Jay Gladwell wrote on 9/30/2009, 6:13 PM

No other camera(s) will give you a comparable image to the EX1 camera for less money.

farss wrote on 9/30/2009, 6:36 PM
Jay certainly speaks the truth.
I'm still quite partial to the now quite old V1. It's not a stellar performer in low light though. It only records to tape and nowhere near the degree of image control that the EX cameras offer. No HD-SDI output and none of the battery options give you a DTap so running on camera lights etc isn't so easy. On the other hand the V1 does have a 20x zoom i.e. a longer lens which can be a plus when you need it.
The real issue is the EX1 is the cheapest camera in its class. Buy anything cheaper and you're into a different class of camera built for a different market entirely. That's really the key issue.

John_Cline wrote on 9/30/2009, 6:36 PM
Yeah, you get what you pay for.
Laurence wrote on 9/30/2009, 6:36 PM
I have a HVRZ7U which is basically the Z5 with a changeable lens. I love it. I shoot mostly to CF card but it sure is handy every so often to be able to use tape. The picture isn't as good as an EX1, but it certainly is very good.
kairosmatt wrote on 9/30/2009, 6:53 PM
You might want to check out the HMC150 too. The thing is just feels so good in your hand, and eveything is well laid out.

Definitely not as sharp as the EX1 (what little I have had the luxury to see from that cam), but the quality is still very very good. Even in low light!

will-3 wrote on 10/1/2009, 5:56 AM
So the Sony HVRZ7U is a Sony Z5 with out the changable lens.

Are all the other spec's the same between the two cams?

Thanks for the help.
Laurence wrote on 10/1/2009, 7:59 AM
The other way around. The Z7 has the changeable lens and comes with the compact flash recorder unit. The Z5 has a non-removable lens that goes both wider and longer but can't be removed.

If you're interested in the Z5, here is a pretty cool Sony wide angle lens / mattebox assembly:

It also works on the Z7 according to one of the guys at
ScorpioProd wrote on 10/1/2009, 11:03 AM
I'm not sure how closely the specs compare, but based on a Sony presentation at NAB this year, the Z5 and Z7 are more different than just the lens. They explained that Sony is really a lot of different companies, and just like SCS is under the Sony name, so are a lot of different companies making camcorders. They explained that the Z5 and Z7 are actually made by different subcompanies, all part of Sony, but separate. And these companies compete with each other, which is how the designs differentiate themselves. The Z5 lens is the first Sony lens from technology gained from the Konica/Minolta acquisition, as opposed to a "bought" lens for the Z7. Because of this, though it is a good lens, in some ways it is first generation, like with the digital-only control rings on it, versus real mechanical rings for focus/zoom/iris control.

They also pointed out how the different sub-companies competing is why the Z7 and Z5 have better internal color correction capabilities than the XDCAM EX line. I was surprised to hear this, but that's what they told us in the seminar, and these were Sony people.
farss wrote on 10/1/2009, 1:44 PM
My biggest objection to the Z5 is the microphone holder. It's the same hideous contraption used in the 1000 of which we have three. All of those have broken and no one can figure out how to replace them. The stock mic holder on the EX which breaks even easier at least can be replaced with a cold shoe.
The Z5 can be fitted with the HVRM RC1K compact flash recorder. Unlike the Z7 you have to purchase the item separately. From what I can see it's not a good marriage though as you have to remove the recorder to change batteries.

Jeff9329 wrote on 10/2/2009, 10:29 AM
What will you be shooting?

Does the client require a certain level of camera or type of file delivery?

I.E. Discovery channel has an acquisition camera ranking system as do many others.

I would stick with the EX-1. Im seeing used ones as low as $5,500USD. However, the biggest part of any production is the talent & skill involved, not the equipment.
essami wrote on 10/2/2009, 11:11 AM
I actually think a lot of the DSLR's with video like GH1 and 5D give as good image quality as EX1. But you'll get other problems. Depends so much on your usage. I traded my EX1+Letus combo for a GH1 but I use it for art films and shorts, music videos and stuff that doesnt require sound and I can avoid situation where the codec issues are apparent.
BrianStanding wrote on 10/2/2009, 7:12 PM
Takes more than resolution to make a camera. As someone else said in this thread, it all depends on how you'll be delivering the final product. The EX-1 produces a fine image, no doubt. I would certainly agree that it is the cheapest camera in its class. On the other hand, the EX1 is ergonomically awkward at best, and uses either absurdly expensive media or requires additional adapters to use with SD cards. Don't forget to factor in the cost of a good backup system, if you care about archiving your footage.

I was looking at the same question you were about a year back. I ended up buying a used JVC HD100 and have been very, very happy. Sure, it only records 1280x720, but since most of my product is still delivered on DVD and/or the web, that's more than sufficient. Meanwhile:
- the color rendition is superb;
- there's lots of tweaks you can make in-camera to your image;
- it records in the "common denominator" format of 720 24p;
- you can carry it all day long without fatigue;
- the shoulder-mount format not only looks cool as hell, but also means you can achieve stable handheld shots;
- it accepts industry-standard accessories like Anton Bauer batteries;
- it has an interchangeable lens, and you can get 3rd-party adapters that let you use inexpensive SLR lenses for extreme telephoto work, and;
- it records on $2-per-hour DV tape that's available at the corner drug store.

I've seen used HD100s and HD110s selling for $2500. You can get used HD200s (the successor to the HD100/110) in mint condition now for around $3500. If you spring for the Firestore disk unit, too, the HD200 will also deliver 1080i.

Lots of options out there. Pick what works for your kind of shooting.