I've covered a few live theatre shows (Musicals, Taiko Drumming etc) with a 3 camera PD1750/170 set up in the past - now have a Z1 and was planning on a 3 camera shoot for a Drumming Gig with 3 of same.....haven't really had the opportunity to shoot any shows with this Camera yet and was wondering if there were any 'gotchas' I should be looking out for with the new camera with this kind of use...any tips appreciated.
I am all in favor of getting into HDV, in fact, I just bought a Z1 to take over from my trusted PD150, but I am shooting primarily single camera jobs, film style.
You talk about a three camera setup. If you plan to accomplish the switching and effects in post, and have the right software with the right HDV codecs, the Z1 will work for you.
Live switching of these cameras right now is not an option, unless you use them in SD mode and make the same SD picture you did with the older cameras. But then what's the point?
I got the Z1 last week and have used it on three assignments so far - a small wedding, a graduation party, and a personal graduation video for the family of one graduate.
There is a lot in common with the 150/170 generation of cameras, such as the menu system. The Z1 is a little heavier, but the camera is better balanced and the position of the view screen makes it possible to rest the camera in front of your shoulder. The lens has also been improved.
Many of the labelled buttons have been removed in favor of 6 assignable buttons. For example, there are no buttons for fade, backlight, and spotlight. I never used fade anyway, so I assigned the buttons to the functions I did use. There is the usual menu button, plus a personal menu button for functions you work through a lot. I set up my personal menu to cover mic input functions.
Low light performance is a half stop less than the PD 150, but there is a hypergain function available. There are also scads of image appearance choices, but I have not gotten into that yet.
I got the cam on a Thursday and had planned to practice for a month before taking it out on a job. But it handled so well that I decided to initiate it the next day.
In a lot of ways, this is a thinking person's camera.