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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 27th, 2009, 12:02 PM   #1
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Opinion - Z5 right for me?

Another similar question but I think I need just one specific answer about the Z5 and CMOS chips.
I'm planning on moving up from VX2100 to new Z5. I shoot predominantly action sports (mountbike, skateboard, etc) and fast moving action. I often use slo-mo in post.
I'm not too worried about photo flash artifacts since I'm usually outdoor in good light and have a still photographer around only rarely. Do the CMOS chips handle fast motion well? Skew dosen't seem to be an issue since there aren't many straight lines around. Are there any other strange things about rolling shutters in action photography? Any opinions or advice? The other camera of choice is a Panny HVX200A(good ole CCDs) but that's raising the budget more than I would prefer when you add in an extra P2 card or two or memory devices, etc.
I'm sure I can get great images with the Z5 but I'd hate to choose the wrong sensor for this particular job
Thanks
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Old January 27th, 2009, 12:11 PM   #2
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I do a lot of sports work with not only fast action but ridiculous whip pans and crash zooms, and use the FX7s as well as HC3s, which also have CMOS chips. Never had a problem and in many cases the FX7 tape is better than my FX1s, which are CCD. Certainly the CMOS cams are sharper and more video-ish, but all is easily tweaked in post.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 12:20 PM   #3
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Rich you should be fine, as teh CMOS sensors seem to handle motion well.

However for your needs, you may want to save some money and purchase a Sony FX1000 instead of the Z5. Especially since you are coming from the VX2100.

Unless you really have the need for built in XLR's, then the FX1000 will be a better choice for you. As the picture controls are almost identical to the Z5. And if you want to use the MRC1 CF recorder, then you can still purchase one separately and feed it to the FX1000's firewire port.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 06:55 PM   #4
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The only caveat with the memory recorder as I've found out through research, is the fact that the Z5 can controll the recorder via the record button on the cam. The FX1000 can not since it doesn't have external device control.

That could be very significant if you see yourself using the memory recorder.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 01:50 AM   #5
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Go for the Z5 for some reasons:

a) CF recorder is attached directly to the cam incl. power and fiwi connection, Its part of the camcorder then (youŽll get used to import CF files VERY fast, remember CACHE recording for Sports!)

b) Z5 features freerun timecode - I think thats a MUST when shooting with 2 or more cams).

IŽve been shooting with VX2000 and a Pana broadcast camcorder, changing between both on some shootings. Its terribel to find when I changed to VX2000 and vice versa. Freerun timecode is such a relief when all cameras are set to the same TC.

c) Its so easy to get an audio feed via XLR cable (from the mixer) or a wireless - its much more professional, run concenser mics from your camera etc.

ULI
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Old January 28th, 2009, 05:12 PM   #6
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I've just gone to a Z5 from a VX2100, and am so pleased I did. The cam is awesome and has great audio controls, which will fit with my mics. The improvement in the viewfinder/sidescreen is large, believe me - perfectly usable in broad daylight. The auto-focus seems to work better than I was led to believe.

I'm new to the Z5, but its good - that's for sure.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 05:33 PM   #7
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Congrats Billy! If you get a chance, I'd be curious at your take on how the Z5 compares to the 2100 with 4:3 SD picture quality. I will more than likely make exactly the same transition as you did.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 06:10 PM   #8
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In my initial testing, in low light between the two, the Vx2100 looked better. I owned my Z5 for about four hours when I looked at that - and my test was not exactly scientific. That was also in 4:3 mode though, and in SD, both modes I see no future for my film-making in.

The Z5 has a completley different focal length setup. It's got loads more wide angle, and doesn't need a front-end heavy wide angle lens on most of the time.

I'm still waiting for the media recorder for it, and I'll record on both together at times of stress!

It was a shame to part with vx2100, but I'm not a lottery winner.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 07:36 PM   #9
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Thank Billy, but not to belabor the point, in other than low light, how would you say the Z5 held up to the 2100 in picture quality? I fully expect the 2100 to be a stop or so better in low light, but I'm wondering how it holds up in more typical light...again, in 4:3 SD mode.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 08:31 PM   #10
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Picture a little blue and cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
Thank Billy, but not to belabor the point, in other than low light, how would you say the Z5 held up to the 2100 in picture quality? I fully expect the 2100 to be a stop or so better in low light, but I'm wondering how it holds up in more typical light...again, in 4:3 SD mode.


I have done a dance DVD recently with FX1000 (same as Z5) and thought the picture was a little cold or blueish compared to my Panasonic DVC62 (same as DC30). This was in SD 16:9.

I had the white balance set to indoor and shot without picture profiles. I have done a little tweak in post and added some red and took out a bit of blue and it has warmed it a little.
All is fine now.

It was the first time I used the camera. Low light capability of this camera is very close to VX2000 so anyone swapping over will be very happy.

I have seen HD footage from the camera and it is absolutely stunning!
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Old January 28th, 2009, 09:10 PM   #11
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Thanks Martin. I guess you didn't use MWB...shame shame. ;)
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Old January 29th, 2009, 01:58 AM   #12
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White balancing

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Thanks Martin. I guess you didn't use MWB...shame shame. ;)

Ken, generally I have found that if you do a two camera shoot of a dance concert that setting WB to indoor is good.

I do this so because, well its just easy and via the Panasonic's always gave me the desired result.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 06:49 AM   #13
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Martin, the funny thing is that even when using MWB with two different cams from two different companies, you'll still get very different results.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 08:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
Congrats Billy! If you get a chance, I'd be curious at your take on how the Z5 compares to the 2100 with 4:3 SD picture quality. I will more than likely make exactly the same transition as you did.
Ok I have a quick question.

Why is everyone so concerned how the FX1000/Z5 stacks up against the PD170 and VX2100 in SD mode. Especially 4:3 SD?

These are HD cameras and not SD cameras and are designed to get optimum results working in HD, not SD.

Yes they can shoot SD, but the optics and internal hardware are designed for HD.

If your final goal is SD, then shoot in HD, edit in HD, and down convert to SD. The image will TOTALLY blow away anything that your old SD camera can do.

If your main concern is delivering SD, then stay with SD cameras, especially if you are delivering 4:3 final product.

But if you desire true 16:9, then my recommendation is to shoot and edit in HD, then downconvert to SD. If time is at the essence, then shoot in 16:9 SD and edit and deliver quickly.

But, please, I wish everyone would stop trying to do comparisons to SD cameras in just SD. If you have the capability, do a SD to downconverted HD test and see the results. But even better, if you shoot an edit in HD, then you have an HD version for archival at a later date, and SD for immediate delivery.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #15
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Mike, there's a logical and easy reason why this question is asked. First, although the optics may be geared for HD, they certainly should have no trouble with SD since it's a much easier task for a lens.

Second, it's far less taxing on a computer to edit in SD if the final product is to be delivered in SD. Yes you can edit in HD, but it's always more time consuming to either edit natively or transcode to your program's intermediate codec for easier handling. Thus the question is asked "how does the cam do in native SD".

Third, although the main intent of these cameras is indeed HD, many of us still do work in HD to those customers 'less enlightened'. Unfortunately much of Corporate America falls into the 'less enlightened' category.
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