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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 October 17th, 2011, 07:46 AM   #1
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Another Z1 or upgrade?

Hi.

I have seriously been looking at upgrading my cameras to something tapeless and better quality.
Right now i have 3 cameras (PD-150, PD-170 and HVR-Z1U). I have thought of selling both standard def cameras and buying another Z1, or selling all 3 and buying two Canon XA10s or similar.

I have heard the XA10 is a very good camera. Some have even said that the picture is superior to that of the Z1. Just wondering how this could be? Is the Z1 not a good camera, or has technology just improved so much that you can get a better picture out of highend palmcorder? I understand there are differences between CCDs and CMOS, but can 1 x 1/3" CMOS offer better picture than 3 x 1/3" CCDs?

I like the size and functions of my Z1, but really if I can get a better product out of something like the XA10, id sell the Z1 as well and go with a pair of XA10s or an XA10 and HF G10.

I would like to upgrade to something better such as an AX2000 or NX5U, but I have to upgrade my editing computer as well. Or should I wait until I can afford something better? I was thinking the sooner the better since the cameras I have are still worth something anyway.

Any recommendations?

Thanks
Mark
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Old October 19th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #2
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Re: Another Z1 or upgrade?

Selling the 150 and 170 is the thing you must do ASAP if you want them to be worth anything. Not that they're bad cameras by any means, but they're 4:3 cameras and that's the end of the line.

The Z1 is a tough, reliable, solid camera. I had mine for 4 years and went file-based with the NX5. My DVDs are really no different, because the cameras have far less to do with the overall look of your film than what's between your ears.

The latest breed of palmcorders have come on in leaps and bounds, and my Panasonic SD900 comfortably outperforms the Z1. But want to switch in ND2, set the shutter speed to 1/100th, the iris to f/4 and do a manual w/balance? The Z1 will allow you to make these adjustment in seconds, whereas the 900 means you've got to dig about in on-screen menus.

Horses for courses. The Z1 allows proper XLR mics to plug straight in, so is this important to you? The CCDs have no CMOS jello and flash banding. The top screen is still an example to all.

Tape has had its day, that's for sure, But that doesn't make the Z1 out of date by any means.

tom.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 11:07 PM   #3
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Re: Another Z1 or upgrade?

Thanks Tom for your comments. You say you upgraded from the Z1 to the NX5. How do you find that camera? I would like to upgrade to an NX5 sometime. Another possibility would be to sell all my cameras and buy one nx5 and purchase another later on.

Thanks
Mark
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Old October 20th, 2011, 03:54 AM   #4
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Re: Another Z1 or upgrade?

The NX5 is the logical step from the Z1, the Z5 being an in-betweener that satisfies those who are not prepared to ditch tape's wonderful archive facility and don't mind its mechanical complexity.

How did I find the NX5? You can read a lot of my posts on the subject in the NX5 forum here, but bottom line is that if you've used a Z1 then the carry-over batteries and control positioning will have you using it confidently in an afternoon.

That's what I'd do in your shoes - sell your three cameras and get an NX5 and take the big leap to file-based. The very thought of it being tape is devaluing the Z1 by the day, so do it quickly I'd say.

But do read my thoughts on the NX5's downers. The Z1 is just so damn good that the NX5 struggles to match it in a few areas. You've got to need a camera of the NX5's capabilities, otherwise you might be better off with five SD900s for the same money.

tom.
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