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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 9th, 2010, 12:48 PM   #1
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Z5 or NXCAM?

Hi all,

Not posted for a while!

I know you'll be fed up with the "what camera shall I buy" threads, but I've got a couple of questions. I believe I'm right in saying that HDV records at 25Mbps right? Well, after searching the net it would appear the NXCAM can record up to 24Mbps. Does this mean that the Z5 (it has the same chips) will be better quality? Having said that, HDV will have way more artifacts than the AVCHD won't it? Not forgetting AVCHD is a lot less hassle when putting the footage on the computer and searching through clips whilst shooting.

It seems like the Z5 and NXCAM range are very similar, so for me it's just down to what recording format will give the better quality.

Thanks for your help,
Ollie Needham
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Old January 9th, 2010, 01:37 PM   #2
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what kind of artifacts :-) the codecs are different, but given enough pixels changing on the thing they all have some issues. given a choice i would rather have AVCHD codec in use to compress best, and HDV to decompress easier :-)

from what i get so far
both have the same type of lens
one is tape the other is strictally chip
the chip one has a SSD device for long time shooting 128g now
both have same type of 1/3" cmos
being HDV one is stuck at 1440, not that that is a big problem.

and the one thing i would like to see, is that the (optional) SSD device AND the internal chip can be recorded on both at the Same time for backup, that would certannly make it different.

HXR-NX5U
Sony | Micro Site - NXCAM

http://pro.sony.com/bbsccms/assets/f...NAL-1-6-10.pdf
The professional HXR-NX5U model is part of Sony’s NXCAM family of video products for professionals. It features Sony’s Exmor™ CMOS sensor with ClearVid™ array, to deliver full high-definition resolution and low light sensitivity with low noise. The camcorder will record AVCHD up to 24Mbps, delivering 1920x1080 high definition images with both interlace and progressive modes along with native 1080/24P, 720/60p and MPEG-2 standard definition recording. Only the professional NX5U camcorder includes both HD-SDI and HDMI™ outputs,
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Old January 9th, 2010, 01:56 PM   #3
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Hi Marty,

Thanks a lot for your reply.

I've never had a tape camera before, my first and current camera is the Canon HG10 which is AVCHD. I used a friends DV camera a week ago, and was disappointed because there was some kind of distortion that affected the footage every so often (would describe it as a "flash" of a white or black "splodge"), so I put this down to it being a tape rather than a tapeless format - am I wrong to think this?

I live in the UK, and have found the price of the NXCAM which is £4000 GBP. The Z5 on the other hand is £2,800 which is a lot more affordable for me (being a student!). All I want to make sure is that if i'm spending close to £3000, I want the quality to be as good as possible and to not have the risk of frequent distortions in the image - if that make sense?

Thanks,
Ollie
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Old January 13th, 2010, 03:06 AM   #4
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You say you can get the Z5 for 2800 GBP
I can only find for about 3700 GBP when searching in UK

So I wonder where you have found it for 2800

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Old January 13th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #5
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If you're not in a super hurry and don't want/need to output to tape, yeah, I'd strongly consider waiting for the NXCAM. It's full 1920x1080, PCM audio, built-in GPS, 4:2:2, time-code capability and other features. I imagine (speculating here) since it's a revised cam the low light and image will be enhanced to some degree and as these things go there will likely be a few other neat features or enhancements over the Z5 ...as is usually the case with newer cam designs. Being solid state, it probably does loop recording so you can have immediate 'go' when you pull the trigger. That would be huge for me and you don't get that with tape (Pretty sure MRC1 does it though). I think GPS is a really nice feature. I'd love to have that for what I do! These are all nice features that will make it a great cam I think.

As for the tape, it depends on what you do. Many need fast transfer and tape is a hassle. It's pretty obvious that tape acquisition is in it's last gasps as a format (already is for consumer cams). I personally like tape back-up. I generally don't need fast transfer. I even do a lot of family recording with my cam too and I rarely ever transfer that. Tape is good to go back and watch later. Tape is a cheap, low-tech and reliable archiving medium. I'm not bullish on DVD archiving as we've all had DVD's (even quality discs) that were unreadable or full of errors after even a few months. Tape allows users to archive a 'master' original copy that can be pulled off the shelf 10 years later if need be (I've done it). I haven't had HDV for 10 yrs to see how it will hold up over time on tape, I'm sure some have negative experiences. Of course you can archive to HD too and store it that way too. Many do that now that storage is so cheap. But it doesn't sound like there is any desire or need on your part for tape storage. Tape also brings along with it the characteristics and potential pitfalls of an electro-mechanical tape transport system and tape heads. Sony systems are pretty much rock solid and you rarely hear of Sony tape systems dying (Canon, different situation). Sony has had decades to refine the technology, but it's not out of the relm of possibility and tape heads do wear over time if you use your cam long enough. Drop outs can occurs as well and getting into condensation situations, dust, sand, the occasional crappy tape all can wreck your day, although prudence can prevent most of these issues. You get away from all that with SS memory. Theoretically the cam doesn't have many wear points to go bad. I guess these are things to factor into you decision making matrix. It seems like the NXCAM's feature set might be a good fit for you. You shouldn't have to wait very long anyway.

Good luck,
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Old January 14th, 2010, 07:19 AM   #6
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Mark,

Where did you read about the 4:2:2?

-Chad
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Old January 14th, 2010, 06:14 PM   #7
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4:2:2 is output to a drive per the article below:
ProVideo Coalition.com: TecnoTur by Allan Tépper
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Old January 15th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #8
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You should probably place 4:2:2 in the context of the article "even full compatibility with 10-bit 4:2:2 external recording with a device like AJA’s KiPro"

The Z5 would also be 10-bit 4:2:2 with the KiPro. I would venture to guess that NXCAM AVCHD codec would be 4:1:1
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Old January 17th, 2010, 09:36 AM   #9
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I was also thinking of upgrading my Z-5. However, after much thought, I realized that with my MRC unit and using tape simultaneously with the Z-5; I have the best of both worlds.

HDV uses less computer power for rendering as well in the form of .m2t files vs. my AVCHD camera.


It also seems that in order to use the less expensive SD card(s), an $800 dollar unit must be attached to the forthcoming camera on top of the purchase price.

Lens and chip appear the same to me as the Z-5. I don't need GPS-for what? I own one in my car and I-Pod.

However, this is my opinion. Your mileage may vary. :-0)
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Old January 17th, 2010, 09:44 AM   #10
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According to the Adam Wilt review, the NX5 has a noticably better picture, partially because it's full raster and partly because of the AVCHD. If you haven't read it, read the review I posted a link about the NX5.

Last word from Sony indicates it will ship with the ability to use Memory Stick Duo AND SDHC cards! So it can read either. That's huge. It also has an optional 128G the external HD that will store up to 11 hrs of highest quality video. You don't need the external HD to use SD cards. Apparently it's faster with the MS Pro Duo. I like the GPS aspect too. I'm not going to run out and sell my Z5 (because I just got it not that long ago), but if I were in the market for a new cam I'd probably go with the NX5.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 11:33 AM   #11
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Hi all,

Thanks very much for all your responses, it's very helpful!

The Z5 can be bought here: Sony Camcorders - Sony HVR-Z5 HDV Camcorder for £2899. Whereas the NXCAM is currently at around £4000.

There are many benefits of getting the NXCAM against the Z5, however that's quite a large price difference for me being an A-Level student. It would also appear that both are great cameras, but as the NXCAM is of a newer generation, it may be best to save some more and buy that one... As my current camera is AVCHD, it would be easy to combine footage from both cameras too. The only thing i'm not sure about it what to convert the AVCHD footage to? As i'm concious of how much processing power it requires. I'm using Premiere CS4 if that helps with giving advice.

The only other alternative is buying the Z5 with the external drive, although for that price I may aswell buy the NXCAM.

Thanks for your help,

I really appreciate it!

Ollie
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Old January 17th, 2010, 11:40 AM   #12
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I hope you understand that the camera is a " grey import" so you won´t get 2 Years of Sony Silver Support.

Cheers

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Old January 17th, 2010, 12:36 PM   #13
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Oh right, is it? How did you know that - just so it helps me for future reference!

Thanks!
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Old January 17th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #14
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If they had been authorised Sony Broadcast dealers they would have said that the cam came with 2 years Sony Silver Support

cheers

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Old January 17th, 2010, 02:44 PM   #15
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Ah right I see!

Thanks for your help Hans!
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