HVR-Z7U Vs. EX1 XDCAM What do I Buy? at DVinfo.net

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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 April 16th, 2008, 10:00 AM   #1
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HVR-Z7U Vs. EX1 XDCAM What do I Buy?

Have not posted in a long time busy with business.

Here goes. I am ready to buy a new HD Camcorder next week. However, after doing the research and reading the new posts on this great website I am still not sure.
There seems to some problems with both the HVR-Z7U and the EX1.

Help with some more insight into both products.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 10:18 AM   #2
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The biggest question is: are you ready to go to a completely tapeless workflow? The EX1 is, no doubt, a great camera, and the XDCAM encoding system is robust, but the media costs $900 for 16gb of storage, and you'll need some kind of backup/archival system. It's also a bit clumsy for a handheld camera.

The Z7 uses both HDV tape and cheap CF media, HDV encoding, and has an interchangeable lens. However, it's a brand new model, and history has shown that new models from Sony often need some shakedown time before they work out all the bugs.

I really wanted to love the EX1, but simply can't afford the extra $1800 I would need to shoot for 4 hours uninterrupted (to say nothing about an archival quality backup system), and don't want to have to offload to a laptop in the field. So, I'm trying to be patient and wait until Sony offers the Z7 with the promised wide angle lens.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 10:46 AM   #3
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Thanks Brian. I'll be using the camera for a large scale project involving interviewing international scientist in the field. But also, my day to day usage will be for dance recitals and theatrical events so low light is an issue. Do you have any further input as to which would be better or is there another cam all togther that you might know about.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 10:50 AM   #4
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Well, I haven't used either camera. All that I know came from this forum and the forum on the EX1. You'll have to browse through the comments and see for yourself. I hope to be able to rent either or both some time soon to get some hands-on experience.

If I had $20,000 to spend instead of just $7,000, I would jump on a F335 XDCAM disk camera over either the EX1 or the Z7. And... of course there's now the EX3 coming out this fall, and the Red Scarlet early next year....
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Old April 16th, 2008, 11:00 AM   #5
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Brian I did read about the EX3 will be out some time later this year. However,I need to get this project started so my time is short. Also to answer you question if I buy the EX1 I will be going tapeless.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 01:04 PM   #6
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EX1 vs. Z7U

Carlos,

I'm also deciding between the two cams. I do mostly longform weddings and events and the tape-based Z7U has been the front-runner. However, the cam has been plagued with focusing issues (see Z7 threads here) that have soured me on the camera for now.

The recent announcement of the new bolt-on sony hard drive PHU-60K (July release) that will give over 200 minutes of runtime on the camera has me leaning towards the EX1. In spending some time with both cameras recently at NAB, I did not find the EX1 overly heavy or potentially awkward for handheld shooting. Also, new sony firmware for the EX1 will allow users to use cheaper brands of ExpressCards. Bottom line for me is that the EX-1 simply renders a better picture than the Z7U.

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Old April 16th, 2008, 01:22 PM   #7
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In my (maybe not so) humble opinion the Z7 is really for those that are still 'stuck' in tape and/or have existing lenses to use with the Z7. If neither is the case I'd go with the EX1 for better resolution and, dare I say, image quality.

For interviews you only need a couple of cards at most and you can offload a 16GB card in 5 minutes (for 50min of HQ footage) to a Windows or Mac notebook with ExpressCard slot.

Common NLE's can work with the clips directly which lets you make quick edits while on the road and send dailies to the customer.

There is a new harddisk recorder coming out by Sony that attaches by ExpressCard to the camera and gives you 60GB recording space, or ~180min at HD/HQ.

To be sure I'd test the unit before taking it home from the dealer, but most of the problems have worked themselves out. If your backfocus is off, it is fairly easy to correct although there a definetive fix for the ND/backfocus issue is in firmware 1.05 (which probably won't be on your camera). A general release firmware update is expected down the line.

George/

P.S. Or like Mike said.

Last edited by George Kroonder; April 16th, 2008 at 01:24 PM. Reason: Mike: I should not take so long typing messages...
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Old April 16th, 2008, 01:57 PM   #8
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George, thanks for the great info.

It seem I am leaning towards the EX1, but I need to know how it works in low light theaters. Will this camera be good for theaters?

I have a PD170 and an XL1s

The Sony PD170 is great for low light and my XL1s is terrible for this type of shooting.

The information in the forum is great. Will know by Friday which one to buy

Thanks
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Old April 16th, 2008, 02:05 PM   #9
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Mike,

Thanks for the thoughts, I also have been reading in this forum about the Z7 problems which is turning me off to this camera. However, I am going to call B&H to see if they know of any updates to these problems.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 04:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos Viteri View Post
It seem I am leaning towards the EX1, but I need to know how it works in low light theaters. Will this camera be good for theaters?
I'm sure Paul won't mind; here's the link to his video's with a "Kiss Me Kate" production (sample) shot with the EX1, at the top.

George/
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Old April 16th, 2008, 04:51 PM   #11
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George thank for the link that footage in low light was stunning.

Thank again.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 05:03 PM   #12
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Yes I agree! Paul's raw footage with the EX1 shows the low light capability many of us have been used to with PD150/170 yet the stunning resolution of HD.
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