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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old December 8th, 2007, 11:29 AM   #1
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Are you happy with your Z1

OK I have decided that the Z1 is the go me me. (I THINK)
All I need is a cam that does 16.9 real good and future proof myself for the onset of HD.
Price in Australia is ok, it will probley drop price as I speak now.

But just before I hand my hard earned over to purchase the ZI, I was looking for one last comment from users on this camera good or bad.
With so many cameras out there that do the same thing (sort of) it's very difficult making the right choice & I hope that I will be choosing the correct camera.

Cheers
Simon
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Old December 8th, 2007, 12:34 PM   #2
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Thumbs up from me. I've got 2 and have had no problems other than a blown firewire port (not exactly uncommon - just be careful how you connect it to the computer).

I mainly use it for weddings - sometimes have to shoot with high gain bacause of low light but picture is still very good.

I just wish the Expand Focus would work while recording rather than just in standby mode. And if you don't have quick record switched on it can take what seems like forever for it to start recording.

I am thinking of switching to the EX1 but thats because i like the idea of tapeless record and capture - not because of any shortcomings with the Z1.

Ian
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Old December 8th, 2007, 04:59 PM   #3
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I have two, and I may get one or two more over the next year (for multi-camera coverage of live events). Like Ian said, there are things that would probably be a little better if done differently, but that's probably true for anything you can buy off the shelf.

I particularly like the low-light performance, which is very important for many of my projects. A relatively good gain ("good" as in "not adding much noise") combined with the black stretch feature have saved many shots for me.

- Martin
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Old December 8th, 2007, 05:01 PM   #4
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I'm still quite happy with my Z1 which I bought in June 2005. No problems with it whatsoever. If I were in the market today though, it would be a much tougher choice. But my original reason for getting the Z1 was a PAL project, but I didn't want to get a PAL-only camera.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #5
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First off, I have a Z1 and like it a lot. Second, what do you mean by future proof yourself for the onset of HD? What would you be producing with your Z1? The technology has been evolving and there might be a better choice.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 06:06 PM   #6
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The EX1 does have a better resolution vs. the Z1U, and I like the tapeless editing aspect.

If I had the money for the EX1, I would buy it over the Z1U.

But, I do use a couple of Z1U's for my business.

The only thing I don't like is that it is not very good in low light, and the LCD can give a false image preview. There have been many times when I shoot video, and the video in the editing suite winds up being to light, or too dark...very frustrating!
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Old December 9th, 2007, 03:10 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice people, I'm going ahead this week so looking forward to the learning cruve with this cam.
Cheers
Simon
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Old December 9th, 2007, 09:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Hutson View Post
The only thing I don't like is that it is not very good in low light, and the LCD can give a false image preview.
What would be a GOOD choice for low-light performance then among HDV cameras, in the price range that the Z1U plays in? I stepped up from an HC3, which is horrible in low light, and while of course it's always better to have even more/better performance, in general I am impressed with what the Z1U does when I use it outdoors at night or in fairly dark places indoors.

- Martin
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Old December 10th, 2007, 01:23 AM   #9
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If you've got lots of action, water, outdoors and motion, stay away from the Z1U. It's very easy to overload the codec. We do a lot of shooting on the water and of the water. Those sort of situations give the Z1U fits and you get tons of compression artifacts. For static interviews, weddings etc. I'm sure it's fine. Other wise, stay very far away.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 07:13 AM   #10
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Though the HDV codec can have fits, I filmed an entire season of adventure videography using the Z1 as the A camera... and it came out fantastic!

A heck of a lot better than you'll ever see on cable, anyways. As long as care was taken to NOT kill the codec whenever possible. :)

I absolutely adore my Z1, though I can't wait for the Cineform SOLID (is it officially named that yet?) to be able to bypass the HDV compression.

Carl
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Old December 10th, 2007, 07:44 AM   #11
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I love my Z1u, I use it with my V1s and typically use my Z1 as my workhorse.

As mentioned above, you want to watch your lighting, but other than that, I've been very happy my Z1.

Nothing will ever replace my GL2 though, no matter what. :}
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Old December 10th, 2007, 10:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Heywood View Post
If you've got lots of action, water, outdoors and motion, stay away from the Z1U. It's very easy to overload the codec. We do a lot of shooting on the water and of the water. Those sort of situations give the Z1U fits and you get tons of compression artifacts. For static interviews, weddings etc. I'm sure it's fine. Other wise, stay very far away.
This is the nature of the HDV codec.

Choose your codec that suits, then choose your cam that suits - in that order.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 10:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Stu Holmes View Post
This is the nature of the HDV codec.

Choose your codec that suits, then choose your cam that suits - in that order.
Extremely wise advice.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 11:23 PM   #14
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Forgive my ignorance but I am a rookie at HDV and considering various cameras at this time, myself. But what should I be looking for with codec issues with HDV? I have only had a couple of opportunities to play with a FX-1 and a V1U but I did not notice any issues when recording the Blue Angels with the V1U. Nor did I notice any codec issues when recording motorcycle road races. Both are pretty fast moving subjects. Plus, several have mentioned issues with shooting water. I know that Discovery Channel used 50 Z1U's when filming "Worlds Deadliest Catch" which obviously has lots of water in the shots. What did they do to overcome the codec issues?
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Old December 10th, 2007, 11:33 PM   #15
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Well I have done the deed and got the Sony Z1, now I can stop talking to myself ABOUT THIS CAM,THAT CAM.
One thing is its a lot bigger than my PD170 BUT THATS COOL.

This is what I got.
Sony Z1
Millier DS10 tripod
Couple NPF970's Battery Pack
Rode Deadcat
Sony Lead Light HVLLBP
Rode Condensor Mic NTG-1
Sony Lavalalier Wireless Mic System

And I still have the old PD170 for backup, SD 4.3 stuff.

Now how do I turn this on............

Cheers
Simon
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