I would like to hear everyone's opinions on best 3ccd cameras that are great for wedding videography.
I am currently considering the Sony HVR-Z1, pd 170 and panasonic AG DVX-100AE.
This will give you an idea of my price range also.
I want something that is relatively easy to use well, reliable, adaptable to other events if necessary.
I am also considering shooting/producing a TV commercial (Australia) in the near future for a client.
My edit station is a G5 1.8 DP 2.5 gig ram, FCP, AE, DVD studio pro, decklink pro.
Do you have a chance to rent any of these cameras? The Z1 is an excellent camera. I have a DVX100a at work and absolutely love it. The ausio is awesome and the optics are great too. If you are considering HDV, check out the new JVC camera as well. It has interchangeable lenses and native 16x9 aquisition. Are you going to have to but a new VTR for ingest into your MAC? Maybe there will be some more feedback and suggestions. Try posting in the Panasonic DVX forum and Sony forum.
While all three are good cameras, the PD-170 has the best low light performance (least grain) which is key for dark receptions. You can use a camera light but the brighter the light the more the intrusion. I find people are sometimes unhappy even with a 10W light.
You should also consider if/what other work you might be shooting. Once Blu-Ray or HD DVD hit the market, you'll be able to deliver HiDef to clients with HDTV. I'm just not sure how dark grainy reception video will look at HiDef sizes or such clients will just have to understand you'd need to shoot with a camera light on. If that's the case, the Z1 could work.