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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 22nd, 2009, 01:43 AM   #76
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Hi,

Z5U functions that FX1000 doen't have:

-selectable rec mode between 24p over 60i and 24p native (FX1000 = 24p over 60i only)
-DVCAM mode (FX1000 = DV only)
-XLR and related audio settings
-more detail settings in picture profile for cinema making (e.g. gammma, color matrix)
-MRC1 direct attachment without cabling
-MRC1 status display on LCD
-higher quality mode in slow-motion function
-optional remote controller RM-1000BP is fully available
-quick zooming mode
-camera setting storing on memory stick card (FX1000= internal memory only)
-smooth changing of gain and WB
etc.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 02:28 AM   #77
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-selectable rec mode between 24p over 60i and 24p native (FX1000 = 24p over 60i only)
I don't know what this means, and is a PAL Z5 any different?
The FX1000 has LP mode in place of DVCAM, right? My second cam is an FX1 at the moment and many's the time the LP mode has saved the day when the bride is very late.

tom.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 06:39 AM   #78
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The Z7 does external (MRC1), synchronous (MRC1 and tape at the same time) and relay recording. When relay recording is selected the tape records first. When the tape reaches 5 minutes remaining the camera automatically starts recording on the CF unit. If your tripod will not hold the camera steady, you will probably see movement. The manual tells you that you will hear the noise of the tape changing proceedure. I would assume the Z5 would copy this scheme.
Yes. The more solid your tripod, the less likely you are to get movement as you change the tape. I've just finished a live Panto shoot using this method and looking through the rushes (on the CF card), there is no obvious indication of where the tape was changed. I guess it would depend to some extent on how gentle you are. One issue though, is trying to follow the action whilst juggling with tapes! Not recommended for fast-moving sports events, I would think.

As far as hearing the tape change - of course that would depend on your microphone setup. I wasn't using on-camera mic, so it wasn't an issue but you would almost certainly hear the tape change if you were using the built-in mic (or the [Z5] supplied camera-mounted shotgun mic). The production team had the whole stage area mic'd up, so I took a feed from their desk on one channel and used a Rode NTG2 attched to the lighting gantry in front of the stage on the other channel as back-up (just in case some div decided to unplug me, or turn the volume down accidently - it was an "amateur" production, after all).

However, I am aware of some air-conditioning unit noise in parts of the sound-track (monitoring via headphones, the mics seem to have picked up some fan noise [audio - not electrical] which the live audience won't have even noticed through the PA), so I'm going to have to try and sort that during post. I recorded over 3 performances from different view-points, so I'm hoping I'll be able to cut-away sufficiently to "lose" the noisy bits (if they are actually noticable on playback). (the AC units won't have come on and off at exactly the same points in the 3 performances - I hope!)

I'm still in France at the moment and won't be able to start editing until I get back home (to Jersey) but I'm really impressed with the Z5's low light capability. As well as shooting the Panto itself, I also did some backstage shooting during one of the performances (for the "making of" extras) and even managed to get a shot of the assistant director on hands and knees under the stage (for attaching the beanstalk to the pully rope through the trap-door) in virtual total darkness. Obviously I couldn't use a camera light backstage, as the audience would have been distracted by it through the wings.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 01:08 PM   #79
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Adam - thanks for the manual links, comparing them side by side i can see now some of the subtle differences. Even in supplied hardware-separate dual charger, shipping with NP-F770 vs the useless NP-F570... perhaps $900 is worth it after all.

Kenny-Thanks for the breakdown, very helpful!

Steve- I have been fortunate enough to see some FX1000 footage, but haven't seen any Z5U footage yet. Do you think you might be able to share a couple clips with us when you get time?

To all-
IMHO, I must say, most of the reviews I have read have been a little disappointing, not about the camera though, it was the reviews themselves. They would spend a lot of time talking about one model or the other and then sum up with something to the effect of "very similar cameras." For the informed buyer, it makes it hard to decide if no one is pointing out actual differences. Maybe because the release dates were apart they figured we already covered the FX1000 a month ago, now let's talk about Z5U... Thank you so much for helping out here. You guys are great!
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 05:09 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Bryan Daugherty View Post
Has anyone test shot a Z5 and an FX1000, according to the video on B&H, the only difference is the XLR inputs. At B&H the Fx1000 lists at $3199.99 and the Z5 lists at $4099.99 I find it hard to justify the price difference for XLR inputs when I already own an XLR adapter. Anyone know the answer here from experience or demo? Thanks!
Bryan, the other thing that isn't oftentimes mentioned, is the weight. The Z5 weighs another 1/2lb. This may not seem like much, but if you do a lot of hand holding, I think that 1/2lb can be significant.

This is really something I'm wrestling with since I do a lot of hand held shots in my work. As far as shockless goes, you can, in theory, do shockless with the 'shot transition' feature in the FX1000. This will enable a smooth ramping for most picture parameters, including gain, WB etc. Of course this will require advanced planning and doesn't really fall into the 'run & gun' philosophy.

On another note, I finally got a chance to play with an FX1000 today at Sony Style in N.Y. I brought a tape with me which I took home and played on my Canon HV20. I was extremely impressed with the picture quality! The colors were dead-on and the sharpness & detail was very impressive. I actually brought my Canon HG21 (1920X1080) cam along to compare the HD results. The overall HD picture quality of the FX1000 was quite a bit better and truly surprised me. I say that because the HG21 is one very very sharp cam with tons of detail. But the FX1000 picture had a 'quietness' and openness on my 60" Kuro that was truly stunning!

I also tried using the cam in DV mode and even there I thought the results were quite good. Unfortunately I didn't have my VX2100 with me to compare, but I'm willing to bet the colors are more accurate on the FX1000. As far as DV sharpness & detail, I just couldn't tell without an A/B from my VX2100.

Going back to the weight issue, I could tell the extra weight of the FX1000 relative to my VX2100 was pretty significant despite the nice balance of the 1000. That's when it really hit me if I wanted the extra 1/2lb of the Z5. So I need to wrestle with the issue of the digital recorder fitting very nicely on the Z5 (which I'd probably only use occasionally where I absolutely needed a backup) vs. the extra weight. There are other differences as has been discussed, but I can live without them and don't find them a necessity. So it's really going to boil down to the weight issue vs. the features.

Decisions, decisions.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 05:45 PM   #81
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...Decisions, decisions.
Oh Ken, you hit the nail on the head! I probably spend more time thinking about equipment than anything else because there are just so many great options to us out there. It is a great time to be a video guy!

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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
...On another note, I finally got a chance to play with an FX1000 today at Sony Style in N.Y. I brought a tape with me which I took home and played on my Canon HV20. I was extremely impressed with the picture quality! The colors were dead-on and the sharpness & detail was very impressive. I actually brought my Canon HG21 (1920X1080) cam along to compare the HD results. The overall HD picture quality of the FX1000 was quite a bit better and truly surprised me. I say that because the HG21 is one very very sharp cam with tons of detail. But the FX1000 picture had a 'quietness' and openness on my 60" Kuro that was truly stunning!...
I am jealous of you guys who live close enough to attend these things, though i have made a friend on here who lives a few hours away that is willing to give me a tour of his FX1000. Didn't I see on here that B&H was launching an airship...old thread and it was a spoof but that would be great. The airfield in Lexington is one of he few that can refuel those things. I think I will just have to plan a vacation trip to NY so i can spend a couple days in the B&H store...

Ken, thanks for your firsthand account I can't wait to see these models in action...can you post links to any of your test shots?
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 08:33 PM   #82
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Bryan, I haven't uploaded the FX1000 shots anywhere, but let me see what I can do.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 03:09 AM   #83
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Decisions, decisions.
C'mon guys. You come down to breakfast to find your mother has been out and bought you a big cardboard box full of glinty new camcorder. She hadn't a clue what to get you - only told the salesman that you wanted hi-def (whatever that means) and that your old camera was called something like a PD170 - is that right?

So you open the box, and out spills a Panasonic, Sony, Canon ... any model, long as it's black. And you know what? It doesn't matter what comes out of the box - it doesn't matter two hoots. The minutiae we're talking about here - the extra stop, the extra millimetres, the tape or solid state, the 24p, the 1440 vs 1920, the cine-gamma black-stretch histogram-zebras - all are but tiny details in the great big scheme of things.

And you know what that is, don't you? Of course you do - it's about making movies. It's not about the pretty insignificant details we obsess about constantly, it's about getting off your bum and getting out there and shooting, shooting, shooting.

There isn't a bad camera out there, not one. There's a lot of bad filmmakers out there, and that's probably because they sit at home polishing their knobs and buttons rather than doing what must be done. You only get good at what you do good people, and if what you do is to discuss camcorder differences all day, that's all you'll be good at.

Choose a camcorder blindfolded, then go work it hard. You'll find they all bring home the goods, all have miraculous powers to capture images and sounds in impossible situations. It's very often we, the camera operators, that are lacking.

tom.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 06:33 AM   #84
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Tom, I agree with what you're saying, but in my case the decision between adding another 1/2lb of weight vs. the occasional convenience of recording to a card is a tough one.

I don't think there is any substantive difference between these two cams (Z5 & 1000) in terms of their ability to shoot great video that would keep me up at night at all and in that respect I agree with you 100%. Either one is a great choice. I have no intention of shooting in 24p, so all of that which surrounds 24p recording is irrelevant to me. But weighing (no pun intended) the pros & cons of weight vs a convenient method of recording to a CF card has nothing to do with the cam's ability to shoot great video. Yes, you can use the CF recorder with almost any cam, but it's undeniably more convenient to use the Z5 for that purpose.

If I shot primarily on a tripod or monopod, it would make the decision much easier. But the fact is I handhold the vast majority of times and it's only during interviews, that I have the luxury of a tripod. My shooting often involves getting into awkward angles, stooping etc., so weight is really an issue.

As I said, decisions decisions. My friend will be picking up the Z5, so that should give me the opportunity to play with it and see how that extra 1/2lb measures up.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 04:01 PM   #85
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Tom, I agree with you in theory but since I live or die by my trade and there is no "mom" going to come downstairs tomorrow with a shiny new cam, these are big decisions for me.

Ask any construction worker, there is a huge difference between a 5 pound sledge hammer and a 20 pound sledge hammer. Both are sledge hammers and you can do demo with either, but with one the sledge works with you improving your force with it's weight, the other works against you wearing you out.

I think the same is true with a camera. The right camera can allow you to perfect your art because it compliments your shooting, the wrong camera can make your shooting and editing an uphill battle. They both capture images and sound but are very different. If this were not true, why would SONY, JVC, and panasonic be working so hard to improve their products.

I would say that the best camera in the world in novice hands would not provide as good a result as consumer cam in a pro's hands. The camera is an extension of the artist, which is why the brushes are so expensive...
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Old January 27th, 2009, 12:57 PM   #86
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As I said, decisions decisions. My friend will be picking up the Z5, so that should give me the opportunity to play with it and see how that extra 1/2lb measures up.
#1) I think you should pickup a gym membership and bulk up a bit and the 1/2 lb weight difference will feel like a 2lb weight loss with your new muscles.

#2) If you're buddy is going to have one, that would seem all the more reason for you to have one. If you ever shot a project that neeeded 2 cameras, they'd match. I realize the FX1000 and the Z5 would probably work as well, but if you're really 50/50, I would think something like this would push you over the edge..

Jon
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Old January 27th, 2009, 05:55 PM   #87
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Jon, have you done much hand held work? A 1/2lb, as small as it seems, can make a difference when hand holding over long periods. However, with that said, after some investigation, it seems that it's not actually 1/2lb. With Sony it's very hard at times to interpret specs. It seems that the mike was factored into the weight, so the actual weight sans mike, might be something like 3 ounces.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 10:31 PM   #88
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Jon, have you done much hand held work? A 1/2lb, as small as it seems, can make a difference when hand holding over long periods. However, with that said, after some investigation, it seems that it's not actually 1/2lb. With Sony it's very hard at times to interpret specs. It seems that the mike was factored into the weight, so the actual weight sans mike, might be something like 3 ounces.
Yes Ken, I have and I 100% understand where you are coming from. My comment was mostly tongue and cheek but you have to admit there is some legitimacy to it. At times when I've been in better physical shape, lugging around cameras and equipment has definately seemed less stressful and tiresome than the times I've been kind of out of shape. I obviously have no idea what type of physical shape you are in, but I really do believe that being in good physical form and shape actually makes handling our equipment easier...

Jon
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 01:10 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Bryan Daugherty View Post
...IMHO, I must say, most of the reviews I have read have been a little disappointing, not about the camera though, it was the reviews themselves. They would spend a lot of time talking about one model or the other and then sum up with something to the effect of "very similar cameras." For the informed buyer, it makes it hard to decide if no one is pointing out actual differences...
Ok, i know several B & H reps are on here and I can't help but wonder if they didn't see this board because number 1 item in this months email newsletter (just arrived in my inbox) is a comparison of the FX1000 and Z5U. Thank you B&H for sending this out. Here is the link, in case you don't get it and are interested in the review.
Stepping Up with Sony's HVR-Z5U | B&H Photo Video Pro Audio
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 07:06 AM   #90
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That was a good write up, thanks Bryan. However, I think one of the most important differences wasn't mentioned, external device control.

You can use the CF recorder on either the 1000, or the 5U, but it's only the 5U that enables the CF recorder to synch up with the Rec start/stop button. If you are seriously considering using that device, this can make all the difference in the world.
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