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  1. #1

    Sony PD170 to Sony HVR Z1P

    I am currently using a Sony PD170 and I'm looking at up grading to the Sony HVR Z1P. I have been wanting to convert to high definition for some time and this particular camera seems to have all my needs, still allows DCAM and DV formats as well as high definition, GREAT! The problem is I am an underwater videographer so its an expensive move as I need to buy the U/W housing as well which costs more than the camera, so I need to know if the conversion is well worth it for the high definition. The image quality on the 170 is great and I sometimes wonder if it can get any better when I preview the results. What I need to hear from someone who maybe has done this same switch or even just own a Z1.

    Many Thanks

  2. #2
    Dave (the owner and moderator of this site) owns a Z1. I use a V1P. If you are doing it for profits, it's only a matter of whether your client needs HDV as end-product and whether you can cover the investment. Economic Remember, getting into HD is not simply buying a HD camera but into a system as well. I always liken it to buying a set of Ferrari tires and a Ferrari. The Ferrari, which is the cost of rest of the equipment (yes it includes your U/W housing) comes in.

    HDV is great if you are ready to make the transition.
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

  3. #3
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Te Awamutu, New Zealand
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    Yep, I have the Z1P which is the same as the Z1U. It's a great camera and I'm very happy with it. Nagar's right about the system performance though - my Intel Quad-core Q9550 with 4GB RAM struggles to keep up. I'm really waiting until I can afford a new mortgage to get a suitable Mac Pro before I can think about render-free real-time editing again.

    As for whether it's worth the shift to HDV... again I think Nagar's right about it being a commercial decision. The improved picture quality is nice but in your case you'll want some sort of business justification. My feeling is that offering HD is a big plus and should certainly help your credibility, but if your clients aren't asking for it, it could pay to wait.

    I recently bought a Sony HDR-SR12 as a second camera. Although the AVCHD codec isn't particularly edit-friendly, having full 1920x1080 resolution and about 8 hours of record time on a hard drive is wonderful. If I could have these feature on a cameras like the Z1 I'd be blissful. I'm not aware of anything like this in the same price range as the Z1 yet - maybe someone else has more information - but I'd be sorely tempted to research and see if it's worth waiting for.

    The HDV format is fine but it's not full HD and it has the limitations of working with miniDV tapes. I feel the Z1 is still just one or two milestones away from being the perfect camera in this class.
    Dave Owen


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