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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 June 13th, 2005, 08:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Actually I have to disagree with that... have you seen them side by side? It looks HUGE to my eyes. The photos of the Z1 by itself are deceptive since the style and proportions suggest a PD-170. But the Z1 is larger in all dimensions, and the lens shade is especially large. Actually I was thinking about removing the lens shade and putting a plastic cap on the UV filter, it looks a lot smaller that way :-)

Thanks for the reassurance though Carlos! Things are in a confused state down there as they try to readjust the schedule due to the recent strike. Hopefully I'll have some more info in the next two days.
But I did put them side by side, I even held them both in my hand!

The lens shade is larger indeed, and the upper side with the control panel and LCD makes it a bit larger there.

The idea of removing the shade and putting a filter and/or cap is certainly a good one. But the size of the Z1 is still small compared to pro-cameras and will not get any special attention. As long as you transport it, as I said, in a soft bag that you hang from your shoulder. The bag tell-tales the size of the camera, and it should be small.

Do not take a large tripod for it.

Do not worry that nothing will happen. Things will go fine. I have been taking equipment to and fro for years, between Argentina and Brazil, and I never had any problem.


Carlos
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Old June 13th, 2005, 08:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos E. Martinez
But the size of the Z1 is still small compared to pro-cameras
Well that's certainly true. Also, they had it right next to the XL-2 at the B&H display, and it's considerably smaller than that.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 04:18 PM   #18
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Customs Problems??

I'm just curious: What are the problems with carrying a "big" or "pro looking" video camera thru customs. I've gone thru Europe and SE Asia/Nepal with a PD 170 without anyone asking any questions, but haven't been to S. America yet. And, I've never traveled with anything bigger than PD 170. Would appreciate any info on this.
Thanks
Bob
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Old June 14th, 2005, 05:50 PM   #19
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>>>except if you go to specific places, where people do not go<<<
Carlos , these places , are they inhabited by man-eating tigers ? Hey man , I'm not trying to put down latin america. I've lived in Guatemala , Costa Rica and Mexico. I've traveled alot all the way to Peru. But since I lost my 16mm Beaulieu in Nepal in 76, I've always been a cautious traveler with equipment. I've known people in mexico who lost 20 mil in tech gear and their cars this year. So yes, I shouldn't make generalizations , however , sorry , there's a certain consistency about being and living south of the border. Yes , I'm sure Argentina is more civilized than Mexico . Bill , had the best advice . Thanks god I never take equipment back into the states because us Americans have the worst "border entry experience" to be had on the planet today.
ps- a small note - 3 days ago I was shooting with my new sony hc90 in a neighborhood I'm afraid to take my z1- I got chased about 300 yards and was sure glad those drunks were chasing me while carrying a very small camera. Carlos , it's just those places that you shouldn't go , that provide the best shots. Have a good trip , Boyd- Kurth
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Old June 15th, 2005, 08:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurth Bousman
these places , are they inhabited by man-eating tigers ?
Almost. Slums, like "villas" in Argentina or "favelas" in Brazil are not places you should go alone. That's an invitation to disaster.

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I'm not trying to put down latin america. I've lived in Guatemala , Costa Rica and Mexico. I've traveled alot all the way to Peru.
This is a dangerous world we live in now, worst that it was in the past. Drugs, extreme poverty and disregard for social values has helped crumble some decency the world had got to get. That is certainly not something you suffer just in third world countries, as I almost was mugged in Miami and Madrid.

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So yes, I shouldn't make generalizations , however , sorry , there's a certain consistency about being and living south of the border. Yes , I'm sure Argentina is more civilized than Mexico .
It probably is.

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Thanks god I never take equipment back into the states because us Americans have the worst "border entry experience" to be had on the planet today.
Something we at least agree on. Going into the USA is far from a pleasure anymore.

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3 days ago I was shooting with my new sony hc90 in a neighborhood I'm afraid to take my z1- I got chased about 300 yards and was sure glad those drunks were chasing me while carrying a very small camera. Carlos , it's just those places that you shouldn't go , that provide the best shots.
As a rule, video is not photography, and you shouldn't do video shooting alone.


Carlos
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Old June 15th, 2005, 01:11 PM   #21
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<<<As a rule, video is not photography, and you shouldn't do video shooting alone. >>>

Carlos - I'd been more afraid had I been shooting with my 20d w/L lens. It's true , but much less now. That's why I bought my hc90. So I could go to those "places" and shoot video. When you had to carry a should-mounted camera or film camera , you had to go with a crew. Now things are changing with small cameras. Do you watch bbc ? The docs , mostly shot w/ pd150s' , are great because they're able to enter a world undisturbed by crews, lights , large cameras, etc. Have you heard of Venezuelas' new people tv movement ? If we don't tell the stories of the poor , the world will be divided even further along the haves and havenots line.
I'd like to say just one thing more about selling equipment on trips - never accept an offer by a stranger on the street to buy( not because they're a agent but because they're probably trying to rip you off ) but .. if , like Boyd , you would be having encounters with educated people who are probably more starved for the newer technologies because of world trade policies, the casual offer to buy will surface in friendly conversation. It has with me on most of my trips . If you enter a country and you must register your equipment then obviously you can't sell it w/o paying a hefty fine but if you enter as a tourist then taking advantage of the situation seems logical.
Another point also is not only equipment watched closely by customs but also media. Most countries have limits on the amount of media or film that can be allowed free of tariffs into a country. It's all about protecting local markets .On the same trip to Nepal that I lost the beaulieu , I also lost 20 or so rolls of 35mm slide film. I was over my quota. The truth is if one wants to be a world trotting mediamaker, it requires a kind of smugglers additude. I'm not suggesting anyone tape mini dv tapes to their body like drugs but I must admit I've used that very method you get enough tapes into a country myself. But you've got to be aware of the rules and the safe ways to break them. saludos Kurth
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Old June 16th, 2005, 06:42 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurth Bousman
I'd been more afraid had I been shooting with my 20d w/L lens. It's true , but much less now. That's why I bought my hc90. So I could go to those "places" and shoot video.
Perhaps something like a Panasonic GS400 would be as inconspicuous but with more control and quality than the HC90.


Quote:
When you had to carry a should-mounted camera or film camera , you had to go with a crew. Now things are changing with small cameras. Do you watch bbc ? The docs , mostly shot w/ pd150s' , are great because they're able to enter a world undisturbed by crews, lights , large cameras, etc. Have you heard of Venezuelas' new people tv movement ? If we don't tell the stories of the poor , the world will be divided even further along the haves and havenots line.
I do not need to watch BBC to know that doc shooting is changing, because it's happening here, as you well describe over Venezuela's.


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I'd like to say just one thing more about selling equipment on trips - never accept an offer by a stranger on the street to buy( not because they're a agent but because they're probably trying to rip you off )
Sorry if what I said could be misunderstood that I was talking of a police trick, if someone offered to buy anything from you. Of course I meant to rob you or cheat you, like paying you with false money.


Quote:
but .. if , like Boyd , you would be having encounters with educated people who are probably more starved for the newer technologies because of world trade policies, the casual offer to buy will surface in friendly conversation.
That's the way to do it. I'm glad we agree on that.


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It has with me on most of my trips . If you enter a country and you must register your equipment then obviously you can't sell it w/o paying a hefty fine but if you enter as a tourist then taking advantage of the situation seems logical.
Of course. But don't expect to have a great profit though, as now technology is much easier to get: flying is cheaper, container smuggling is much more common, etc. Something like 20% profit might be a good one.


Quote:
Another point also is not only equipment watched closely by customs but also media. Most countries have limits on the amount of media or film that can be allowed free of tariffs into a country. It's all about protecting local markets .On the same trip to Nepal that I lost the beaulieu , I also lost 20 or so rolls of 35mm slide film. I was over my quota.
From what you went through in Nepal, you were really in a bad luck strike there!

Media is not so much of a problem nowadays, at least on South America countries. One thing I didn't mention on present day customs in Brazil and Argentina is that you have to press a button, and if you get a red light you have to put your bags through an X-ray machine. In Argentina you get more red than green than in Brazil. So if you go in with DV tape boxes they won't get too much attention, particularly if you have a video camera. I went in with my PD170 (which didn't need to go through the machine, just said what it was, no need to open it) and 8 boxes of tape.

Tape is not expensive at pro shops in Buenos Aires, except if you want the top pro types like the new Sony HDV tape. If you are using that do bring them with you.


Quote:
The truth is if one wants to be a world trotting mediamaker, it requires a kind of smugglers additude. I'm not suggesting anyone tape mini dv tapes to their body like drugs but I must admit I've used that very method you get enough tapes into a country myself. But you've got to be aware of the rules and the safe ways to break them.
This is something I completely and totally agree with you. I regularly have to apply such techniques when taking animal products (like ham, cheese or fish derivates) from one country to the other, and Argentina and Brazil are great for certain food products they make. Those seem to be like dangerous things to bring into the USA, as I was said you can risk jail, fees or at least expelling, for something you could only lose your products for over here.

But technology, up to a point, is not really such a problem nowadays. Laptop, digital camera, video camera, tapes or records, etc. are considered things a modern traveller takes with him/her. So relax and enjoy the trip.


Carlos
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Old June 16th, 2005, 07:45 AM   #23
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Wow, I had no idea I would spark such a lengthy discussion by just announcing a camera purchase! :-)

But there's quite a bit of good information here; thanks guys. I'm wondering if I should split this thread into the open DV forum under the topic of travelling with cameras since these are questions that often pop up.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 11:48 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Wow, I had no idea I would spark such a lengthy discussion by just announcing a camera purchase! :-)

But there's quite a bit of good information here; thanks guys. I'm wondering if I should split this thread into the open DV forum under the topic of travelling with cameras since these are questions that often pop up.

You probably should.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:01 AM   #25
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OK, I know it's way off topic but just wanted to add a little closure to this discussion since I've returned from Argentina....

Carlos was completely right; no problem whatsoever crossing the border. Coming into Buenos Aires the inspector asked me to open the case. I started to take out the camera and he waved to put it back. Not at all interested in my laptop or peripherals either. The only thing that interested him at all was my cellphone which he looked at closely... not sure if that was personal or professional. There was a form to fill out entering the country, although I think it was only for Argentine citizens. You were supposed to file a declaration if bringing in $10,000 or a cell phone. Didn't quite understand this... perhaps they are trying to prevent unlicensed/untaxed black market phones?

The poor lady in front of me, who was Argentinian returning home, was getting quite a run around however. They were going through everything in her suitcase, unwrapping presents, spilling out beads and jewelry. She was begging them to leave her alone. Americans with cameras don't seem to bother them though.

No problems whatsoever walking around Buenos Aires, although I wasn't filming anything on the streets and didn't go into any bad areas. While I was there I saw several people on the street using PD-150s and 170s, and also an XL-2.

Returning to the US was a no-brainer as well. The customs agent didn't even want to look in my carry on bags. The guy just asked where I was going and where I worked, then sent me through.

Only minor glitch was my checked bag didn't make the connection at DFW on the way home. The airlines delivered it late last night, and as I suspected the TSA had opened to inspect. Can't really blame them, I would have wondered what all those cables, power bricks, batteries, hard drives, etc. were myself if I saw them on the x-ray screen. Nothing appears to be missing or broken happily :-)
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Old July 13th, 2005, 01:05 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
The only thing that interested him at all was my cellphone which he looked at closely... not sure if that was personal or professional. There was a form to fill out entering the country, although I think it was only for Argentine citizens. You were supposed to file a declaration if bringing in $10,000 or a cell phone. Didn't quite understand this... perhaps they are trying to prevent unlicensed/untaxed black market phones?
The cell phone question is only valid for Argentine citizens, as they are not supposed to bring in anything over $300 (if I am not wrong). As a cell phone is small (as money is) if they get to search you and find them (money or cell phone) there will be heavy taxes or fees.

The customs man was probably curious on your phone.

Quote:
The poor lady in front of me, who was Argentinian returning home, was getting quite a run around however. They were going through everything in her suitcase, unwrapping presents, spilling out beads and jewelry. She was begging them to leave her alone. Americans with cameras don't seem to bother them though.
Cameras are not certainly an issue there anymore, as long as they are non-pro and carried by non-residents.

Who knows what the problem was about the lady...


Carlos
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