About to pull the trigger on a Z7, still a good way to go? 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 December 6th, 2008, 05:55 PM   #1
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About to pull the trigger on a Z7, still a good way to go?

I know, that's kind of a loaded question to ask in a Z7 forum, but this place is such a fantastic resource on these things I know I'll get honest feedback. I'm a happy FX1 user, have had one for a couple of years now. I still think that camera can do great work, but I'm ready to move to the next level.

Most of what we shoot are corporate industrials, marketing pieces, non-profit informational pieces, stuff like that. Hardly ever any broadcast work.

What I like about the Z7 and the main reasons for upgrading:

1. Interchangeable lenses - Currently we're using a RedRock Micro adapter with the FX1 for alot of shoots to be able to get better depth of field for particular shots. The adapter works great and we've loved it, but to be able to not have to use it would be a huge benefit in a new camera.

2. Card/Tape Recording - I'm still a tape lover, probably will be for a while. But there have been a number of situations where recording digitally at the same time would be of benefit. If we're in a fixed location I'll generally record to the laptop at the same time, but having this dual system on the camera is really pretty fantastic. This is so great, in fact, that it makes looking at other cameras without this difficult. We've looked at some external FW options to use with the FX1 but getting this on the Z7 would just be easier.

3. 24P - I do a bit of mini documentary type stuff and shooting in 24p would be fun. Currently I use some plugins like Nattress for Final Cut to simulate this and they work very well. But I said before I got the FX1 that my next camera would have 24p but I went with the FX1 anyway. So I've got to make good on my promise this time. :) It looks like people that aren't so hot on the 24p of this camera aren't really hot on 24p in general. I wouldn't be using it exclusively in 24p but it would be nice to have for some things.

Basically those are the three significant reasons I have for upgrading, and I've been looking at the Z7 for quite a while. But before I click "buy" I wanted to check in here and just see if there's anything anyone knows that would be better to look at or if everyone's decided that the Z7 isn't all that great (doesn't seem to be the case).

So, any words of wisdom or should I just stop debating and go for it? :D

Thanks!
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Old December 6th, 2008, 06:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan McCullough View Post
What I like about the Z7 and the main reasons for upgrading:

1. Interchangeable lenses - Currently we're using a RedRock Micro adapter with the FX1 for alot of shoots to be able to get better depth of field for particular shots. The adapter works great and we've loved it, but to be able to not have to use it would be a huge benefit in a new camera.

How do you think the Z7 will yield you the same shallow depth of field as the Redrock?

The Z7 uses 1/3" sensors.

The fact that the Z7 takes 35mm lenses, won't yield you the same results as your Redrock.

As I see it, the only real benefit is being able to get some really extreme telephoto use.

Keep in mind when using the Z7 with 35mm lenses, it has a multiplication factor of 7x.

So, in essence, a 50mm lens will end up with a 350mm "look".


But, regardless, I think it's a great camera. I got to check it out at DV Expo. I really liked the lens and the LCD.
Buy it!



-BillP
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Old December 6th, 2008, 07:31 PM   #3
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Bill,

Sorry for the confusion. I didn't mean to say that it would replace exactly what the RR Micro offers. My point was simply that the FX1 is fairly limited in terms of depth of field so that anytime we want to do anything "fancy" that doesn't look like a video camera we've got to break out the Micro. Even the stock lens on the Z7 will be a huge improvement for us in this respect. I've played with it a bit and it's just a better lens than the FX1, IMO.

So my thought process is that with the Z7 we'd use the Micro far less than we would with the FX1 which would be a huge benefit. The Micro takes a lot of effort.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 02:03 PM   #4
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I purchased my Z7 in Sept and have been getting used to it since. I came from a Canon XL2, which I still own and I am very pleased with. My first impression of the Sony was the look and feel. for a $7000 camera it looked like a standard consumer issue camera, but once I started shooting with it my opinion changed. I have used it for hd and sd jobs and it has been flawless. I am still coming to grips with a lot of its features but every job has looked great and I am taking advantage of more of its features every day. I have specific needs for my work and this camera's form factor works great for me and the look and feel ( that consumer camera look) has turned into advantage and not a negative.

In conclusion, it shoots great, the color is great, and once you get through the menu system it works great.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 02:20 PM   #5
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I have been wrestling with same question. But for $ 7 k, you still end up with HDV, and I decided to a bit longer to make a change. While I was put off initially with all the latest hype, the Scarlet 2/3' is starting to grow on me again. In meantime, I have been using FX1, my cobbled together Letus adapter, and using Cineframe 24, removing pulldown with Cineform.

Cineframe24 got a hell of a bad rep, but you might be surprized what Cineform can do with it. Just make sure you use setting here to get it right:

HDLink Capture Settings

Edit: One other thing, Z7 is cmos, and using adapter on it can have issues too. I experienced that using my HV20 with a vibrating adapter.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 02:48 PM   #6
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Bryan,

I was dead set on a Z7 for ages and then I started agonising about maybe going for a EX1. Then a friend let me use his EX1 for a couple of days. After that there was no turning back as (for me, not necessarily for you) it offered the leap in workflow, flexibility and most of all image quality, that I wanted. In the end I got an EX3 rather than an EX1 (for reasons I've outlined elsewhere, on my website etc. and no need to repeat here).

Not saying the Z7 is not a great cam but just thought I'd throw this comment out there in your direction as, what with the price of a Z7, it's not too far further for an EX1 especially that SxS alternative media is now so cheap regarding SDHC etc. for most of the work you'd use it for (SxS is still needed for 60 frames per sec slow motion stuff, for now).

For me the Z7 is in a great niche for tape users who are a bit on the fence as to the future direction they want to go - still has tape but gets them into solid state workfow. For me the EX1/3 is the leap into the future. Heck, in 5 years time we'll all be recording onto flash media and tape will be going away. Some are ready for this leap (and have budgets to match) and some not. Hope this does not confuse you but just another point of view. Many reports of what a great cam the Z7 is..... so either way I'm sure it'll be great for you.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 07:33 PM   #7
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Andy, I have to agree for the most part but some of my work comes from long form recording (one break in a 2 1/2 hour program) where the limited capacity of the cards for the EX1/EX3 make it pretty hard (but not impossible). Tape may be going out, but it still has some advantages. I think the combination of the tape and CF drive make the Z7 a perfect choice for this type of shooting. I did get to do some work with an EX1 last week and it certainly can be addicting. Great camera for sure but it is a big step up in price by the time you consider the cost of memory and vastly more expensive batteries.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 07:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
I have been wrestling with same question. But for $ 7 k, you still end up with HDV.
The current price for a Z7U on B & H is $4999. That is a long way from $7k.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 01:59 PM   #9
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About to pull the trigger on a Z7, still a good way to go?
Yes. (I love mine.)
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Old December 11th, 2008, 02:12 PM   #10
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Love mine too! Makes my arm ache though, but that's how I hold it!
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Old December 11th, 2008, 04:41 PM   #11
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I love mine so much I expanded and bought the S270 as well.

Great cameras and workflow that suits my current shooting needs but still gives me Dvcam on tape.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 06:34 PM   #12
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The current price for a Z7U on B & H is $4999. That is a long way from $7k.

price drop at B and H $4900.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 10:54 PM   #13
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price drop at B and H $4900.

Anybody have any ideas why the price is dropping so rapidly?

-Bill
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Old December 12th, 2008, 02:26 AM   #14
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Anybody have any ideas why the price is dropping so rapidly?

-Bill
Credit crunch and sony putting their prices up, dealers will be wanting to shift current held stock before 2009.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 07:06 AM   #15
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with the SxS alternatives, you can get two 32gb ultra III cards, and shoot for nearly
4 hours, uninterrupted,long form shooting is not a problem with the EX series cameras.
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