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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 14th, 2010, 04:36 AM   #1
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Upgrading from the Z1

I know there are the Z5 and Z7 but I want something that I can future proof on. I thought about the RED fixed camera but seem this won’t be out for a while and I'm not sure it’s right for me.

I've had my Z1 for 4-5 years and love it and it’s a proper work horse. I've just got back from WRC Portugal where I was filming and the camera held up very well so the new purchase will have to be as strong as the Z1 and I'm not sure RED is an option for the type of filming I do (WRC/Motorsports).

I guess I'm looking for a 2k/4k camera and would prefer to stick with Sony.

Anyone got any thoughts?
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Old June 14th, 2010, 06:19 AM   #2
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I am also looking at purchasing another cam, and coming from the Sony FX1 and V1, I am looking at the following:

If you are used to a tape based work flow, the z5/z7 can be a great transitional camera if you are not completely comfortable with making the jump to a tapeless only workflow. With these cameras you can record to tape and memory card, kind of the best of both worlds. Also, if you are traveling a lot the immediate tape backups after a shoot can be convenient.

If you want to go tapeless, the Sony HXR-NX5 is another good option which meets your budget requirements and records full hd (1920x1080). This unit records only to memory stick (and also sd card, I think) and the cards are relatively cheap. With this unit using the avchd format, be sure you have a pc with enough power and editing software that is compatible with avchd. Refer to the Sony NX5 section to see problems other people experienced when editng this format.

If you want to go one step further, the Sony ex1/ex3 will be a great option. You will have to beef up your budget though. Memory cards for these units are very expensive compared to the memory cards used by the nx5
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Old June 14th, 2010, 06:21 AM   #3
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I also should of said I use the MRC1K and love the tapeless solutions so wont go back to tape now. Only use tape as a backup.
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Old June 14th, 2010, 12:52 PM   #4
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I don't think it's ever possible to "future proof" yourself in this camcorder world.

If you've already got the MRC, I'd highly recommend the Z5, but of course it isn't 2K.
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Old June 14th, 2010, 03:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
I don't think it's ever possible to "future proof" yourself in this camcorder world.

If you've already got the MRC, I'd highly recommend the Z5, but of course it isn't 2K.
Is there a PDF/link with the differences between the Z5 and Z5? Is it much like the Z1 and FX1?
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Old June 14th, 2010, 05:19 PM   #6
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Do you mean Z5 and Z7? If so, no. The Z5 is to the FX1000 what the Z1 was to the FX1. The Z7 is almost identical to the Z5, but is different ergonomically, includes the MRC in the box and has interchangeable lenses. The Z5 has a fixed-mount (integral) lens.

Here's a thread: Z5 or Z7?.

Still looking for a chart.
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Old June 14th, 2010, 05:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
Do you mean Z5 and Z7? If so, no. The Z5 is to the FX1000 what the Z1 was to the FX1. The Z7 is almost identical to the Z5, but is different ergonomically, includes the MRC in the box and has interchangeable lenses. The Z5 has a fixed lens.
Yeah sorry meant the Z5 and Z7.

I'm not sure I'd see any image quality difference from my Z1 to the Z5? Or even the Z7?

An interchangeable lens is a nice thought but sounds expensive.
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Old June 14th, 2010, 05:34 PM   #8
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There is a major difference from the Z1 to the Z5, in my opinion. I had the FX1 and moved to the FX1000 and was blown away by the difference, by both the sharpness and the low-light ability. I moved to the Z5's for some of the extra features. Don't get me wrong - I loved my FX1 and its rich, soft, film-like image, and if I was still shooting with a single cam I'd probably still be using it. But as I moved into multicam and needed to match four cameras and started adding to the mix, first more FX1s and then some FX7s, I began to find the FX1 picture too soft, especially in comparison to the sharper CMOS cams. The FX1 was pretty good in low light and certainly better than the FX7, with its smaller chip, but when I got the FX1000's I was completely overwhelmed by the added sharpness and the ability to virtually see in the dark.

Then I sold the whole lot and got four Z5's and have never been so happy with a bunch of cams, ever. For the first time in my life I am not lusting after the latest and greatest newer cam, and with its ability to seamlessly integrate the MRC directly onto the back of the cam with no cables or cradles or batteries -- well, I'm in love.

Also note the zoom on the stock Z7 lens is 12x, as it was on the FX1/Z1, while the zoom on the FX1000/Z5 is 20x, going both wider and more tele. Extremely useful and sharper to boot.

Another comparison article: Shoot Review: Sony HVR-Z5U

As others have pointed out, if you didn't already have the MRC the price of a Z7 (which includes one) is about the same as buying a Z5 and an MRC, at least in the US. But as you already have the CF unit and aren't enamored of the interchangeable lens, the Z5 may be a better bet.

If you download the two manuals you'll see the firmware and functions between the 5 and the 7 are virtually identical.
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Old June 15th, 2010, 03:17 AM   #9
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Thanks Adam I'm heading towards the Z5 but I film motorsports so there is loads of quick panning left to right as the car flys past me; So will the CMOS and rolling shutter be a problem?
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Old June 15th, 2010, 12:48 PM   #10
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I do a lot of sports stuff with both my FX7s and the Z5s and always have a lot of crazy whip-pans and other quick moves. Rolling shutter and skew have never been a problem for me, but other people have different reactions. For some it's a deal-breaker.

Just like the flash-banding issue for wedding videogs... some people go insane and others don't see it as a problem at all.
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Old June 15th, 2010, 02:11 PM   #11
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Yeah I need to use a Z5 and see what its like in real life. That or hold out for the RED Scarlet fixed camera which seems hell of a spec.
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