Adam Wilt at DV Magazine, is taking a first look at Sony V1.
In a typical SAT fashion: with V1 Sony has upgraded the Z1 “prosumer” camcorder the same way it upgraded the revolutionary Sony FX1 to Sony FX7. If you’re already familiar with the FX7 or you’ve already read the comparison between FX1 and FX7, you’ll find relatively few bits of new info.
At the same time, Sony V1 is significant because it confirms Sony’s dedication to putting CMOS sensors on its prosumer line of camcorders instead of CCDs. This is an important change of direction as it affects light sensitivity, vertical resolution, and more importantly the “full 1080 HD” of FX7 and V1.
Let’s go quickly through Adam’s points:
- Design and form factor: Sony V1 is smaller than the other HDV camcorders and its form factor is close to Sony’s smaller DV models like the PD150/170. It’s also lighter than all previous prosumer models. The top handle has been moved a bit to the front which balances the camera perfectly. The LCD is on the side and has changed very little in practical terms.
- Controls: Here Adam seems to be enthralled by the new Sony: “This tight grouping of shooting controls puts them readily within reach of your focusing hand… In my opinion, this is the best Handycam control layout Sony has done.
- Audio: There’s little difference from Z1 and PD150 when it comes to audio. The camera features two professional XLRs.
- Video: The 1/4″ CMOS sensor is less sensitive to light but offers increased resolution (full 1080 HD). It also offers true 24 frame progressive mode – highly sought after by wannabe filmmakers who strive to shoot filmlike video.
Again, it’s a “sideways upgrade” because you lose some, you gain some. Here’s Adam’s conclusion:
Sony squeezed out some features in the quest to put HDV into a PD170-sized package: analog-in recording, 50 Hz/60 Hz switchability, low-light capability, and standard video connectors on the camera body. But the result is a compact, lightweight Handycam that shoots sharp, clean HDV while offering the best laid-out controls found on a small Sony, and true progressive capture to boot. Rolling shutter will be an issue for some, but overall, the V1 looks like a worthy addition to the choices available to HDV shooters.