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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 November 1st, 2006, 01:03 AM   #1
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SonyZ1 vs. JVCHD110

Let me ask for your patience in advance guys, I'm a newbie and have been researching cameras a little so far - but I could really use some experienced help before I pull the trigger on a purchase which needs to happen relatively soon. I guess, just to dive in - I need a camera for doing client videos, short films/docs (hopefully), etc. Here are my questions/concerns/etc:

the Z1 - shoots 1080, JVCHD110 - only 720 (image quality is #1 for me)
the Z1 - no shoulder rest, wondering if that could become a problem....
110 - shoulder rest/viewfinder plus LCD screen...
110 - interchangeable lenses - how much will this impact me in the long run?

Has anyone been in a similar position in comparing these 2 cameras? Was the fact that Z1 shot 1080 the deciding factor? Price these days is pretty close.

Can someone tell me, for price ($3700.-bestpricecameras) - what is better all around than the Z1, when looking to shoot high-res?

And to really throw you for a loop - I started out looking at XL2, but thought I should check out HD. If I ever got lucky and got something viewed on a big screen - to the average eye how big of a difference is the HD vs. SD?

Thanks in advance for any help -
Dave
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Old November 1st, 2006, 01:14 AM   #2
 
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There are pros and cons to each cam. I don't have a 110, but do have an HD100. I also own several Z1's and a Canon XL-H1, plus a few other HDV and low budget HD cams.
1080i is the current standard of the industry; 720p is progressive vs interlaced. We'll eventually see 1080p take over, but that's a ways down the road. But I'd rather convert 1080i to 1080p than upscale 720p to 1080p, particularly with today's software/hardware.
The Canon is an awesome camera, the Z1 is a great cam, and in most conditions, the HD100 is a great cam, so I'd say they're all great tools, used differently for various jobs.
Interchangeable lenses won't impact you much, if at all in the future. HD-resolved lenses are very expensive, and usually cost as much if not more than the camcorder does. Few people upgrade their lenses for either the Canon or JVC. Shoulder rest may or may not be a big deal; you can buy accessory shoulder rests for Sony if you need one. Canon has one built in, more or less.
All of the upper grade HDV cams are very well made. I personally prefer the Sony camcorders, but Canon is darn close for me too. The Z1 overall, is a *very* hard camcorder to beat. It is by far the biggest/best selling HDV camcorder in the professional arena for good reason; it's a great tool.
Your best bet is to rent, borrow, or beg for a camera from your local dealer or someone that owns the various models. Try them out on your shoot. You can't go totally wrong with any of them, but research more in these forums and you'll also find some great info about what folks *don't* like about their particular cams.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 01:53 AM   #3
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Hi Dave

I think you need to look to at your experience with video cameras... if you're used to shooting Beta say then the JVC will not prove a problem.... if on the other hand you have little or no experience with broadcast style cameras then the Z1 will 'out of the box' be easier to use.

Another feature you may or may not want is auto focus..JVC is full manual. Sony has pretty good AF which I do use from time to time.

Check out these reviews on the two cameras..
JVC: http://www.dvuser.co.uk/content.php?CID=35
Sony: http://www.dvuser.co.uk/content.php?CID=7

I have a Cavision shoulder mount for my Z1 and it works nicely at steadying the footage.

The fans of one or other of the cameras wil chip in and give you the pros and cons, but if you check out the HDV Texas shootout... there is no clear winner, as the beasts are so different... horses for courses as to which suits you best.

Regards

Gareth
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Old November 1st, 2006, 09:31 PM   #4
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I was in your position awhile back, except i was trying to decide between the Z1 and the HD100 (well the pal version) There were a number of deciding factors for me when it came to buying the Sony over the JVC.

Apart from loving the real glass and the shoulder mount the HD100 feel short in a number of areas. Heres a short list:

no EVF and LCD viewing at the same time.
full colour EVF - not B&W switchable.
DV not DVCAM when it came to shooting SD.
Poor low light performance.
SSE.

The low light and SSE issues along with not being able to use both the LCD and EVF at the same time were the main deciding factors as at the time these would of really hindered my production so the sony ended up being the way to go.

HOWEVER, you are looking at the HD110 and not the 100 i was looking at back then. Apart from the not so good low light shooting and dv SD not dvcam SD the other issues i had with the JVC have now all been fixed and now do the same things the Z1 does.

If i was in the market again right now for HDV i'd most likely buy a HD110 or HD200 over the Z1.

Even with that being said i still love my Z1. Like everyone always says, its all about what suits you, do you need an ENG style camera like the JVC or would hand held suit you better?

ALso If your looking for a progressive hand held camera your other option is the new Sony V1u.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 12:35 AM   #5
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Thanks DSG, Gareth & Joe for your replies - they definitely helped. And thanks for those reviews G - I've read a few but not those.

I did rent the Z1 this past weekend and liked it. The footage looked (1080i) looked really crisp - of course I suppose they all would look crisp, but I've only rented the Z1. I'll need to get a shoulder mount for sure.

If you mean, by needing an ENG camera - do I need something that's pull out of the box & shoot - probably. I'm not experienced in broadcast cams, so maybe the JVC would be more than I need.

For the price, the Z1 just seems to be where I'm ending up. The V1U is more, and the new Canon XHG1 is quite a bit more.

Again - thanks guys, I appreciate your time. Hopefully I'll run into you again as I scour the posts.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 02:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hoyt
If you mean, by needing an ENG camera - do I need something that's pull out of the box & shoot - probably. I'm not experienced in broadcast cams, so maybe the JVC would be more than I need.
I was refering to the shoulder mounted style of the JVC which is very common in ENG (electronic news gathering).

The jvc is not a pull out of the box and shoot type of camera, neither is the sony in a way but its closer than the jvc is.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask.

Joe
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 08:43 AM   #7
 
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Dave, the Z1 is more expensive than the V1u is announced to be. The Z1 is the flagship of the Sony HDV lineup at this point.
Glad you liked it, it's my fave.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 12:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hoyt
the Z1 - no shoulder rest, wondering if that could become a problem...
Like Spot mentions above, you can add a shoulder support to *any* camcorder, so this is never an issue.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 02:01 AM   #9
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I have a Z1 and my friend has the HD100. We both like our cameras more than we like each other's because we use ours for different things. I tape a lot of bands and interviews. I took it on the road in the summer to document my friends' band's tour to the west coast and back and it performed great.

Regarding lenses, the stock Fujinon lens that comes with the JVC has much greater depth of field than the Z1's but it had noticable chromatic abberation at times. The Sony's is just 12x zoom but has a nice, wide field of view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hoyt
and the new Canon XHG1 is quite a bit more.
The XH A1 is $3000 less than the G1, and the only difference is the lack of HD-SDI. It has a lot of the features of the Z1 and a few more. If I didn't have my camera and was about to purchase one this fall, I'd be highly considering the Canon.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 11:07 AM   #10
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Like many here, I had the same questions. I went w/ the JVC100 and I think it's a great little camera. My question is, why not wait for the HVR-V1U, which for a grand more would seem to do everything that the JVC/Z1 can do? Not sure when it's supposed to be released, but it looks like a sweet deal...

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Old November 3rd, 2006, 11:47 AM   #11
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I have the Sony shoulder support for the Z1... it helps, but not alot.
Here are some pics:
Attached Thumbnails
SonyZ1 vs. JVCHD110-shoulder1.jpg   SonyZ1 vs. JVCHD110-shoulder2.jpg  

SonyZ1 vs. JVCHD110-support.jpg  
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 03:30 PM   #12
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John,

What do you see as the big benefits/additional features the V1U has
that the Z1 doesn't? I'm reading Douglas Spot Eagle's article on it
in STUDIO mag right now... Spot - if you had to buy one right now,
in comparable price range, what would you grab?

Thanks to all -
Dave
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