Sony HVR Z&U or Sony EX1 or Pan HVX P2????? at

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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 August 2nd, 2008, 03:15 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Palm Desert, CA
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Sony HVR Z&U or Sony EX1 or Pan HVX P2?????

Sony HVR Z&U or Sony EX1 or Pan HVX P2?????
Been researching for about a month. I need a basic camera package to start shooting a documentary that will eventually hit big screens so want to be sure quality is good enough. Only have 10 grand to work with to get camera, tripod, mic, and car.

I've boiled it down to the HVR, EX1 or P2. Problem with these new camera's is the after cost of cards and lap tops so here are three combinations I've come up with:
(prices based on B&H as I was told not to trust the "best prices" from questionable dealers)

Sony PMW-EX1 w/free 8 gig SXS card: $6449

SXS Card 8 G: $449

Tripod, mic, Ext. Hard drive: $689.95

= $7587.95 + tax? $607.03
= $8194.99 (No laptop (at first))

Sony HVR-Z7U: $5599

Tripod, mic, Ext. Hard drive: $689.95

= $6288.95 + tax ?: $503.12
= $6792.06 (Use Tapes - No cards or Lap Top ((at first)))

Panasonic HVX 200A w/free 8 gig P2 card: $5499
P-2 16 Gig Card: $850
15 MacBook Pro: $2000

Tripod, mic, Ext. Hard drive: $689.95
= $9038.95 Tax ?: $723
= $9762.06

As you can see only the HVR allows me enough room to buy a car as well. But word on the street has been that the EX1's 1080i 24p is just so much better it justifies the added expense.

The reason I put ??? after tax is because I also heard if I buy out of state it won't apply. Is this true?

Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.
Ian Jacklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 6th, 2008, 03:42 AM   #2
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EX1 isthe way to go for documentaries. It was designed to be a manually operated cam!
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Old August 6th, 2008, 06:04 AM   #3
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Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,100
There are so many factors in play here, that this type of simplistic comparison is just not going to help all that much.

What kind of documentary are you shooting? Will you be doing a lot of hand-held footage or shooting mostly on a tripod? What kind of tripod and microphone are you talking about getting because to be honest, if you are thinking about releasing for the big screen, a typical tripod and mic could easily cost as much as the camera, or at least half as much for bargain gear.

The Panny HVX200a makes some very nice images. But P2 cards are expensive. Might be cheaper in the long run to get a Firestore. The Sony's Sxs cards give you twice the shooting time per card (for the same size card) so it stretches your budget a bit. And for the time being, you actually get two SxS cards with the camera. I don't know much about the Z7U, so I'll leave it to others to comment on it.

Lots of people dream of shooting for the big screen. Very few people are able to put together the financing to make it happen.
DVX100, PMW-EX1, Canon 550D, FigRig, Dell Octocore, Avid MC4/5, MB Looks, RedCineX, Matrox MX02 mini, GTech RAID, Edirol R-4, Senn. G2 Evo, Countryman, Moles and Lowels.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 12:27 PM   #4
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Location: Montreal,Canada
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Sony HVR-Z7U for low budget and highest recording time or PMW-EX1 for better picture quality and still long recording time.

Forget HVX-200 because the recording time is ridiculously low and dont beleive the story who said HDV and XDCAM EX is no good because of MPEG 2 LongGop.
Documentary are long duration with long shooting situations if you work alone , you have no time to stop to download your cards.

If you find HDV is good enough then HVR-Z7 will give you the best of both world : File base workflow from the Compact Flas cards and Self-Archives from the tapes.

From the low cost of the HVR-Z7 you will have left some money to get others accessories.
In fact too many peoples go tapeless blind .... what you save on tapes you have to pay it with extra hard-drives fror archival and some others extra hardwares in the tapeless workflow.
You dont buy only a camcorder , you also have to think about editing workflow and the distribution cost .... otherwise you may make a costly mistake.
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