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Sony PXW-Z280, Z190, X180 etc. (going back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.

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Old May 7th, 2020, 09:46 PM   #1
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Sony PXW Z190/Z150

Hello!

I looking to buy a new camcorder and was hoping to get some advice and which one to buy. I need one that's decent in low light and shoots in 4k at 60fps.

I had my eyes on the Sony PXW Z190, but I've seen a lot of bad reviews on this camera about it being bad in low light and horrible image quality. However, I've seen some good ones as well. Another option is the Z150, but I think I read that it doesn't do 60fps in 4K.

Lastly, my third option is the Canon XF405. I've seen nothing but good reviews on this one, but I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the size of it and it not having the traditional 3 rings.

Anyone have experience with all 3 that can offer some advice and which one they think would be best?

Thanks!
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Old May 8th, 2020, 02:43 AM   #2
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Re: Sony PXW Z190/Z150

First thing I would say is if you are considering a three chip camera can you go the extra $$$s for the Sony Z280 over the Z190? I think the Z280 in many ways offers a better performance package overall. The 1st clip below puts 4 cameras up against one another. It's in French but don't worry about that as visually it gives you a pretty good idea of results one camera from another back to back. Two of the cameras are the Z280 and the Z190.

The second clip gives a pretty reasonable overview of the Canon XF405 vs the Sony Z90. These days I don't think there are any really 'bad' cameras. All when used correctly can give pretty decent results that very few producers or clients would argue with. If you 'need' 60p 4K then the Canon is one of the few lower end cameras to offer 60p in 4K.

I've used the Z280 and for it's price it's a pretty good all rounder. A very capable camera. Most of my work is HD 50p sometimes 4K. For that I use a Sony FS7. As a B cam I use a Z90 or an A7III both of which will do 50p in HD.

Chris Young
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Old May 14th, 2020, 11:43 PM   #3
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Re: Sony PXW Z190/Z150

hi chris,

first, thanks for those video links, most interesting indeed.

second, hope you're hanging in there during the plague, i can imagine what a nightmare it must be trying to run a production business during the lockdown etc., and at the same time trying to stay healthy as well.... good luck and all the best with it.

finally, still plodding on with mx trusty old ex1, since i'm doing only a few select productions nowadays, but i've been thinking that i might like to use a lighter camera (at 71 i'm over schelpping more than i have to ;-)). i was looking at a x70, but would like a x90. what’s the picture quality like compared to the ex1, bearing in mind i'm only doing hd (though reframing 4k would make interviews easier), and all my work is in controlled lighting or daylight?

appreciate your thoughts on it,

stay well and healthy,

leslie
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Old May 15th, 2020, 04:50 AM   #4
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Re: Sony PXW Z190/Z150

Leslie,

If you mean the Z90, it has a far superior picture to the EX1 and is better in low light. And if you don't need SDI you could get the NX80 and save a few dollars. Here's some footage from my Z90.

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Old May 15th, 2020, 07:14 AM   #5
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Re: Sony PXW Z190/Z150

thanks doug, very much appreciated.

since i live rurally, and avoid cities like the plague (boom, boom), i'm not likely to get a touchy-feely session with any camera i'm thinking about - suffice to say since i've been in production for over 50 years, i know my sony's, and what to expect from them, but side by side comparisons are wonderful, and i'd like to thank everyone who goes to the effort of doing 'in depth' reviews, or sharing their professional knowledge so freely so that people like myself, or even noobs, have some independent subjective, and objective, statements to turn to.

thanks again. and terrific footage ;-)
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Old May 15th, 2020, 11:03 AM   #6
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Re: Sony PXW Z190/Z150

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Cohran View Post
Hello!

I looking to buy a new camcorder and was hoping to get some advice and which one to buy. I need one that's decent in low light and shoots in 4k at 60fps.

I had my eyes on the Sony PXW Z190, but I've seen a lot of bad reviews on this camera about it being bad in low light and horrible image quality. However, I've seen some good ones as well. Another option is the Z150, but I think I read that it doesn't do 60fps in 4K.

Lastly, my third option is the Canon XF405. I've seen nothing but good reviews on this one, but I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the size of it and it not having the traditional 3 rings.

Anyone have experience with all 3 that can offer some advice and which one they think would be best?

Thanks!
I also wanted a 4K 60P camcorder for shooting events and I bought last summer a second hand panasonic DVX200. With his M43 sensor it's is very good in light for a fixed lens camcorder. The 13x zoom was long enough for this. Because in 4K it crops the wide angle so the zoom range goes a but further.
Off course my panasonic GH5S is much better in low light with a fast prime.
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Old May 16th, 2020, 07:26 AM   #7
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Re: Sony PXW Z190/Z150

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Originally Posted by Leslie Wand View Post
hi chris,

second, hope you're hanging in there during the plague,
Surviving Mr. W. surviving! Done more streaming of late than anything else. Have a juicy sized post job coming up that will take a couple of months, Dept of Navy. Done heaps for them over the years. Plus their history doco series for TV. Trust you and all yours are good up the coast.

As Doug says the Z90 is in many ways ahead of the trusty old EX1. Look I still have an EX3 that gets requested occasionally by a client who does their own post and are totally at home working with the old EX files. I used to run an X70 but sold it when the Z90 came out. Doug's footage will give you a decent idea of what they can deliver. For a flea sized camera the images they produce are little short of amazing. I find basically all I've had to do is wind down the detail a bit on any scenes, clothes etc that are likely to moire. Other than that both cameras X70 and Z90 are simple to use, they are both small and surprisingly not too bad in low light. Though neither are absolute low light killers mind you. Both the 70 and 90 deliver amazing images out of their compact lenses and both have good zoom servo control. Both have a good choice of codecs. The Z90 also has a surprisingly good overcrank capability. Both 70 and 90 have everything from AVCHD 420 to XAVC-L 422 10-bit. In 4k both 70 and 90 only 8-bit but quite amazing 8-bit.

Comparing the PXW-X70 against the Z90. Visually they are virtually identical other than the Z90 having a LANC control port. Codecs are identical except that the Z90 comes with 4K as standard. 4K was an expensive upgrade on the X70. Stabilization performance is identical and to operate both cameras feel the same. When it comes to focusing they are both fly by wire but the difference is the Z90 has a far better linear feel and has a much more accurate response when focusing with the ring. Re the auto focus, the X70 was sort of ok but the Z90 murders the X70 in focus speed, accuracy and reliability and focus modes because it borrows heavily from the Phase and Contrast focus developments that went into the late Alpha series still cams. Llike the A7III and the A7RIII. If you are going to make the move seriously if the $$$s are there go for the Z90. The Z90 also has a newer BSI chip than the X70. Whilst rated the same as the X70 I find the noise levels on the Z90 to be about one stop cleaner that on the X70.

I seem to remember Doug was reasonably impressed with the Z90's AF. I've been more than impressed with it. It's not 100% but then hey in most cases it works quicker than me so I'm not complaining.

Below is an old X70 4K demo and if you think it's quite decent the Z90 is a notch up from that. The old EX's were a mighty camera for their time but these little camcorders of today are quite amazing. I often use the Z90 as a B Cam to my FS7 and on certain fly away minimum kit jobs it's stood in as the A Cam and it has not been an issue for me or my clients.

Following the X70 4K sample is an HLG 2020 color space sample so the color looks a bit flat on a normal 709 display but again it shows the type of footage you can pull out of these baby cams. If you drop a 709 LUT on this 2020 footage it transforms it for 709 viewing.

Stay distant, stay safe my friend!

Chris Young


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Old May 16th, 2020, 09:19 AM   #8
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Re: Sony PXW Z190/Z150

Best auto-focus of any video camera I've ever used.

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Old May 17th, 2020, 01:36 AM   #9
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Re: Sony PXW Z190/Z150

first, thanks doug for some more spectacular footage, and focus demo. terrific indeed.

chris, thanks for your comprehensive analysis, and observations, they're very helpful indeed. am i'm glad the navy's keeping you afloat during these trying times. pity they can't get their subs underwater though ;-)

as much as i would like the 90 i think, given my limited requirements nowadays (artist talking heads, thoroughbred horses doing the cat walk, etc), that your observations re the 80 would tick the boxes i need, and not put too much of a strain on my finances. but i think i may hang on and see if there's the possibility of a 2nd hand one coming on the market in the not too distant future, given the awful state of business at the present moment. i'm in no rush and my clients are more than happy with what i'm producing at the moment, though throwing in a bit more visual value might make them even happier ;-)

hoping both you and doug stay well and healthy, and that business continues allowing us all to make a living doing what we all enjoy doing,

love and distant hugs,

splendid isolationist ;-)
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Old May 17th, 2020, 08:04 AM   #10
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Re: Sony PXW Z190/Z150

Same for you squire. Stay Safe! All best. :)

Chris Young
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Old May 17th, 2020, 07:55 PM   #11
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Re: Sony PXW Z190/Z150

I recently purchased the PXW Z190 and trying to figure out which picture profile settings to use that will give me the best image. Does anyone have any recommendations on which settings to use? I mainly shoot indoor sporting events if that helps.
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