I have a shoot this weekend at a large conference hall, filming the keynote speaker. We're planning on renting three cameras. As a charity, we have a limited budget. I was planning on renting the relatively new Sony NX5U for ~$250. However, my boss has found someone who will rent us the now-discontinued Sony Z1U HDV camera for half the price.
I have never worked with the Z1U, but my instincts tell me to rent the newer camera, the NX5U, and pay the extra. Does anyone have any comments about which option is better?
The edited video will be sold on DVDs, for your information...
I'm not going to recommend one over the other, but one thing to keep in mind is the Z1 records in HDV format to tape whereas the NX5 records AVCHD to cards or the optional FMU-128GB flash memory drive. Your editing workflow might be the deciding factor.
If you're shooting SD, then it doesn't matter which camera you choose, although the NX5U will be slightly better in low light situations due to the newer Exmor chips.
If you're shooting HD, keep in mind that HDV is only 1440x1080 where the NX5U shoots 1920x1080. Also, if you shoot on HDV, you'll need the camera to ingest the footage to the NLE. With the NX5U, you only need the SDHC cards. You said you're using 3 cameras. Are they independent or going to a switcher? The NX5U has SDI out, the Z1U does not.