Choosing A Camcorder | Considering The Sony HVR-Z5U

by James M. Williams Jr.

Sony HVR-Z5U

Sony HVR-Z5U

I have been looking into the probability and possibility of buying a new camcorder. Although my GL2 works fine, it's not the best option for filming. The combined limitations with the unit coupled with the fact that I am so dissatisfied and disillusioned by Canon USA and Canon Corporation, I decided that when the time comes I will upgrade and buy a sony.

However, I am still very much old school and prefer the taped cameras over the all digital versions, so I'm thinking about a Sony HVR-Z5U for my needs. To my amazement and disappointment, the cost of those units actually went up instead of down. They used to cost about $2795.00 new, but now are almost $5000.00.

Sony did some changes and updated these units so that they are digital as well as taped cameras. I know that I will never be able to afford one, so am looking at a different sony, perhaps a Z1U, or something along that line. I had the privilege of using Sony camcorders before when I worked at The Alaska Native Heritage Center, and they are sturdy workhorse cameras. They are reliable, straightforward and fairly easy to setup and to use.

Digital for all its wonders, can be so easily lost if something goes wrong. The disadvantage to tape is the cumbersome bother and expense involved. But the huge advantage is that once footage is on tape, it will last for years and can be used over and over. Even if a computer crashes and all the footage is lost, it can still be restored if it is on tape. Digital storage media is a bit twitchy and sensitive and the memory cards can be easily damaged and/or lost.

Comments for Choosing A Camcorder | Considering The Sony HVR-Z5U

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Apr 13, 2014
Sony vs Canon NEW
by: Desktop Documentaries

Hey James,

Thanks for sharing. Yeah, choosing what camera to buy for a documentary project can be one of the toughest decisions for a filmmaker to make.

Curious why you're "disillusioned by Canon"?

Also, why do you say your GL2 is not the "best option for filming"?

Apr 14, 2014
Canon NEW
by: James M. Williams Jr.

My reasons for being disillusioned with Canon... Although their camcorders produce remarkable and beautiful and color saturated images, they are not durable and are susceptible to failure. After experiencing a long runaround with Canon, trying to get them to honor their warranty as written, I finally gave up and turned completely away from Canon. You can read all the gory details here:
Why I'll Never Buy Canon Again

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