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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 March 30th, 2005, 05:09 PM   #1
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Who upgraded to Z1 from PD170?

I just took delivery of a PD170, my first cam. I'm a pro still shooter but wanted to get into video. Been researching my you-know-what off, and I thought I'd covered all my bases when I ordered the PD170.

Guess I didn't research enough, cuz no sooner had I ordered than I started reading about the Sony hi-def cams, one of which is same price as PD170.

Yeah, I can spring for the Z1 if it's worthwhile. But I'd like to hear from current or former PD170 users who made the switch. Worthwhile? What do you miss or not miss? Any comments are appreciated.

I look at this as an investment, and once acquired, I don't want to be switching cams after a year because I didn't get what I should have gotten in the first place. So even tho the Z1 is more money, I'd consider it money well spent if the cam will future-proof me for a bit.

Yes, low-light is important to me, for all sorts of applications, which is what led me to the PD170 after trying out others.

Thanks.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 12:17 PM   #2
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Since their are no reactions on your question it can mean 2 things. Nobody upgraded from PD170p to FX1/Z1 or the FX1/Z1 is not as good as expected and they don't want to admit it. My opinion is dat it is too early to get in to HDV especially if you want to use it to make your living. No sensible edditting facilities other than plug-ins in present software, very expensive viewing equipment required to utilize the advantages of HDV, motion artifacts/blurr is present to a larger extent than in the PD170p and equivalent equipment. At the moment HDV is for those who are thrilled to get the latest gadget (at the moment it is not more than that). Wait for at least another 2 year before going into HDV.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 12:35 PM   #3
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Thanks, Hans. I suspected there were no replies either because

a) z1 users think I'm a newbie (they're right, but that doesn't worry me) and didn't want to be bothered

b) nobody has upgraded from PD170 or equivalent camera

c) they're too busy out shooting and having fun with the Z1

or some combination.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 02:15 PM   #4
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Hans, you forgot that the Z1 is also a DVCAM camera!

We have swapped out our 2 Pd170's for an FX1 and a Z1, fact is the Z1 blows the PD170 out of the water in my opinion. Great form factor, good menu options PAL/NTSC switchable. TRUE 16:9 recording, great LCD screen, programmable buttons, better zoom control,etc etc. Low light performance is also a LOT better than some people would have you think.

Don't even think about a PD170, pay the extra get a Z1 and you have a great DV CAM camera that can also shoot HDV if you wish - it gives you many more options. I miss absolutely nothing about our PD170's.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 02:26 PM   #5
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I would agree with Steve's assessment. Although the Z1 is more, you're getting a whole lot more features, plus 16:9 and better on-camera manual controls (like the audio dials). I used the PD-150 extensively for years, and love the size and low-light capability. But when it came to buying a new camera, there was no contest. And the image quality fo the Z1 is superior -- I'm saying that as a person who has shot everything in HDV and downcoverted to SD for editing.

I also like the PAL capability...

In sum, I bought it knowing that I would use it primarily for SD initially, and consider it a huge bonus that I'll be using it for 1080i as well.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 04:49 PM   #6
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Steve,

I agree with one thing namely that the FX1/Z1 is true 16:9 but that is the only advantage. In low light the PD170p is still the king and blows away the FX1/Z1. By the way the PD170p can also do DVCAM !!!! Concerning NTSC/PAL switchable, it is only interesting for those people who have work for both systems. Concerning image quality DVCAM is the same and in HDV the FX1/Z1 should be better resolution wise else it makes no sense building a HDV cam. However you did not mention the motion artifacts(fast panning, walking during shooting)/blurr which seems to be much worse than with the PD170p. I compare the FX1/Z1 with when the VX1000 came on the market. Arevolution however with many buts untill the VX2100/PD170p came out. So just wait, save the bucks you save if you buy the PD170p and wait untill the Z.... comes along with a lot of improvements and hopefully a solid state memory i.s.o. the tape.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 06:39 PM   #7
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Hans, glad you mentioned the tape. I'm noticing an annoying amount of noise coming from the tape drive in my PD170. You, too?

Is this par for the course with Z1s as well?
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 08:15 PM   #8
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Hi Georg, I didn't upgrade from the pd170 . Ive been using panasonic agdvx100a. But I just bought a Z1 about a month ago.
I have been shooting in HDV with this camera and using it's down conversion to SD. The end result is alot better quality than what I have been getting by shooting in SD. This is also true when I compare the end result with my Z1 when I compare shooting in SD verses HDV. big difference.
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