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Sony HVR-Z5U High Definition Handheld Professional Camcorder
- 1 x Sony NP-F960 Battery Pack - Lens Hood with Cover - In Original Box
- Sony's Exclusive High-performance "G Lens": Discover the exceptional optical performance of Sony's "G Lens". This sophisticated lens incorporates Sony's unique optical technology and unparalleled quality control
- The 29.5mm wide-angle "G Lens":(equivalent to 35mm film) on the HVR-Z5U offers a field of view that's ideal for many shooting situations, ranging from broad landscape shots to conditions where sufficient distance from the subject is difficult to obtain
- Two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements:reduce chromatic aberrations caused by differences in light refraction to minimize color fringing
- Advanced optical lens technology:makes the most of Sony's 3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor system to realize sharp images with higher resolution and less noise compared to the HVR-Z1U even when shooting in very low light
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|Item Weight||12.45 pounds|
|Package Height||10.5 x 14.5 x 17.5 inches|
|Shipping Weight||12.4 pounds|
|Video Capture Format||mpeg-1|
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Top Customer Reviews
First off, the camera looks really sleek, feels solid and very well built. Its look isn't as metallic as the Z1, but the feel is very similar.
Of course, you can use it from day one with everything on auto, but if that's all you're ever gonna do, you're better off with something much less expensive, like those tiny HD cameras that are popping up everywhere.
Speaking of day 1, your first accesory is necessarily some kind of carrying bag or hard case. Sony has a backpack that's amazing, but costs more than 500 bucks. I got the Kata bag, which is perfect. I also got the large battery, and the cables that are not supplied with the camera (Firewire, HDMI, XLR extension). Also, I got SONY HD Master minidv tapes, as well as a 6pack of regular sony minidv tapes. After some preliminary tests, I must say the image on the HD Master tapes is noticeably better...
The main menu is easy to navigate, though it has enough levels you will get lost until you explore each a couple of times. One thing is, there are a lot of things on that menu, and the button and selecting wheel are really small... or perhaps my hands are too big? My main uses for this menu have been to select progressive or interlaced modes, and 60, 30 or 24 frames per second. Also, I've used it to assign all the assignable buttons under the handle, fine tune white balance temperature, set the handle zoom speed to its lowest setting (that way the handle zoom is my slow, controlled zoom, and the rear zoom is the fast one, very practical), and altering the gain setup (I left everything on 0, less grainy that way).Read more ›
Back to the camcorder, the first thing I noticed, coming from a VX2000 and HV30 is that it has as good or better low light performace than the venerable Sony VX/PDxxx cameras. That's saying a lot. It's also better in low light than the HV30/40 series in that it can withstand more gain w/o becoming grainy. Good ergonomics put the buttons right where you need them and preset buttons allow you to set your own favorite presets. The other thing I noticed right away is how it feels like a quality piece of equipment. The quality of materials and plastics to me feel great and contribute to a solid feel. Sony wisely provides what I think is the BEST hand strap in the industry. Really nicely padded. Putting my hand in that strap is like sitting in the compfy seat of a Cadillac.Read more ›
Single chip consumer camcorders in low light loose resolution and have more noise than the 3 chip versions and don't have the features of pro models.
This unit is a good compromise using the proven HDV video codec which while not as efficient as avchd, is easier to edit and looks amazingly good given it's fixed 25mbps bit rate. Every codec has some artifacts and if you freeze frame, you can see some compression artifacts, especially if the there is fast action. The real question is what you can see in full motion video. You just don't see most of the artifacts in HDV and, if you watch Netflix, consider that their HD bit rate is 3mbps!
The 1/3" chips have some narrow depth of field at longer focal lengths and keep the unit relatively small but it's nothing like a dslr. Plus you get a 20x zoom that would be hard to incorporate in a bigger chip camera or dslr. I consider this unit the minimum size to go in a pro camera as 1/4" chips will have noticeably poorer low light capability and would have more depth of field. You'll notice that footage shot with consumer cameras has everything in focus(or out of focus), all the time which you don't always want.
A note about tapes, you can buy the basic Sony tapes for about $2 in bulk or spend about $40 for 5 tapes of their "master" tapes. There is no difference in picture quality between the $2 amd $8 tapes. This is a digital signal with zeros and ones, the picture is either there or not.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We purchased this camera in late 2013 and received it in December 2013. It worked fine but used old technology (mini DV tapes!). Read morePublished 10 months ago by Delilah
We were one of the first companies to purchase the Z1s and Z1Us back in the day. Bullet proof cameras. Workhorses onboard the boats in saltwater. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Michael Fowlkes
We are reasonably pleased with this Sony camcorder, even though the menu system and settings are complicated and therefore annoying.Published on January 21, 2014 by Richard
This is the oldest, largest, and heaviest camera of the four I use for shooting documentaries. And it is the one I end up grabbing most often - it is just that good, especially... Read morePublished on April 6, 2013 by Fornaio
I have always loved sony camcorders, and when I finally was able to afford my own, I made sure I did a ton or research to ensure that I got the best one. Read morePublished on November 30, 2012 by Geoff
The HVR-Z5U high definition camcorder is the successor to the HVR-Z1U, housing many of the features of its predecessor in a more compact package, plus adding many more. Read morePublished on October 6, 2012 by qungu2004
I have several of the older Z1s that have received lots of run time. The HVR-Z5U fixes many of the issues we have had with the Z1s. Read morePublished on November 3, 2011 by J. Thomas
This camcorder had great high-def quality. It was also easy to use. If you are looking for one I would recommend that you should buy this camera. Read morePublished on October 4, 2011 by .