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.
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.
Summary: I love this camera. Tough, feature laden, reliable, and completely functional. It takes awhile to learn the the important features and I bet nobody knows all of them. One nit, however. It's heavy for its size. I finally surrendered to the fact and now use an aftermarket shoulder mount. Be sure to buy the obscenely priced HVR-MRC1 memory unit accessory. I like the memory unit for two reasons. First, it's a back up to the tape.