Difference in the Z7u and Z5u 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 July 24th, 2009, 09:14 PM   #1
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Difference in the Z7u and Z5u

I wish I could find a place that compares this price range video camera, hard to sort through all the specs.

Can you guys tell me the difference in the Z7U and Z5U, besides the included HVR-MRC1?
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Old July 24th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #2
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Most obvious difference; Z7 has a 12X "professional lens"--Z5 is a servo type lens but goes to 20X although I have heard at the long end of the lens it goes a bit soft. Of course the card recorder is standard on the Z7 and optional on Z5. While the Z5 has an auto focus feature I have also heard it is rather slow to react.
If it were me and I was looking for a cam to 2nd the EX1 I would go with the Z7 if for no other reason then IF the EX1 went down I still have a pro lens cam to work with.
BTW the image quality of both is outstanding-couldn't go wrong with either.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 10:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
Most obvious difference; Z7 has a 12X "professional lens"--Z5 is a servo type lens but goes to 20X although I have heard at the long end of the lens it goes a bit soft. Of course the card recorder is standard on the Z7 and optional on Z5. While the Z5 has an auto focus feature I have also heard it is rather slow to react.
If it were me and I was looking for a cam to 2nd the EX1 I would go with the Z7 if for no other reason then IF the EX1 went down I still have a pro lens cam to work with.
BTW the image quality of both is outstanding-couldn't go wrong with either.
Thanks Don
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Old July 25th, 2009, 07:33 AM   #4
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Adam Wilt mentions a number of the differences in his review: ProVideo Coalition.com: Camera Log by Adam Wilt | Founder | Pro Cameras, HDV Camera, HD Camera, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, RED, Video Camera Reviews

Of course the biggest difference on the Z7 is that the lens is interchangeable, if that's a feature which is important for you.

Don, there is a slight difference between the lens controls on the Z7 and EX1 - the iris ring on the Z7 is free-spinning like it is on the Z5.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 09:44 PM   #5
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I have a Z7 and I have played with the Z5 a little. Don mentioned the obvious differences in the lenses. One very minor thing that I noticed was that the buttons, while similar, are not the same. The buttons on the side seem to be slightly recessed on the Z5 and that slight change makes them harder to manipulate. And the ND filter selection is a little different. I prefer the Z7 set up. I am really happy with this camcorder. I think it has the best combination of features of any camcorder on the market until you get into the EX-3 or above range. It will do tape and/or CF cards. The batteries are reasonably priced. It will go almost all day on 1 big battery. It has awesome picture quality with true professional controls. I am lucky to have a Fujinon broadcast lens (16x, f1.4). With the broadcast lens, I think I can match (or exceed) more expensive camcorders low light capability and shallow depth of field. And the interchangeable lens feature means that I can buy a relatively cheap adapter and put on all that wonderful Nikon glass I have laying around. In case you can't tell it, I am a fan.
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Old July 26th, 2009, 10:12 PM   #6
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It really depends on what you're doing with the camera. I had my sights set on the EX1, Z7 & Z5. I purchased the Z5 and at the time, when adding the MRC-1, it was basically the same cost as the Z7. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say there have been times when I question whether I should have purchased one of the other cameras. At the end of the day, the Z5 still has things I like. Having the 20x zoom really comes in handy but if it's a dark location, due to the ramping of the lens, you lose a stop or so. So again, it depends on the situation. The on camera mic really comes in handy as well. I've never really used it before now but I'm impressed with it. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't take the place of my external mics, but does a pretty good job of picking up nat sound. Also nice for run and gun type of shoots. One of the reasons I wound up not going for the Z7 was that I heard so much about focusing issues. Truthfully though, I believe it's an HD issue and not a camera issue. I shoot a lot more manual focus than I have in the past. It's almost a must now. If there were more affordable adaptors and lenses, I may have went with the Z7 instead. I don't think you can make a bad choice with either camera. It depends on your needs.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 04:27 PM   #7
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I had the same delima.

In addition to the above comments; there is one small feature that helped push me to the Z7U, a camera level indicator on the LCD/viewfinder. Additionally, I really like having the record button away from the power button.

I also thought the markers were different between the two models, but according to the both manuals they are the same.

Also the Z5U can do negative automatic gain control.

Hope this helps.
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