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Sony HVR-Z1

alaTest has collected and analyzed 217 reviews of Sony HVR-Z1. The average rating for this product is 3.9/5, compared to an average rating of 4.1/5 for other Network Interface Cards (NIC) for all reviews. Views about the size and price are generally positive. The image quality and portability are also appreciated, but the finish and reliability get critical reviews.

usability, portability, image quality, price, size

reliability, finish

On average, users rate this product 79/100 and experts rate this product 75/100.

Review analysis

(Based on 217 reviews)

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User Reviews  

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Showing 1 - 153 of 171 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (46)

Consumer review ( review summary for Sony HVR-Z1


alaTest has collected and analyzed 11 user reviews of Sony HVR-Z1 from The average user rating for this product is 4.3/5, compared to an average user rating of 4.2/5 for other Network Interface Cards (NIC) on Reviews about the durability and reliability are overall positive. The usability and portability also get good reviews. There are some critical views about the finish and price.

image quality, portability, usability, reliability, durability

price, finish

91% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the products: Sony Pro HVR-Z1 Digital CamcorderSony Pro HVR-Z1 Digital Camcorder

Mar, 2018

Consumer review ( review summary for Sony HVR-Z1


alaTest has collected and analyzed 132 user reviews of Sony HVR-Z1 from The average user rating for this product is 3.7/5, compared to an average user rating of 4.0/5 for other Network Interface Cards (NIC) on Views about the design and size are generally positive. The image quality and portability are also mentioned favorably, whereas there are some negative views about the reliability.

usability, portability, image quality, size, design


79% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the products: Sony DCR-SR40 30GB Hard Disk Drive Handycam with 20x Optical ZoomSony DCR-SR40 30GB Hard Disk Drive Handycam with 20x Optical Zoom

Mar, 2018

Expert review by : Ben Wolf (

Sony HDR-FX1 review:


Sharp and vibrant three-chip HD images; native 16:9 capture; ability to downconvert video for use with existing editing systems and displays.

No XLR inputs or independent audio-level controls; no 24P; somewhat difficult to control and monitor focus manually; limited HDV editing and distribution options at this time.

Though it lacks some audio flexibility and isn't recommended for 24fps shooting, the HDR-FX1 provides advanced consumers with professional-level video controls and entry-level pros with an affordable starting camcorder.

May, 2005

Expert review by : Brandon Fullmer (

The Sony HVR-Z1U HDV Camera


Affordable HD is a recent realization for the video industry. Sony's HVR-Z1U camcorder has become the company's current inexpensive HD solution. In this article I will review the Z1U as I give you some of my thoughts and opinions about this new camera...

The Z1U is a good camera. It's an HDV/DV format video camera with native 16:9 ratio 1/3-inch 3CCDs. When it came time for a new prosumer-level DV camera, with an acceptable $2,000 jump in price to add high-definition capability, the Sony HVR-Z1U became...

Jul, 2005

Expert review by : Stephen Schleicher (

Sony HVR-Z1U Reviewed


Sony has recently released the HVR-Z1U HDV camera. The big brother of the HDR-FX1, this camera has all the features the FX1 was missing. From the XLR connectors, to precision optics this camera is the one youve been waiting for. Digital Media Nets...

Great Picture, Great Price

Jun, 2005

Expert review by : Erik Holsinger (

Sony HVR-Z1U and HDR-FX1 HDV Camcorders


In the wake of JVC's 2003 launch of the first consumer HDV camera, Sonyhas released the company's first "professional" HDV camera, the HVR-Z1UProfessional HDV camcorder (also called "the Z1" by Sony marketing).Offering 3 CCDs, pro audio features and...

Feb, 2005

Expert review by (toptenreviews.com_old)

Sony HDR-FX1 HDRFX1 Review


Consumer review (

Worth every penny


10 years down the road, when I see the video of our 4 and 6 year old daughters in high definition - I know that I'll cherish every little smile and grin that I'll be able to see.

I'm not a pro and don't make documentaries or DVDs. I was in market for a new camcorder when it was launched and bought it within couple of months before our daughter's recital. Even then I feel its worth every penny. Resolution - sharp as it can be -...

Little big heavy for regular user like me - which I personally think its worth it

Dec, 2006

Consumer review (

As good as MiniDV gets


Shot a 50 min narrative film. I used the cinema gamma profile that the camera comes with; looks pretty good, HD looks just fine. You'd have to spend a lot more to get a little more improvement as far as HD goes. The PROs win this argument. You can do...

Within the limits of DV, this camera is excellent. There's a point when you have to stop fretting about your tech specs and just do your project; with this camera shooting in 1080 HDV, you know you're solid on the tech level and can get to the creative...

Nothing overpoweringly con. The price? Maybe, but if you're into video professionally, the price is actually rock bottom for HD (or HDV) ; Infrequent but annoying momentary dropouts did occur; I suppose that that may be more of a tape issue than...

Dec, 2006

Consumer review (



If you have to beg, borrow, and... well, not steal... to afford this camera, DO IT!!! you will be extremely satisfied...

It is like the camera was made to go in your hand... very erginomical, i love it... interface is easy to use and buttons are easy to use also... video quality is unbelievable... I HIGHLY RECOMMEND

you know there is NONE

Jun, 2006

Consumer review (



This camcorder is absolutely amazing. I have filmed motocross with this (very upclose fast panning shots) and have not had any dropouts or anything with the HDV. The cineframe24 is pretty cool to use sometimes as well. Picture Profile settings=another...

Oct, 2005

Consumer review (

Sony records like no other


This camera is a dream. While it does have lots of different features, it is pretty easy to use. The little LCD screen lets me see what I'm shooting at that moment and it has always been crystal clear. The battery lasts a long time as well. I was...

crystal clear quality, beautiful LCD screen

can be a bit too big for some people

Mar, 2009

Product Specifications

The rapid transition to HD programming in broadcasting and postproduction has introduced a tremendous demand for an entry-level path into the HD world. Sony's response to this demand is the HVR-Z1U Digital HD Video Camera Recorder - a compact and cost-effective HD camcorder that builds on the market-acclaimed DVCAM recorders. The HVR-Z1U camcorder adopts the all-new, 1/4-inch HD format - the HDV 1080i specification of the HDV format. Combined with three high-resolution 1/3-inch type mega pixel CCDs, the HVR-Z1U captures and plays back 1080i HD signals, while maintaining the DVCAM/DV recording and playback capabilities provided on current Sony DVCAM models. What's more, the HVR-Z1U offers a down-conversion capability of its 1080i recordings. These features allow the HVR-Z1U to be active immediately in current SD systems, while also providing a step-by-step migration to the HD world - operators can continue to acquire in DVCAM or DV, and switch to the HDV as needed, or acquire in HDV 1080i from the start and use the down-conversion capability as required. In addition to a unique camcorder body design and with its multitude of camera features, the HVR-Z1U offers maximum operability in the field, as well as opening up a new range of opportunities for creative shooting. Combining these features with the HD picture quality that HDV format provides, the HVR-Z1U becomes an exciting acquisition tool for a variety of applications today and tomorrow - from video journalism, wedding and event videography, corporate and training productions, and digital movie-making, up to broadcast newsgathering. Offered at a price tag comparable to Sony DVCAM camcorders, the HVR-Z1U paves the way into cost-effective but uncompromised HD program production.

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Battery Type:AA R6 / NP-F570
Manufacturer Battery Name:Sony NP-F570

Camcorder Features

High Definition Video Support:1080i
Widescreen Video Capture: Yes


Minimum illumination:3


Color of product:Black

Dimensions & Weight



Display Diagonal:3.5
Display Resolution:1120 x 224 / 250880

Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:3.5in
Diagonal Size (metric):8.9cm
Display Form Factor:Rotating
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Spotlight


Color of product:Black
Filter size:1.46 / 2.83


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Sony

Image Sensor

Optical sensor size:1 / 3
Sensor Type:CCD / CMOS
Total megapixels:3.21

Lens System

Digital Zoom:1
Filter size:2.83
Focal length range (f-f):0.177 - 2.13
Image Stabilizer: Yes
Lens Aperture:F/1.6-2.8
Max Focal Length:54mm
Min Focal Length:4.5mm
Optical Zoom:12
Optical Zoom:12
Type:Zoom lens

Operational Conditions

Operating temperature (T-T):0 - 40
Operating temperature range (T-T):0 - 40

Optical Sensor

Camcorder Effective Video Resolution:1.07Mpix
Camcorder Sensor Resolution:1.12Mpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/3 / 1/3"/1/3"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):8.5 mm ( 1/3 ) / 8.5 mm ( 1/3" )
Optical Sensor Type:3CCD/Super HAD 3CCD
Sensor Qty:3CCD

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical (Super Steady Shot)

Other Features

Auto focus: Yes
I/O ports:Audio In, Audio Out, i.LINK (DV) In, i.LINK (DV) Out, S-Video In, S-Video Out, Video In, Video Out\n
Lens system:Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T
Manual focus: Yes
Power Requirements:7.9 W (LCD), 7.3 W (VF) / DC 7.2 V
Resolution:1440 x 1080
Shooting programs:Slow Shutter

Ports & interfaces

Component video (YPbPr/YCbCr) out:1
DV port: Yes
Microphone in: Yes
S-Video in: Yes
S-Video out: Yes

Pro Camcorder Features



Camera shutter speed:1/4-1/10000


Camcorder tape type:HDV

Video Input

Analog Video Format:NTSC / PAL/PAL / NTSC
Digital Scene Transition:Black fader / White fader/Black fader / White fader
Digital Video Format:MPEG-2
Media Type:Mini DV (HDV)


Image Aspect Ratio (camcorders):16:9
Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder screen size:0.44
Viewfinder Type:LCD

Weight & Dimensions

Weight:19.4 / 4.41 / 4.63

White Balance

Indoor white balance: Yes
Onepush white balance: Yes
Outdoor white balance: Yes