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.
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.
Summary: 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. Wider angle, longer lens, Zebra level entry on the monitor, much better management of the mic controls and other subtle improvements. And of course the slow motion feature. So over all we could have probably bought a different machine but this is one proven producer. Well worth the money.
Summary: 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. Overall this camcorder was great for weddings and other events.