I currently own a Sony VX-2000 and plan on upgrading to the HDR-FX1 or HVR-Z1. I do weddings, speakers, events, etc. I have two questions. Is the Z1 worth the extra $1,400? Also, I read where the FX1 can only shoot HDV in 16:9...is this true of the Z1 or can it do both formats (4:3). I noticed many people (online) have purchased the FX1 and simply added a Beachtek ($300) xlr adapter. Thanks for any reply.
I have to throw in my two cents. I've been searching for the same answer. The FX1 has no XLR connections and as you stated, you'll need an adapter unless you record everything by mini disc players or some other recording device. The Z1U has the XLR connections. I believe everything is recorded in widescreen. Due a search on the sony site and good luck.
I selected the Z1. It was really no contest. The black stretch and hypergain are needed for some situations, but the real deal maker is the XLR mic hookup. A few years ago I had the whole connector block break out of a camera with minijack connections. I am very happy with this camera.
Something to note is that you don't have the same direct select switches to choose external mikes over the internal stereo. However, this wonderful cam gives you programmable buttons and a personal menu, so you can set up quick access functions to go from internal stereo mike to external mono mike bridged to both channels, or whatever you want.
I was starting out new and selected the FX1 because it was only like $3,200 then and I believe the Z1U was around $5k at the time. I needed two cameras and my start up budget did not fall with in the range of the Z1U - however, if I had to do it all over again, knowing how much business I have now, I would have gotten the Z1U mainly becuase it is a "professional" camera with more features like the XLR. I don't like buying adapters such as the beachtek and attaching them to the camera because this only makes it more difficult to operate handheld I would think. I do not own the adapter, but it is going to be my next buy for sure.