Excerpt: I've been a professional Wedding Videographer since 1987 both in NY and south Florida. I have easily done over 4000 weddings. I told Paul Armato over a year ago that I needed an HD version of the PD170. Z5U was it. PD170 lux was 1.0, Z5U is 1.5, but picture quality is better. You can tweek the AE from -7 to +7 WHILE SHOOTING. You can also adjust the color temperature over a wide range WHILE YOU ARE ACTUALLY RECORDING.
Pros: Easy to Use, Good Image Stabilization, Good in Low Light, Great Picture Quality, Great Sound, Great Zoom, Large Clear LCD, Zoom range/performance
Summary: 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. Couple of years ago we tried switching to the new digital cameras. But almost immediately switched back to the Z1s. Much better image quality. Yea, 1:1 logging and capturing is a bore, but the picture quality is worth it. Couldn't find any more Z1Us new, but got turned onto these Z5s. Unbelievable. Absolutely love the camera.
a good compromise between size, features and picture quality
Theodore Trinkaus, Amazon
12 August 2013
Summary: When considering a camcorder, you need to consider how nice a unit you need. This is a professional unit with 3 1/3" cmos sensors. Camcorders with bigger chips(like 1/2") are even better in low light and have a narrower depth of field but are bigger, more expensive, heavier and typically use better quality video formats with higher bit rates.
Summary: 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 with the optional CF card recorder. At first I recorded to both card and tape as a backup, but I don't even bother with tape any more. I'm not sure what secret sauce Sony is using to get such high-quality images, but I suspect the G lens in this thing deserves much of the credit.
Summary: I've owned the Z5U for about 4 years now. It's a great piece of equipment. Out of the box you can get GREAT video with it. The detail is fantastic! You will be amazed with your shots. It is a pro-level camcorder, so if you're coming from a consumer-based camcorder, like a HV20/30/40 VX2000 or something similar, you will notice right away how much more substantial and robust this thing is.
Summary: 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. Let me tell you, the Sony HVR-Z5U HDV is the best camera I have ever seen. Amazing quality, comes with a nice shotgun mic as well. I got the wireless microphone to go along with it, and it hooks up great. The only disparaging thing is the camera is a little on the heavier side; for a handheld camera.
Summary: 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. Records HDV in 1080/60i as well as 1080 in 30p/24p native progressive recording modes, plus standard definition DVCAM/DV.