Sony HDR-FX1 thoughts?

Does anyone have any strong feelings one way or the other about the Sony HDR-FX1 3CCD HDV 1080i Camcorder?

I need my own gear for web videos and ad-hoc freelance jobs.

Thanks for your thoughts!



Well-known member
What's making you lean towards the FX1? If I'm not mistaken, it only does 1080i, which to me seems like a big drawback. Especially if you're going to do any greenscreen or chroma key work. I speak from experience when I say HDV SUCKS for green screen and any kind of heavy duty color correction. Do you need more professional style control over your images? The FX1 is basically a stripped down Z1U, so some features you would find on the Z1U will be buried in the FX1's menus, and other features will be completely absent.

Have you looked at the FX7 or the V1U? I'm going to guess that you're on a tight budget, but what about some of Sony's newer HDV cameras, a used EX1 (I see some on eBay for less than $3k), or even a Panasonic HVX200 or HPX170?

Questions like this are usually difficult to answer because you're the one that knows best about your budget and what you're going to be doing for the most part.

zac love

Well-known member
The FX1 is one really old camera, & other than it being cheap used there probably isn't a good reason to get one.

The second question you need to ask yourself & answer, is how do you want to use the camera. FX1 is tape based, every new camera today shoots on flash memory. Pros & cons for each.

But the first question, is what camera will make you money. Many clients don't care what you use as long as it looks good, but other clients will want Model XYZ or bust.

Search the freelance forum for old forms about starting to freelance & good cameras to purchase.

I've personally used the FX1 a bit & the Z1U a whole bunch back in 2007-08. I think they're pretty good cameras overall. I've seen two FX1 cameras die b/c of some internal power failure & for that reason I'd stick to a Z1U, that & I want my camera to have XLR inputs, BeackTek adapters (or whatever) are nice, but not really as user friendly.


I've been using the V1U for some years and I like that it shoots HDV, DVcam, and DV. If your primary use is web video, you won't need to use the HDV feature unless you want to, because DVcam and DV are some much easier to edit. But, with the V1U, you can still offer a hi-def product for clients who want it. I also like that it shoots on tape which removes the archiving issue from the mix. And, the V1U also shoots 24p which some clients like for the "film look" it provides. Finally, the V1U has XLR audio in so professional mics and mixers can interface easily.
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Thanks for all your input fellas! You've given me quite a lot to consider. I would very much like to shoot in HD and capture in flash but budget is a factor. I also worry about stability with hand held shots.... I'm just so used to the Old Sony betamax!


Well-known member
I can't see how you could go wrong with the FX1. It's cheap, durable, and capable. I've put mine in every extreme situation imaginable and simple can't kill it (although I have had to replace the lens a time or two ;). Cheap is the key word in this case. Hit ebay and see what you can find one for. You may be surprised. The downsides are no interchangeable lenses. This makes for lack of depth of field but you can create that in post. No XLR inputs but I use adapters with no problem. The FX7 does have XLR inputs so check those out on ebay as well. I have no problems with green screen work with it. It's just a matter of lighting well and using a capable keyer. It's small too. Stripped down a bit (I deleted my viewfinder), I can tote it onto any puddle jumper. This is a big plus for me. I check nothing at airports. It can be stabilized easy enough. You can buy shoulder mounts online or fab your own. All in all, I think it'd be a great introductory camera for you. Mine has paid for itself countless times.