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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 27th, 2013, 10:37 AM   #1
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How Many Hours Is Too Much For A Used Z5U?

Hi Everyone. I'm considering purchasing a used Z5U that has 200 hours on it. Are the hours "acceptable" if everything else is functional and, if so, at what point, hours-wise, will the head and drums be in need of replacement? Makes a difference in my purchasing or not another tape based unit. I currently own a FX-1 since 2005. Thanks for your thoughts.

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Old February 28th, 2013, 12:36 AM   #2
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Re: How Many Hours Is Too Much For A Used Z5U?

how long is a piece of string?

if it was like mine, @ approx 500 hours, regularly serviced, and treated like the instrument it is, then i'd happily buy it.

if, on the other hand it's been used to film cross-county atv events mounted on a roll bar, and looks it, well....

a. get the clip on cf recorder and forget about the tape transport.

b. carefully check back focus, zoom, and knobs, buttons, etc.

great camera ;-)

btw. how much?
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Old February 28th, 2013, 06:06 AM   #3
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Re: How Many Hours Is Too Much For A Used Z5U?

As Leslie said, it's not the number of hours as much as it is the kind of hours. Use it outside in a dusty place like a construction site all day everyday and 200 hours could be the end of life (probably not but I'm sure you get the point). Use it indoors in a studio type enviorment and at 200 hours it's not even broken in yet. I've got a PD150 that has so many hours on it I think it's almost older than I am BUT I don't mistreat it, it has gone in every year to an authorized Sony tech to be gone thru and has only has 1 type of tape run thru it for 99% of those hours. It still to this day works great and I use it when it's called upon. Same for my slightly newer PD170 although I did replace the recording head on that a couple of years ago.
Off hand I don't rememeber the hours on either but it far far more than 200 and those cameras still deliver the good. Even my HM700 had more than that (over 300) but of course there are no moving parts.
Like Leslie said, check it out, if it feels right and the money is right, buy it. If it doesn't feel right or the money isn't right, dont buy it. Simple.
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Old March 1st, 2013, 12:00 AM   #4
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Re: How Many Hours Is Too Much For A Used Z5U?

Even if the deck section poops out, you can get a used MRC1k and slap it onto the back for under $500. Done.

I have four Z5Us and eight MRCs. The Z5s have each had a total of three or four tapes in them in the three years I've owned them, but hundreds of hours of use overall. They'll likely not see another tape, ever, but they could if I needed them to.
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