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Sony FX1 vs. FX7 - Which is worth the buy?

thechaosfactor1's picture
Last seen: 7 years 6 months ago
Joined: 01/21/2007 - 11:09am
Hi!

I'm considering finally buying an HDV cam for myself to do various projects (wedding videography, music videos, short films, documentaries - pretty much everything), and I'm fairly sure I'll be getting either an FX1 or an FX7. However, I've read so many conflicting things that I thought I'd bring it up to you, the community, to help me figure out which one is worth the purchase.

Thus far, my googling has yielded a few pros for both, and a few cons.

The FX1 has better image quality, although that's arguable, since a few reviews say that, when compared, the difference in quality is almost nil. Also, it has a lower lux rating, supposedly yielding better low-light performance. How important is the difference between the 3 lux rating on the FX1 and the 4 on the FX7? I also like the design and the LCD screen placement.

Still, I've read in a review that the FX7's produces better color in low-light conditions, with the same noise at the FX1, and that it's daylight resolution is much, much better. Also, the FX7 has the advantage of being able to take still pictures (an unnecessary feature I like quite a bit) and has an HDMI Out port. It's also lighter, and cheaper and has more assignable buttons. The Videomaker review, however, states that the iris control automatically switches to gain. Does this apply only to when the camera is in auto mode, or does this happen when it's completely in manual as well? If there's no way to shut that feature down, I'd probably back off from the FX7.

Finally, there's the issue of bells and whistles on either camera. The FX7 proudly advertises itself as a simplified version of the FX1. I would like to know what features from the FX1 are no longer present on the FX7.

Hope this isn't overload for most of you, as I'm sure some of my questions have probably been answered somewhere on these boards. Thanks for any help!

elderban's picture
Last seen: 9 years 2 months ago
Joined: 05/01/2005 - 5:31am
Videomaker has a review of the FX7 here:
http://www.videomaker.com/article/13066/

But if you go to CNet.com, you can do a side by side comparison of the cameras there by heading to one of the reviews of the cameras then clicking on the compare option (not sure if VM has this option on this site).

Here's a link to the FX7 review on CNet:
http://reviews.cnet.com/Sony_Handycam_HDR_FX7/4505-6500_7-32065017.html?tag=sas

1zed4u's picture
Last seen: 7 years 6 months ago
Joined: 01/21/2007 - 6:39pm

thechaosfactor1 Wrote:

Hi!

I'm considering finally buying an HDV cam for myself to do various projects (wedding videography, music videos, short films, documentaries - pretty much everything), and I'm fairly sure I'll be getting either an FX1 or an FX7. However, I've read so many conflicting things that I thought I'd bring it up to you, the community, to help me figure out which one is worth the purchase.

Thus far, my googling has yielded a few pros for both, and a few cons.

The FX1 has better image quality, although that's arguable, since a few reviews say that, when compared, the difference in quality is almost nil. Also, it has a lower lux rating, supposedly yielding better low-light performance. How important is the difference between the 3 lux rating on the FX1 and the 4 on the FX7? I also like the design and the LCD screen placement.

Still, I've read in a review that the FX7's produces better color in low-light conditions, with the same noise at the FX1, and that it's daylight resolution is much, much better. Also, the FX7 has the advantage of being able to take still pictures (an unnecessary feature I like quite a bit) and has an HDMI Out port. It's also lighter, and cheaper and has more assignable buttons. The Videomaker review, however, states that the iris control automatically switches to gain. Does this apply only to when the camera is in auto mode, or does this happen when it's completely in manual as well? If there's no way to shut that feature down, I'd probably back off from the FX7.

Finally, there's the issue of bells and whistles on either camera. The FX7 proudly advertises itself as a simplified version of the FX1. I would like to know what features from the FX1 are no longer present on the FX7.

Hope this isn't overload for most of you, as I'm sure some of my questions have probably been answered somewhere on these boards. Thanks for any help!



I'll throw my two cents in. As far as your mention of the gain control, I've not had a problem with this with my FX7. In auto mode, it pretty much performs as other cameras in this price range perform, switching the gain up to appropriate levels in situations such as lower light level shooting, but you of course can utilize the gain in manual mode which allows you complete control as to your taste in different recording situations. In auto mode my FX7 works beautifully with no problem as far as overcompensation with the auto gain control.
Having said that, my opinion as far as the FX7 vs the FX1 is that if I were you, I would get the FX7. I like it because it's obviously lighter and smaller and cheaper than the FX1, and as you yourself stated, the picture quality difference between the two is non existant. The FX7 has a 20x zoom ratio as opposed to the 12x for the FX1. I see no huge advantage of having the lcd on top of the FX1 as opposed to the side for the FX7. In my opinion, and I'm not knocking the FX1 because after all, it is a Sony, the FX7 won't kill your arm after holding it for a long shoot like the FX1 would because of it's greater size and weight. The FX1 is a superb quality camcorder and I'm a Sony man all the way, but I've owned a VX2000 for more than three years now and consider it to be one of the best camcorders I own, and the FX7 is pretty much identical in size and weight as the VX2000. After having used the 2000 for these years I realize that a camera much bigger and heavier than the 2000 would not be fun to use. If a camera is bigger than the 2000 then it would have to be a camera that I could mount on my shoulder, otherwise my right arm would go numb from having to hold that weight for an extended period of time. This is one of the major reasons why I like the FX7.
Now you'll have to weigh out whether the features that the FX1 has outweigh the features that the FX7 has and whether you can live without them, but for me, I prefer the FX7.
I hope this helps. Good luck on your decision.

bsuratt's picture
Last seen: 7 years 4 months ago
Joined: 03/14/2007 - 1:58am
Size/weight advantage of FX7 to FX1 (or Canon XA H1) made the choice for me. There's not much real difference in picture quality or features between the three. They are all great camcorders. I am really satisfied with my FX7... stunning picture quality!

compusolver's picture
Last seen: 9 years 7 months ago
Joined: 12/16/2004 - 8:16am
You mentioned weddings - The FX1 has a Lux rating of 3. The VX2100s we use have a Lux of 1. Receptions are often darker than ceremonies and often they even tax the abilities of the VX2100s. The reception we shot last weekend was, in parts, grainy in the FX1's tapes, but OK in the VX2100s. Thankfully, we used the FX1 only as a static, wide, backup camera.

Since the FX7 has a higher Lux rating (i.e.: it will not do as well in dim light) than the FX1, I would strongly recommend the FX1 for wedding work over the FX7. Dingy, washed-out colors and lots of grain are not what a pro should be delivering to a client.

Most wedding work should be done on tripod anyway, making the weight a non-issue, but for those times when you do some handheld shots, the weight acts as a counter balance preventing jittery shakes, etc.

chicoab3's picture
Last seen: 9 years 6 months ago
Joined: 01/08/2005 - 1:47pm
I've used both extensively here at VM.

Have you used a VX2000 before? If so, the FX7 will be very familiar.

The FX1 is a totally different camcorder, in my opinion.

-andrew @ videomaker

mikedunny's picture
Last seen: 7 years 3 months ago
Joined: 04/23/2007 - 7:13am
Andrew what is the most glaring difference between the FX1 and FX7? Also, does anyone
know if this adapter can be used for the FX7, or if there is another solution to hook up XLR mics on FX7?

Anonymous (not verified)
Mike,

Looks like Andrew is out today... so I'll fill in for him-- yes, it looks like that adapter will work for the FX7. You'll want to double check the impedence levels (mic/line level) to be sure that they match-up between the cam and adapter. I'd imagine this adapter is

And, now my two cents about the FX1 and FX7 debate, the one thing I really enjoy about the FX7 is the ClearVID CMOS sensors. They can really hold detail in the highlights much better than I expected when I first saw footage from this cam. I don't have as much experience with the FX1, but I do like that it's got a little more access to the professional-level controls. FX7 is largely menu driven for the more advance features.

Mark