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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 June 3rd, 2009, 09:16 AM   #61
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Ken, you really are a great guy, so if I miscontrued anything you said I apologize.

You are very helpful and have helped me a few times.

Lets just drop this and move on, is that ok with you?
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 09:24 AM   #62
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Jeff let me just say here that if I were you I would stick with the camera that I feel comfortable to shoot with; and when I say "comfortable" I mean, psychologically, comfortable.

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Old June 3rd, 2009, 10:22 AM   #63
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I think what really got all this started is when Jeff compared the 1000 to the 150 side by side when a flash went off. He prefered the way the 150 handled it, as most of us would, that is what were use to.

But Jeff, if you prefer the 1000's PQ over the 150, just remember, that's what your seeing 99% of the time when viewing your finished DVD's.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 11:19 AM   #64
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I agree Jeff, let's move on and apologies certainly accepted. I sincerely hope you wind up with the cam that does the job for you best.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 05:08 PM   #65
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Actually Stelios, I am very comfortable with the Sony. It is a fine camera. I slammed some of its quirks early on, but for the most part I like it.

On the other hand I haven't had time to really get to know the Panasonic. I bought it on the spur of the moment because it was an amazing deal and had only twenty minutes on it. It has huge potential. I'm shooting with it directly next to the Sony this weekend and it will be a very good test. The first time it was used it was placed in different locations all day and it was run by someone who went wild with the manual settings, so I can't use that as a good comparison.

Tim, your observation is correct in that the flash aspect is a minor annoyance MOST of the time. As you know it is during the most critical shots of the day that it happens. Cake cutting, when they leave the altar, first dance, etc.

That is one reason it is hard for those who don't shoot weddings often to understand. Even if you do weddings on occasion, but not every weekend it is not the same. If you do enough of them the RS will rear its head and there isn't much you can do about it.

For most weddings, the rolling shutter never makes much trouble. But I had a garter, bouquet and cake cutting at one wedding in particular that was in a very dark hall, almost pitch black, and the resulting video footage was bad, really bad, and I even had my light on. When it is really dark that is when the trouble occurs and the video looks abnormal, almost defective.

I can already tell you that I'm likely going to sell the Pansonic anyway, but for reasons I didn't know about before I purchased it.

I run three cameras. If I go with the Panasonic, I will have to buy two more. When I bought this one, I didn't know the price for new ones had gone up several hundred dollars. Ouch. If I stick with the Sony I would simply sell the Panasonic and get a Z5 or Z7 (for the pro audio and card thing) and I'd be set.

After buying the Panny and finding out about the price increase it almost immediately effected my plans.

At any rate, it is really great to have the luxury of having the Panasonic for testing. It is a very solidly built camera with many progressive shooting options and pro audio that make it a solid contender.

One very bad thing about the Sony that I find is it seems much more cheaply built than the VX2100s. Twice this past weekend I had to close and reopen the tape door because it wouln't eject the tape carrier. On my other FX1000 the mic jack is defective and I cannot use it. And that tape mechanism just feels cheap and flimsy. It seemed the VX2100 could be dropped on the floor and kicked around and it never missed a beat. It was truly a workhorse.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 06:07 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
One very bad thing about the Sony that I find is it seems much more cheaply built than the VX2100s. Twice this past weekend I had to close and reopen the tape door because it wouln't eject the tape carrier. On my other FX1000 the mic jack is defective and I cannot use it. And that tape mechanism just feels cheap and flimsy. It seemed the VX2100 could be dropped on the floor and kicked around and it never missed a beat. It was truly a workhorse.
I wonder if the Z5 is built better. I still shoot quite often with my VX2100 and actually find the Z5 to be better built and more solid. The tape door is one example, more solid on the Z5 than the 2100.

On the other hand I've never had a problem with the 2100 and it's too early to tell with the Z5. But I've always found that Sonys are very well built and last quite awhile.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 06:19 PM   #67
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I doubt that the Z5 or Z7 tape mechanism is any different, but who knows. The metal parts of it seem thinner and flimsier to me, and the Sony's I had, all four of them, never had that thing happen with the tape mechanism, and I bought all of them used.

Other than the tape carrier it is very solid.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 06:27 PM   #68
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Jeff, one of my 1000's has a defective mic jack too. I guess I will send it in for repair when I get a break.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 06:48 PM   #69
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Well Tim, at least your not the only one!
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Old June 4th, 2009, 11:39 AM   #70
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I can't say the Z5 tape mechanism to me feels much different from my old, cheap Sony camcorders (the TRV series). Certainly I wouldn't describe the tape loading door as "solid", but it's not "flimsy" either.

It certainly doesn't feel "expensive" as you might otherwise expect it would...
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Old June 7th, 2009, 05:29 PM   #71
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Tim, be aware when you send it in it will cost you $250 for them to fix it. The warranty on these Sony cameras basically use a deductable system so even if you've had the camera for only one day; a warranty repair will cost you at least $250 no matter what.

This is a sucky warranty.

I'm not intending to bring up the debate again, but I did some interesting reading of trade type articles regarding CMOS vs CCDs.

It was just as I said earlier. The main advantage of CMOS is cost to the manufacturer, not image quality for the consumer.

Because technology is now being poured into CMOS the quality will gradually improve and eventually move past CCDS, but only because that is where the money and research is going, not because CMOS is inherently better.

High end cameras are light years from using CMOS, as the cost savings of CMOS are irrelvevant to the broadcast market and the accent there is quality.

When the FX1 came out my knowledgeable friends all complained that Sony had started using these "cheap" CMOS chips as a manufacturing cost control. Yes there is power savings on the camera, but so what? Will a CMOS chip give me an extra hour of battery life? I don't think so.

So anyone who is a fans of CMOS simply because it is CMOS, don't fall for the hype.
Case in point, has anyone ever heard of a manufacturer actually state that the CMOS sensors are superior? No, of course not.

Here's one article regarding CMOS vs CCD:

CMOS PRIMER

If you read articles whose target audience are manufacturers or manufacturers reps, salespeople, etc., you will get a more accurate idea of what CMOS is all about. It is about the integration of CMOS manufacturing in the same process as the supporting systems so that the cost saving for manufacturers is HUGE. The use of CCDs is much more expensive than CMOS.

Major manufacturing and design such as the switch to CMOS from CCDs are made by manufacturers for profit reasons, not quality.

Now, I'm currently downloading the footage from the Panasonic HMC 150 run in a controlled shoot (wedding) and I am anxious to see how it stacks up agains the FX1000. The LCD on the Panasonic is so poor I cannot believe it, by the way. Absolutely horrible. If I were to base my opinion on camera based on how the footage looks through the LCD alone, it would have been gone quickly. I'll keep you posted, I'm anxious to see how this turns out.
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Old June 7th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #72
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Thanks Jeff, I didn't know that about the warranty. I purchaced the extended warranty that B&H offered.

By the way I was wrong about the mic jack, it's the headphone jack that's bad. I may not even worry about that.
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Old June 7th, 2009, 05:41 PM   #73
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I rarely use headphones except on the camera with the wireless.

I find the onboard audio of the FX1000 so superior I rarely even run a shotgun at a reception; I am in love with the audio quality of these cameras.
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Old June 7th, 2009, 06:26 PM   #74
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Jeff,
you seem to have missed the main point in the article you referenced. I quote
"Pixel Addressibility - CCDs use of the bucket brigade to transfer pixel values means that individual pixels in a CCD cannot be read individually. CMOS imagers on the other hand have the pixels in an x-y grid allowing pixels to be read individually. This means that CMOS imagers will be able to do functions such as "windowing", where only a small sample of the imager is read, image stabilization to remove jitters from camcorders, motion tracking and other advanced imaging techniques internally that CCDs cannot do."
Bucket brigade format of CCD's leads to the streaking that we are all aware of with a bright light. This is non existent for CMOS. Individual pixel read out of CMOS is the main technology advantage of CMOS over CCD and with the current Sony CMOS in the XR500/520 they have improved even further. This allows the DSP in the camera to increase the latitude/dynamic range of the array to the point that is impossible with CCD's. Allows face recognition easily, black stretch and knee controls in consumer cameras etc etc. Yes they are lower cost because they can include other technology on the same piece of silicon( amplifiers and DSP processing etc)to change the way the pixels are read and processed that is advantages in every possible way. The manufacturing equipment is also the same as other computer technologies so there are further savings. I am sorry to present this but it is the same as vinyl/CD disc issue all again. CMOS is cheaper and better when processed and implemented to advantage. Just like audio it is possible to make a really cheap poor CMOS imager just like a really cheap poor CD of audio. In reality neither the cheap CMOS or the cheap audio CD is as bad as a cheap vinyl disc or cheap CCD imager. Technology has moved on.

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Old June 7th, 2009, 07:27 PM   #75
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Ron, no one is disputing CMOS is here to say and the way it is going to be. It is and will be.

Anyway the main point of the article I read was different than the one you read.

They made three major points in comparison of the two devices and two of the three had to do with cost and manufacturing. One point addressed advanced features, etc, but it never claims the overall image is improved over CCD, only that CMOS can implement advanced features such as OIS and face recognition.

These advanced features that are used to sell consumer camcorders are of no interest to most professionals as I see it. I don't even use image stabilization, ever though many people do.

The article outlines three points of the CCD vs CMOS thing.

"1. Integration - Because CMOS Imagers are created in the same process as processors, memories and other major components, CMOS Imagers can integrated with these same components onto a single piece of silicon. In contrast, CCDs are made in a specialized process and require multiple clocks and inputs. This feature limits CCDs to discrete systems, which in the long run will put CMOS Imagers at a cost advantage, as well as limit what kinds of portable devices CCDs can be integrated into."

#1 Boils down to Cost Advantage.

"2. Pixel Addressibility - CCDs use of the bucket brigade to transfer pixel values means that individual pixels in a CCD cannot be read individually. CMOS imagers on the other hand have the pixels in an x-y grid allowing pixels to be read individually. This means that CMOS imagers will be able to do functions such as "windowing", where only a small sample of the imager is read, image stabilization to remove jitters from camcorders, motion tracking and other advanced imaging techniques internally that CCDs cannot do."

#2 Boils down to advantages such as images stabilization, motion tracking and advanced imaging techniques. Pixel addressibility does not seem to address picture quality per se, only the ability to offer improved peformance in advanced technicques such as OIS. that is what the article says.

"3. Manufacturing Cost - Since CMOS imagers are manufactured in the same process as memories, processors and other high-volume devices, CMOS imagers can take advantage of process improvements and cost reductions these devices drive throughout the industry."

#3 Boils down to Cost again, as did #1.

Of the three points made about CMOS vs CCD, two of the three were concerning cost and manufacturing processes.

Cost is the main advantage from the manufacturers point of view, and that is clear. There is much discussion in the article about the various types of noice of CMOS, but it is never stated that image quality is inherently better.

The primary advantage of CMOS from a consumer point of view are things like face recognition, etc. The day I need a camera to recognize a face for me will be a sad day! Now granted the possibilities are endless with CMOS, but those consumer features are for hobbyists as of now. Some of the possibilties of CMOS will translate eventually into cool things we can all use no doubt. As has been said they are the future.

But I ran my Sony today with my HMC150 and there was less noise in the Panny than the Sony. Also, I don't like the "interlace type" lines in my FX1000 footage. I get these lines that run across the screen, don't care for it, I don't know what they are.

The article does go into some detail about the noise issues of CMOS and there are plenty of them. This would explain why the HMC150 is less noisy at increased gain then the Sony FX1000. Of course comparing the two cameras is like comparing apples and oranges, and is really not relevant depending on how you see it. As you say a high end CCD will blow a cheap CMOS sensor away, and a high end CMOS sensor will best an equivalent CCD away, so it really is a pointless comparison especially in the case of these two cameras.

Pana and Sony have always been quite different anyway, and to compare CCD to CMOS between different brands is not fair to either. The CCD chips in the VX2100 was notoriously better then the CCDs in the Panasonic in the opinion of many videographers, but Panasonic still had a huge following, so go figure. It often came down to features and lenses, not just chips.

Anyway, CMOS is here to stay, it is the future of consumer and low end pro equipment without a doubt. I can't even imagine with the noise issues that broadcast equipment will use CMOS for a long while. CMOS has way too far to go for that to happen soon.
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