when there IS motion) and youll still have a different motion that wont give you the same characteristics of actually shooting 24p. however 24p isnt all there is to a camera by any means. ..i personally wouldnt place alot of faith on compositing with HDV material, but it partially depends on whether or not your gong to some intermediate codec which will hold up better or not. at any rate i think that the new JVC when it comes out would suit you the best IF you need HD .. despite having HDV its a better format than the FX1. the DVX would work fine now as would the XL2 in the progressive modes..30p or 24p - i have to question if you really need or would make use of HD. .. do you have an HD set? are you thinking youll actually go to film out? or get into festivals for large format display? ..anything that demands HD? .. the DVX or xl2 would hold up fine anyway.. ive seen PLENTY of SD lightsaber films that hold up fine.. youve seen star wars on DVD right.. well , thats SD. if your doing weddings the XL2 for its long lense and ability to get some shots your dvx would be a little wide on in a bigger chapel or area might be a good choice. if you can get in a little closer the DVX would be great as well.
05-28-2005, 12:50 PM
Yea I don't have an HDTV for one. In the future I do want to enter some film festivals. With Panasonics new promotion with the DVX its sounding like a really good deal.
05-28-2005, 04:50 PM
Im waiting for the hvx200 myself.
05-29-2005, 02:14 AM
Well, first: I'm a proud and happy Z1 owner. BUT! Keying and rendering in HD on a not too fast computer SUCKS! And second: Interlaced Video in combination with fast movements in front of a green screen always gives you some kind of blurry image of the moved object. So I would go for the dvx. It's even on special offers at any place right now. And it's a great camera. HD is nice. But it's only a must when it's a must ;)
05-29-2005, 06:34 AM
Ah ok I see what ya mean Philipp. See I would of thought the FX-1 would of been better at keying then the DVX but how you said fast movements and interlaced video would hurt that. Thanks for the advice everyone, I'm going with the DVX100a.
05-29-2005, 06:36 AM
05-29-2005, 03:28 PM
Jared you will be buying a camera that is almost obsolete, I know this is a Panasonic site and don't mean to upset folk on here, but the reason the DVX is on offer is because its coming to the end of its run. If you are going to buy, either wait for the DVX200 or go for the FX1/ZU1. You can shoot in DV if that's your thing, and have the future proofing of HDV.
The only thing lacking on the Sony is no 24P, but it can be replicated with Nattress. The fX1 gets undue stick on here because it's a Sony, not a Panasonic, but in reality the camera is a superb bit of kit, giving stunning images on a large High Def Plasma, something the DVX cannot do. Get yourself future proofed. High Def is not that far away. A year to 18 months from now we will be buying BluRay dvd burners for less than a couple of hundred dollars.
05-29-2005, 05:46 PM
Get yourself future proofed!:grin:
What good is future proofing if your shooting with a camera that isn't good at what you want it to do.
It's true, go to the sony sight and everyone will tell you to get the sony. Definitly try both cameras before you buy. I have shot with the XL1, the XL2, the Z1, and I still prefere the DVX, not only for how it looks on the small screen, but it blows also blows up quite well. I personally prefere the look of uprezzed DVX or XL2 footage over deinterlaced Z1 footage. The resolution once deinterlaced is neglegable so if you are looking for a progressive scan type camera, or a 24p camera, I personally would not get the Z1 or the FX1. It's twice as much hassle and the final product does not look as good. Don't buy into the future proof mumbo jumbo, it sounds like a skin care ad. "FUTURE PROOF YOUR LIFE WITH ZOTZ FACE CREAM."
Again, don't just take our word for it, all of us who have bought the cameras will be biased one way or another, do the tests yourelf, and let the footage do the talking.
05-29-2005, 07:16 PM
Steve, how do you propose greenscreening with HDV? Have you done it with any amount of success? Do you really think it makes sense for Jared to get an FX1, greenscreen, and then run his film through Nattress to get fake 24P? Not a very good workflow when you take into account that HDV is a highly compressed format to work with.
There's no guarantee that we'll get blueray burners in eighteen months. We haven't even settled on a dvd format. In the highly unlikely case that blue-ray burners are available in your time frame the media to burn with will cost at least 35 bucks per DVD. And on top of that movie studios will want to handle the piracy issue before blue-ray or whatever other format they choose ever sees the light of day.
It's funny that people call 24P a gimmick when it's not. I can see 24P, I can shoot it and its got the same motion characteristic as film. Future proofing, now there's a gimmick. Buying a camera because you think it will stack up against whatever Sony, Panasonic, or Canon have down the road. Whenever I hear future proof I think about those snake oil handlers in the wild west. Sony's magic future proofing growth elixir.
As for obsolescence, every camera experiences technological obsolescence. That doesn't stop people from using them. People are still using the VX1000. And not everyone can afford to spend 5 grand on a camera that won't fit their needs.
05-29-2005, 07:38 PM
Do you really think it makes sense for Jared to get an FX1, greenscreen, and then run his film through Nattress to get fake 24P? Not a very good workflow when you take into account that HDV is a highly compressed format to work with.
I would think it would make more sense to take the HDV, run it through Natress to 24p (considering how much work those filters do to restore chroma) to uncompressed and key at 24p.
05-29-2005, 07:54 PM
I see your point Steve but I'm going to have to side with Scharky and Isaac. The DVX100a is still an excellent camera, and I have decided that the FX-1 will not satisfy my needs. I really want to do some quality greenscreen work with the DVX, its horrible doing it with my digital 8 camera,lol. I know there's probably ways to get the "film look" in post but I'm sick of doing that, I've been doing that for a while with my digital 8 camera and the footage still looks nothing like film.
I really like how one can just dial in the settings they want for a look right on the DVX and how I can then import and begin editing right away. Even though the FX-1 is newer that doesn't mean its better. I'm sure for viewing on a high def plasma/lcd display its pretty awesome but I doubt I'll or my family will be getting one till they come down in price a bit more.
Personally I think Blu-Ray and HD-DVD technology will be very expensive onces it comes out, and I can't emagine the cost of the media. I've been wanting to do a professional looking fan film for a while now, one that truly looks like film and I now know the DVX100a will make that possible. When the camera comes I'll be sure to read the DVX Book and watch the DVD for tips to improve the footage.
Another reason while I'm going with the DVX100a is its XLR ports and phantom power feature. As many of you have said before, half of a good film is its audio quality. I would hate to go out and spend another $300 or more on some breakout box for the FX-1.
Isaac I know exactly what your saying about the whole technological obsolescence issue. How you said people are still using the Sony VX1000. That camera itself will produce better results then any newer 1CCD digital camcorder not to mention Panasonics 1/6" 3CCD line. Look at the XL1 for another example, tons of people are still using those, and are producing excellent shorts. Thanks for your advice Isaac and everyone else, your opinions have really helped me out in my buying decesion. I can't wait to get a DVX100a now.
05-29-2005, 08:09 PM
Make sure you test before buying! And good luck.
05-30-2005, 02:01 AM
I think it's desided. But to put one in about the greenscreen: If you film StarWars (;)) in 24p there will be one picture with one sword in front of the geenscreen. If you film it in 1080/60i you will always have one picture with the sword in one position and (if it moves) as well in another. I don't know if you get me. But the two fields are recorded after each other. DeInterlacing will either merge the two fields which will cause one picture two blurry swords. Or you eliminate one field which gives you less resolution than the o so old DVX.
Jared, I love my 16mm Arri. It's over 12 years old now ;) Forget future proof If you want to film today and still have some money to buy swords ;)
05-30-2005, 02:53 AM
I do understand what some of you have said about the green screen issue and HDV. It would be a more difficult task with the ZU1/FX1. Also agree that if you just want 24p, then the Sony is not the way to go, even though you do get excellent results with Nattress. Using a 24P camera takes away the hassle of de-interlacing.
I was not slagging the DVX, it really is an excellent camera, though personally i would not buy one with a new, better camera on the horizon and only a few months away. If you do buy a DVX, get one second hand off Ebay, rather than fork out for a new one, who's price will plummet when the DVX200 arrives and averyone is trying to chop in theirs.
Good luck with the "Star Wars".
05-30-2005, 08:43 AM
As I recall I have mentioned this already in another post, but I think it is only fair to mention it again since it is in the same topic/ line of disscussion.
Some good keying has been achieved using Sony's HDV camera and one such examlpe has been posted over at DVinfo.net
I am hesitant to give the direct link in fear of breaking the posting rules however the link is as follows:
If the link is breaking any posting rules please remove them.
My advice would be to test (green screen/ workflow) both cameras well before any actual production takes place, and do not rely on information just gathered from the internet, although the internet can be a wonderfull source of information it can nver replace hands on assesment.
From my understaning in terms of keying it would appear that down converting from HD to SD and then keying the SD video is much better than standard SD DV, I am not sure of the exact technical reason why, but i remember something along the lines of ending up with much more colour iinformation thus allowing "cleaner" keys.
Anyway in the end you are the Judge, see the cameras for yourself.
Hope this helps.
05-30-2005, 09:03 AM
Or you eliminate one field which gives you less resolution than the o so old DVX.
Since when is 1440x540 less resolution than 720x480? A single field from the FX1 has more resolution than the DVX does. Even if you bastardize the vertical resolution with straight deinterlacing and a Kell factor of 75% and you ignore pixel shift you get 960x405 with native widescreen framing, and enough chroma resolution in the storage format (1440x1080i 4:2:0) to make this image very close to 4:4:4 in SD.
And besides... even CF24 doesn't look so bad when you're doing lightsabers:
http://s94963366.onlinehome.us/Eclipse/svjFX1.mov (2 MB)
05-30-2005, 09:06 AM
the DVX100 is NOT being discontinued or becoming obsolete. Jan Crittenden-Livingston who is the product manager for panasonic USA frequents this site and has had her hands full disppelling that exact line of thinking many times before. the special deals on it now are to promote purchasing thourgh panasonic authorized retailers and squish the grey market sales. she has said numerous times it IS NOT being discontinued and will continue to sell at the same price. ..and theres ALWAYS a newer and better camera coming out soon. theres no point in waiting unless you have to.. and it doesnt seem he has to. he does not need HD .. and likely wouldnt even have a way to use it if he had it. on top of that as previously mentioned interlaced HDV is not a primo solution for compositing. and the HVX200 is over 2x the cost of a DVX and when you figure in setting up you system to handle a professional HD format like DVCPRO-HD.. the cost goes up from there. its not a real comparison.. the HVX will come out and sell right alongside the DVX in a different price braket altogether.. just like he could currently by a varicam or a DVX. but they are hardly directly comparable in terms of a purchasing decision.
05-30-2005, 03:13 PM
Jamloser is right, the DVX100a is not being discountinued or becoming obsolete. Look at the XL1 and XL1s even on ebay there still selling between $1,800 and $2,200 for the camera alone. Heck even the VX1000, 10 years old?, is still be sold at over a $1,000. The DVX100a will retain a high value for a long time. Personally after reading countless reviews, seeking advice and reading other information on both the DVX100a and the FX-1 I would say that the FX-1 will retain a lower value in the long run, and its demand will continue to decrease, especially among film makers. Sure its newer technology but just look at any 24p DVX100a grabs when compared to FX-1 grabs...the DVX100a spanks it every time. For me the DVX100a is the best choice, better green screeing capability, XLR ports, phantom power, 24p, and an magnessium alloy body (plastic is so cheap).I can't wait any longer for a better camera at the same price as I can bet I'll be waiting for a long long time.
05-31-2005, 03:09 AM
Since when is 1440x540 less resolution than 720x480?
Sorry, I'm PAL.
Of course the Sony makes a stunning impression. I personally key and compose flames filmed at 1080/50i for a big projection at this moment. And the high resolution gives you lots of options. But I also think that a low budget buyer might probably like to go for the most affortable pro cam. And in my eyes it's the DVX100 or if Sony the Z1. The AG-DVX 100 AE sells at 3.200 Euros at some shops in Germany. I don't see the Z1 drop to that price from the today 5000,- soon.
05-31-2005, 07:13 AM
Fair enough: 1440x540 > 720x576.
No one can argue the bang-for-the-buck value of the DVX, but I don't think the Z1 is even meant to be competitive with it - especially in Europe with the irrelevance of 24p formats. 16x9 HDV/DV vs. 4x3 DV. The Z1 ends up being a much more flexible camera. You can argue colour controls and gamma all you want in favour of the DVX though... but colour correction in-camera is pretty negligible in terms of computing cost and complexity compared to the load of 3.75x the resolution.
05-31-2005, 11:59 AM
Oh, don't get me wrong. I would never give away my Z1. Buy some warmcards and play around with all those collour correction options and you get sone really nice setups (as long as you have good lights).
Don't be too sure about 1440x540... The chip has 980 per 1080 pixels ;(
And 4:2:0 is a bit dull sometimes. But I am far from calling HDV a poor format. But now we are entering a whole new discussion.
06-02-2005, 07:33 AM
Well well well....I can see that some things never change....before I switched my XL1s for a FX1e, I came on this forum a lot... I got my biggest headacke ever. Funny how some people can get so attached to a brand. I think panasonic should have their own forum, I would personally call it www.panasshole.com... just kidding, it's actually a panasonic user that helped me make my decision to go for the FX1... there is only one way to buy the camera that suit your needs. it's to try it. so make a green screen test on both with the hardware you have and see for yourself. stop counting pixels,pause,gamma etc.... When people watch you final product, they don't care about all those details... I've sent a short sequence to a friend director, it was shot on Fx1e with the cineframe25, when I told him that was an fx1 he couldn't believe it. he was actually very impressed with the amount of details in the picture.... I haven't try the green screen yet but I will shortly and I'm sure you can get an impressive result too.... what I'm trying to say is that today, technology is bloody good, whether you use panasonic, canon or sony... but 24p is not synonym of talented... I don't think you will go wrong with any of the camera mentioned, and don't forget that 99.9 % of the people watching your work will be more interested with your talent than the brand of your camera..... I like all the camera but I had to make a choice, and for me the more pixel the more resolution the more flexibily....but that's just me...
06-02-2005, 04:39 PM
@Dremmwel: Your exposing your head out of a running trains window. " www.panasshole.com... " will earn you some nice flaming arround here...
Anyway, the discussion about talent and skills is the essence, you're right. But what does it help?
06-03-2005, 04:39 AM
Ok hands up, I probably pushed a bit, but I have a reason for it. I guess people on this forum (and others) are supposed be movie lovers... am I right? Now can someone honestly tell me how many exiting movies have been released in the past years, you can count them with your ten fingers. All this money thrown at movies really piss me off. as an example I had more fun watching 405 the movie ( www.405thenmovie.com a brillant short made with virtually no budget) than the latest star wars. Although I recognize Lucas talents, I was unimpressed with the last 3 movies. if you look at the twilight zone there was emotion in those movies, alfred hitchcock was also brilliant. what I'm saying is that replacing ideas with money or hardware is not a good thing. on the same token, wasting time slagging off other cameras is not a good thing as well. So can we spend more time on being creative and less time on being destructive. I did have private conversations with few people on this forum and we all seem to agree on that point....
06-03-2005, 06:41 AM
www.405thenmovie.com .... http://www.405themovie.com/
"We used the Canon Optura. It is a single CCD Digital Video camera. " Did anyone during watching this short questioning what kind of camcorder they used to make this film? I don't think so.
06-03-2005, 06:57 AM
How many times has this conversation repeated itself Ďround these parts . . .
A: I love Cam X!
B: Cam Y is better because . . .
A: But Cam X has . . .
B: Cam X canít do this, but Cam Y can, and itís better for independent filmmaking.
A: But Cam X is cooler because . . .
B: Cam Y is cooler because . . .
A: Cam X LOOKS cooler.
B: Cam Y has more professional features.
C: (Interjecting) Canon will blow them both away . . . someday. Probably the next NAB, for half the price, according to reliable sources.
A: Uh, right. Anyway, Cam X saves you money in the long run because . . .
B: Cam Y will make pictures that look SO MUCH better.
A: Itís all about content anyway. Who cares what it was shot on???
06-03-2005, 04:10 PM
405 is pretty sweet. If you look at those guys on IMDB they both are big visual fx gurus. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if those guys love the effects work Lucas has done with Episode 3.
Technically there was no budget, but only because those guys know their vfx shite. Maybe we should be arguing over which 3d program is best.
06-04-2005, 02:58 AM
Thanks Isaac, you prove my point, they obviously know their stuff, they used sepcial effects, ok maybe not green screen(which was the original debate on this thread), but they used an average camera, and their skills in post and they have a bloody good result.
I guess they spent more time finding tricks to achieve their goals than arguring about what function is missing on their camera.....
06-04-2005, 08:03 AM
405 is cool. Top-notch effort, especially integrating the 3DFX.
But it does look like it was shot on a consumer cam.
06-04-2005, 10:53 AM
It looks awesome, but it's funny cause I was watching it and I felt like I was watching a commercial. That's a result of the camera, and no fault of the effort they put into it. That could very well have been an ad for an SUV if they wanted it to be and pitched it that way.
06-05-2005, 01:30 PM
not sure if it had been mentioned - (skimmed through the posts) - but I was on my way to get an FX1 I got a dvx100ae - and the main reason was for the XLR inputs and they way it felt in my hands (personal choice) - I think it is meant to have slightly more manual control as well (not sure on this).
But to be honest if i could afford the Z1 I probably would have gone that route - because aside from the look (compared to the DVX), it has same/similar ammount of manual controls, the ability to shoot in both NTSC and PAL, DV CAM,DV and HDV, XLR inputs and the native wide screen. Plus I have good experience in post so the film look (although it would never be the same as the DVX) is something I have been able to achieve (to my liking) with a lot of effort. Although the DVX has saved quite some time in this process... The main thing was that it would have meant me spending an extra $3-5KAU. something I could not justify.
in saying that I just did some tests using the 'unofficial' other frame rates (recording a shutter speed of 25/12 and doubling/trippling the clip in post to give 12.5 and so forth frame speeds) and love the effect I got as it is something I have been trying to do for ages (used a sony DSR500 and couldnt find a way to do this)
so ya - hope from the reading - it's a +1 to the DVX :)
06-06-2005, 10:16 AM
Me I was planning on getting the DVX but just economics made me go and buy the FX1 which is 1100 euros cheaper then the panasonic if i get it from a decent reseller and not gray import.
So I have an FX1 which I'll have next week sometime since sony here in the netherlands was out of them.