The Cool Kids: Sony HVR-Z1U

2-POP By Chuck Gloman Sony HDVSony has raised the bar for HDV with the introduction of the HVR-Z1U, a 3-CCD professional HDV camcorder that’s been flying off the shelves—and with good reason. Looking a lot like Sony’s DSR-PD170 DVCAM camcorder, the Z1U is a lot beefier and more robust, and it sports a 12x optical zoom Zeiss lens. Most of the SD features, controls and menus are similar to those found on the PD170, but this camera does a whole lot more. From the front, the innovative lens hood snaps open and closed with the flick of a switch, so there’s no lens cap to lose. This feature adds functionality and a touch of class. The major difference on the right side of the unit is the absence of a pull-out LCD monitor, which has been moved to the top of the camera. The cassette compartment door is in its place, with a clear plastic shield covering channel 1 and 2 audio pots. The levels may be changed by accessing the wheels that protrude from the plastic, and the tiny hash marks are visible through the plastic. read more...

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