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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 February 10th, 2010, 07:27 PM   #1
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from v1 to z5 - 1st impressions

okay, have had it for about a week now. start my first paying project next week, but have had a little time to play with it meanwhile.

coming from the v1 i find it bigger, but well balanced (which my v1 and kit wa lens certainly wasn't!). and, it's as wide as my v1 was with wa lens, so i don't think i need to rush out any-time soon for a wa, unless i get a specific job that needs one.

controls are a bit different:

i understand the chatter about the menu wheel, but i have small hands and don't find it a problem at all. i love the assign buttons all being accessible, but think they could have forgone the printed labels.

the slow zoom is appalling!!!! whatever were they thinking? it's way too fast.

love having the tape load from the left - no more hassles with the door not opening because of a tight hand strap.

no supplied carry strap, and the connectors for one on the camera seem badly placed for balance - small point, but i regularly sling my camera over a shoulder....

the cf recorder is a joy, but annoying in as much as you have to use the menu to chose ext only - it would be nice to have had a button on either unit to chose tape, tape and cf, cf only.

bought a kata bag for it (as found in a thread here).

my cheap matte box works well, but requires removing to change filters (too close to built in mike).

still, all in all, a very happy vegimite....

leslie
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Old February 11th, 2010, 10:31 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie Wand
the slow zoom is appalling!!!! whatever were they thinking? it's way too fast.
I agree entirely! I have managed to get it somewhat slower via external lanc control but still not slow enough for my needs.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 02:25 PM   #3
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Steve, I know you're not happy with this function, but for any newcomers who haven't tried this, the Shot Transition function really does work quite well for achieving a slow zoom. We did a live concert last week and for the slow songs we used a 90-sec zoom quite effectively. It really looked quite lovely. It was a snap to set up and execute. And you can bail out of it any time.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 04:43 PM   #4
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hi adam,

shot trans is good on paper (and, in practice when pre-planned), but it's certainly no substitute for a slow creep with a rocker (boy, that sounds like some late 60's hippy jargon!).

i have to say that the difference between 1>8 on speed selection in the menu is abysmal. on the v1 the simple 3 position switch on the handle gave a much greater range with the slow being nicely controllable.....

it was only late in ownership of the v1 that i realised that backlight on both lcd and viewfinder made such a difference, especially outdoors.

am going to have a play later today - have too much on to really get to grips with it before i have to take it out on the road next week.

any thoughts as to what to look out for would be appreciated. by that i mean any quirks - my v1 had a weird tendency to 'jump' a little in the 70 > 72 area (on screen measurement) on really hot days (and down here we certainly get a lot of them!).

am loving having control back over independent audio channels with one mic connected. i thought that one of the weakest points of the v1.

leslie
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Old February 11th, 2010, 05:41 PM   #5
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Well, okay... you guys know better than anyone what works for you. I share your feelings about the regular zoom control speeds and I was looking for something that solved the issue for me... which shot trans does.

Ironically, my initial thoughts were the opposite of yours... I thought that on paper and in theory this sounded like a terrible idea, too hard to set up and a pain to execute. But in practice, most of the parameters can be set in advance and it only takes a few seconds to lock in the actual shots. Saying there's no time to set this up is like saying there's no time to plug in the mic. I mean, it's unlikely you'd ever need to use this doing run n' gun docu stuff because it wouldn't be appropriate anyway. But if you have enough time to set up the cam on a tripod or mic your interviewee (or light an actor), you have enough time to set this up as well.

Not trying to belabor this, really, and you guys know best, but I'd hate to have anyone reject this as an option without trying it. And while it's not perfect it's the best I've come up with.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 07:35 PM   #6
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adam, i had no intention of disparaging your idea at all. it is, under the circumstances, the most practical there is.

from my pov though:

a. with a scale of 1 to 8, sony could have given a truly diverse range, not the pathetic middling one they have.

b. shot trans takes 3 assign buttons - a waste if you require other pertinent assignments.

c. i believe (though you can set me straight ;-) that you lose shot trans settings when powered down?

d. bloody great camera for all that!

leslie
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Old February 11th, 2010, 07:53 PM   #7
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I bought this strap:
Bower | SS10 Deluxe Heavy-duty Neck Strap (Blue) | SS10NBLU
and really love it.

I ditched the metal rings that came with the strap, and ran both ends of the strap itself through the cam's rear metal strap hook. I used the plastic gromets that came with the strap, and, for an extra measure of security, I hand-sewed each end of the strap to keep it from slipping through the plastic pieces due to the weight of the camera (had it happen on my VX2000). You can see the threads if you look carefully in the pic. I only used the rear hook because hanging down it doesn't get tangled or bind up with the microphone. But that's just me. To be honest, it's just as well that Sony didn't include a strap. Their standard strap is kind of thin and with the weight of this camera it would be like a piece of piano wire around your neck. This one is much more comfortable IMO. They have a black colored strap but for some reason it was twice as expensive and was out of stock when I bought mine. Good luck,
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Old February 11th, 2010, 08:02 PM   #8
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Leslie, you're dead on correct about all four points. Can't argue with any of 'em.

You do lose the actual shots when you power down, but the global settings like TRANS CURVE and TRANS TIME and the like stay the way you set them. So when we're shooting, we throw it into STORE mode, zoom in, save it, zoom out, save it, and kick it into EXEC mode.

BTW, I also agree with you about the printed labels on the Assign buttons being stupid and useless. Out of all 25 or so functions you can assign, are those really the most common ones? I don't use any of those... The least they could do would be is to give you a crack n' peel sheet with ALL the functions printed on them so you could pick the labels you want.
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Last edited by Adam Gold; February 11th, 2010 at 09:38 PM.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 09:00 PM   #9
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mark, good idea using just the back hook. i'll give it a try. meanwhile, so as not to seem too sonyphobic i'm using my nikon camera strap, and canon hip bag.....

adam, since they don't even give you a crappy strap anymore, i can't see them springing for a small sheet of crack 'n' peel either. at the moment
my assigns are 1/steady 2/peaking 3/macro 4/zebra 5/marker 6/bars 7/exp focus. but as it says in the manual - subject to change ;-)

btw. with my memory you think i'll hit the right button at the right time? i really did like my old sp rig. if it wasn't a dedicated button, it didn't exist - and those that did, could be counted on one hand....

Last edited by Leslie Wand; February 11th, 2010 at 09:05 PM. Reason: after thought....
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Old February 11th, 2010, 09:24 PM   #10
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My ASSIGNs are similar: with 4, 5 and 6 committed to SHOT TRANS, I've got 1-Bars, 2-Steady and 3-SPOTLIGHT (as we do a lot of stage stuff and it helps). 7 stays on EXP FOCUS.

My only other issues are with the whole AC Power Adapter setup (detailed in the other Z5 impressions thread) and the WB PRESET switch. Instead of two user presets, I wish they had INDOOR, OUTDOOR and one PRESET.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 10:29 PM   #11
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agree entirely!

to be honest i hadn't even looked at ext power (most of my stuff is outdoors / doco). now that i have, seems a bit silly set up, especially since they have all that spare room below the headphone socket. i mean i appreciate a dual battery charger, but the adaptor is not only cumbersome, but the cable seems to come out the top, rather than the bottom?

i'm sort of in agreement with you re wb, though that said, 'indoor' can be so many things nowadays....
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Old February 15th, 2010, 05:50 PM   #12
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Leslie, how do you find the picture quality on the Z5 compared to the V1? Is it a lot better, or about the same?

Thanks, Jason
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Old February 15th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #13
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hi jason,

well, considering the fact that i am usually in full control of my shooting environment (or outdoors in good light), i'd be hard pressed to tell the difference.

that said,

a. low light is a major step up from the v1 (but that wouldn't be hard now would it? ;-))

b. dof is obviously better, given the 1/3" chips. then again, i think all this talk about dof is so much 'waffle' since most people can't even get it right even with a dslr.... and those who really need it know the limitations of any prosumer lens

-------------------------------------------------

on another note, john murphy pointed out that:

"If I use the handle zoom and set the software setting to '1' it takes about 25 seconds out to full in."

to be honest i'd completely overlooked the setting on the handle zoom, which, unlike the v1's h,m,s (?) on the z5 is off, fixed, variable. the variable being linked to the menu speed. much better

-----------------------------------------

next week i start in earnest, i'll shoot tape and cf till i'm REALLY confident that i know what i'm doing with cf cards, and that they REALLY are foolproof in the field ;-)

leslie
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