My first thoughts on the Z5 at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old December 28th, 2008, 01:56 PM   #1
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My first thoughts on the Z5

Here's my own views after only one days shooting with the Z5 coming from a PD170 and FX1.

In no particular order:

1. Menu button a bit fiddly to access, likewise the exposure button and the push select dial.

2. Excellent LCD screen.

3. Viewfinder looked a bit milky, in fact I still wonder if somewhere I have forgotten to remove a plastic cover that sometimes protects a screen. Will need to check against another Z5/Z7/FX1000.

4. Front hot shoe close to the LCD flipout screen, so anything that overhangs at the back of the hot shoe prevents screen opening.

5. No noticeable grain from shooting with 12db of gain.

6. Great to have onboard mic. I have in the past picked up the cam from the case to grab a first shot and forgot to fit the ext mic.

7. Seven assign buttons.

8. No attenuation for the external mics

Not had chance to view footage in detail.
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Old December 28th, 2008, 02:05 PM   #2
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Phil, I assume you adjusted the diopter adjustment on the viewfinder? Something doesn't sound right based on what Jeff has reported with his FX1000 (same viewfinder, lens etc.).
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Old December 28th, 2008, 11:40 PM   #3
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The onboard mic is a nice little extra of the Z5. Nice to have the option of a shotgun AND the onboard.

Ken, my exam of the viewfinder is not reliable. I wear glasses. But I must say that it the first viewfinder I could actually use without glasses, adjusts to where I can almost see well through it.

Regarding the shoe mount comment Phil made, he is correct. That is a very irritating aspect of this cam.
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Old December 28th, 2008, 11:46 PM   #4
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Jeff, you're not alone in your admiration of the viewfinder. I've seen Z5 owners also in awe of its resolution. The Z5 and 1000 share the same lens, LCD and viewfinder.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 06:44 AM   #5
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Ken, the focus of the viewfinder was fine, just thought that it was somehow not clear, I'll check theres no backlight setting to adjust like the LCD screen.

Hope my post has not come accross as negative as I'm sure I'll be happy with the cam and soon to add a FX1000 as 2nd cam.

My biggest concern was the rolling shutter issue but I do think that clients will not notice. May have to do some work in post for some of the slow mo scenes but this outweighs the advantage of the improved low light levels.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 08:03 AM   #6
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There's a lot of this, 'clients won't notice' talk. When my daughter gets married (please!) I'll sure notice. And a film I've just made for two members of a photographic club was (according to their gushing email this very morning) watched on a technical as well as aesthetic level. So less of this dismissal of the public's powers of observation guys.

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Old December 29th, 2008, 09:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
There's a lot of this, 'clients won't notice' talk. When my daughter gets married (please!) I'll sure notice. And a film I've just made for two members of a photographic club was (according to their gushing email this very morning) watched on a technical as well as aesthetic level. So less of this dismissal of the public's powers of observation guys.

tom.
Tom, it comes back to the old argument that each cam has its pluses and minuses. CCD has its issues and benefits and CMOS has its pluses & minuses too. For my work (mostly corporate), CMOS issues tend not to manifest itself at all. But from what I've seen posted, even if I was doing wedding work, I wouldn't be put off by CMOS either. I would find the low light pretty important.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 01:16 PM   #8
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When we (videographers, film makers and togs) are watching films we tend to notice more and take on board the technical merits of the shot and obviously would notice more, a camera flash recorded from a cmos chip than ccd chip just as we would notice out of alignment verticals and horizontals.

Agreed, if I had a choice I would prefer not to have the rolling shutter effect on a camera flash but as stated earlier would rather put up with this than losing a number of stops from the low light capability of a Z1.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 01:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Burton View Post
...Agreed, if I had a choice I would prefer not to have the rolling shutter effect on a camera flash but as stated earlier would rather put up with this than losing a number of stops from the low light capability of a Z1.
I feel exactly the same. Having the FX7 that has this "rolling shutter" thing (that my clients NEVER complained anyway) I would also prefer the low light capability of the Z5 and FX1000.

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Old December 29th, 2008, 06:23 PM   #10
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It has occured to me for some time that we film-makers get more much more critical analysis for our work from our peers, who look much more closely at the technical issues, than we ever get from ordinary (non film-making) people, who are more concerned with seeing themselves, their kids and their friends/relatives on the screen.

I'm not putting our judgement feelings down, but knowing how picky we can be, I would be very cautious about accepting an invite from a respected camera operator acquaintance to film his relative's wedding. Yep, that's how much balls I have...
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Old December 30th, 2008, 09:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
The onboard mic is a nice little extra of the Z5. Nice to have the option of a shotgun AND the onboard.

Ken, my exam of the viewfinder is not reliable. I wear glasses. But I must say that it the first viewfinder I could actually use without glasses, adjusts to where I can almost see well through it.

Regarding the shoe mount comment Phil made, he is correct. That is a very irritating aspect of this cam.
Does the Z5U have an onboard mic That looks like a removable shoe in front of the LCD just like the Z7 to make more room for a matte box?
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Old December 30th, 2008, 02:56 PM   #12
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The Z5 has both onboard and an included shotgun mike.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 07:28 AM   #13
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What do you think about the low light results compared to pd170
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Old December 31st, 2008, 09:29 AM   #14
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Chris, I haven't compared the two, but in a Sony ad they mention that it's in the same ballpark as the 170. Even if it's close, for HD that's pretty amazing.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 12:34 PM   #15
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Someone has already posted some screen grabs of a PD170 and the FX1000 under the same low light conditions and there just wasn't much difference at all. I thought the FX1000 images looked better, personally.
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