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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 February 6th, 2009, 02:45 AM   #1
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Good Z7U B-Cam

Hey everyone,

Have had my Z7U since June and haven't really offered two camera shoots as of yet. Anyone know of an inexpensive HD camera that can provide a similar look to that of the Z7U? I'm not concerned at all with sound otions (XLR or mini), just video to sync to. Thanks!!
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Old February 6th, 2009, 04:17 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Peddington View Post
Hey everyone,

Have had my Z7U since June and haven't really offered two camera shoots as of yet. Anyone know of an inexpensive HD camera that can provide a similar look to that of the Z7U? I'm not concerned at all with sound otions (XLR or mini), just video to sync to. Thanks!!
I'm using a Canon HV30 as second cam and, apart from low-light noise, the results in colour and contrast are comparable.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 04:57 AM   #3
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What's your back-up camera at the moment Richard? OK, you haven't got one, so I suggest your second cam should be one that you'd be quite happy to carry on using should your main one fail at any time and for any reason.

In which case I'd choose one that took the same batteries, LANC controller, mics and so on.

tom.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 04:20 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestion Luc. An associate of mine uses the HV30 as a backup for his EX1 and agrees about the lack of low light quality. Tom, currently I use my primary SD camera as a backup, the VX2100. In the past, the issue of downgrading a client from HD to SD would pale in comparison to my camera failing. But after hearing a horror story from a friend of mine who thought the same way, I thought it might be a better idea to upgrade to an HD B/backup cam.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 08:01 PM   #5
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I have the choice of a couple of B cameras for the Z7. One is the V1 and the other is the FX1000. Both are owned by friends/colleagues. I am sure the FX1000 would be the closest match but I wouldn't hesitate to use the V1. It is an awesome camcorder. If you can't rent/borrow something, I would also suggest looking at the FX7, even though it lacks XLR audio in. It is realtively inexpensive. And the footage should cut together easily.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 07:17 PM   #6
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Thanks Greg for your suggestion. I borrowed a friend's V1 quite a while ago just after it came out. I used it for a wedding and I'm not sure if I didn't know how to use it properly or maybe it was faulty... but it was REALLY bad in low light situations. I've since been telling my wedding clients that it's recommended to use a bit of extra light when filming in HD, as the cameras are not effecient in low light situations as their ancestors such as the PDs and VXs. That being said, I'm going to look into the other cameras you mentioned... Greg, how would you compare the low light performance of those cams?
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Old February 7th, 2009, 10:55 PM   #7
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The V1/FX7 are not the best cameras in low light. While the FX1000, Z5, Z7 are probably as good as the previous low light champion, the PD170/VX2100. Having said that, I have seen great footage from V1's shot under low light conditions, so it is possible to get good results from the V1. But I think it is easier to get that good low light footage from the FX1000/Z5 or Z7. At this point in time, I think the 1/3" CMOS Sony camcorders have a slight low light advantage over all other similarly priced HD cameras from any other manufacturer out there.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 11:07 AM   #8
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I'd say the best option (although not super cheap) is the Z5.

Hands down. End of debate. Z5.

They're 90% the same camera, you can use the same picture profiles & even sync up the time code. You won't find a better camera to match the Z7 as the Z5.

If you don't mind having to play the guessing game in the editing process to match up shots, then use the FX1000. Less $ than the Z5, but picture quality will remain the same.

If you only have $ to spend & not $$$, then go for the HV30, or even one of Canon's HF series cameras if you're OK w/ stepping farther away from tape. Nice bonus about the HV30 (from what I hear, haven't tested myself) is that it can play all of the Z7U tapes, 60i, 24p, 30p.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 06:24 PM   #9
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I realize it's been a month since this post but hoping you can jump back in Zach. What exactly do you mean by "having to play the guessing game" to match up shots? Are you talking about multi-cam edits or color/image match?

Over that past several years I've accumulated 3 cameras (Z7U, XL2, and VX2100). Obviously none of these match well at all! I have done quite a few multi-cam jobs (with the XL2 & Sony) and although it's been a pain to match images exactly, I actually made out ok. Syncing the footage in FCP has never been an issue as I use flashes or quick sounds like drum sticks hitting together to create a sync point.

I am looking to get a decent HDV B camera as well for the Z7 and was considering the FX1000 due to the similar sensors and image quality. I hate having only the tape option but i also cannot afford another Z7 right now, nor the Z5 for that matter. I'm going to sell my XL2 and Vx2100 to help supplement the cost.

I was just curious what you meant by that comment. Don't want to miss something big!

Thanks!

-Dave
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Old March 11th, 2009, 01:31 PM   #10
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I'm sure Zach is referring to matching colour. I used to use a Canon XHA1 and Sony Z7U as A and B cams but the colour was always off by so much that I was never happy with the end result and my clients could tell that I was using two different cameras. I ended up buying a Z5 to match the Z7, although the FX1000 will give you the same colour.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 04:30 PM   #11
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I was talking about timecode & color. If you stay within one line of cameras, you should have an easy time matching everything up.

FX1000 I would consider to be in a different line than the Z7, but still probably easier to use w/ a Z7 than a Canon or Panasonic.

See if you can download the user manual of the FX1000 & Z7, see if they all talk about timecode sync and picture profiles. I don't know that much about the FX1000, but if it can do the picture profile & your camera flashes work for time sync, I think you'll be golden.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 04:33 PM   #12
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I was using a Z1 as b-roll cam to my Z7 until this year. Trouble was, in poor light (e.g. wedding ceremony, speeches and dancing) is was quite obviously inferior.

Bit the bullet this year and replaced the Z1 with a second Z7. At least if one breaks down I will be right at home :). Have also bought the wide lens so I have one camera on each lens and can change at will.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 09:07 PM   #13
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I picked up the HV30 for cheap and it works great under half decent lighting conditions. With a little color grading it matches very well.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 09:22 AM   #14
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Thanks

Was out of town for a few days. Thanks Zach and everyone for the replies. Appreciate the info. I'll download the manual for the FX1000 and see what it says.

Regards,

-Dave
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