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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 March 27th, 2011, 05:00 PM   #1
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Z7u vs S270 Differences?

Hi everyone,

I find it very strange that there are a lot more reviews for the Z7 over the S270. I particularly like the options of the S270 over its smaller brother, much like the PD170 vs DSR-250, but the S270 has even more options. However, some of the reviews i've seen make the S270 sound inferior to the Z7. Are their major cons to the S270 over the smaller camera? I thought these were identical, albeit with the S270 offering more, or are their other differences? I do like the 4 channels of audio and 4.5hours of video on tape.

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Old March 27th, 2011, 10:40 PM   #2
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Re: Z7u vs S270 Differences?

Hey Mark,

I own an S270 and as far as I know, there is nothing inferior about it compared to the Z7. Unless a Z7 owner can chime in here and correct me, I believe the S270 can do everything the Z7 can plus some. Other than form factor, their identical in performance and operation. The S270 has a few added features that the Z7 doesn't, like 4-channel 48 kHz 16-bit MPEG-2 audio recording in HDV mode, a channel select button that allows the user to solo an audio input to both ears, along with the ability to monitor either the first and second or third and fourth channels in the right and left ears, many more video connectors (full-size female connectors for RCA and S-Video, and component video connects with secure BNC-style connections), time code preset and time code make, and of course the obvious...it's real shouldermount form factor. No more fussing with third party shoulder brackets. The weight of the camera just sits and feels good on your shoulder providing rock steady shots.

I think the reason you'll see more reviews for the Z7 is because it is several thousand dollars cheaper than the S270, meaning there will naturally be more Z7s out there. I've also seen reviews calling the S270 cheap and plasticky but they were comparing this sub $10000 camera with $30000-$40000 cameras. Not exactly a fair comparison. Then there is the size of the thing. Even though both cameras shoot the same picture, everytime I show up on location, my clients are always really impressed with what appears to be a really professional camera. Truth be told, that doesn't mean squat to you and me but if it impresses your clients...all the better. The only possible downside is that if you don't already have them, you'll need v-mount batteries and charger and they can be quite expensive. For what the 270 is...it's a darn good camera and I have no regrets about the purchase.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 08:18 PM   #3
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Re: Z7u vs S270 Differences?

I used one at a local tv station that upgarded from a DSR-300. Very nice camera. Not a $10000 camera for sure, but very nice to use. Reminds me of the DSR-250 which was the shoulder mount of the 150/170 but with less extra features. The one I used had a different lens than the sony stock lens, but I think I could be very happy with it.

Yes there is always the 'professional' look too heh. Before I bought a used Z1, I bought a XR-500 palmcorder. The picture was great, and probably better than the Z1 in some of the tests I did, but not only did it not look professional, I couldn't get used to using it. The lack of controls and usability just wasn't comfortable. I have been used to broadcast cameras and the PD150/PD170 and now the Z1 for awhile. I would rather buy a used prosumer camera than a brand new palmcorder any day. Not as much for the professional look, but just for the controls. I like having my camera on my shoulder. I shoulder mount bracket helps, but nothing like the real thing.

I have even seen the HVR-1000 which is basically a palmcorder in a shoulder mount. If it had a better sensor and audio support, I think id have gone with that, but it isn't a great camera. The lowest shoulder mount sony I'd go with at the moment would be the S270. Also, its the highest model I could afford too. And for what i've used it for, it is a very good camera.

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Old March 28th, 2011, 09:35 PM   #4
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Re: Z7u vs S270 Differences?

In regards to batterys actually IDX 7 series or even 10 series and a 2 position charger are quite reasonable The IDX 7s are of course lower power (71w) and the 10s are 95 watt The 10s are about $328 each so 4 for $1300 plus a 2 battery seq charger with a built in 60W power supply is $441 so for less than $1800 you have 4 batterys a charger and an AC power supply. Good deal in my mind.

A Sony 2 position charger with a 100W power supple is $651 about $200 difference and the Sony BP-L80s (83.5W) is $520 so 4 batterys will cost you $2080 and the charger power/supple is $651 total=$2131
or about $300 difference.

Either way is good IDX is just a bit less
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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