Upgrading an FX1

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: Jun 22 2004


I am seriously thinking about upgrading from my FX1.

I have seen a DSR570 going for £7k which I think is a good price. I was even thinking about getting a Digi Beta cam.

I have a couple of questions;

Is the quality in picture of a DSR570 much better than that of a FX1.

And how does Digi Beta compare to the above? I think I emember reading that the quality of Digi Beta is the same (Has the same data rate etc). But I have always been under the impression Digi Beta would provide more "Film Like" results...

Thanks in advance.

Mick jenner
Joined: Dec 8 2000

I don't know if this is of any help but a person I know who films freelance wildlife footage for the BBc both tape and 16mm has been told in the very near future all his video footage will have to be HD or HDV to get commissions. He at present records to tape in Digi Beta.


Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Joined: May 3 1999

Yes indeed, Digibeta is being phased out for new productions. XDCAM is ok, but the move is towards HD, with HDV regarded as between SD and HD.

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.

Joined: Jul 18 2003
Nintembo wrote:
Is the quality in picture of a DSR570 much better than that of a FX1.

I don't believe that can be simply answered yes or no. In good light, on an undemanding shot you may not tell a lot of difference in SD, plus the FX1 has HD options.

Main advantages to such as the DSR570 are in terms of expandability, versatility etc and perhaps surprisingly ease of operation. Iris changes with a simple, smooth twist of a ring. Such a camera will also allow much wider and tighter angles of view with the appropiate lenses. And so on. And quality wise, in poor light it will completely blow such as an FX1 away.

But it all comes at a price. Do you think you'll be able to get the money back from the work the camera will bring in? It's not just the cost of the camera - don't forget lenses, tripods, and all the other bits and pieces.

As far as Digibeta goes - if a client is offering you work, and asking for Digibeta, that may be a good reason to buy such. I'm hearing tales that Digibeta work is being squeezed severely from both sides - by such as HDCAM at the top end for such as drama, and by such as the DSR570 at the other, largely because DVCAM integrates very much more easily with NLE systems such as Avid and FCP.

The other point to bear in mind is that apart from High Definition, the future of cameras is likely to be tapeless. XDCAM has had the most success so far, but as the cost of solid state memory comes down the likelihood is that that is going to increasingly take off. Panasonic have P2, Thomson are going with Compact Flash for the Infinity, what may Sony announce in the future? And who knows in what timescale that will come about? Probably sooner for some types of work than others.

I'd be very wary of buying a pro camera unless you have a pretty good idea of who is likely to be paying you for it's use, and what format they want you to use.

Joined: Dec 19 2005

I found a little test video a while ago.
They shot the same scene with a DVX100(minidv),
DSR570WSP(dvcam), DVW709(digibeta) and FX1(hdv).

All clips were resized to 720p and SD NTSC.

THe FX1 picture had more detail in both HD and SD resolutions.
Even when converted to wmv. I'll post the link if I can find it.