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Sony 4K Ultra HD Handhelds
Pro and consumer versions including PXW-Z150, PXW-Z100, PXW-X70 / FDR-AX100


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Old November 5th, 2016, 04:55 AM   #31
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Re: My Z150 just died

Did the camera get a hard knock before this test? A lot of bad things seem to have happened to your multi-ring Sony camcorders. Either you have been very unlucky or the way you use your cameras may require true pro shoulder-mounted, servo-zoom but manual focus only interchangeable cameras that can better withstand rough handling than can these plasticky handycam models. I guess either a simple, palmcorder model like the Sony X70 or one in the shoulder mounted class would be more reliable for you.

I also susupect the "Made in China" and the low price points of these newer Handycams may have something to do with the reliability of the lens mechanisms.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 08:20 AM   #32
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Re: My Z150 just died

Paul, I had just ordered a Z150 but I got a call from a buddy who needed to borrow a camera for a shoot the next morning. Seems his new Z150 was misbehaving.

I called ASAP and cancelled my order. I am glad I did not sell my trusty EX1!
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Old November 5th, 2016, 12:47 PM   #33
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Re: My Z150 just died

Most owners of camcorders handle their baby with kid gloves but I wouldn’t put it past the box handlers (shipping and delivery handlers) to do the same. A hard landing with a cardboard box may not show up at all in its outward appearance.

Additionally, the packaging designers are making their boxes smaller (less cushion inside, less cardboard, smaller cube volume) to reduce shipping costs and be more eco-friendly. I’m all in favor of being eco-friendly but there is a tradeoff in contents protection with the luggage, er, … delivery handlers.

The electronic circuits and the very tiny servo motors could cause issues too. Colder temperatures that cause the oils in the lenses to become more viscus and require more power to operate will stress the micro electronic components. Temperature changes will cause the metal parts to expand or contract and given the fine clearances the friction between the parts can really increase. My post #23 above shows how delicate the close tolerances of a lens interior can be.

The lenses have gotten highly technical in recent years. Having said that, *stuff* happens.

My old Nikon 35 was totally reliable. Never had a problem until the light meter finally started causing problems and could no longer be fixed due to parts unavailability. This guy tugged at my heart strings:
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Old November 7th, 2016, 05:58 PM   #34
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Re: My Z150 just died

I baby my cameras, to the point where I would never allow so much as a scratch on the case. My X180 #1 had fingerprint smudges on the inner lens elements, then X180 #2 has severe backfocus shift/float issues. My X200 on day #1 had a severe backfocus failure on a live shot, the repeated the issue on live coverage the next day, it went back to B&H on day 3. My X70 (knock on wood!) has yet to have any issues, save for a very infrequent power up with an error code, possibly something with the cheap SD cards.

I think it is the made in China factor at work. When dealing with optics and movement, you really can't take shortcuts with quality.

Paul
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Old November 8th, 2016, 11:02 AM   #35
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Re: My Z150 just died

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Anderegg View Post
I baby my cameras .....l
I'm sure you do. It's your professional livelihood.

Fingerprint on a lens element, and an interior one no less? That should never, ever, happen. Isn’t this like pointing a finger at a larger issue? (No, no ….. not that one!).

There is a reason why Sony spun off the camera group into a separate entity and it has everything to do with profitability. They’re trying to cut corners everywhere they can but a company, or division (whatever), needs to be careful where to cut. Quality is no accident and a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link.

Still, while others in the delivery chain like those who handle the carton can be a factor, the packaging designers and those who design in robustness of the cam are as much a part of the product as that guy (aka jerk) with the finger on the lens.

Corporate is probably aware of more issues than we are hence the spin off. This may be a message to the group to fix up (improve the bottom line) or get the money rug pulled out from under them.

Warranty repairs and returns cost money and batting only .500 or maybe .300 just isn’t gonna make it. Buying a NEW cam shouldn’t have to be a gamble. If this was Reno, Las Vegas, or Monaco, when does one want to consider going to a different slot machine?
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Old December 5th, 2016, 09:17 AM   #36
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Re: My Z150 just died

Paul, can you give us an update on the Z150 cameras? I still need a current second camera and the Z150 would be perfect for my work.

Do you know if Sony sorted out their problems?

I am still hanging onto my EX1! No problems with the X70 either.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 09:21 AM   #37
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Re: My Z150 just died

I'd almost forgotten about my Z150! It's sitting on the far side of my desk, haven't used it in weeks, just went ahead and switched back to my X70. Will be sending it to Sony this month, then will probably just liquidate it on eBay. I am kinda souring on Sony. Without any sort of real matrix correction possible, the Z150 isn't really a camera I can get emotionally attached to, it's just another dumb malfunctioning tool in my tool box at this point.

Paul
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Old December 5th, 2016, 10:17 AM   #38
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Re: My Z150 just died

It looks like I will just buy another X70! I need another Sony under $3500.00 and I don't see any dependable contenders.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 08:11 AM   #39
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Re: My Z150 just died

there are a trio of new 1"sensor/ 4k cameras being released by panasonic which might offer an alternative to the seemingly unreliable z150.

be well.

rob
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Old December 6th, 2016, 09:32 AM   #40
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Re: My Z150 just died

Rob, I'm kinda stuck on Sonie. Panasonic is too hard to smell.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 10:07 AM   #41
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Re: My Z150 just died

I am a Sony guy too but the new Panasonic HC-X1 or the AG-UX180 have a lot to offer. 20x zoom, with 24mm wide angle, 50/60P UHD, DCI 4K and lots of image controls. Have touch focus etc too . If you have an iPad there is also a nice remote control app rather than the limited PlayMemories app from Sony.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 11:08 AM   #42
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Re: My Z150 just died

@John Natnz.....There was a time in my professional still days when you shot with a Nikon F3 or you were not a pro. Best damn camera ever made! And bullet proof, even a UPS carrier could not hurt one. The only reason it had a battery at all was for the poor quality light meter and the meter was the only thing about it that was not great. But, in their defense almost all in camera meters sucked in those days. So we shot transparencies by the seat of our pants and if you missed by more than half a stop you threw it away and probably had to get another job. We did not study pixels or tech in those days we studied light.

Sorry guys....I saw John's Nikon and just had to say something.....God I hate sounding so old, I'm not THAT old!

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old December 7th, 2016, 01:27 AM   #43
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Re: My Z150 just died

Steven, I shot press for a while and used my F3 instead of the paper provided cameras. I got perfect negs the whole time with the "dicky little meter". I do admit that when shooting monochrome negs there is more latitude. It made it so much quicker in the darkroom as the neg exposure was almost always the same and sped up my workflow no end.

I still have and cherish my F3, but it hasn't been used for a long time now.
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Old December 8th, 2016, 11:30 AM   #44
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Re: My Z150 just died

Hi Tim,

I should explain. I was shooting a lot world cup Ski racing at the time. No meter works well in snow, ice, and often grey skys. I carried an incident meter in my bag for that but rarely used it. The trick we used was to meter the palm of your hand. My hand is about 1/2 stop over 18% grey. Works every time.

On a sunny blue bird day at high altitude I could shoot skiers at 100 iso @ 1/500 at f16 all day and never change it. The meter might fluctuate due to composition but I had to trust my experience and stick with my guts. That is what I meant by flying with the seat of your pants. Old 18% grey meters were only good for ideal situations. Too much white and you were under exposed, reverse for black.

Kind Regards,

Steve

Tim, please don't read this as condescending. You shot with a F3. I am sure you know what I'm talking about ;-)
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Last edited by Steven Digges; December 8th, 2016 at 01:08 PM.
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Old December 8th, 2016, 07:33 PM   #45
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Re: My Z150 just died

@ Steven ….
You aren’t THAT old!

Heck, way back when “real photographers,” the pros, shot with 8” x 10” and the press photographers used 4” x 5” cameras. The 35mm cameras were considered “miniature” while 120mm, or 2-1/4, was kind of an in-between size. My first camera as a kid was a box camera that used the 120 film and was replaced by an Argus C3 “the brick”. Still have both! Bought Kodak Panatomic-X film in 100ft rolls and rolled my own cartridges using a changing bag and Nikor tanks for developing. Maybe this should be placed under the other thread of when one should buy and sell?

In school we used 4x5 press cameras (forgot the brand), probably and both Roliflex and Yashica TLRs (Twin Lens Reflex) cameras. Had a Yashica 35 SLR for awhile but it kept having problems so bit the bullet and picked up the Nikon Photomic T. End of having problems except for the light meter toward the end. Got into video with an 8mm Bell & Howell briefly but then went with a Sekonic turret lens cam, another keeper.

One of the things in the Nikon kit that’s neat is the Nikon folding fan flash that used M2 bulbs. It’s almost a work of art. Had a Weston Master V light meter which my estate will probably wonder what it was used for.

So, yeah, you aren’t that old.
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