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Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder

Product Highlights
  • Interchangeable Lens Capability
  • miniDV Cassette
  • 1/3" Exmor CMOS Sensors
  • 1080i
  • 24p
  • HDMI Output
  • Dual XLR Audio

The Sony HVR-Z7U is an HDV handheld camcorder featuring a lens mount. Previously unheard of for such a compact unit, the HVR-Z7U incorporates the convenience of a handheld camcorder with the flexibility of larger ENG cameras.

The camera can also record directly to compact flash cards, via the camera's supplied memory recording unit. Combined with Sony's entire family of HDV products, the HVR-Z7U is a great camcorder for almost any production, including documentaries, news, low-budget movies, music videos, and industrials.

Interchangeable Lenses
Users get the best of both worlds with this innovative camcorder. The HVR-Z7U's unique design is the first of its kind; a handheld camera with the interchangeable lens capability. Whether you are filming a movie or shooting a documentary, the HVR-Z7U has it covered.
ClearVID 3CMOS Technology
Sony's ClearVID sensors are positioned at a 45° angle. Since each pixel is positioned at this angle the result is far clearer diagonal lines. Images will appear crisper, without the apparent "jaggies" that often plague video signals.
Record to Compact Flash
The camera comes with an attachable recording unit, allowing users to record HDV and DV to CompactFlash cards. With cards getting larger and larger in capacity, the ability to take advantage of tapeless workflow while still using cheap media is a welcome addition.
High Definition on MiniDV Tapes with HDV
The HDV format, used in the HVR-Z7U allows high definition recording on standard MiniDV tapes. This is accomplished by using the very popular MPEG-2 compression technique used in many applications, including DVDs and satellite television.
24p Capability
In 24p mode, images from the CMOS can be 2:3 pulldown-converted and recorded onto tape in the standard 60i HDV format. The tape can then be played back or edited using an ordinary HDV system. True 24p editing can be achieved by uploading 2:3 pulldown-converted images via an i.LINK FireWire interface to a compatible non-linear editing system. The resultant images resemble the visual motion of film!
HDMI Output
Many consumer products are adopting High Definition Media Interface (HDMI) connections for transmitting uncompressed digital HD video signals. Sony has upped the ante by incorporating this into the already extensive array of video output choices on the HVR-Z7U. Connect the camera to any HDTV via this interface and view all your footage the way it was meant to be seen: purely digital!

Go To

Signal System HDV: 1080/60i, 1080/24p, 1080/30p
DVCAM/DV: 480/60i (NTSC)
Image Device 1/3" 3CMOS Exmor Sensor system
Lens Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Zoom Lens, 12x (Optical)
f = 4.4-52.8mm
f = 32-384mm at 16:9 mode
f = 39.5-47.4mm (4:3 mode)
filter diameter: 72mm 1
Please Note:

1/3" Lenses from Fujinon and Canon Available
2/3" and 1/2" Can be Used by Adding a Standard Lens Adapter.

close
Signal-to-Noise Ratio Not Specified by Manufacturer
Horizontal Resolution 1080 Lines
Sensitivity Not Specified By Manufacturer
Minimum Illumination 1.5 lux (Auto Gain, Auto Iris, 1/30 Shutter)
Vertical Smear Not Specified by Manufacturer
Built-in Filters Clear, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64
LCD Monitor 3.2", 16:9 Aspect Ratio, 1 MegaPixel Xtrafine LCD
Viewfinder 0.45", 16:9 Aspect Ratio, 852 x 480 Resolution
Scan Matching Yes
Memory Card Slot MemoryStick Duo Media
Shutter Speed Range Auto: 1/60-1/2000

Manual
60i/30p: 1/4-1/10000
24p: 1/3 - 1/10000
Gain Selection -6, -3, 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 dB
VTR
Tape Format HDV Record and Play
DVCAM Record and Play
DV Record and Play
Tape Speed HDV: 18.8mm/s
DVCAM: 28.2mm/s
DV SP Mode: 18.8mm/s
Signal-to-Noise Ratio Not Specified by Manufacturer
Maximum Recording Time HDV: 63 min (with PHDVM-63DM Cassette)
DVCAM: 41 min (with PHDVM-63DM Cassette)
DV: 63 min (with PHDVM-63DM Cassette)
Audio
Audio Dynamic Range Not Specified by Manufacturer
Audio Signal Format HDV
MPEG1 Audio Layer II
DVCAM/DV
16-bit/48kHz 2 Channel Mode
12-bit/32kHz 4 Channel Mode
Audio Frequency Response 20Hz to 20kHz
Signal to Noise Ratio Not Specified by Manufacturer
General
Input and Output Connectors Composite: 10-Pin Video/Audio (x1 Output)
Component: Special Connector (x1 Output)
HDMI (x1 Output)
FireWire/i.LINK: 6-Pin (x1 Input, x1 Output)
XLR Audio: XLR 3-Pin Female, 2-Channel
Headphone: Stereo Mini-Jack
LANC: 2.5mm Mini-mini Jack
Power Requirements Battery Pack: 7.2VDC
AC Adapter: 8.4VDC
Power Consumption HDV: 7.2W
DVCAM/DV: 6.9W
Operating Temperature 32-104°F (0-40°C)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 6.9 x 7.8 x 17.3" (17.6 x 19.9 x 43.9 cm)
Weight 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg)
Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder
  • AC-VQ1050 Adapter/Charger
  • NP-F570 infoLITHIUM Rechargeable Battery Pack
  • CR2025 Lithium Battery
  • A/V Connecting Cable
  • Component Video Cable
  • Lens Hood with Cover
  • Shoe Adapter
  • Shoe Kit
  • Eye Cup
  • RMT-831 Wireless Remote Commander
  • ECM-XM1 Monaural Electolet Condenser Microphone
  • Operating Instructions
  • Printed Operating Instructions
  • HVR-MRC1 Memory Recording Unit Kit
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    SonyHVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder
     
    4.7

    (based on 79 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (54)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (24)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    99%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Great picture quality (72)
    • Great sound (50)
    • Great features (43)
    • Versatile (37)
    • Comfortable to operate (36)

    Cons

    • Complicated to operate (7)
    • Uncomfortable (7)
    • Poor battery life (5)
    • Limited zoom (4)

    Best Uses

    • Movies/short films (48)
    • HD shooting (44)
    • Documentaries (42)
    • Weddings (38)
    • Travel (35)
      • How long have you owned it:
      • A month or less

         

        75% 

        (6 reviews)

        One-to-three months

         

        Three-to-six months

         

        More than six months

         
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Pro videographer (37), Professional (18), Semi-pro (14), Enthusiast (5), Semi-professional (4)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (21)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    The most usable of the midrange cameras.

    When searching for a new midrange camera it is easy to be swamped by information and techy reviews - almost everyone who reviews these things is some kind of geek and not using them in...Read complete review

    When searching for a new midrange camera it is easy to be swamped by information and techy reviews - almost everyone who reviews these things is some kind of geek and not using them in a day-to-day filming environment. And forum reviews are even worse.As a result, details are all about file formats, compression, tech details of lenses, how this one compares to that one etc. Almost nothing on usability.Even the best magazine reviewers aren't camera people - they film a bit, dump it to edit and then say what a fantastic thing it is to be tapeless. Try that on location where you're filming hours every day for several weeks in tough environments.So we were in the market for a new midrange camera - the HVX200 is going on[...] I am finally sick of the thing. And more than anything we needed usability - the things you do continually a thousand times a day - focus, iris and framing. The Z7 is the only camera we found in the sub-$10,000 range that allows this. It is a joy to use and gives great results.Finally a camera that is almost as usable as our main range of HDCAM machines.I saw no reason to go to the EX cameras - may as well buy full size XDCAM at that price and have the instant archival feature of optical disk instead of stupidly expensive cards that need dumping to hard drive.So:ProsUsability - the single most important feature of any camera - the lens controls put this is a class of its own for handling.I can't over-emphasize just how usable this camera is.Good size - big enough but not too big. Small cameras are harder to handle.Viewfinder and screen have high enough resolution to be usable - in the field for real.Battery life - get the extended life battery and film for a day without worrying.Onboard mic is nice and gives good sound - no reason to change it.Customisable buttons on the exterior - allow for most common controls - inc color bars.Cons:Tape door is a bit flimsy - have to treat carefullyHeadphone port on the rear - exactly where you need to jam the body into your shoulder for stability - dumb design.Could have done with dedicated timecode set buttons on the exterior.Usual lack of any fixings for radio mic receivers (common to all midrange cams)ECS shutter speed in the 60i (US) version won't allow changing to 50 - essential when filming in Europe to avoid strobing of lights on their 50Hz mains power. This is a big issue for us but can be resolved with the Sony upgrade.Needs a faster zoom - a crash zoom function.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Love the look of HD video!

    We use the Sony Z7U to shoot documentary and local interest programming for local and national PBS broadcast. The camera produces great HD imagery with user friendly controls and a compact reasonably priced package....Read complete review

    We use the Sony Z7U to shoot documentary and local interest programming for local and national PBS broadcast. The camera produces great HD imagery with user friendly controls and a compact reasonably priced package. There are several customizable options that make the Z7U work for you. We have had some issues with some lens malfunction and getting help from Sony can be a slow and frustrating process.

    Reviewed by 79 customers

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    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    EXCELLENT !!!!!!!!!!!

    By VIEIRA

    from MIAMI

    About Me Video Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to Use
    • Good Image Stabilization
    • Great Zoom

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Home Movies
      • Travel

      Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

      ALWAYS

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      Great camera, I would buy again.

      By Bean Dog

      from Marrero, La.

      About Me Semi-pro Videographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Good Image Stabilization
      • Good in Low Light
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Great Sound

      Cons

      • Limited Zoom

      Best Uses

      • Home Movies
      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

      Used this camera to record a wedding event. It worked very well and is easy to use. I only wish that it had a 20x zoom instead of just 12x.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Thumb up

      By Horacio Perez

      from Argentina, Buenos Aires

      About Me Pro Videographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Good Image Stabilization
      • Good in Low Light
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Great Sound
      • Great Zoom
      • Zoom range/performance

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Documentaries

        Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

        For the last 3 years I have been using the first Sony HDV camera, the Z1U, with great results. We took it in over 13 countries for the filming of a documentary and it preformed just great. However my Z1U, as much as I loved it, was growing old, so I went for the next generation, the Z7U, that I just got a couple days ago.The new HVR-Z7U is a pretty good piece of equipment for the [$]USD price tag. Despite a couple of shortcomings I don't regret getting it. I really hope Sony will come up with longer lens soon that would make the main new feature "interchangeable lens" so much more valuable. So far Sony offers just some one wide lens for this unit. That's disappointing, great cinema and nature shots require long lens and none are available specifically for this camera. Sony offers some options that require adapters and reduced functionality for use of their still camera lenses with the Z7U, but I am skeptical about using such non specific products.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        I would recommend this camera to anyone

        By Krishna

        from Bedford,Texas

        About Me Semi-pro Videographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Great Picture Quality
        • Great Sound

        Cons

        • Limited Zoom

        Best Uses

        • Documentaries
        • HD Shooting
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

        Let me say few words about B&H. Their service is excellent, whether in person or by phone, it is the same. I have visited their shop in Manhattan,it is unbelievable, their products and their service is too good. As the customer service guy promised my camera came with in a week. They have no pressure tactics unlike the other companies. I have bought two cameras with them, so far my experience with them is extremely good. Coming to the camera, i have read many good comments about this camera. Since i got one, so far it is giving me good results. I just used last night the camera first time and the result is excellent. I have used the memory card chip. It was very easy. Still i am not familiar with all the buttons on the camera. I have to read little bit more about how to use all the buttons. I shot the video with halogen light the video came excellent. Some day i want to use the other lenses on this camera. Overall my experience is good. I love the colors of the video.It is excellent. If i make good many in my video business, i dont mind buying another HVR-7U camera.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Sony did it this time!

        By Dvon S.

        from Wisconsin

        About Me Semi-pro Videographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Image Stabilization
        • Good in Low Light
        • Great Picture Quality
        • Large Clear LCD

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Documentaries
          • HD Shooting
          • Travel

          Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

          I love this camera and highly recommend it to anyone. I mainly use the camera for outdoor shoots and it hasn't disappointed yet; with the Zeiss lens, CMOS Sensor and 3 ND filters make for great picture quality in many lighting situations. It also is great indoors because it picks up light well. Another great thing is the color quality you get from the view finders, the LCD screen is super great quality making it great to get the true picture you want without using an attachable monitor. I also enjoy the fact you can record on to DV/DVC HD tapes as well as on the CompactFlash card. I do use the camera in the winter and I especially like the multiple ways to record because tapes sometimes don't work to their fullest because of the cold temperatures. The camera itself does well in the colder temperatures. It also has many inputs & outputs allowing you to have many variations to the camera. I would say my favorite thing about the camera is how you can modify it & have 6 assigned pre-sets, this comes in handy if you do shoots that are similar but slightly different in lighting and style you want. Using the pre-sets are easy to use as well as many of the other functions of the camera. Overall great camera for any type of filming!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          Worth the extra money.

          By The Tominator

          from Honolulu

          About Me Pro Videographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Good Image Stabilization
          • Good in Low Light
          • Great Picture Quality
          • Great Sound
          • Great Zoom
          • Zoom range/performance

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Documentaries
            • HD Shooting
            • Movies/Short Films
            • Weddings/Events

            Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

            Dynamite camera. Love the lens and the capabilities. Seems like the hard drive eats up the battery. SO on my first shoot I had to turn it off. While on a tripod, I found it difficult to get to the zoom rocker and had to use the small one on top of the camera which I felt was not as feathery as the big one. The lens makes noise when it zooms. This is the first lens in 35 years of being a pro that I have heard when it zooms. Usually, it's no problem, but if in a quiet location, I(and my microphone) can hear it. I thought that the tape could record HDV and at the same time, the Hard Drive could record SD. It looks like that is not the case however. I think that the Hard Drive can only record what the camera is producing for the tape drive. Bummer! I hope there is a work around for that. Also, I can't ingest the files directly into my Media 100 or FCP. They have a wrapper that I will have to get software for.
            The camera is heavy. Much heavier than my old V1. Most likely because of the lens. Yikes, yes the lens is awesome. It works just like a real pro lens. I am so stoked about that. Manual/auto switch for iris on the lens and rings that control the manual iris. Manual focusing, yes! Real manual...not the floating kind like most semi-pro lenses. I am really glad I bought this camera. It was worth the extra money and if I get into real estate interiors, Sony has a 24mm equivalent lens I can pop on. Nice. Also, the standard lens is wide enough and telephotos nicely. There's also a digital extender that is actually sharp and sponge-worthy. :)

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            • No

            Share this review

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Just like the amazing s270u, but smaller

            By CreaiveJedi

            from Phoenix, AZ

            About Me Pro Videographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Good in Low Light
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Great Sound
            • Great Zoom
            • Large Clear LCD

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Documentaries
              • HD Shooting
              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Movies/Short Films
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

              I've been using the "full-size" s270u since it first came out. Now, I have added the z7u to shoot second camera or anywhere a smaller body would be helpful. For thousands of dollars less, there is no apparent difference in these 2 cameras. Both are very good in low light, with amazing picture quality all around. The ability to run a tape as a "safety" while recording to CF cards for their excellent workflow is excellent, and one reason I chose these over other brands that do not include this confidence feature. Although, in over 2 years, I have never had any sort of failure of the CF cards, it is still nice to know the tape is there. The lens is beautiful, and the ergonomics of this camera (the tape loading near the back, facing the shooter and the CF card unit being on the back, right where you can see it easily are good examples) are also well thought out. I highly recommend this camera, and its big brother, the s270u.

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              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Amazing!

              By Brian

              from Pawtucket RI

              About Me Video Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • Good in Low Light
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Great Sound
              • Great Zoom

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Documentaries
                • HD Shooting
                • Movies/Short Films
                • Travel
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

                It doesnt get any better [...]

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                amazing camera, so verstile!

                By lngu

                from seattle, wa

                About Me Pro Videographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Good Image Stabilization
                • Good in Low Light
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Sound
                • Great Zoom

                Cons

                • Weight balance

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

                  this is a great camera. better than I expected. The footprint of this camera is awesome. because of its small body I use a little more sturdier tripod just to make sure it won't fall forward.
                  I recommend to all my colleagues. nice cam!

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great Camera!!!

                  By Joe Fitz

                  from Chicago IL, New Orleans LA

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Clearer LCD
                  • Compatible batteries
                  • Durable
                  • Easy to Use
                  • Good Image Stabilization
                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Great Sound
                  • Great Zoom
                  • light weight
                  • Zoom range/performance

                  Cons

                  • Shallow DOFfactory lens

                  Best Uses

                  • Doc-TV
                  • Documentaries
                  • Travel
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

                  This camera has served me well for a long time now. As far as adding comments for a review, well, comparing one camera to another is truly apples to oranges. I own many cameras for many different purposes. I currently own 3 Z7U's for the purpose of Network (ENG style) television production, where it has been used for several years now as both 1st and secondary camera packages. HDV and Tape Drives are rapidly traveling down the way of obsolescence...but people still ask for this camera!!! So obviously this is no Red 1, Alexa, HDX 900, etc... but it's 5 grand...and it's a safe haven for those production companies still trying to save a buck on gear, want to archive tapes for as long as they can, and have the option to shoot to solid state if they want...seeing as this camera has both options. Well tuned, and with a little, love, care, and taste this camera offers a great image for any documentary, or docu-tv style shoot you might have. Your DOF is of course huge, which honestly is really handy when you don't know what is going to happen next. If you need some glorious shallow DOF throw a 5D mark 2 in your bag for all your graphics beds and beauty shots...you know...whatever. They can match well enough if you put in a little time to get to know them...and remember, this is rapidly becoming a mixed medium/youtube world...use the best of whatever works for the job and the budget...good luck, and happy shooting.

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                  • No

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                  5.0

                  My Z7U is awesome

                  By Vidbuster313

                  from Honolulu, HI

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Great Sound

                  Cons

                  • Limited Zoom

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

                  This camera is smooth, i recommend this camera to anyone that wants a good HDV camera.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  An outstanding camera for the money.

                  By Joe

                  from San Diego, CA

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Good Image Stabilization
                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Great Zoom

                  Cons

                  • No shoulder stock

                  Best Uses

                  • Documentaries
                  • HD Shooting
                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Movies/Short Films

                  Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

                  I recently upgraded to this camera from the HVR-V1U and I'm glad I did. the extra cost is well worth the additional features and boost in lens and sensor quality. This camera has worked well for me in Corporate, broadcast and production for DVD projects.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  4.0

                  Wow Camcorder

                  By bwvideo

                  from Albuquerque, NM

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Good lens
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Lots of features
                  • Solid

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • HD Shooting

                    Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

                    The camera is used to capture events, speakers and promotional materials. I like the dual recording function to help the workflow move faster. Great HD camera at a great price.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Love the look of HD video!

                    By P D

                    from Atlanta, Georgia

                    About Me Pro Videographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy to Use
                    • Good Image Stabilization
                    • Good in Low Light
                    • Great Picture Quality
                    • Large Clear LCD

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Documentaries
                      • HD Shooting
                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Movies/Short Films

                      Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

                      We use the Sony Z7U to shoot documentary and local interest programming for local and national PBS broadcast. The camera produces great HD imagery with user friendly controls and a compact reasonably priced package. There are several customizable options that make the Z7U work for you. We have had some issues with some lens malfunction and getting help from Sony can be a slow and frustrating process.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                      (19 of 20 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great Camera, but not the best.

                      By Thomas Mazzulla

                      from Chicago, Il

                      About Me Pro Videographer

                      Pros

                      • Easy to Use
                      • Good Image Stabilization
                      • Good in Low Light
                      • Great Picture Quality
                      • Great Sound
                      • Great Zoom
                      • Large Clear LCD
                      • Zoom range/performance

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Documentaries
                        • HD Shooting
                        • Home Movies
                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Movies/Short Films
                        • Travel
                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

                        If your looking for a Pro Camcorder, good for multi cam shoots, something that records to both card and tape, and you want to change lenses. This is a great starting camera.[@] This is a wedding video I shot with the HVR-Z7U (No post production effects. All stock footage.) This video got me my first Job at a wedding company. So i have my camera to thank for that. I would like to warn you before you buy this camera. This is not a $5,000.00 camera. Its a $3,000.00 camera with a very nice lens. And even thought you can switch lenses. The only lenses I want to use like most, is something with a shallow focal depth for a more film like feel. Your going to need something like a Letus box plus the low mm lens to achieve that look. In other words, if your going to buy a $1,000.00 lens, you with need a $1,000.00 adapter for the quality and look. So the fact you can change the lens, doesn't give you the freedom you think. You could just buy a Canon 60D and shoot 35mm full HD video on DSLR and you would save tons of money.SO, if your more well rounded as a cameraman, and if your thinking of spending $5,000.00 go with the AG-AF100. its like the HVR-Z7U but with a 3/4'' sensor instead of a 1/3'' sensor. Its almost a full inch, which means you have an image sensor a little smaller than a 35mm film strip. "Sick." And with the way that Panasonic placed the sensors in the camera, there is no need for a Letus box. you could use a Zeiss Compact Prime Cina lens with a simple ring adaptor.[...]Hope this was helpful. and good luck.Thomas Mazzulla[@]

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                        • No

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                        5.0

                        Best camera for fast job

                        By Paulo Linhares

                        from Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

                        About Me Pro Videographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Use
                        • Good Image Stabilization
                        • Good in Low Light

                        Cons

                        • Limited Zoom

                        Best Uses

                        • Documentaries
                        • HD Shooting
                        • Home Movies
                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Movies/Short Films
                        • Travel

                        Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

                        the camera will be used for DVD productions. Very easy to use.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • Yes

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                        4.0

                        Great Camera for the money

                        By Daddyjim

                        from Los Angeles, CA

                        About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Use
                        • Good Image Stabilization
                        • Good in Low Light
                        • Great Picture Quality
                        • Great Sound
                        • Large Clear LCD
                        • The CF recorder

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Documentaries
                          • HD Shooting
                          • Weddings/Events

                          Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

                          I have had many months experience using this camera and have found it to be an excellent semi professional grade camera. It has a great feel and the ability to record both to tape and CF card make it a wonderful way to extend recording for a long event.

                          I use this camera specifically to tape magicians performing at the World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and I'm very glad I purchased it.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Awesome camcorder

                          By Ken

                          from Las Vegas NV

                          About Me Video Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Good Image Stabilization
                          • Great Picture Quality
                          • Great Sound
                          • Great Zoom
                          • Large Clear LCD
                          • Zoom range/performance

                          Cons

                          • Complicated To Operate

                          Best Uses

                          • HD Shooting
                          • Home Movies
                          • Indoors/Low Light
                          • Movies/Short Films
                          • Weddings/Events

                          Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

                          Went from a small handheld to this awesome camera. Sort of intimidating but it seems to work very well. It has numerous options which assist in making a quality video

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          4.0

                          So far so good...

                          By Marcus

                          from Boston, MA

                          About Me Pro Videographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy to Use
                          • Great Picture Quality
                          • Zoom range/performance

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Documentaries
                            • HD Shooting
                            • Movies/Short Films
                            • Travel
                            • Weddings/Events

                            Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

                            I am a former Z1 user for video journalism in television news so thought this was a good investment. I wasn't keen on the fuss I had to go through to program the buttons for the one push auto focus, and getting there was a bit of a trial, but now it works a treat. The lens is so much better than the Z1, and the picture quality is great. The button layout is pretty similar to the Z1, so it feels pretty easy to make the change, but as I am still playing with it, a full review is difficult. So far, I like this camera a lot.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            5.0

                            Fully pro, beautiful, HD has arrived!

                            By Santa Claus

                            from Wichita,KS

                            About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy to Use
                            • Good Image Stabilization
                            • Good in Low Light
                            • Great Picture Quality
                            • Large Clear LCD
                            • The digital compact flash

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Documentaries
                              • HD Shooting
                              • Indoors/Low Light
                              • Movies/Short Films
                              • Weddings/Events

                              Comments about Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Camcorder:

                              The color, low light possibilities, everything else is great too. For the money I don't believe you can find a better camera. The free digital compact flash recorder snapped on the back is an amazing bonus which works on or off the camera. If your equipment has a firewire output hook the HVR-MRC1 up to its own power supply and record away. Of course the memory stick keeps track of your settings for this camera and can transfer those settings to your other similar Sony cameras so all of your work looks the same if you want it to. This camera makes me want to see the world through it. It's hard to put it down and when it's in its case I think about getting it back out. You'll love it!

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              Displaying reviews 1-20

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                              Required item: Recording media is not included. A memory card is required to record your footage.

                              Sony -  HDM63VG VG HDV Cassette (Videographer Grade )
                              • You Pay: $5.45
                               

                              Batteries & Power Adapters

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                              Always keep a spare battery handy so you won't get caught without power.

                              Sony -  NP-F970 L-Series Info-Lithium Battery Pack (6300mAh)
                              • You Pay: $119.00
                               
                              Watson -  NP-F975 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.4V, 7800mAh)
                              • You Pay: $59.99
                               

                              Capture your desired angle of view with a quality conversion lens.

                              Century Precision Optics -  0HD-75CV-Z7U 0.75x Wide Angle Converter Lens
                              • You Pay: $849.95
                              Usually ships in 2-4 weeks i This item is usually Drop Shipped from the MFR/Distributor within 2-4 weeks (subject to availability). Your order will be charged at the time of placing the order with the vendor. Item is non-cancelable and non-returnable.
                               

                              Microphones & Audio Adapters

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                              Focus your sound with a high-quality microphone. Audio quality can make or break your video.

                              Audio-Technica -  AT875 Short Condenser Shotgun Microphone
                              • You Pay: $154.95
                               

                              Create a more snug fit and vibration isolation for a shotgun mic when it is mounted in the camcorder's mic clip. (B&H # SAROCS)

                              Bags & Cases

                              Show more >

                              Carry, organize and protect your investment with quick access to your gear.

                              Pearstone -  Digital Video Camcorder Bag
                              • You Pay: $74.95
                               

                              Tripod, Sliders, Dollies, & Cranes

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                              Stabilize the your footage and eliminate handheld fatigue with the support you need.

                              Magnus -  VT-4000 Tripod System with Fluid Head
                              • You Pay: $149.95
                               

                              Rod Supports & Rig Systems

                              Revo -  SR-1500 Dual Grip Shoulder Support Rig
                              • You Pay: $159.95
                               
                              View all Accessories
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