Sony HDR-FX-1000 FX-1000 HDV CamcorderB&H is now accepting FX-1000 orders. It is listed at $3,199 and is in stock. The HVR-Z5U is also now available and currently listed at $4099

In another sign that there is still a wide market for tape-based cameras, Sony has announced two new models that utilize MiniDV tape to record DV, HDV, and DVCAM. Based on the (limited) specs we have at this time, it appears that the new HDR-FX1000 and HVR-Z5U camcorders will be replacing the HDR-FX1 and HVR-Z1U models in Sony’s lineup, respectively. Why they chose to go with wildly different model naming conventions is beyond me, however.

HDR-FX1000 (preliminary) features
3-CMOS image sensors (Exmor processing)
Sony G-series lens
20X optical zoom
NTSC DV/HDV (1440×1080)

HVR-Z5J (preliminary) features
3-CMOS image sensors (Exmor processing)
Sony G-series lens
20X optical zoom
NTSC/PAL DV/HDV/DVCAM (1440×1080) (see Shawn Lam’s comment below about PAL)
XLR Audio

FX1000 features a 20x zoom lens for the long shotIn addition to switchable NSTC and PAL modes, the HVR Z5J can also be used with Sony’s CF card recorder unit, similar to how the Z7U works. It’s worth noting that the Z7U’s CF recorder can be used with just about ANY firewire-equipped camcorder, though I imagine the Z5J will be sporting a mount point for it’s solid-state unit to simplify things. The Z5 can also be configured to output multiple formats, like HDV to tape while also outputting DV to CF media.

UPDATE: A few differences between these models and the FX1/Z1U include a vastly upgraded LCD with 921K pixels vs 250K pixels, and the addition of a 3rd ND filter built into the lens. Options now include ND 1/4, 1/16, and 1/64 much like the Z7U offers. The lens is not a fixed aperture throughout, with a range from f/1.6 at full wide to f/3.4 at the telephoto end. That is just over two full stops of light transmission difference from wide to tele, and it shows some of the compromises made to get 20x range out of the glass.

Both models are expected to be released in Japan late this fall, with worldwide rollout to follow. Prices for the FX1000 and Z5J Japan release are ¥400,000 (US $3,700) and ¥554,400 (US $5,100), respectively. The HVR-MRC1K memory recording unit is expected to cost ¥98,490 (US $900).

B&H is now accepting FX-1000 orders. It is listed at $3,199 and is in stock. The HVR-Z5U is also now available and currently listed at $4099. They have also posted a first impressions review of the FX1000 camcorder.

5 Responses to “Sony Announces HDR-FX1000 and HVR-Z5J HDV Camcorders”  

  1. 1 Vancouver Video Production Forum - Shawn Lam

    Hey Matt – just wanted to weigh-in on the Z5 news. Although some might argue that there is not much really new with Z5 that the Z7 doesn’t have (same CMOS sensor, same low light sensitivity of 1.5 lux, same annoying DIN connector outputs) – not that there is anything wrong the specs, with the exception of the video outs – the sucess of the Z5 is going to come down to the lens.

    The new Sony G-series lens has a 29.5-590mm range (35mm equivalent), or 20x optical zoom, and offers both a slightly wider and longer lens than the Z7’s 32-384mm stock lens. Historically Minolta (which Sony purchased in 2006), reserved its G-Series designation for its best lenses. It remains to be seen how it compares to the 12x Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Lens of the Z7. One thing for sure is that the Z5 will be $2,000 cheaper than the Z7 ($1,000 when you factor the CF recorder that is an option with the Z5).

    The value of the Z5 becomes even greater when you factor the $1,025 MSRP of a Century Optics 1.6X HD Tele-Converter (#HD-16TC-Z7U), which is what it would take to convert the Z7 stock lens to the range a 20x lens can obtain.

    Will the Z5 be a Canon XHA1 killer? With a better low light sensitivity and option to outfit with a CF recorder, the Z5 is a very attractive alternative for those who need a longer lens. Bottom line – the XHA1 is about 1/2 the price of a Z5 but event videographers value low light sensitivity so much the Z5 is destined to be the next must have camcorder.

    –Shawn Lam, MPV

  2. 2 R. Rip

    Everything I am looking for in a new Cam for HD wedding videography…

    But is this CMOS have a rolling shutter???

    If so, the rolling shutter makes for very odd looking slow motion with any still photography flashing. That could be a easy deal breaker with both slow-mo and camera flash in most every wedding video, and the other rolling shutter skewing and distorting issues that can happen with camera movement.

    If so, 2 steps forward, one big step back….

  3. 3 Matthew Jeppsen

    Thanks for the comments, Shawn. Insightful point about the lens extender…that has long been a popular point in favor of the XHA1. Glad to see Sony addressing it. By the way, enjoyed your S270 review in EventDV. Keep up the great work.

    R. Rip, any CMOS camera on the market today can be “broken.” You can make them all exhibit rolling shutter skew if you pan fast enough, and pop enough flashes in the lens and it’ll show the tell-tale split frames. Even Red and the SI-2K digital cinema cameras can exhibit these issues in certain situations. However, it’s important to note that many videographers fully aware of these limitations are creating fantastic work with them regardless. Based on what I’ve seen folks create with ’em, the cameras are still viable offerings in the Event space.

    -Matt Jeppsen

  4. 4 Shawn Lam

    Well it didn’t take long for Sony USA to announce pricing details for the US market:

    HVR-Z5U – $4,950 – December release
    HVR-MRC1K – $940 – October release
    HDR-FX1000 – $3,200 – November release

    I also don’t think 25p and 50i (basically PAL) will be available in North America or Japan, despite what was erroneously reported on There is potential for SONY to offer PAL as an upgrade on NTSC models as this is currently available on the Z7J and S270 in the Japanese market.

  5. 5 peter

    FX1000 not have line input!!! only mic sensity… old FX1 is better because you can use mic or line input!

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