Should I upgrade from Z5 to F3 at DVinfo.net

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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 March 17th, 2012, 03:14 AM   #1
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Should I upgrade from Z5 to F3

With lots of work coming in for corporate, web and now broadcast I'm thinking of going to a F3 as they have now also released a zoom to accompany the primes. The Z5 and MRC has been faultless and pics are great but the F3 seems to have it all and I can charge out at a broadcast rate - - any thoughts?
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Old March 17th, 2012, 05:10 AM   #2
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Re: Should I upgrade from Z5 to F3

I know it was a bit of a flip of a coin perhaps but this question will probably be more productive for you in the F3 forum: Sony XDCAM F3 CineAlta Forum at DVinfo.net

Alister Chapman's blog may be of interest to you:
Alister’s Blog | XDCAM-USER.COM | Alisters XDCAM blog and cinematography resource.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 09:55 AM   #3
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Re: Should I upgrade from Z5 to F3

Why wouldn't the f3 be a good upgrade? It should be a better camera in every aspect compared to your Z5, and that is what you would expect looking at it's price tag. If I would be buying in that price range there are other options to consider, like the EOS C300 or the much cheaper Sony NEX FS100 or maybe save a lot of money (compared to buying a F3) that you can spend on gear and get a Canon xf305? But if you need shallow DOF without zooming in you need to get into the large sensor camera's anyway.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 08:44 PM   #4
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Re: Should I upgrade from Z5 to F3

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Why wouldn't the f3 be a good upgrade? It should be a better camera in every aspect compared to your Z5, and that is what you would expect looking at it's price tag. If I would be buying in that price range there are other options to consider, like the EOS C300 or the much cheaper Sony NEX FS100 or maybe save a lot of money (compared to buying a F3) that you can spend on gear and get a Canon xf305? But if you need shallow DOF without zooming in you need to get into the large sensor camera's anyway.
The F3 is a better camera in most respects BUT it does not have the run-n-gun chops the Z5 has. If an operator is used to pulling the camera out of the bag and being immediately ready to shoot the F3 or even the FS100 will be a bit of a new experience for them. It requires more setup and more attention to get the best shots.

I own a EX1r and a F3. I will use either one depending on what I'm shooting. If I'm going to be running a lot its no contest - EX1r. If I'm shooting interviews in a confined space the F3 is the perfect tool for that job.

Comparing the F3 and the Z5 in my opinion isn't fair. They are both great cameras but they excel in different jobs. I wouldn't replace the Z5 with the F3. I would keep the Z5 and add either a FS100 or F3 into the mix.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 09:16 PM   #5
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Re: Should I upgrade from Z5 to F3

well stated chris....
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Old March 18th, 2012, 02:56 AM   #6
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Re: Should I upgrade from Z5 to F3

Thanks Everyone, The two things I wanted in an upgrade were interchangeable lenses and a shoulder mount. I like the Fs100 but it's similar in many ways to the Z5. I looked at your suggestion of the Ex1r, but I'm thinking that the EX3 may be the way to go at $8K. It's has an interchangeable mount for canon, fujinon and 2/3" lenses and has a shoulder mount, but the huge drawback seems to be the SxS 32gb card at a very expensive $900 !!
The F3 is a significant step up at $30K with two primes and a zoom but has great specs. I would really appreciate any more thoughts anyone has, plus pros and cons from any users out there.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 03:22 AM   #7
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Re: Should I upgrade from Z5 to F3

Quote:
but the huge drawback seems to be the SxS 32gb card at a very expensive $900 !!
I read on this forum that there are other options to record to much cheaper medium with the ex1/ex3, don't know if that would be as reliable as SxS cards but if you want to save on media that's an option.

Quote:
The F3 is a better camera in most respects BUT it does not have the run-n-gun chops the Z5 has
The TS didn't say he was doing run and gun and in that respect a FS100 is not a run and gun camera at all, then I"d agree you need to hold on to a run and gun style of camera. But if you have a budget for a F3, I"d get a FS100 instead for these nice shallow dof shots and a EX1/3 for run and gun. A Z5 is a nice camera but it's older technology and I"m sure you can't match up it's images with a F3 without noticing, those 2 camera's are in different leagues.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 08:29 AM   #8
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Re: Should I upgrade from Z5 to F3

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Originally Posted by Chris Duczynski View Post
Thanks Everyone, The two things I wanted in an upgrade were interchangeable lenses and a shoulder mount. I like the Fs100 but it's similar in many ways to the Z5. I looked at your suggestion of the Ex1r, but I'm thinking that the EX3 may be the way to go at $8K. It's has an interchangeable mount for canon, fujinon and 2/3" lenses and has a shoulder mount, but the huge drawback seems to be the SxS 32gb card at a very expensive $900 !!
The F3 is a significant step up at $30K with two primes and a zoom but has great specs. I would really appreciate any more thoughts anyone has, plus pros and cons from any users out there.
The EX1/3 use the same memory cards and batteries as the F3 (the F3 can't use the U30 battery though) so you will be spending the same $$ on memory regardless of which one of that group you choose. Sony recently dropped the price on the SxS-1 cards. You can get a 32gig card for $450. That will get you almost 2hrs record time @35mb.

If you want to drop down a notch in reliability and speed you can use SD cards in any of those cameras with the appropriate adapters. That will get you in the $150-200 range for 32gig (assuming you are buying professional grade SD cards and not cheapies off Amazon). There is more than enough already written on that subject so I recommend searching through the EX1 forum to get the full scoop on using SD cards in the EX cameras.

You are right about the true cost of the F3. I have about $30k in my kit and it all fits into a single Pelican 1600 case. That itself can be a bit frightening to think about sometimes.

Which camera to choose comes down to what you are shooting. True the F3 has great specs and I absolutely love working with it. It is much more of a challenge to use well than an ENG style camera. Another example is the Z5 has a great autofocus system which NONE of the EX cameras do well. The F3 doesn't do at all with the Cine glass. You may or may not use AF now but with the EX series it becomes less of an option to use.

I would highly recommend getting some time behind the lens of the rigs you are considering purchasing. Spending a couple hundred $$ on a rental will tell you much more than any of us on the forum can offer in advice for your needs.

In the end it has to fit you and your shooting style. The one piece of advice I would volunteer is this - get the right camera for the jobs you do most of the time. Rent the camera you will need occasionally. You will be much happier in the long run versus forcing the a great camera into the wrong job.
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Last edited by Chris Medico; March 18th, 2012 at 09:02 AM.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 09:06 AM   #9
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Re: Should I upgrade from Z5 to F3

Wise words Chris. About the autofocus features, if you are doing bigger corporate work the autofocus feature is something you"d never use, not even in run and gun. If you want to do it right, manual is the only way to go.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 07:10 PM   #10
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Re: Should I upgrade from Z5 to F3

You're right Chris, I'm going to hire both a few times as jobs require and see what works. I'm used to working with manual everything on digi-betas, so not too daunting. Yes, the Z5 has quite amazing AF which has made shoots easier in some cases (and me lazier). And I do really like the camera, but I think it's life is coming to an end especially with the tape back-up option not really relevant anymore.
I suppose it will come down to which is going to travel better as new cameras and lenses are released. The EX's have been out longer but are priced well. but the F3 seems as if it may be around for a longer while.
Appreciate the feedback.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 08:25 AM   #11
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Re: Should I upgrade from Z5 to F3

I too, have a Z1, an EX3 and an F3 and I couldn't agree more that you should rent and try before committing. I love the quality of the F3, but the mobility and simplicity of the EX3 is what gets the job done when I have to run and gun.

The F3 and its new zoom are quite a handful and you are still lacking a decent viewfinder, unless you invest in the new adaptor that likens it to an EX3.
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