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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 October 25th, 2009, 05:52 AM   #1
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Confused XH-A1S V'S HVR Z5P

hi all,

I started my business and I was wondering what camera to get? Im confused with so many conflicting statements on all the cameras and low light handling capabilities.

some people say the XH-A1S and ive also heard good things about the Z5P here in Australia. Whts do you guys think.. i prefer HDV format with XLR inputs.. what would be best for my wedding films needs?

any opinions appreciated

jayjay

Sydney Australia
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Old October 25th, 2009, 06:45 AM   #2
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Hi Jason,

I had to make the same choice a few months ago and I went with the Z5.

There's a few reasons why I went with the Z5 over the A1. First off the main reason I was tempted by the A1 was the lower price but I felt the advantages the Sony Z5 offered were worth the extra cost.

Reasons why I chose the Z5 over the A1.

1. Better LCD screen and viewfinder. One of the biggest complaints from A1 owners is the size and resolution of the screen. The Z5 LCD is amazing, very clear and large also the VF is great aswell.

2. Better low light, the Z5 is better in low light than the A1, maybe not by a huge amount but it is slightly better

3. Sony form factor. This was more a personal thing. I had previously used a Sony Z1 so already liked and was used to the controls and menu system. This made, for me, getting used to the Z5 easier.

4. There's a few other small reasons why I prefer the Z5, such as the built in lens cap on sony camcorders. I know its not a major thing but it is so handy not having to carry round the lens cap separately. I used a camera without one the other day and I did realise how annoying it was not being able to just flip it shut.

Another small reason is the Z5 comes with a shotgun mic, which saves you a bit of cash. Its actually very good and is perfect size for the camera.

Also the Z5 offers an easy upgrade to solid state/hybrid filming. I havent got one yet but will as soon as I have the cash, but I think the plus of being able to by the CF card recorder and just attach it straight onto the back of the Z5 is a great advantage.

Another cool thing on the Z5 which I did realise it came with until I got mine is that it has 2 cold shoe mounts. This is really handy for attracting both a wireless mic receiver and light on the camera at the same time.

Anyway theres my reasons for choosing the Z5 over the A1, some of thoughs reasons might not relate to you but I hope this helps. The Canon A1s is a very good camera and I know I would be happy with either. My biggest concern with the A1s was the small screen and I felt that now days that size and res screen is too poor for long term use.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 03:55 PM   #3
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"Also the Z5 offers an easy upgrade to solid state/hybrid filming. I haven't got one yet but will as soon as I have the cash, but I think the plus of being able to by the CF card recorder and just attach it straight onto the back of the Z5 is a great advantage"

The above is the bigger advantage of them all. Once you get the MRC1 flash card recorder, you are going to forget filming on tapes.

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Old October 25th, 2009, 04:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Palfrey View Post
2. Better low light, the Z5 is better in low light than the A1, maybe not by a huge amount but it is slightly better
Th Z5 is basically a fx1000 with xlr capabilities, no? So should have the same lowlight results, if that is the case I can say a fx1000 is not slightly but much better then a xh-a1 in low light. Not sure if the new s version of the xh-a1 is better then the older model but I have compared both Sony and Canon and the difference is big. It's almost like adding an extra light in dark rooms with the sony. The reason why it's better is that it can handle gain (grain) a lot better then the canon.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Palfrey View Post
Hi Jason,

I had to make the same choice a few months ago and I went with the Z5.

There's a few reasons why I went with the Z5 over the A1. First off the main reason I was tempted by the A1 was the lower price but I felt the advantages the Sony Z5 offered were worth the extra cost.

Reasons why I chose the Z5 over the A1.

1. Better LCD screen and viewfinder. One of the biggest complaints from A1 owners is the size and resolution of the screen. The Z5 LCD is amazing, very clear and large also the VF is great aswell.

2. Better low light, the Z5 is better in low light than the A1, maybe not by a huge amount but it is slightly better

3. Sony form factor. This was more a personal thing. I had previously used a Sony Z1 so already liked and was used to the controls and menu system. This made, for me, getting used to the Z5 easier.

4. There's a few other small reasons why I prefer the Z5, such as the built in lens cap on sony camcorders. I know its not a major thing but it is so handy not having to carry round the lens cap separately. I used a camera without one the other day and I did realise how annoying it was not being able to just flip it shut.

Another small reason is the Z5 comes with a shotgun mic, which saves you a bit of cash. Its actually very good and is perfect size for the camera.

Also the Z5 offers an easy upgrade to solid state/hybrid filming. I havent got one yet but will as soon as I have the cash, but I think the plus of being able to by the CF card recorder and just attach it straight onto the back of the Z5 is a great advantage.

Another cool thing on the Z5 which I did realise it came with until I got mine is that it has 2 cold shoe mounts. This is really handy for attracting both a wireless mic receiver and light on the camera at the same time.

Anyway theres my reasons for choosing the Z5 over the A1, some of thoughs reasons might not relate to you but I hope this helps. The Canon A1s is a very good camera and I know I would be happy with either. My biggest concern with the A1s was the small screen and I felt that now days that size and res screen is too poor for long term use.
wow John thanks for the great write up mate... very informative...

Yeah i like the idea of connecting the solid state driove recorder to the back of the camera so you can record to compact flash cards... Very handy indeed.

Yes i will need something hat is good in low light due to speeches and i think i maye be sold on the Sony Z5P. The low light i a good feature as is the solid state recording add on...

I have done all my re search on the Canon so looks like i will have to do more learning to get the hang of the Sony Z5P... Seems like a great camera.

I assume the Z5P comes with dual (2) XLR input to run both an external mic (my NTG-2) & Sennheiser wireless mics?.

Sounds like a good buy
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Old October 26th, 2009, 08:22 AM   #6
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"I assume the Z5P comes with dual (2) XLR input to run both an external mic (my NTG-2) & Sennheiser wireless mics?."

Yes it does. and not only that but you can use the internal mike on the one channel and an external one on the other channel, both manually adjusted.

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Old October 27th, 2009, 04:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Th Z5 is basically a fx1000 with xlr capabilities, no? So should have the same lowlight results, if that is the case I can say a fx1000 is not slightly but much better then a xh-a1 in low light. Not sure if the new s version of the xh-a1 is better then the older model but I have compared both Sony and Canon and the difference is big. It's almost like adding an extra light in dark rooms with the sony. The reason why it's better is that it can handle gain (grain) a lot better then the canon.
Yeah Noa I thought it probably a lot better, I've just never used the A1 so didnt want to over estimate the low light improvements. I know the Z5 is miles better than the Z1 in low light.


"Yes it does. and not only that but you can use the internal mike on the one channel and an external one on the other channel, both manually adjusted."

Thats a good point Stelios, being able to have one input on interal mic and the other on an external is very handy.

Glad to help Jason, like I said I had to make the same decision between these to cameras a few months ago hence why so detailed info.
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Old October 28th, 2009, 10:14 AM   #8
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Dont forget that the CMOS chips have rolling shutter. I would NEVER use a CMOS Camera for a wedding. I do a lot of slow motion and cant afford the rolling shutter effect.
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Old October 28th, 2009, 01:39 PM   #9
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I use my Z5 for weddings and haven't had too much of an issue with rolling shutter. Maybe I've just been luck so far but it hasn't been an real issue and most importantly the clients loved the videos and haven't noticed any of the rolling shutter.

When I think about it, probably the reason why I havent noticed it is because I dont really use slow mo during dark scenes much, just during the day shots.

All I would say rolling shutter isn't as bad as the horror stories you hear. Its not perfect and a bit annoying that cameras at these prices have issues like that but the low light of the Z5 is so much better than any similarly priced CCD camera it makes the rolling shutter not a big issue.

I have seen very bad rolling shutter on consumer cameras in the past. I own a SR11 and it seems to look a lot worse on that than the Z5.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 01:39 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=Jonathan Palfrey;1439195]....When I think about it, probably the reason why I havent noticed it is because I dont really use slow mo during dark scenes much, just during the day shots...QUOTE]

I agree with you also, my clients never commented on this issue at all. Ofcourse you are right, I do not present them with a trailer clip full of slow motion in dark areas where the photographer is having a ball with his flash. In the completed DVD it's not an issue at all; and as you said the advantages of this camera are much, much more than the roller shutter issue.

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Old November 8th, 2009, 02:05 AM   #11
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Ok guys i took the plunge and purchased my gear

1. Sony ZX5P
2. Rode NTG-2
3. Sennheiser Wireless G3-112
4. Lite Panels Micro
5. Miller DS-10(1640) tripod. This tripod is massive!!!! :)
6. J-Rod Adapter and SM3 Shock Mount
7. Soft Travel Case

now its shooting time....

thanks for all the help. In the next few months i am going to pick up the CARD recorder for the back of it. This is the reason i purchased this camera is for the card recording capabilities down the track....
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Old November 8th, 2009, 02:23 AM   #12
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Jason well done. You will not regret it for getting this camera. The only thing that I personally would like you to test, for me at least, is the Rode NTG-2 microphone you got and the one that came with your Z5. I would like to know if, really, is that much different.

Stelios

P.S. When you eventually get the MRC1 recorder, then you will really see why you have chosen this camera.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 07:01 AM   #13
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Stelios,

Yeah mate i certainly made the investment into my business and already have 2 weddings booked. I was going to get the XH-A1 but decided on this because of the low light capabilities and also the card recorder extras.

It seems like a nice unit and have been playing with it all weekend.

I have a Social Attraction seminar in Melbourne Australia in 2 weeks that I will be filming so lets see how it holds up. Im sure it will do well.

I also purchased a el-cheapo shoulder mount for roving around. I was going to get the MERLIN but cost at this stage it out of the question.

Here is the shoulder mount I am going to test!!

Video Camera Camcorder Shoulder Pad Support Tripod - eBay, Other Accessories, Video Camera Accessories, Cameras. (end time 08-Nov-09 23:51:50 AEDST)

I know its similar to the CVP shoulder mount for roving camera work which i was i will need in the field next weekend.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 07:05 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Stelios Christofides View Post
Jason well done. You will not regret it for getting this camera. The only thing that I personally would like you to test, for me at least, is the Rode NTG-2 microphone you got and the one that came with your Z5. I would like to know if, really, is that much different.

Stelios

P.S. When you eventually get the MRC1 recorder, then you will really see why you have chosen this camera.
Also in the next few weeks i will do a test with the NTG-2 and also the shotgun that comes with it...

I assume Rode would blow it out of the water but then again i guess it depends on application... Can a bride and groom with zero knowledge of audio really tell the difference? I guess time will tell when i do a test....

BTW i love the sennheiser wireless lav mics..... what a brilliant setup
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Old November 8th, 2009, 07:17 AM   #15
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also guys here isa quick video i did using the FLIP video on my setup for a friend in America who wanted to see what my gear was like.

YouTube - My New Sony Camera SONY Z5P
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