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Old December 21st, 2010, 12:47 PM   #1
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Which Video camera should I get

I'm feeling a bit lost . I'm looking at 2 cameras right now both Sony the HVR-Z5U and the sony HXR-NX5 the nx5 records with AVHD the the z5 records on tape or a record devise which i will buy it records in mt2

I have heard that AVHD is as good of picture as the mt2 so I want the one that gives me the best picture. Any one have any thoughts.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 12:56 PM   #2
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It's really not a question of "best picture." You wouldn't be able to
tell the difference in image quality between these two cameras. It's
mainly a matter of tape workflow vs. solid state workflow (which will
bypass the tape capture process). How old is your computer?
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Old December 21st, 2010, 01:19 PM   #3
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The "record device" you mentioned is probably a firestore wright? Anyway, I would go for the NX5. Looking from the codecs perspective it's 25Mb HDV vs 24Mb AVCHD (it is24 wright?). AVC is a newer and a better codec so in this regard it should be better. I have no experience with this two cameras but tape IS dieing out (for me it's long dead).

This is a complex question and can't be answered so simply. Just to clarify you can't compare m2t to AVCHD. m2t is not a codec!
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Old December 21st, 2010, 03:05 PM   #4
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right now - don't buy anything, wait till NAB, then just do your research and better yet try yourself camcorders you want to buy, do the test shots, bring it to you editing system, watch it on large screen;
it is really hard to give that kind of advice without knowing what is the main purpose of the camera, but choosing between two I'd go with NX5, it's newer and it's tapeless;
here some discussion on this matter http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-nxc...7-z5-nx5u.html
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Old December 21st, 2010, 05:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buba Kastorski View Post
right now - don't buy anything, wait till NAB
I really cannot agree with that. NAB is more than three months away, and when it gets
here, it's only going to show future products that won't ship for at least *another* three
months. You're basically telling him to wait more than half a year, and I think that's poor
advice. If you have something to shoot now, then *now* is always the right time to buy.
If you're waiting, you're not creating (Chris Hurd trademark phrase). When those new
camcorders from NAB finally reach the shelves, they will sell for full MSRP plus they
will require the latest and greatest editing computer for ingest. The cameras he's
looking at now are available *now* and have stabilized in price, plus if he chooses
HDV & tape then most likely he won't have to upgrade his computer system.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 05:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanjin Svajger View Post
The "record device" you mentioned is probably a firestore wright?
The Sony Z5 is engineered to accept a CF recording unit also made by Sony called the MRC1K. Unlike the Firestore/Firewire approach you have with other cameras, the Z5 (and the Z7 for that matter) uniquely were built to integrate the CF unit so that it is powered from the camera and it's status is shown in the EVF/LCD. Sony did a good job on that in providing a nice integrated solid state solution two years ago vs the Frankenstein approach required by cameras with only Firewire for DTE units.

Also, for some, having tape backup is important and the Z5/Z7 afford users that capability. Also, there's no requirement to shoot tape, the cameras can also shoot solid state only.

As little as we know about what the OP wants/needs, the Z5/MRC1K combo is a valid unit and could serve as an inexpensive way to get started and upgrade later when you know better what you want. The computer side of video is not to be overlooked as we turn the corner to AVC based codecs.

That said, the NX5 is a thoroughly modern camera with some nice features like SDHC media and add-ons such as the 160GB SSD for long form recording. If your computer isn't up to snuff, there's a hidden cost then to the NX5.

[insert standard comment #2 about the need to have a good tripod that will outlast this camera purchase as something to put into the budget that my clarify the choice]
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 07:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
I think that's poor advice.
and I don't think so, I just don't want Chas to repeat mistake many of us did :)
you buying a camera in December and in April you saying, "oh men, if only I knew",
well, of course it applies only if you're upgrading :)
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 08:36 AM   #8
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I'm with Chris. You can always wait 4, 6 8 months, whatever, and get a better/newer camera. By that measure, you can wait forever and never buy/upgrade a camera, there will always be a better camera just around the corner. (Unless you have a specific need that is not available yet.)

Or you can just buy the best one to suit your needs right now, and get shooting.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 08:37 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Buba Kastorski View Post
you buying a camera in December and in April you saying, "oh men, if only I knew"
Sorry, but I don't get that argument either. You buy a camera
in December, and if something better is announced in April
(actually ships in August), then you simply sell what you've
got and move up to a newer one. The one you bought in
December should have more than paid for itself by August,
so any amount it sells for is pure profit. Cameras are pretty
fluid that way. It's not like you're locked in to anything.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 01:10 PM   #10
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On Chas’s question about whether to get a Z5 or an NX5, and specifically whether AVCHD from the NX5 would be is inherently better than HDV from a Z5.

I use an NX5 and an FX1000 which is the prosumer version of the Z5. In almost every situation, I’d be hard put to spot any format-related image differences. All other things being equal, HDV from the FX1000 looks to me the same as the AVCHD I get from the NX5. Some people think that the NX5 might be "better" because it records in 1920x1080 while the Z5 records in 1440x1080. The difference is only pixel shape: the NX uses square pixels while the Z uses anamorphic pixels. Dvinfo has a lot of posts (from Chris among others) explaining that the different shaped pixels do not produce noticeable visual differences.

So, if you are trying to decide between the NX5 and Z5 on the basis of resolution, there isn’t an practical visual difference between AVCHD and HDV.

There only place I've noticed any differences is when panning while shooting very high-motion high contrast video. I’ve found that the NX5's AVCHD is less susceptible to motion artifacts than the FX1000's HDV, I hardly ever do quick pans, so this is not a significant issue for me.

I should say that was looking to buy a Z5 to match my FX1000 last year when the NX5 was released, so I can point to a few things to consider in choosing between the cams.

1. Economics

Both cams sell for $3900 ($US). The NX gives you tapeless recording right out of the box. With two 16g SDHC cards, you can shoot 3 hours of uninterrupted 24 Mbps AVCHD. (With 32g cards and the bg NPF970 battery, you can go for 6 hours). That’s a good thing if you shoot events, With the Z5, you’ve got to spend another $750 to get an MRC1 unit which will allow you to shoot 3 hours of HDV. You could spend more and get a Firestore which does not mount as conveniently (the MRC plugs into into the rear of the camera behind the battery while you have to strap on the Firestore or put in on a bracket). You could spend a bit less and get a Datavideo unit, but it still winds up making the Z5 cost more than the NX.

2. Tapeless formats obviously have workflow advantages over HDV tape. HDV shot to a card is somewhat faster to ingest into a computer and HDV is a much lighter load on the editing system than AVCHD. This is a consideration if you are doing multi-cam editing, but not such a big deal when working with single tracks of AVCHD on a current computer system. If you've got an older computer, you might need to increase your NX5 budget to include computer upgrades. Or you might need to buy something like Cineform's NeoScene to convert the AVCHD to more editable AVI or MOV files.

3. Tapeless recordings do not have drop-outs. While I never had a tape-drop out when shooting tape with my FX1000, I can expect to get some with the other HDV cams I use which include a Canon XH-A1. I got MRC units and eliminated the problem.

4. While the idea of back-up recording sounds attractive --- going to tape and MRC with the Z5 or SD cards and FMU with the NX5 --- I've pretty much abandoned the practice.

I do longer-form event videos and legal videos (depositions), Many segments run well over 1 hours. In theory, with the MRC on the Z5, you can let the tape run out then swap in a new tape while the MRC continues to record. In practice, I cannot always get to the cameras (can't interrupt a show) and the tapeless units have been so reliable, I have not shot any tape since April. I always run my NX5 with both the SD cards and the FMU, but only because it requires no thought on my part and I've never had to resort to a back-up..

5. The auto-focus on my FX1000 sometimes seems a bit quicker and bit more accurate than the one on my NX5. I suspect that the Z5 would be the same as the FX1000 in this department. But, for that matter, my little CX550v cams beat them hollow when it comes to auto focus. Also, I’ve noticed in my multi-cam concert shoots over the last couple of weeks that CX550v cams seem to have less picture noise than either of the two larger cams in the somewhat oddly lit venues in which I’ve been shooting. That may be a function some image processing firmware in the little cam as well as the little cam’s larger chip. The FX and NX use -inch chips where the CX550 has a single 1/3-inch chip (actually, 1/2.9).

6. The NX5 has some differences from the Z5. Here are some that I can think of off the top of my head:

(a) The NX5 has Sony’s “Active Steady Shot” enhanced optical image stabilization. It works. I find it makes for significantly steadier appearing handheld shots than I can get when handholding the FX1000. Definitely a worthwhile feature if you do much handheld shooting.

(b) The NX5 will shoot 720/60p which can be great for solo-camera high motion shooting (say, sporting events). Not so great when intercutting with 1080i cams in a multi-cam shoot, though.

(c) The NX5 will let you record audio in Linear PCM format instead of the compressed formats used by most other cameras. (Most NLEs will convert your audio to PCM when you import it to a timeline). In shooting concerts and recitals, I find LPCM is more robust, gives cleaner sound and is less likely to clip and less likely to give me some unexpected audio editing artifacts, later.

(d) The rear-most ring on the Z5 lens can be set to control either iris or overall exposure. On the NX5, it controls only the iris. I like the single function, but that’s personal preference.

(e) The Z5 gives you buttons to index mark tapes. Since the NX5 does not use tape, it does not have this. I never used index marking on any camera, but this might matter to some folks.

(f) The NX5 has a gps which I think is really cool but for which I’ve never found any use.

(g) With the NX5's side-by side recording capabilities, you can have it record in high-def format to the cards while also recording standard def to the FMU. With the Z5, the FMU only records the format to which the camera is set.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 01:45 PM   #11
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I think it's possible to record HDV to tape and DV to the MRC on the Z5 simply by downconverting the FW output, but I won't swear to this, having never tried this myself.

There are also a couple of minor features that people have talked about on these boards that the Z5 has but the NX5 lacks; two I can think of are the Shot Transition function on the Z5, and the more robust power supply/battery charger that comes with the Z5. There may be more.

Nonetheless, the cams are very similar and I don't think you can go wrong with either one.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 11:33 AM   #12
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The FX and NX use -inch chips
Both have 3, 1/3-inch Exmor chips

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Old December 23rd, 2010, 11:17 PM   #13
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Good evening,

Does this not really boil down to bit rates and compression?!@!!!

hdv is about 24 mgbts/sec

Avchd which has huglely more compression needs to have a substantially higher bit rate to acheive the same image!!!!

If, (!!) I recall correctly, avchd is compressed something like 80 times more than avchd!!


Were I to buy a new camcorder and it recorded avchd I would want it to run at least 50m mb/sec.

when you look at these cameras, they are not very economical!!!!! If you have the cash go for it!!!
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Old December 24th, 2010, 06:32 AM   #14
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Jay
That was very enlightening your post. I have at the moment a Z5 and a FX7 and I am thinking in getting a NX5. Are the two pictures of the Z5 and ZX5 the same? I mean do you have to correct white balance at post?

Stelios

P.S. Ofcourse I am also experimenting now with a Canon 550D camera that I recently got to use for video.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 06:55 AM   #15
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Avchd which has huglely more compression needs to have a substantially higher bit rate to acheive the same image!!!!
The opposite is true; AVCHD (h.264/mpeg4) is much more efficient compression than HDV (mpeg 2). So at similar bit rates, AVCHD will have much less visible artifacting than HDV. Compression is roughly twice as efficient as MPEG-2.

That said, the industry has excellent implementations of both.
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