Summary: If you're looking for a pretty well made product that delivers, I don't think you can go wrong with Sony. I have only tried the DVD player and the Data DVD formats.
Pros: This would get all 5 eggs except for moderate amount of motor noise... not quiet when running. Otherwise, WOW! Sony is good quality, almost always, which is why I didn't believe the bad review from the other person, and I'm glad I trusted my gut. This is a great product! Far more quality than you'd expect from a product with such a low price.
Cons: The motor noise is noticeable, if you mute your audio, which is the only flaw I can find.
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.