B&H Photo Video Pro Audio The Professional's Source 800.606.6969 / 212.444.6615
0 $0.00
Your cart is currently empty

You have 0 items in your cart

View Cart & Begin Checkout

N.Y.C. Store Pickup Ready Within the Hour

Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder

B&H # SOHVRZ5U MFR # HVR-Z5U
Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder

Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder Side View

Show MoreLess

Close

No Longer Available

Product Highlights

  • 3CMOS ClearVid Exmor Sensors
  • miniDV Cassette
  • 1080p
  • 24p
  • 20x G-Lens
  • Dual Record with 1.2MP Still Capture
  • HDV/DV Switchable
  • Dual-Record Mode
  • HDMI Output
Show moreShow less

What item is right for you?

Ask our Experts!

The Sony HVR-Z5U is the highly-anticipated successor to the acclaimed HVR-Z1U. The camera improves upon its predecessor in a variety of areas, including overall performance and range of features. CinemaTone technology enhances both gamma and color, providing exceptional images that exhibit a beautiful film-like aesthetic. What makes the camera unique is its ability to shoot to both tape and compact flash simultaneously when using the HVR-MRC1K compact flash memory recording unit.

At the heart of the camcorder are three 1/3" ClearVid CMOS Exmor sensors, which capture detailed imagery even in extreme low light. Combined with a professional wide-angle lens and a super-high resolution LCD screen, the camera is ideal for all handheld professional applications, including weddings, news, independent film production and reality television.

High Definition on MiniDV Tapes with HDV
The HDV format, used in the HVR-Z5U allows high definition recording on standard MiniDV tapes. Experience "Window-to-the-world" clarity using the very popular MPEG-2 compression technique responsible for many forms of media used today, including DVDs and high-definition satellite television. The camera can also switch back to normal MiniDV mode when necessary.
Watch Your CinemaTone
The HVR-Z5U features CinemaToneTM technology, which comes in two flavors. CinemaTone GammaTM crushes blacks while keeping the mids and highlights detailed, while CinemaTone ColorTM deepens color reproduction for richer hues. Combine the two and footage becomes incredibly film-like. CinemaTone Gamma curves can be accessed by the touch of a button.
G-orgeous G-Series Lens
The HVR-Z5U makes full use of a low dispersion glass 29.5-590mm G-Lens with a 20x optical zoom and 3 built-in ND filters. The lens comes equipped with a manual focus, iris and zoom, making it the first camera in its class to feature a fully professional lens! Bravo. The lens has a digital extender that increases magnification by 1.5x, making the lens achieve up to 30x digital zoom levels.
ClearVID 3CMOS Technology
Sony's ClearVID sensors are positioned at a 45° angle. Since each pixel is positioned in this manner, the result is far clearer diagonal lines. Images will appear crisper, without the apparent "jaggies" that often plague video signals. Enhanced Image Processing (EIP) is responsible for processing large amounts of pixel color information, recording 4:2:2 chroma before being thrown to 4:2:0 HDV tape.
Exmor Inside
Low-light situations can sometimes be difficult for cameras of this size due to their relatively small sensors. The result can often be additional noise or image degradation, sometimes sending otherwise usable footage to the proverbial "digital cutting room floor". By incorporating Exmor technology, Sony has once again raised the bar for handheld cameras at this price-point, reducing the lux rating from 3 to 1.5! The HVR-Z5U's ultra-sensitive 1/3" CMOS Exmor sensors take advantage of technology originally developed for their flagship XDCAM EX camera, the PMW-EX1, delivering an amazing signal-to-noise ratio.
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! The camera can also shoot in both standard 60i for richer temporal motion, as well as 30p, which is great for lifting stills.
High Resolution LCD
When shooting HD footage, standard LCD screens can be very deceiving; what looked perfect amidst a full-day video shoot can sometimes prove very soft or out of focus while in post-production. This is a direct result of a simple fact: most camera-mounted LCDs cannot resolve images in the same way they are being recorded. The HVR-Z5U comes equipped with a 1-MegaPixel LCD screen, making it 4 times as clear as the LCD on the HVR-Z1U, eliminating this oft-pesky phenomenon. Record with confidence knowing that what you see is what you will get.
Extended Dynamic Range
The camera's 30% extension in dynamic range translates into more detail in both highlights and shadows. Increased dynamic range can be very useful when color correcting during post production.
Focus Assist
Users will be delighted by the HVR-Z5U's focus assist feature; peaking focus assist provides a simple way to ensure images are in perfect tack-sharp clarity. The process highlights high-contrast areas that represent sharp lines making focus operation incredibly quick and easy.
Advanced Audio Recording
The built-in microphone features full stereo recording capability capturing crystal clear audio. If more directional audio recording is necessary, the unit comes equipped with an ECM-XM1 monoaural microphone, providing a high level of flexibility while allowing operators to tackle a wide range of projects.

Go To

Signal System NTSC
1080/60i, 30p, 24p
Image Device 1/3" ClearVid 3CMOS with ExmorTM Technology
1.2 MegaPixels Each
Lens 20x G-Lens 29.5-590mm (35mm Equivalent), f/1.6-3.4
72mm Filter Thread
Signal-to-Noise Ratio Not Specified By Manufacturer
Horizontal Resolution 1080 Lines
Sensitivity Not Specified By Manufacturer
Minimum Illumination 1.5 lux
Vertical Smear Not Applicable
Built-in Filters 1/6, 1/32, 1/64
LCD Monitor 3.2", 921,000 Pixels
Viewfinder 0.45" Color, 1.2 MegaPixels
Scan Matching Not Specified By Manufacturer
Memory Card Slot MemoryStick Duo for Scene Files
Compact Flash for Video Recording (Requires Optional Addon)
Shutter Speed Range 60i/30p: 1/4-1/10000
24p: 1/3-1/10000
Gain Selection -6, -3, 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21dB
VTR
Tape Format HDV
Tape Speed DV: 18.8mm/s
HDV: 18.8mm/s
Signal-to-Noise Ratio Not Specified By Manufacturer
Maximum Recording Time HDV: 63 min (with PHDVM-63DM Cassette)
DV: 63 min (with PHDVM-63DM Cassette)
Tapeless HDV: 72 min (16GB CompactFlash using HVR-MRC1K Addon Unit)
Audio
Audio Dynamic Range Not Specified By Manufacturer
Audio Signal Format HDV
MPEG1 Audio Layer II
Audio Frequency Response 20Hz to 20kHz
Signal to Noise Ratio Not Specified By Manufacturer
General
Input and Output Connectors 1 x Component Video output, 10-Pin connector A/V Out
1 x Composite Video output, 10-Pin connector A/V Out
1 x Analog Audio L/R output, 10-Pin connector A/V Out
1 x Analog Audio L/R input, XLR 3-Pin female
1 x FireWire
1 x Headphone / stereo mini jack
1 x HDMI output
1 x Remote, LANC
Power Requirements Battery Pack: 7.2VDC
AC Adapter: 8.4VDC
Power Consumption 7.1W
Operating Temperature 32-104°F (0-40°C)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 6.8 x 7.5 x 17.8" (16.9 x 18.8 x 45.1cm)
Weight 5 lbs (2.2kg)
Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder
  • AC-VQ1050 AC Adapter/Charger
  • ECM-XM1 Mono Microphone
  • NP-F770 "InfoLithium" Battery
  • A/V Multi-Connecting Cable
  • Component A/V Cable
  • Lens Hood with Cover
  • Shoe Adapter
  • Large Sized Eye-Cup
  • RMT-831 Wireless Remote Commander
  • Lithium Battery
  • Operating Instructions (CD-ROM)
  • Operating Instructions (Printed Copy)
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    SonyHVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder
     
    4.8

    (based on 100 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (77)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (23)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    100%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Great picture quality (84)
    • Zoom range/performance (80)
    • Great sound (63)
    • Easy to use (55)
    • Good in low light (53)

    Cons

    • Poor in low light (3)
    • Poor still image (3)

    Best Uses

    • HD shooting (72)
    • Documentaries (64)
    • Weddings (50)
    • Movies/short films (48)
    • Travel (33)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Pro videographer (49), Semi-pro (35), Enthusiast (9)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (46)

    Reviewed by 100 customers

    Sort by

    Displaying reviews 1-20

    Back to top

    Previous | Next »

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    I Need Letters After My Name.....

    By Daffydoc

    from San Antonio

    About Me Semi-pro Videographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Good Image Stabilization
    • Good in Low Light
    • Great Picture Quality
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

      Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

      ...because I've earned a Masters Degree learning this camera. It's sad when a camera is smarter than you are and that is the case with the Z5U. I had a Sony consumer-level camera before and took the leap into the professional arena with the purchase of this camera. I shoot marketing videos and have an NLE system in my home. This camera is intimidating for one who has no formal film school training, learned FCP from a book and twelve-year-olds on YouTube, and is now scrambling to master the intricacies of this amazing camera. It will do not only everything that I need, but much more. I have earned street cred when I show up with my Z5U and clamp my headphones on. No one messes with me. To the crowd that gathers, I'm now a pro. I love this camera. And I'm learning the craft of movie making because, for the first time, I have the technology to create. If you're wavering, buy it. You won't be sorry.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (1 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Very good product, I am very happy

      By Shan

      from raleigh NC

      About Me Pro Videographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

            After I buy this camera I shoot two weddings and quality of video & audio are exllent ,I am very happy with it
            Only one thing about this camera is whithot mini DV you can't use flash card

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Love It

            By Matt

            from Sterling, Il

            About Me Video Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

              Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

              I am just using the camera to help me, with side jobs that I am trying finish. I love that it was and easy to use.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              I highly recommend this camera.

              By JC305

              from Miami

              About Me Pro Videographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good in Low Light
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Great Sound
              • Zoom range/performance

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Documentaries
                • HD Shooting
                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                I shoot weddings, bar mitzvahs, graduations and school plays.
                Excellent camera with great professional features.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Fantastic camera, very few limitations

                By Thom

                from Chicago, IL

                About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                • No image stabilization

                Best Uses

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

                Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                Been using this camera as part of the company I work with for a while now, and finally pulled the trigger on my own. Use it for mainly filming weddings so I encounter a lot of dark indoor situations. Works great in low-light conditions, with only a small amount of noise becoming noticeable at 12db gain. All of the buttons are well laid out and easy to use and program. Having seven programmable buttons is a huge plus!

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (19 of 19 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                A tried and tested workhorse

                By umop-apisdn

                from Cottage Grove, MN

                About Me Pro Videographer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                  Best Uses

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

                  Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                  If you are reading this review, you are likely doing so because you are currently contemplating investing in a decent camera and are comparing this one to the multitude of others that are on the market. I'm sure there are those who would think someone has got to be out of their mind to get an HDV codec based camera in this day and age - with AVCHD touted to be the best thing since sliced bread.

                  Some people only look at the specifications of a camera and measure that against cost in order to rationalize their purchase. When comparing the specs of the Z5 to some of its contemporaries, it may seem to come up short. However, don't be fooled. People can talk specs until they are blue in the face, but specs won't help if you can't frame a shot and get the footage into an NLE without having to jump through hoops or struggle with its operation. It also needs to work reliably each and every time - no ifs, ands, or buts. Time is money when you are using this type of equipment to make a living. As such, you should want nothing less than exceptional reliability combined with proven performance in the field. Given those requirements, the Z5 has what you want in spades as it has more than been put through its paces by many a trained eye all over the world over the past few years.

                  Sometimes people tend to get hung up on specs and feel they need the latest and greatest because, well, it's "new" so it should be better. Don't get me wrong, there are some fantastic cameras on the market today - with great glass and hours of in-camera storage. But it does not detract from the fact that the Z5 is a tried and tested workhorse. On paper, a 2012 268 horsepower Toyota Camry looks like a clear winner when compared to a 247 horsepower 1990's era Porsche 911. Get them out on the track however and you'll find out that sometimes specs have very little to do with real-life performance.

                  I only use tape as a backup, and will likely use the MRC1 from my Z7 to record footage onto CF cards on the Z5. However, I also like the option of being able to grab uncompressed data from the Z5's HDMI output and sending it to an HDR at 4:2:2 or HD-SDI adapter for live broadcast should the need ever arise.

                  The Z5 is a great camera with an excellent and well deserved reputation. It will not leave you stranded in the field because you can't find some proprietary storage device. The 20x Minolta lens is actually quite decent and has come in handy more than once in the few short weeks I have been using it. Most importantly, in the right hands it will produced stunning results. If this camera had just been released today, it would still stand tall compared to its competitors.

                  The only negatives that I could find about the camera is its smallish LCD screen and the focus/zoom rings have infinite rotation. In full daylight, the LCD is a bit hard to see - but in those cases, I just look at the viewfinder. That said, they are only two small items that in 99% of shoots you could likely live with.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Very good camcorder choice

                  By PTShooter

                  from East TX

                  About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  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

                  • Awkward Menu Select Wheel

                  Best Uses

                  • Legal Videography

                  Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                  As a legal videographer this camera meets all the requirements along with an excellent quality video and audio system. Setup and operation was very straight forward. Along with the HVR-MRC1 Memory Recording Unit the simultaneous recording to minidv and cf media is a plus. It is everything I need and more. A minor negative is the menu thumb wheel being a little awkward to use. Over all a very good choice for my needs.

                  Share this review

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Very Impressed

                  By MacNeely

                  from Canada

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

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

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Documentaries
                    • HD Shooting
                    • Home Movies
                    • Movies/Short Films
                    • Travel

                    Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                    It's the perfect prosumer camera for start-up level videographers. If you're someone whose been a long time home-movie maker waning on the cusp of bigger things then the Z5 is perfect for you. But, it's also great for professionals, in fact I use it extensively in shooting outdoors features, such as a fishing show I work on. The directional it comes with isn't perfect, but it still provides adequate quality audio when you're in situations where a proper boom might not be possible, such as in a boat two miles deep in a swamp. The only problem is that the wheel-system it uses to access the menu functions can sometimes be difficult to use, especially when it's cold, but that's a minor nit-pick and the only one I can think of. All in all the Z5 is everything that the budding videographer could hope for and maybe a little bit more.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    GREAT camera!

                    By Sparky

                    from Worcester, Massachusetts

                    About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                    Verified Reviewer

                    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-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                      I'm a freelance photographer that covers breaking news, weddings, concerts, variety show etc. I love everything about this camera! I wish it had a 1/2 chip but the price, you get amazing pictures and audio!

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Just what I wanted

                      By Joel

                      from Denver, CO

                      About Me Pro Videographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy to Use
                      • Great Zoom

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                          Just started a one-man video production company and this camera does everything I could ask of it. Beautiful picture, easy to use. Love it

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Easy to use camera great for the Pric

                          By Marco

                          from Phoenix Az

                          About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy to Use
                          • Good Image Stabilization
                          • Great Picture Quality
                          • Great Sound

                          Cons

                          • Poor Still Image

                          Best Uses

                          • Documentaries
                          • HD Shooting
                          • Weddings/Events

                          Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                          Love so Easy to handle
                          the Quality, bright picture
                          clear sound

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          GREAT CAMERA!

                          By Outdoors Our Way

                          from Cabot, Arkansas

                          About Me Pro Videographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          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

                            • Outdoor Production

                            Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                            I'm a profesional outdoor videographer and this camera can not be beat! It's portable, user friendly, great in low light and quick to set up! I'd definately recommend this camera and buy it again!

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                             
                            4.0

                            one thing missing!

                            By arturo

                            from maui, hawaii

                            About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                            Pros

                            • Easy to Use
                            • Great Picture Quality
                            • Great Sound
                            • Great Zoom
                            • Large Clear LCD

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                                Got the camera out of the box and started shooting. The camera is great, no complaints. Cannot go into detail since I just shot 3 tapes.
                                Only dissappointment is when I went to download the footage from camera to computer, there is no cable included.
                                I searched everywhere for the cable, called sony, and they said it does not come with one.
                                I cannot understand why sony would not include an essential cable, worth about $15, with a $4000 camera.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                 
                                5.0

                                Love the changes

                                By Traveling video guy

                                from Detroit, MI

                                About Me Pro Videographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Easy to Use
                                • Good Image Stabilization
                                • Great Picture Quality

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • HD Shooting
                                  • Movies/Short Films
                                  • Travel

                                  Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                                  I love all the changes that were made to the latest in Sony's HD offering. The Compact flash drive is a great addition.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

                                  Share this review

                                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  4.0

                                  Fine camera, and Z1U users take note...

                                  By GBurtNYC

                                  from NYC

                                  About Me Pro Videographer

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

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

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

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

                                    Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                                    I bought this camera in early Feburary 2012, and it's the new "Z1U". There are some subtle improvements. The new LED screen has a richer resolution. One of the things that threw me a bit was the menu scroll sheel (now located on the side of the camera rather than in the back).

                                    The scroll wheel is harder to operate than the previous one and you'll want to have your eyeglasses on to operate it. It used to be metal colored, now it's black and harder to see.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    4.0

                                    Great overall entry level Hi Def Camera

                                    By Berkhills

                                    from Western Massachusetts

                                    About Me Pro Videographer

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • BW or color view finder
                                    • Good in Low Light
                                    • Great Picture Quality
                                    • LCD is very clear
                                    • Viewfinder is clear
                                    • Zoom range/performance

                                    Cons

                                    • Small function buttons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • DanceTheater
                                    • HD Shooting
                                    • Historical Sketches
                                    • Weddings/Events

                                    Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                                    Used in mostly stage productions where lighting can be problematic. Low light ability is good. When compared to the Sony PD170/150 it is not as sensitive, but it satisfies our "stage" needs. In fact the PD170s were a little too sensitive. Great "wide angle" coverage with on board lens. Function buttons are very small and hard to find "on the fly" i.e., "push auto focus button" when in manual focus, white balance button; and the "assign" function buttons. We cut small soft self-adhesive velcro spots to place on these function buttons in order to find them easier.
                                    On board battery cannot be installed when using the AC adapter. This makes the switch over to battery from AC awkward compared to the PD 170/150, VX2100 and even the DSR250s. Only three gain positions can be programmed (your selection) as opposed to dialing a full range on the fly. However, the transition to various gain positions is visually smooth. Manual iris control is on a ring and is easy to find. The Camera menu is similar to that of the PD170.Image quality is good. Four star rating is because of small function buttons that are hard to locate when shooting on the fly, otherwise I would give a 5 star rating.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Exactly what I needed.

                                    By Ronaldo

                                    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
                                    • Great Zoom
                                    • Zoom range/performance

                                    Cons

                                    • Small clear LCD

                                    Best Uses

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

                                    Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                                    It has all what I was looking for and even more. Perfect for event videography.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    "it is all in one"

                                    By The Lion King

                                    from Miami, FL

                                    About Me Video Enthusiast

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

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

                                    Cons

                                    • Poor In Low Light

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Documentaries
                                    • Home Movies
                                    • Movies/Short Films
                                    • Weddings/Events

                                    Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                                    THIS CAMERA TELL YOU HOW TO USE IT BY ITSELF.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    4.0

                                    Good camera, lots of features

                                    By NJohnston Media

                                    from NYC

                                    About Me Pro Videographer

                                    Verified Reviewer

                                    Pros

                                    • Easy to Use
                                    • Good Image Stabilization
                                    • Good in Low Light
                                    • HDMI Output
                                    • Large Clear LCD

                                    Cons

                                    • 120 fps is standard def
                                    • Poor Still Image

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Documentaries
                                    • Weddings/Events

                                    Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                                    I use this camera primarily for industrials, promotional and music videos. It's well built, has all the controls in traditional Sony configuration. But most importantly, this camera comes with an HDMI output pre-HDV compression. This means that if you attach an Atomos HDMI recorder to it you can record 4:2:2 HD. That's right, REAL high definition footage, not watered down, barely-HD HDV.

                                    That's why I bought it 2 years ago. I knew HDV was a transitional format, but I needed a good camera for an upcoming job and didn't want to pay for an EX1. With the HDMI out, this camera has an extended it's usable life.

                                    The only thing I don't like about the Z5U is the small sensor size and the relatively low quality of the 120fps. Of course the fact that it can ACTUALLY shoot 120 fps or 240 fields is fantastic, so maybe I'm just being picky. But I use the feature, and every time I use it and try and match it to the HDV/HD stuff I've shot, it always comes out looking bad. But still pretty cool.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    My Second Z5u Purchase

                                    By JD

                                    from Dacula, GA

                                    About Me Pro Videographer

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

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

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

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

                                      Comments about Sony HVR-Z5U Professional HDV Camcorder:

                                      Since this is my second Z5u purchase, I would imagine it speaks for itself. A great camera for the price point. Beautiful full HD pictures, clear and crisp. Good low light capability and offers operational options from full auto to full manual. Three rings for focus, iris and zoom; 2 xlr with fantom power option. Peaking option really helps with the focus while using the LCD. Has the features I look for and at a price point I could afford.

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

                                      Share this review

                                      Displaying reviews 1-20

                                      Back to top

                                      Previous | Next »

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

                                      Sony - PDVM-41N/3 DVCAM for HDV Tape
                                      • You Pay: $11.99
                                       

                                      Batteries & Power Adapters

                                      See more

                                      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
                                       

                                      Lenses

                                      See more

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

                                      Sony - VCLHG0872K Wide Conversion Lens Kit
                                      • You Pay: $689.95
                                       
                                      Impact - DVP-TP20-72 72mm 2.0x High-grade Telephoto Conversion Lens
                                      • You Pay: $149.00
                                       

                                      Microphones & Audio Adapters

                                      See more

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

                                      Audio-Technica - AT875R Short Condenser Shotgun Microphone
                                      • You Pay: $169.00
                                       

                                      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, & Straps

                                      See more

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

                                      Pearstone - Pro Camcorder Case with Wheels
                                      • You Pay: $139.95
                                       

                                      Tripod, Sliders, Dollies, & Cranes

                                      See more

                                      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

                                      See more
                                      Revo - SR-1500 Dual Grip Shoulder Support Rig
                                      • You Pay: $159.95
                                       
                                      View all Accessories
                                      See any errors on this page? Let us know.

                                      Close

                                      Close

                                      Close