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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 11th, 2011, 04:06 AM   #1
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all quiet on the z5 front?

so, are we all happy?

has anyone discovered anything (good/bad) that we should be aware of?

my z5 has been shooting almost every day for the past two months, all to tape (client insists on it), but i've been doing a fair amount to cf as well on other projects - again, all flawlessly.

my only query is nd - what sort of tolerance is there between flashing nd's in the viewfinder? i ask because i was shooting a horse (love saying that) on a really strange day where it went from brilliant sunlight to heavily overcast and back again. i was on nd2 to start out, and had to leave it there rather than break the shot changing the nd to 1, or perhaps even none. footage looked pretty bloody good through the whole lighting change.....

(yes, i put zebra on, but there wasn't anything really in the frame that had any meaningful exposure)
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Old January 11th, 2011, 07:26 AM   #2
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Must admit I havent used mine too much over the last few months since switching to DSLR. That said I did chose to use it a few times last week and it was great! Forgot how good all the controls are, the 20x zoom and the OIS. I will use it more again as alot of the time it is a very good camera to use.

Only issue Ive had is with the on/off switch. It annoys me how easily it can be knocked out of place or the camera left on. At least with the Z1 it had the blue led lights to let you know its on. I've accidentally left it on in the bag a few times and it does get a bit warm. Half of the 'V' on the 'HDV' logo pealed off. I must always take out the battery before packing it away to make sure.

Regarding ND filter, not sure how picky the flashing logo is. Its handy to have but I think we are better judges of if its too bright or not. I sometimes find you have to have a high f stop rather than extra ND as the light difference can been too much.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #3
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Because the Z5 uses such tiny chips it suffers diffraction losses (unsharpness) if you shoot HDV or DV at apertures smaller than f/4 down the wide end of the zoom. Of course it takes a critical eye to spot these losses, but by f/11 it's very obvious. Just plug your camera HDMI into a big TV and play with the iris ring - you'll soon see.

So the silent scream is focal length dependent - if you're working at telephoto the call for more ND won't be made till light levels mean f/5.6 is needed. You can indeed ignore these ND calls, but the programme has been set so that you're always told when it's the best time to flick that switch.

tom.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 01:17 PM   #4
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I've got to say that since getting our Z5's, for the first time ever I'm almost completely happy and not looking to the next camcorder acquisition.

I've told the cam to never stop down below 5.6 so I've never had diffraction issues, and I've found the ND warning is a little panicky, and you can get away with ignoring it most of the time, as long as the change in lighting isn't too drastic.

The only thing I find annoying about this cam -- and it isn't unique in this regard -- is the AC power arrangement. I vastly prefer the consumer paradigm where you can have it plugged into AC power and have the battery installed at the same time, so it charges while you shoot, and you never lose power when you unplug, and you wouldn't have to remove the MRC to change power sources, and the cam doesn't fall over if you accidentally trip over the power cord. I'm sure the there are good reasons for the "pro" arrangement but I can't figure out what they are. This power system also limits the effectiveness of the TC LINK function, as they warn you not to power off after linking, but this is unavoidable if your cams are positioned more than a cables' length apart when shooting, unless you only shoot on battery power.

If it had the power arrangement of its little brother the FX1000, it'd be the perfect cam for me. But even so, these are unquestionably the best cams I've ever owned.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 02:03 PM   #5
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Leslie, Didn't you get a matte box? I finally invested in some filters for mine. I have a .6 ND gradient filter which stays on outside. What a huge difference. The on camera ND doesn't compare because it doesn't address the fact that you're usually blowing out the sky. That's the great thing about the gradient.

Adam, I'm completely on board with your remarks about the camera. That was my main complaint about the camera in the beginning and it still is now. People say well you have extra batteries. I have plenty but it's not the point. It makes no sense to me why they took that function away.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 03:44 PM   #6
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Right, that's exactly it, you cold have a million batts but you still have to power off when changing them or going between AC power and batt. And you can't charge your batts while using AC to power the cam, not even on the external charger. Minor but annoying.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 04:22 PM   #7
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finally settled on a century optics mb250 - very happy with it. mostly use it for cpl, but like you have found nd gradients very, very useful. also like black mist, but have to be careful with it ;-)

i understand the battery thing, pita compared to all the other sony's i've had, BUT, i bought some 6.5 batteries and to be honest, can't ever see myself going back to mains for anything.

that said, i'm usually outdoors, and when indoors, it's usually no more than a couple of hours (though i have done a couple of stage shows on just one fully charged battery).

i think i paid $80 a pop for the batteries, (had to get new ones since those from my v1p weren't recognised!!), and they're still going strong 2 years later - with a LOT of use....
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