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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 July 26th, 2011, 11:39 AM   #1
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Sony HVR-Z5 Review

Hey Gang,

After using the Z5 for nearly two years, I've posted my review at Epinions.com, the Internet's largest consumer based review site on the Web. Please have a look:
Sony HVR-Z5U May Be All the Pro Video Camera You Need - Sony HVR-Z5U professional video camera - Epinions.com

and let me know what you think.

Dave Burckhard
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Old July 26th, 2011, 01:09 PM   #2
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Re: Sony HVR-Z5 Review

Dave, you had me at the link's headline. I didn't even need to read the review to know we were on the same page.

However, I did read it anyway and I think it's remarkably thorough for an Epinions review. I am, however, puzzled by the sentence:

Quote:
The FS-5 also has other features (e.g., visual playback, wireless logging, time code mirroring) that the Sony recorder lacks.
I'm not sure what any of that means. Visual Playback? As opposed to what? The MRC plays back on the Z5's screen. Time Code Mirroring? Do you mean the same time code on the card as on the tape? The MRC does that too, although your NLE might not read it. Wireless Logging? You got me on that one. No clue what that is. Does the Firestore communicate with your iPad?

It just seems a bit odd to use a different device when the cam is so clearly designed to integrate seamlessly with its own recorder.

But otherwise, great job.
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Old July 26th, 2011, 09:29 PM   #3
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Re: Sony HVR-Z5 Review

agree entirely with adam's critique - and of course, your original review. i too am curious about remote comm?
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Old July 29th, 2011, 11:00 PM   #4
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Re: Sony HVR-Z5 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
...It just seems a bit odd to use a different device when the cam is so clearly designed to integrate seamlessly with its own recorder.

But otherwise, great job.
The Focus Enhancement FS-5 is a video recorder along its Firestore line. I use one instead of the Sony MRC. It was difficult in choosing the FS-5 over the MRC in that it costs more, weighs more, makes the HVR-Z5 a bit more ungainly, and, arguably, isn't as rugged as the MRC. On the other hand, it offers a lot of advantages.
1. It holds 120 GB of video.
2. It records in an .mov format directly editable by iMovie, FCP or in the .mxf or .mts for editing directly in Vegas.
3. It also records to a proxy format that can be played back and viewed on a color screen on the recorder itself.
4. It has the ability to be directly addressed remotely for inputting metadata. For instance, using nothing but a laptop, iPhone or iPad, a PA from across the set can monitor time code record director notes, or any other metadata field which records directly onto the files. No more having to sit on an operator's shoulder copying time code and notes and then spending hours sitting with an editor recopying notes back unto the proper fields in an NLE. This feature alone pays for itself in two or three crew-served shoots where you pay an experienced PA just to take and transcribe notes.

I may very well buy the Sony recorder but at this point, with declining prices, I'm looking at an Atomos, Convergent or Aja recording solution and get an "upgrade" without spending for a new camera and getting better image quality. I'd like to see results from such combinations.

Thanks guys for the kind words. Good luck.

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Old July 30th, 2011, 01:52 AM   #5
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Re: Sony HVR-Z5 Review

Autofocus is horrible, other cams might be even worse but the Z5 likes high detail too much, making the autofocus unusable for filming, for instance, nearby human faces. The 80 cm limit on the focus range is also not quite enough - and yes, you can turn on macro but also means focus shifts when you zoom.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 04:50 AM   #6
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Re: Sony HVR-Z5 Review

depending on the situation, af can be a pita.

terrible if you have a talking head against a 'detailed' bkg. unless your head is either centre, or filingl a great deal of the fame (in 16:9?), af tends to favour the bkg. obviously no big deal zooming in on static talent, manual focus and pull-out and reframe. bit more difficult if your talent is moving.

fantastic for tracking and well separated subjects.

that said, i have found most prosumer cameras to be the same...
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Old August 14th, 2011, 10:25 PM   #7
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Re: Sony HVR-Z5 Review

Nice review. Comprehensive.
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