Summary: We bought and picked up the day before Christmas last year to surprise the kids. When we had a bit of trouble with wiring on Christmas day, Sony customer support was there to answer our questions!!! Great! Picture quality when used with our progressive scan DVD is unbelieveable - almost 3D - amazing. However, be warned that for non-digital cable, many regular TV shows appear very grainy. Some shows are fine, but most are grainy.
Pros: Picture quality from non-high definition broadcasts
Cons: Picture quality from non-high definition broadcasts
Summary: This is a very good replacement for the Z1. I prefer it over the Z7 since it has a 20X optical zoom as opposed to the 12X for the Z7.The wide angle is the best I have seen on this category of camcorder.The picture is very good.I recorded a concert last weekend with this camera and it did a fantastic job.Very good in low light.I would recomend this camera to anyone looking to spend around $4000. It has good manuel controls of Iris,Focus,Gain and Zoom.
Summary: We've only had it a few weeks and have not evaluated it on a real project. But so far so good. We have been using the Sony PD170 for several years and the configuration is close enough for us to adapt easily. It is a bit heavy in the hand compared to the PD170 and we will be using the "steady stick" more often for added support. We love the manual controls and the fact that the aperture settings show up on the screen.
Pros: 20 to 1 zoom, Compact configuration, Lots of manual controls
Summary: I'm using the camera for videotaping high school drama productions so the lighting is always an issue. Picture quality is very very good, crisper than my old VX2100/VX2000. I'm definitely pleased with the upgrade and would recommend the camera. Issues I've noticed: 1) The tape door closure is a little finicky. Often the inner door seems to get confused as to whether or not it is opening or closing.