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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 May 19th, 2013, 06:43 PM   #1
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Sony HVR-Z1 buying advice please

Hello guys I am looking for some advice please

At the moment i own a Sony pd150 that i have used for a few projects but my main thing is that I would like hd for online as sd is not good quality for me.

I have found a sony hvr-z1 for sale and they look very good quality but i am not sure if this is a good deal or not

The camera belonged to a company and it has the following info on the meter

Operation 258 x 10h
Drum run 144 x 10h
Tape run 97 x 10h

I think this might be high but not sure if its been serviced or not do you guys think its worth 850
Thanks for any help

gareth
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Old May 19th, 2013, 11:51 PM   #2
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Re: Sony HVR-Z1 buying advice please

In my opinion the hours are very high and the heads are at the end of their usable life and will need replacing soon. Sony recommends drum replacement at 1500 hours and you are very nearly there, though just short of 1000 hours of actual tape run.

The Z1 was a great cam for its time but is very soft compared to the newer chips in the FX1000/Z5 or AX2000/NX5.

Personally I would not buy a cam with hours this high, especially with better newer options available.
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Old May 20th, 2013, 07:43 AM   #3
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Re: Sony HVR-Z1 buying advice please

Hi Adam a big thank you for your advice on this one. I thought it was a bit high or less it has been serviced i know it has been looked after and they have cleaned the tape heads etc.

I don't really use a camera for anything serious so maybe i can just getaway with something like Sony Handycam HVR-A1E its mainly for online usage but i like the quality of the big cameras but maybe I should just go with something smaller

I think i best leave that camera Thanks for your help and advice

Gareth
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Old May 20th, 2013, 10:41 AM   #4
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Re: Sony HVR-Z1 buying advice please

Gareth,

Agree 100% with Adam, that camera is getting on a bit.

Buying new, modern cameras at the lower end of the professional range are the Canon XA10, Sony NX30 and Panasonic AC90.

The Panasonic AC90 does give more "big camera" controls and a lot of power for the money. Anything else at that price range or lower is more consumer-oriented, and won't have the same manual controls.

The Sony A1E is just about as old as the Z1, and will suffer compared to modern cameras.

Second hand, you may be able to get a Panasonic HMC camera of some sort (41, 151 or 81) which will do a pretty good job still.

I wouldn't buy a tape camera now, it's too much hassle getting them repaired and living in fear of the heads giving out again. I think it's like VCRs, once they've been opened up to fix them they were never the same.
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Old May 20th, 2013, 10:00 PM   #5
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Re: Sony HVR-Z1 buying advice please

I agree, high hours for an old camera.
I have a Z1 and still use it for web videos. I've rebuilt it three times now. It has never let me down due to regular servicing. I also use new tapes only, never recycle, and always sony stock. Had very few drop outs.
I still shoot SD for web, my old steam driven computer cant handle HD (plus I think the Z1 is not true HD). So when you buy another camera, make sure your editing setup can handle it!
There are many better options than the Z1 out there. Depending on your budget, the JVC hm700 is quite a beast (though not in the same price range)!
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 12:58 PM   #6
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Re: Sony HVR-Z1 buying advice please

If you have a PD150 or VX2000 you will be unhappy with the low light capabilities of the Z1. The small 1/3" single chip cameras like the CX560/CX7** series made in the last three years can easily out-pace an old Z1 in terms of low light and overall picture quality.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 04:45 PM   #7
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Re: Sony HVR-Z1 buying advice please

Yes, also agree the hours are a bit high. If you could get the camera for a better price to offset future refurbishing that may well suit you. Or maybe look into a Canon XA10 or XA20 which will be out soon. Good luck to you. If you have any questions about reliability on any of the Sony or Canon stuff send me a message and I would happy to answer you.
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