The Sony HVR-Z5P is the highly-anticipated successor to the acclaimed HVR-Z1P. 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.
The HDV format, used in the HVR-Z5P 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.
The HVR-Z5P 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.
The HVR-Z5P 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.
Sony's ClearVID sensors are positioned at a 45 degrees 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.
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-Z5P'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.
In 25p mode, images from the CMOS can recorded onto tape in the standard 50i HDV format. The tape can then be played back or edited using an ordinary HDV system. True 25p editing can be achieved by pulldown-converted images via an i.LINK FireWire interface to a compatible non-linear editing system. The resultant images closely resemble the visual motion of film! The camera can also shoot in both standard 50i for richer temporal motion.
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-Z5P comes equipped with a 1-MegaPixel LCD screen, making it 4x as clear as the LCD on the HVR-Z1P, eliminating this oft-pesky phenomenon. Record with confidence knowing that what you see is what you will get.
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.
Users will be delighted by the HVR-Z5P'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.
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 a ECM-XM1 monoaural microphone, providing a high level of flexibility while allowing operators to tackle a wide range of projects.