Sony's Z1E 'Unbelievable' at Minus Thirty

Written by James MacGregor from Sony News Release on . Posted in Equipment

Arctick Clare Winnick“The last thing you want is to sort the camera out when you are that cold, but because the HVR-Z1E was so straightforward to use, I was enthusiastic to get it out and use it... at an average temperature of minus thirty I didn’t expect it to work, but I picked it up and used it.”

Under the extreme conditions of the Arctic the HVR-Z1E has proved itself extremely adaptable. Clare Winnick, head of operations, Granada ITV, Manchester, took a HVR-Z1E on her recent charity trek to the Magnetic North Pole and she says she would recommend the small high definition camcorder to anyone.

Winnick filmed daily, capturing footage of her progress in the Polar Race 2005 and playing out a downconverted SD feed each night to send back via the ITV FTP site to the news team at Granada Reports.

“There just wasn’t time for faffing about,” says Winnick of the experience. “The last thing you want is to sort the camera out when you are that cold (55 below), but because the HVR-Z1E was so straightforward to use, I was enthusiastic to get it out and use it. Sometimes I even persuaded team-mates to shoot footage. They had no experience of operating a camera yet they took it up, on automatic settings, and found it easy to use, which was amazing.

Arctick Clair Winnick 2

“We shot video diary work and a lot of cutaways to capture the landscape – as well as pieces to camera for the news. I used the HVR-Z1E’s standard settings with both HD and DV formats. It is so easy to switch between formats, and that flexibility was fantastic.”

So too was the camcorder’s tolerance to extreme conditions. “For the twenty days the race lasted it was stored outside under a tarpaulin with the rest of the kit. And at an average temperature of minus thirty, which is unbelievable. I didn’t expect it to work, as I’m sure the manufacturers wouldn’t, but I picked it up and used it.”

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