Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


If you can’t be bothered to watch the video review then my conclusions are as follows…

The Z5 performs exceptionally well in fact equal to the Sony EX-3 as long as it is set to 0dB and your lens is not wide open. The 20x “G” lens is good but does loose about 1.5 stops from wide to tight so be aware of this as you are zooming in on a subject. You also have -3dB available via the menu.

sony-hvr-mrc1kThe HVR-MRC1K memory recorder is optional costing around £578. The compact flash card minimum speed is 133x but Sony recommend a 300x card. I have noted that the biggest cards available in the UK at 300x speed are 16gig CF cards. There is a bracket supplied allowing you mount the recorder else where freeing up the battery compartment which was one of my concerns on the review and runs off a separate Lion battery.

Having 1/3″ chips has only compromised this camera when you start adding gain and it holds it’s own along side the EX-3 a camera twice it’s price. Going down to 25% direct light was more than a surprise to me and only the next stage 25% reflected light did we start to see a slightly blurry picture due to the lens being wide open. This phenomenon is common to most lenses even broadcast lenses they are just not sharp when wide open and is only curable by spending £6000 or more on a full spec HD lens but as we know the Z5 has a fixed lens. 

Conclusions…This is a cracking piece of kit, if you treat it with respect, keeping it to -3dB/0dB and the lens around f5.6-f8 it will produce superb pictures via the inbuilt HDV mini tape recorder. Adding a CF recorder gives you piece of mind that you are recording onto card but you can use the mini HDV tape as an archive. Also remembering the CF card is taken into your computer at 4x normal speed saving you a load of time transferring your material.

The camera costs £3737 UK price including 15% vat at

The video review link is


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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