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Sony HVR-Z7 / HVR-S270
Handheld and shoulder mount versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old January 28th, 2008, 09:02 AM   #1
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Z7 body only / mix 'n' match?

Does anyone know if the Z7 will be available as the body only, or with a choice of lens?

If I could get the Z7 body without the CF recorder and with the 8x Wide Angle lens for under $5K, I'd be very happy.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 04:49 PM   #2
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If I could get the Z7 body without the CF recorder and with the 8x Wide Angle lens for under $5K, I'd be very happy.
I fear that Marketing doesn't work like that.

It's as if this whole CF unit is a loss leader to wean us tape junkies off the oxide. We'll use it as a methadone equivalent, and suddenly life is better. No more spooling through rust stuck to molten cow-hoofs, just set your data rate to espresso (although CF is more cappuccino) and enjoy. And with SxS it could be *so* much better.

Does anyone here remember Dolmansaxil? The Shoe Event Horizon? It describes the current Sony line-up very well:

http://www.csua.berkeley.edu/~dxu/econ/shoe.html

For shoe, read camcorder.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 04:57 PM   #3
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LOL! I had forgotten that Douglas Adams quote! Thank you for that!

I don't mind if Sony wants to wean us off tape by throwing in a free CF recorder. But then, just really make it free and drop the price of the Z7 by $1300. This way, it's free, but not really free, 'cause we're paying more than we should for the camera alone.

If it's priced too high (and it is), then I won't bite (and I won't).
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Old January 28th, 2008, 05:01 PM   #4
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I fear that Marketing doesn't work like that.

It's as if this whole CF unit is a loss leader to wean us tape junkies off the oxide. ..........And with SxS it could be *so* much better.
Well put....... but, with reference to SxS it's got me wondering the opposite..... WHY use SxS for the EX? Wouldn't CF have been more suitable, a better price/performance ratio?

I can't help feeling that the EX is a test bed for SxS, and the real point of the media won't really be seen until much higher end cameras start to use it. When it starts to become part of the HDCAM range, rather than XDCAM. That's when we'll start to see why the SxS spec (and hence price) is as high as it is.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 05:20 PM   #5
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SxS costs "less" than P2 by a small fraction so it can win the 'check box on the carton' war.

Though I must say, having spent 6 months with an HVX200, the SxS download in a MacBook Pro vs firewire P2 transfer was significantly speedier.

At risk of stretching analogies and references to 1980s media, please recall the series 'Monkey' where the eponymous hero wishes to call up his posse: pluck out a hair, do some weird chops and blow on it - pow! That's the SxS experience. Compare with scene from anonymous WWII film: time to call RAF. Close up of telephone dial. Hand winds telephone. Hand picks up phone. Man puts handset to ear. You get the picture. SxS is very, very fast in a MBP.

I'd expect P2 to be semaphore compared to CF.

I've calculated that if I were to shoot a 90 minute presentation and then require to offload it to hard disk during a coffee break, I'd be safe with SxS with a cup of tea to boot, stressed with P2 with the proviso that the coffee be properly percolated per cup, and if I were to rely on CF, one should plant the coffee beans and incubate for a while...

CF will only work at USB speeds (a Mac with CF slot won't like editing HDV). IIRC, CF isn't exactly the fastest of technologies. Yes, it's resilient (I had a CF card that went through a wash and was dried on a radiator, and the data was intact and happy). I just don't think it's going to be fast enough for field transfers. The cost will be such that users will have pockets full of the buggers and spend the night feeding them into a USB reader for transfer.

Again, IIRC, 8 Gigs got scooped up to MBP in less than 4 mins. 'That or thereabouts'

Last edited by Matt Davis; January 29th, 2008 at 08:35 AM.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 06:01 PM   #6
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IIRC, CF isn't exactly the fastest of technologies. Yes, it's resilient ..... I just don't think it's going to be fast enough for field transfers.
Well, it depends how much you pay. A common speed is 20MBs (160Mbs) which is available pretty cheaply - a fraction the price of SxS or P2, though obviously slower. Downloaded via a USB reader CF will be definately be a lot slower per GB than SxS plugged straight into a laptop, but compared to P2, the external reader is more likely to be the limiting factor than the P2 card itself - hence there may not be as much difference as the card speeds would suggest.

But pay more for your CF and you can get speeds of 40 or 45 MBs (320 or 360Mbs), and then I also suspect that speeds will be limited more likely by the transfer device than the card.

And much cheaper cards make it viable to own more, and mean less necessity for field transfers. Even if they are still too expensive for indefinate storage, they may be a viable medium for a week or two backup - until you are SURE the transfers are OK!! For certain projects it may even be possible to edit directly from the cards via a multi reader, consolidating to longer term media at the end.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 06:11 PM   #7
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Okay, speaking as one who has pretty much decided on an EX-1 rather than Z7 (much to my business chagrin), my opinions are tainted.

In my corner of Event Video, P2 turned out to be too cumbersome for the $$$. CF, if at the same price point, would be similarly cumbersome.

For me, the test will be A+B roll recording, which the Sony CF unit can't do in their current incarnation.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 08:03 AM   #8
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Isn't the bottleneck in reading a CF card the USB connection? In which case, wouldn't something like this:
http://www.siig.com/ViewProduct.aspx?pn=CE-000042-S1
speed things up considerably?

My overall point here isn't that I don't want a CF recorder -- I do -- and the Sony looks like a very nice unit. It's just that Sony has priced the whole shebang so high that I think the Z7 will suffer in competition with Sony's own EX1.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 09:24 AM   #9
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Deciding between the Z7 and EX1 has been the hardest decision I've made in quite a while. I chose the Z7 but I can easily understand why someone would go for the EX1 instead.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 11:09 AM   #10
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Does anybody know or have a guess as to what the file type is that the Z7 would record on the CF card ? .avi ?
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Old January 29th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #11
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Does anybody know or have a guess as to what the file type is that the Z7 would record on the CF card ? .avi ?
I would imagine that it would be .M2T when shooting in HDV mode and .AVI when shooting in DV mode.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 02:56 PM   #12
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Thanks, Stu.

I haven't shot anything yet in HD so I am not familiar with it.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 09:00 AM   #13
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If it's priced too high (and it is), then I won't bite (and I won't).
Simple market forces will determine whether its priced too high or not. (and it's not yet even shipping)

*If*, at the current price, Sony quickly sell every unit that comes off their production line, then it *isn't* too high-priced, by definition.

Sure it may be higher-priced than you (& me) *would personally like*, but thats not the same thing as too high-priced for the market its aimed at.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 09:25 AM   #14
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I was also hoping they would sell the Z7 without the recorder because I would like to mate it to the cineform recorder which I think would yield superior results.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 10:52 AM   #15
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Simple market forces will determine whether its priced too high or not. (and it's not yet even shipping)

*If*, at the current price, Sony quickly sell every unit that comes off their production line, then it *isn't* too high-priced, by definition.
You're absolutely right, of course. I'm just speculating (and that's really all it is at this point) that the Z7 is priced uncomfortably close to the EX1. I expect most of the market at which the Z7 is aimed will choose the EX1, because of its superior codec and imagers.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed, others will stay away, like I will, until Sony is forced to drop the price.
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