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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 January 19th, 2009, 03:16 AM   #46
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As a long-term Z1 owner I remember seeing the Z7 for the first time a year ago and feeling rather underwhelmed, strangely. The EX1 was something else - a great leap forward, but the Z7 just seemed a bit so-so really.

Why would one move from the Z1 to an uglier 7? Interchangeable lenses for sure, but where were they - and most importantly, where was the wide-wideangle? It still had 1"/3 chips, the lens wasn't appreciably longer and it seemed a bit of a sideways step to me.

Then along came the Z5 and Sony's plan becomes clearer. It seems to be the rightful Z1 replacement with real step-up attributes (CF writer, 20x zoom, three NDs and so on). Shame it has CMOS for us wedding and event shooters, but hey, two steps forward and half a step back isn't too bad.

I wonder what Sony's sales figures say about the Z5 and Z7? Obviously the Z7 had a good head start, but did other Z1 owners feel as I did, that it wasn't the replacement for them?

tom.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 09:28 AM   #47
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Ship it to me :-) I live 15 min away from B&H but in NJ. Then come over same day and pick it up. Hit me up with PM and I'll help you out.
Thanks very much for the offer Lukas, but I have a sister-in-law who lives in N.J. and I can always send it there. But again thanks for the offer.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 09:41 AM   #48
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Ken,

Here's another 2 pages with a lot of good info on prices, reviews and blogs.

hvr-z5u shopping

and hvr-z5u reviews & articles
Thanks again Adam. It's funny how when you call up the prices on the Z5U for some of these links, it gives you the prices for the Z1U when you go to the store's site.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #49
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Thanks very much for the offer Lukas, but I have a sister-in-law who lives in N.J. and I can always send it there. But again thanks for the offer.
Not a problem.

I just realized that to avoid tax you would have to put NJ in billing adress as well. Am I Right? Can someone verify it?
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Old January 19th, 2009, 02:13 PM   #50
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I think it is only based on the shipping address, not the billing address.

Tom, I tend to agree with your thoughts on the Z7U. Also, how many people can afford to be different lenses for the Z7U ? They are expensive, so to me, that would defeat the purpose of even buying a Z7U.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 03:40 PM   #51
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As a long-term Z1 owner I remember seeing the Z7 for the first time a year ago and feeling rather underwhelmed, strangely. ...
I, too, felt that the Z7 was not a logical successor to the Z1, since I don't really need interchangeable lenses and the increased cost is a bit much for my budget. But now that I ponder upgrading to a Z5, the Z7 has started to look more appealing. The cost difference isn't that much compared to a Z5 + CF recorder, and the faster lens is very appealing if you don't need the 20x. To me the extra half stop at 12x zoom (f2.0 for the Z7 vs. probably f2.8 for the Z5, if it ramps similarly to the Z1 lens) is very valuable. And if the 1.5x digital zoom really does look good, as some have reported, then you can jump to 18x if you really want that close-up. But it's still a bit over-budget, and apparently the resale value of my Z1 is plummeting as we speak.

I know I'm not the first to wish that Sony had just come out with a 16x9 version of the PD170.

-Terence
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Old January 19th, 2009, 08:43 PM   #52
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Hmmm. Z5 or Z7?

I now have a Z7 and I would have to agree that the Z5 might be a better choice for a lot of people. I played with a FX1000 for about 10 days so I can draw some comparisons. Obviously the Z5/FX1000 have more zoom (I love that 20x zoom) while the Z7 offers interchangeable lenses. Surprisingly the layout of the buttons is very similar but feel completely different. The buttons on the left side of the FX1000 seem to be recessed more and it makes them much harder to use. And the rolling selector wheel is much easier to use on the Z7. I don't know why Sony chose to make that small change but I think the Z7 is better in that respect. But that is a pretty minor issue over all. I think if you never intend to get any other lenses or use any other lenses with a Z7, you should probably go with the Z5/FX1000 because it can match pretty much any thing the Z7 can do for less money. Even if both have the MRC1, the Z5 comes out a few bucks cheaper, I think. IMO where the Z7 starts to shine is with the addition of a true broadcast style lens. In that case, you now have a camera that will be familiar and comfortable to any shooter who has used pro cameras in the past. I have used Sony's servo control lenses for many years but I have always hated them even though I thought the cameras were great. Fortunately, with the Z5/FX1000, Sony has fixed some of the servo lens problems. Since I was brought up (so to speak) on broadcast cameras and lenses, I feel like I am coming back home with the Z7. I would imagine that it is the same reason that a lot of shooters like the JVC 1xx - 2xx series of camcorders and are so loyal to them. You do loose auto-focus and image stabilization, but that is OK with me. If I need those features I will stick the standard lens back on. And one big plus with a broadcast lens is it can out perform the Z5/fx1000 in low light. I can get f1.4 at full wide and f1.4 at full telephoto, compared to f1.6 on the wide end and f3.4 at full telephoto of the Z5. But to get those extra f-stops, you will have to spend more money. Then they are not the same price anymore. The bottom line is that the Z7/Z5/FX1000 are all awesome camcorders that offer an amazing amount of bang for the buck. They are more similar than they are different. I could be happy with any of them.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 08:59 PM   #53
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I know I'm not the first to wish that Sony had just come out with a 16x9 version of the PD170.

-Terence
You're right. But they needed to do that years ago. Like Sony and others did with their pro cameras that were 4x3/16x9 switchable SD cameras. Now, those really high dollar SD pro cameras are on Ebay for too little money. Sadly, that era is fading fast. Sadly, because I still have one of those beautiful "industry standard" BetacamSP cameras that cost a small fortune and now it almost isn't worth selling. It is time to look to the future.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 09:42 PM   #54
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Z5 vs. Z7

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Originally Posted by Greg Laves View Post
... I would have to agree that the Z5 might be a better choice for a lot of people... Obviously the Z5/FX1000 have more zoom (I love that 20x zoom) while the Z7 offers interchangeable lenses. Surprisingly the layout of the buttons is very similar but feel completely different. The buttons on the left side of the FX1000 seem to be recessed more and it makes them much harder to use. And the rolling selector wheel is much easier to use on the Z7. I don't know why Sony chose to make that small change but I think the Z7 is better in that respect. But that is a pretty minor issue over all. I think if you never intend to get any other lenses or use any other lenses with a Z7, you should probably go with the Z5/FX1000 because it can match pretty much any thing the Z7 can do for less money. Even if both have the MRC1, the Z5 comes out a few bucks cheaper, I think...
Actually, Z7 at B&H is now $4 cheaper than Z5 + MRC1 ($4,879.95 vs. $4,099 + $884.95)...
Practically, the same price... Still cannot make my choice between them...

Things I am considering most - Z7's faster lens (approx. 1/2 stop @12x zoom), though Z5's is a bit wider: 29.5 mm vs. 32mm, and longer: 20x vs. 12x, and the placement of the cold shoe, where my light is placed - too close to the screen to open/close... Interchangeable lens for the same price is a bonus - I don't think I need it, neither can afford another one, but you never know...

Also, can anyone compare auto-focus on Z5 and Z7?
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Old January 20th, 2009, 02:38 AM   #55
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I can get f1.4 at full wide and f1.4 at full telephoto, compared to f1.6 on the wide end and f3.4 at full telephoto of the Z5. But to get those extra f-stops, you will have to spend more money.
Good arguments you put forward Greg, but the Z7's 12x Zeiss lens does ramp - losing half a stop as it goes from f/1.6 to f/2. (f/1.6 to f/2.4 for the 8x wideangle). Still pretty good as you say, and a valuable stop better than the Z5 at the same focal length.

Ilya's in the same boat as I am - torn between the two cameras as a Z1 upgrade.

Sony's official pdf on the Z5 doesn't list - anywhere in all 6 pages - the maximum aperture of the zoom at any of its focal lengths. This is a *Camera* and they don't tell you the zoom's maximum aperture?? Who writes this stuff?

tom.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 05:21 AM   #56
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Sony's official pdf on the Z5 doesn't list - anywhere in all 6 pages - the maximum aperture of the zoom at any of its focal lengths. This is a *Camera* and they don't tell you the zoom's maximum aperture??
Page 30 of the Z5 Operating Manual says you can adjust the aperture of the lens between F1.6 and F11. Then on page 129 of the OM it talks about the G len's characteristics.

I really just wonder how this camera's PQ (picture quality) compares with the Panasonic
AG-HMC150. Have you considered that at all. Or do you just want to stay with HDV codec?
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Old January 20th, 2009, 08:13 AM   #57
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Page 30 of the Z5 Operating Manual says you can adjust the aperture of the lens between F1.6 and F11.
So they fail to mention that this is only true at just one of the 76 focal lengths that are available on the zoom lens?
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Old January 20th, 2009, 08:44 AM   #58
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I was trying to show you that they did list an F stop range for at least one or more zoom ranges. I must have mis read your post saying you couldn't find any F stop range.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 08:49 AM   #59
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Telling you what the maximum aperture is in the instruction book is a bit late, don't you think Douglas? There's pages about the camera on pdf format for prospective buyers on the Sony site, with one whole page devoted to 'specifications'. Nowhere is the f stop mentioned.

They wouldn't get far trying to sell their Alpha DSLRs like this. It's fine to ignore the max aperture when selling diddy-cams, but the Z5 is touted as a pro piece of kit.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 09:44 AM   #60
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Ilya's in the same boat as I am - torn between the two cameras as a Z1 upgrade.

tom.
Tom, now that the money has been spent, I am not suffering from any buyers remorse at all. I am extremely happy with my choice of the Z7. Actually, I am excited about the prospect of spending a little more money to build on this platform. For example, getting the Tapia Nikon lens adapter for that bag full of Nikon lenses I already have.
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