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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 April 2nd, 2012, 03:04 PM   #1
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Should I sell my Z1 now?

Hey guys,
I have the Sony Z1 and its worked flawlessly since I got it in 2007.

Currently it has
105 x 10 Operation Hours
80 x 10 Drum Run
54 x 10 Tape run
182 x 10 Threading Hours

Always used a tape cleaner and it extremely rarely drops frames (maybe once a year).

Should I sell now or keep it since its working? Not sure how long they run for?
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Old April 2nd, 2012, 03:12 PM   #2
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Re: Should I sell my Z1 now?

Assuming you sell it, can you access your tape archive? Do you have a plan for data storage if you move to digital media?
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Old April 2nd, 2012, 04:24 PM   #3
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Re: Should I sell my Z1 now?

I have a PD150 and a 170 that have way more hours than that (well the 170 had to have the recording drum replaced last year so it doesn't count anymore) and with proper maintanence it will run for quite a while longer. Based on your other post and this one it almost seems like you really want to get some new gear and need someone to try to talk you out of it. lol!
Hey we all get the new gear bug/ I know I do once a year. Then I look at the type of work I'm doing and realize that my cameras are paid for many many times over and there's no reason for me to spend the money and if I need something different for a particular job, I rent it.
No one can make the choice for you but if I were you I'd wait until after NAB to see whos got what coming out.
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Old April 2nd, 2012, 04:34 PM   #4
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Re: Should I sell my Z1 now?

I have the Sony Z5 so I can still access the tapes...

As far the amount of hours I really just want to make sure its still reliable! I have NEVER had it checked or tuned up or anything and I am not sure how many hours they will really last too.

Both my Z1 and Z5 have been really well cared for, kept in cases, and have been great cameras.
I just want to make sure they are reliable and that I get something out of them if I have to sell them before they lose too much value. Never had any issues really except a few dropped frames on the Z5 (I think it might be because of a faulty Fx7 that I always play it back on though, so maybe its fine, going to test it out!)
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Old April 2nd, 2012, 10:26 PM   #5
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Re: Should I sell my Z1 now?

My PD150 has over 2500 hours of operation and over 1900 hours of drum run. MY 170 had over 1700 hours drum run before the record head got changed but that was in combination with another situation so these cameras are quite sturdy when it comes to hours of run time. Operation means little it drum run thats important so I wouldn't worry about them. They seem like they're good for quite a while yet.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 09:35 AM   #6
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Re: Should I sell my Z1 now?

That's quite a high mileage for a tape deck Silas but as you say, Z1s are tough cookies and although tape deck failure is the most likely cause of breakdown, the more worrying thought is that anything advertised as 'tape based' is starting to look very old fashioned. This won't turn off people who know the Z1's reputation, but every day that passes makes selling such a piece of equipment more difficult.

Should you sell it? Depends what you plan to replace it with. I kept my FX1 when I dunked the Z1 for an NX5, and now the FX1 footage looks so soft.

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Old April 3rd, 2012, 11:56 AM   #7
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Re: Should I sell my Z1 now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Barker View Post
I have NEVER had it checked or tuned up or anything and I am not sure how many hours they will really last too.
If it you are getting zero tape dropouts I see no reason to have it serviced.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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Re: Should I sell my Z1 now?

you're late Silas, it makes no sense to sell it now, keep it till it dies
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 03:29 PM   #9
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Re: Should I sell my Z1 now?

Thanks guys,
I have never had it serviced or anything before - should I have at least a check up since it has over 1000 hours of operation?

I want to keep it till it dies, but I DONT want it dying on a SHOOT. That's why I would either like to get another Z5 or have it serviced to keep it lasting for as long as possible if thats a reasonable idea.

Thanks for the input everyone!!!!!
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 10:36 PM   #10
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Re: Should I sell my Z1 now?

The recommended service interval for the Z1 is, IIRC, every 500 hours of drum run. So yes.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 03:00 AM   #11
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Re: Should I sell my Z1 now?

There again, I'd say no. I'm a great believer in the 'ain't broke? Then don't fix it' saying. You like to think your camera is to be serviced by an experienced, dedicated technician. He'll be in his late 30s, just having had the full Sony training top-up. He'll be well paid, work in a beautifully lit and clean environment. He'll have no family troubles and would have slept well last night, alcohol-free. Yours will be his only job that day.

He'll be excited about his work, know exactly which parts of your camera will need looking at and will have at hand all the latest Sony diagnostics, workshop manuals and testing tools. He'll spot things and make recommendations, then not overcharge you. Importantly he'll reassemble the camera with TLC, and test everything before carefully wrapping it in huge amounts of insulation.

Ping! Back to reality Silas. Digital cameras are like lighted candles. They burn just as brightly on the last day as on the first, then they go out. Apart from the mechanical deck, you'll be given very little warning that things are about to go tits up. If I were you I'd be putting the service money saved into a back-up camera - something like the Panasonic SD900.

tom.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 06:42 PM   #12
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Re: Should I sell my Z1 now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
The recommended service interval for the Z1 is, IIRC, every 500 hours of drum run. So yes.
The tape transport contains some rubber parts that will eventually need replacement. Parts also require cleaning and sometimes the heads needs alignment and calibration. However, if you take a camera that is experiencing zero tape dropouts in for service, the only possible change is a change for the worse. What would you do if after service the camera experiences 2 to 3 dropouts per tape?
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Old April 4th, 2012, 06:50 PM   #13
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Re: Should I sell my Z1 now?

Thanks for the input everyone,

I know on this forum there are professionals, and there are hobby-part timers, and one of the things that separates the men from the boys is having reliable equipment and backup equipment!

That said - I believe since I already have back up gear, and zero issues with the Z1, I am going to keep it around, and also not service it until it shows an error message. Also with the information I have gotten at the before mentioned repair shop, typically those cameras need service around 500-1500 drum hours, and I am at 800, but my camera is extremely well taken care of. So by 1500 drum hours I'll plan to send it in to have it serviced and potentially avoid having something break down on a shoot.

I was mainly asking because I am sending in my fx7 camera becuase its starting to have some error messages and drop a lot of frames. I got both cameras around the same time, but the fx7 is my playback camera to the computer so it has probably about twice as many hours as my Z1.

Thanks again for the input everyone, really appreciate it!
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