The Official Sony HDR-CX500V/HDR-CX520V Owners Thread - Page 7 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Which model did you buy?
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post #181 of 373 Old 12-19-2009, 06:51 PM
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at amazon.com for $48 - I bought one already, it is a good price.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ss_T15_product
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post #182 of 373 Old 12-19-2009, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by nash123 View Post

at amazon.com for $48 - I bought one already, it is a good price.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ss_T15_product

You can purchase a NP-FH100...


http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...&condition=new

Post when you get your battery so that we can know the "safe" places to purchase from...I'm always leary of what I will recieve when I buy from Amazon or Ebay...but, I will say at least Amazon enforces it's rules..

Do you know if there is a "hood" to block the sun for the flip-out viewer?


Rick
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post #183 of 373 Old 12-20-2009, 04:47 AM
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Any rumors of some new CX models at CES 2010 from Sony?

I am curious when the first 128GB camcorder will be out....
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post #184 of 373 Old 12-20-2009, 07:09 AM
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You can purchase a NP-FH100...


http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...&condition=new

Post when you get your battery so that we can know the "safe" places to purchase from...I'm always leary of what I will recieve when I buy from Amazon or Ebay...but, I will say at least Amazon enforces it's rules..

Do you know if there is a "hood" to block the sun for the flip-out viewer?


Rick

Couple of reasons why I did not buy the 100:

1. It is much more expensive.
2. I heard that it makes the camcorder bulky and makes the end of the camera heavy.
3. The 70 sells directly from Amazon so I know I am getting a genuine Sony. The 100 is sold by others and I would not trust them.

I will post when I get my battery.
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post #185 of 373 Old 12-20-2009, 11:38 PM
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I'm jumping in, too. Should get my camera on Tuesday if east coast weather doesn't interfere. I was online last night (also around midnight when kids were asleep) and I was choosing my accessories so I could get the $799 deal at amazon. I clicked onto shopping cart to see my total and the camera price had jumped up by $100 in 10 minutes. ARGHHH!!! Good news is now I'm buying at B & H for the same $899 that amazon now charges except I'm getting an extended warranty that will cover the camera if it's dropped, chewed, etc. Amazon's warranties don't do that.

Most of our filming will be of our rather young kids. I have no time for editing and little for figuring out how this all works. All I want to do is transfer my files from my camera to the harddrive for storage and playback. I understand I should get a media player to act as a go between for my harddrive and my HDTV.

Is the ps3 just a media player or are people refering to a Playstation 3 (Okay, if it isn't obvious, I admit it, I don't even know what a playstation is, I've just heard the term.) Can anyone give me a link to see the ps3 you are all talking about?

Any thoughts on which media players you would recommend. A link would be greatly appreciated.

I truly don't want to edit my "film" right now. Do I need to use software to import the data or can I just drag and drop and play with a media player?

Since I don't want to edit now, if I have to use software, I'm assuming the enclosed software is sufficient for now. (Someday I can come back and edit the downloaded data.)

I'm hearing all kinds of terms and I'd like to understand them. Anyone want to help out a stay at home mom learn these terms and any others that are relevant for using this camera:

AVI, DivX, Xvid, FLV, WMV, RM and RMVB
- MKV formats supported up to 480p resolution (hardware limited)
- MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-3 and MPEG-4
- DVD files (VIDEO_TS/VOB)
- AVI support for: AAC, AC3 Audio, H.264, MPEG4, and VBR MP3
- Subtitle support for SSA and SRT

Also, we have a samsung 1500 blu ray player. I think I read somewhere about the possibility of playback problems with AVCHD. Anyone here had that problem and found a fix?

I appreciate any and all help. I'm trying to learn about this stuff late at night when I'm already tired from a full day. However, I can't wait to watch the kids on our hdtv. Thanks for your help.
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post #186 of 373 Old 12-21-2009, 12:37 AM
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The PS3 is short for Playstation 3 and that's what I used as a media player.

I hear that some of the older Blu-Ray players might have had problems and yours could be OK but I don't think It'll be as easy as putting the files onto the PS3 since it's like a computer. You can basically dump a bunch of compatible photo and video files onto a data DVD disc and the PS3 will play them. Even simpler, you can take the memory card out of the camcorder and into the PS3 as long as you have a card reader hooked up to it and dump the files unto it's hard drive or an external hard drive. The older PS3's had card readers built in but Sony took them off the never ones to save money.

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post #187 of 373 Old 12-21-2009, 07:04 AM
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I have the CX500V.
If possible can someone please provide what are the best setting to get the most out of this camcorder. I want to be able to record the best HD picture allowed by the Camcorder.

Thanks

Any feedback is appreciated.
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post #188 of 373 Old 12-21-2009, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackyardChickens View Post

I'm jumping in, too. Should get my camera on Tuesday if east coast weather doesn't interfere. I was online last night (also around midnight when kids were asleep) and I was choosing my accessories so I could get the $799 deal at amazon. I clicked onto shopping cart to see my total and the camera price had jumped up by $100 in 10 minutes. ARGHHH!!! Good news is now I'm buying at B & H for the same $899 that amazon now charges except I'm getting an extended warranty that will cover the camera if it's dropped, chewed, etc. Amazon's warranties don't do that.

Most of our filming will be of our rather young kids. I have no time for editing and little for figuring out how this all works. All I want to do is transfer my files from my camera to the harddrive for storage and playback. I understand I should get a media player to act as a go between for my harddrive and my HDTV.

Is the ps3 just a media player or are people refering to a Playstation 3 (Okay, if it isn't obvious, I admit it, I don't even know what a playstation is, I've just heard the term.) Can anyone give me a link to see the ps3 you are all talking about?

Any thoughts on which media players you would recommend. A link would be greatly appreciated.

I truly don't want to edit my "film" right now. Do I need to use software to import the data or can I just drag and drop and play with a media player?

Since I don't want to edit now, if I have to use software, I'm assuming the enclosed software is sufficient for now. (Someday I can come back and edit the downloaded data.)

I'm hearing all kinds of terms and I'd like to understand them. Anyone want to help out a stay at home mom learn these terms and any others that are relevant for using this camera:

AVI, DivX, Xvid, FLV, WMV, RM and RMVB
- MKV formats supported up to 480p resolution (hardware limited)
- MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-3 and MPEG-4
- DVD files (VIDEO_TS/VOB)
- AVI support for: AAC, AC3 Audio, H.264, MPEG4, and VBR MP3
- Subtitle support for SSA and SRT

Also, we have a samsung 1500 blu ray player. I think I read somewhere about the possibility of playback problems with AVCHD. Anyone here had that problem and found a fix?

I appreciate any and all help. I'm trying to learn about this stuff late at night when I'm already tired from a full day. However, I can't wait to watch the kids on our hdtv. Thanks for your help.

This should be the easiest ...just plug your camera in (just about any format, moving picture or still), and push a button...then play in your blue ray player, or DVD player, depending on how you set your copying (HD can only be played back on Blueray, but you can also set the copier to record so you can playback on regular DVD players.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...G&A=details&Q=

Rick
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post #189 of 373 Old 12-21-2009, 03:01 PM
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An aside - I only put 4-5 clips on my PS3's hard drive before I switched to using an attached large portable USB drive. My PS3 is three years old and doesn't have the new 250GB drives. The clips I did store on the PS3's own drive show up as thumbnails; the clips on the USB drive don't, so I have named the latter something descriptive as I moved them from the cam to the USB drive.

Hi Tom,
Hope this youtube clip helps to upgrade your 3 years old ps3. Not sure if it works for your model though.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNSytaL9hnI
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post #190 of 373 Old 12-21-2009, 05:37 PM
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Couple of reasons why I did not buy the 100:

1. It is much more expensive.
2. I heard that it makes the camcorder bulky and makes the end of the camera heavy.
3. The 70 sells directly from Amazon so I know I am getting a genuine Sony. The 100 is sold by others and I would not trust them.

I will post when I get my battery.

Got the NP-FH70 today from Amazon, it looks like the real stuff.
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post #191 of 373 Old 12-21-2009, 06:57 PM
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Hi Tom,
Hope this youtube clip helps to upgrade your 3 years old ps3. Not sure if it works for your model though.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNSytaL9hnI

Thanks, I'll check it out. Maybe I could put my "Top 10 favorites to watch" on there for convenience. One has to be in that group - we had a crow infestation across the street one day - hundreds of them on the ground in a field and flying around. Our cat gets really agitated on that one and loves the clip. He gets right up on his hind legs watching the TV and meowing plaintively. I'm sure he'd like me to play that clip more.
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post #192 of 373 Old 12-21-2009, 08:53 PM
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Thanks for the responses. This is my 3rd time today trying to respond here. Hope third's the charm.

I'd considered the sony dvd burner, but after reading here about media players, I'd much rather go that route than burn and store dvds. I already own an external hard drive that I bought specifically as a back up for my movies, so I'm pretty close to getting to my new dream system.

I put the Western Digital media player live on my Christmas list. This will let the kids watch themselves on TV without me having to worry about them damaging the dvds. For any other newbies out there like me, the WD media player did well in cnet.com reviews. I called WD and he said the only difference between the regular media player and the live one is that live lets you connect to a computer. He also said the player is listed as supporting AVC so it should support AVCHD. I checked out the reviews at amazon. I guess the latest firmware has been destroying the live media players and that the updates happen automatically when you hook it up to the internet. I just won't hook mine up to the computer until there's a new firmware that doesn't do destroy the box.

My CX500V is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. I used my panasonic PV-GS300 to film my son and his cousins baking Christmas cookies with Grandma today (and the baby, ok toddler, running up and down the hall after the "big" kids.) I can't wait for the new camera.
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post #193 of 373 Old 12-23-2009, 11:36 PM
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Hm.. I would still consider something to back up your video, I would never put everything onto a hard drive and not have other copies...

I preffer making 2 copies of each video when I burn them... one for play, one for storage.

Yes, there is always the possibility of "DVD rot" but I would find it more likely something happening to a hard drive causing it to lose it's information or making it unobtainable than double copy discs.

But, we all make our own choices... good luck and wish you the best with your new camera..

Rick
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post #194 of 373 Old 12-24-2009, 06:45 AM
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Hm.. I would still consider something to back up your video, I would never put everything onto a hard drive and not have other copies...

I preffer making 2 copies of each video when I burn them... one for play, one for storage.

Yes, there is always the possibility of "DVD rot" but I would find it more likely something happening to a hard drive causing it to lose it's information or making it unobtainable than double copy discs.

But, we all make our own choices... good luck and wish you the best with your new camera..

Rick

I absolutely agree about backups. That's part of the reason I switched to portable drives, actually. It's far easier to back up multiple drives than to burn a ton of DVDs.

I actually have four copies, typically. I edit on the PC, so I keep most everything there (a 500 GB drive came with it). Then, I have two USB drives hooked up to HDTVs in the house. I have a third one that I keep at the office, so periodically, I'll take a drive from home and just copy new stuff onto the office one while I'm working.
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post #195 of 373 Old 12-24-2009, 11:09 PM
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I absolutely agree about backups. That's part of the reason I switched to portable drives, actually. It's far easier to back up multiple drives than to burn a ton of DVDs.

I actually have four copies, typically. I edit on the PC, so I keep most everything there (a 500 GB drive came with it). Then, I have two USB drives hooked up to HDTVs in the house. I have a third one that I keep at the office, so periodically, I'll take a drive from home and just copy new stuff onto the office one while I'm working.

I watch my recorded movies on my HD bigscreen using my Blueray player, not on my computer...
Is there a better way to do this using a hardrive, but not having to go through the expense of another computer..besides, I have all my audio gear there and I don't have room for anything else.

Rick
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post #196 of 373 Old 12-25-2009, 05:44 AM
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I watch my recorded movies on my HD bigscreen using my Blueray player, not on my computer...
Is there a better way to do this using a hardrive, but not having to go through the expense of another computer..besides, I have all my audio gear there and I don't have room for anything else.

Rick

The options discussed here seem to be:

1. Play back direct from the cam - obviously of limited use as you build up a video library.
2. Move video clips to a USB hard drive and play them back through a PlayStation3 or a media player (Western Digital makes one). A PS3 also has its own built-in hard drive where you can put some amount of video.
3. Buy a Blu-Ray burner and burn the video to Blu-Ray disks.
4. Some Blu-Ray players will take a regular DVD with AVCHD video burned onto it and will play it back successfully (new Sonys do, someone complained about a specific Samsung not doing so).
5. Stream the video from your PC to your TV via a wireless connection (I think you need some playback hardware on the TV side like a PS3, an XBox, etc.).

I'm sure there are other options or flavors of these, too. Most of this is probably already documented at this site or others - you need to dig into what's already online to get the best answer to your questions. I've personally only tried #s 1 and 2.
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post #197 of 373 Old 12-25-2009, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Gull View Post

The options discussed here seem to be:

1. Play back direct from the cam - obviously of limited use as you build up a video library.
2. Move video clips to a USB hard drive and play them back through a PlayStation3 or a media player (Western Digital makes one). A PS3 also has its own built-in hard drive where you can put some amount of video.
3. Buy a Blu-Ray burner and burn the video to Blu-Ray disks.
4. Some Blu-Ray players will take a regular DVD with AVCHD video burned onto it and will play it back successfully (new Sonys do, someone complained about a specific Samsung not doing so).
5. Stream the video from your PC to your TV via a wireless connection (I think you need some playback hardware on the TV side like a PS3, an XBox, etc.).

I'm sure there are other options or flavors of these, too. Most of this is probably already documented at this site or others - you need to dig into what's already online to get the best answer to your questions. I've personally only tried #s 1 and 2.

Hi Tom and other group members

I would like to add a 6th way of a copying method esp. for the HD Sony users and that is the Sony DVDirect VRD MC10. I was able to try out for the 1st time copying my HD HF AVCHD format captured with my CX520V and copy the data to a DVD-R disc. It took aprox 7.5 minutes to copy a disc which was able to hold 30 min. The quality when played on my blu-ray player and Panasonic 58" 1080P Plasma was outstanding and look the same as when I played the camcorder direct to the same TV through an HDMI cable. I am next going to try out video taken in AVCHD but at HD HQ. This will allow approx 60 min of HD on a DVD disc. The VRD MC10 will also except DVD +/- RW and DVD+DL.

Merry Christmas!

Chris
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post #198 of 373 Old 12-26-2009, 09:14 AM
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Hi Tom and other group members

I would like to add a 6th way of a copying method esp. for the HD Sony users and that is the Sony DVDirect VRD MC10. I was able to try out for the 1st time copying my HD HF AVCHD format captured with my CX520V and copy the data to a DVD-R disc. It took aprox 7.5 minutes to copy a disc which was able to hold 30 min. The quality when played on my blu-ray player and Panasonic 58" 1080P Plasma was outstanding and look the same as when I played the camcorder direct to the same TV through an HDMI cable. I am next going to try out video taken in AVCHD but at HD HQ. This will allow approx 60 min of HD on a DVD disc. The VRD MC10 will also except DVD +/- RW and DVD+DL.

Merry Christmas!

Chris


Yes, this is what we were talking about.
I suggested using a MC6 to record onto DVD. Tom Gull does not like recording onto DVD and suggested backing up with another hard drive.
I have not tried the double DVD yet, I hope it works as well, as this is what I bought the recorder to use.

Rick
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post #199 of 373 Old 12-26-2009, 10:19 AM
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Yes, this is what we were talking about.
I suggested using a MC6 to record onto DVD. Tom Gull does not like recording onto DVD and suggested backing up with another hard drive.
I have not tried the double DVD yet, I hope it works as well, as this is what I bought the recorder to use.

Rick

Rick these are fantastic devices and quite fast for recording + without the headaches of using a PC and dedicated software (I have Corels LiveStudio Pro X2). You will not have the editing capabilities that the PC & software provide, but if you used some in-camera editing such as fade etc. and the basic editing that the Sony MC uses, you will create decent video and picture slide shows on a DVD in HD "IMHO"

My only concerns with using a hard drive system is breakdown. All hard drives have moving parts and are prone to failure eventually. If they do fail then good luck trying to retrieve your precious data. I know you can buy several hard drives, but that can be confusing when you have to find a certain video/picture fast when you need to. This is why the newer camcorders are becoming more & more popular with using a flash system rather then a HDD.

** A DVD disc takes a small amount of space and can be stored for many decades**

Chris
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post #200 of 373 Old 12-26-2009, 10:26 AM
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Yes, this is what we were talking about.
I suggested using a MC6 to record onto DVD. Tom Gull does not like recording onto DVD and suggested backing up with another hard drive.
I have not tried the double DVD yet, I hope it works as well, as this is what I bought the recorder to use.

Rick

"...does not like..." is maybe too strong a statement and certainly doesn't cover all situations. My preference is based partly on volume of things to digitize (video, music, documents, pictures), partly on convenience, and partly on my target output device (HDTVs and very little photo printing). It's a way to go but not the only one I'd recommend based on a person's needs.

If a person needs to distribute copies to people who have DVD players, for example, that's the way to go. And the convenience of one-touch DVD production now is much higher than the hoops we used to have to jump through to prepare and burn DVDs. The Sony burners and cam support are actually one "how to..." for one of the items I listed - putting AVCHD clips on blank DVDs for playback in Blu-Ray players.

For context of why volume is important to me, my parents had me digitize all of their home movies and almost 1,000 photos before they died. I scanned most of the photos in the early 1990s and it took a long time to do. I should have it redone now at modern resolutions and color depths - we're talking hundreds of photos alone from the 1840s to the 1920s or so. For the movies, I ended up sending those out locally for conversion since I didn't have the right equipment. Same thing for some 400 slides (there are four times that I haven't had the money to digitize). The movies went onto VHS tapes, and then I eventually created about a 20 DVD set personally from those. I duplicated each DVD five times to have backups, a playable copy, and then copies for my siblings. So I'm pretty aware of the amount of space and time it takes to go the DVD route if you're distributing them, and also that there is a failure rate unless you buy the very best DVD blanks.

So I experienced a switch to digitizing over the last 19 years (!) and that accelerated when I got my first camcorder that transferred digital files as is from its media to a PC. I digitized my music CDs and all but a few of my record albums last year and donated the records to Goodwill. I made sure all the video on my mini-DV tapes was in MP2 files, and also ripped all the DVD video back to MP2 files as well. Then I trashed the tapes and DVDs. I have a ton of documents gathered from research over the years, and I've scanned about 10% of those into the PC and tossed the paper. The media for all of these have no sentimental value to me so I'm not throwing away something I directly care about - the digital copies are the important ones and they're all immediately accessible to me in multiple places now. These files can also be carried into the future easily - it's not like I'll need to convert them to some new format on a given day or they'll be lost, since millions of people will have files in these formats and vendors will provide upgrade pathways. So I have picked up a lot of space by digitizing the media and the cost of doing so is probably now lower than other alternatives that go to smaller, intermediate forms of media.

At the end, I hope to have all the family photos, videos, slides, music, and documents digitized and an uncrowded environment. I'll keep the original older photos and documents I inherited because those really do have sentimental value. That's maybe 8 cubic feet of material. But for content I create and newer items, the digital copy is far more accessible and can be backed up easily. Libraries are digitizing as well - this isn't an avant garde trend anymore, it's a practical use of cheap storage and great output devices.

So my basic advice is the same as for buying a cam - figure out your needs and meet them. Don't worry about what other people like or don't like, just understand the technology and make it work for you.
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post #201 of 373 Old 12-26-2009, 01:41 PM
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"...does not like..." is maybe too strong a statement and certainly doesn't cover all situations. My preference is based partly on volume of things to digitize (video, music, documents, pictures), partly on convenience, and partly on my target output device (HDTVs and very little photo printing). It's a way to go but not the only one I'd recommend based on a person's needs.

If a person needs to distribute copies to people who have DVD players, for example, that's the way to go. And the convenience of one-touch DVD production now is much higher than the hoops we used to have to jump through to prepare and burn DVDs. The Sony burners and cam support are actually one "how to..." for one of the items I listed - putting AVCHD clips on blank DVDs for playback in Blu-Ray players.

For context of why volume is important to me, my parents had me digitize all of their home movies and almost 1,000 photos before they died. I scanned most of the photos in the early 1990s and it took a long time to do. I should have it redone now at modern resolutions and color depths - we're talking hundreds of photos alone from the 1840s to the 1920s or so. For the movies, I ended up sending those out locally for conversion since I didn't have the right equipment. Same thing for some 400 slides (there are four times that I haven't had the money to digitize). The movies went onto VHS tapes, and then I eventually created about a 20 DVD set personally from those. I duplicated each DVD five times to have backups, a playable copy, and then copies for my siblings. So I'm pretty aware of the amount of space and time it takes to go the DVD route if you're distributing them, and also that there is a failure rate unless you buy the very best DVD blanks.

So I experienced a switch to digitizing over the last 19 years (!) and that accelerated when I got my first camcorder that transferred digital files as is from its media to a PC. I digitized my music CDs and all but a few of my record albums last year and donated the records to Goodwill. I made sure all the video on my mini-DV tapes was in MP2 files, and also ripped all the DVD video back to MP2 files as well. Then I trashed the tapes and DVDs. I have a ton of documents gathered from research over the years, and I've scanned about 10% of those into the PC and tossed the paper. The media for all of these have no sentimental value to me so I'm not throwing away something I directly care about - the digital copies are the important ones and they're all immediately accessible to me in multiple places now. These files can also be carried into the future easily - it's not like I'll need to convert them to some new format on a given day or they'll be lost, since millions of people will have files in these formats and vendors will provide upgrade pathways. So I have picked up a lot of space by digitizing the media and the cost of doing so is probably now lower than other alternatives that go to smaller, intermediate forms of media.

At the end, I hope to have all the family photos, videos, slides, music, and documents digitized and an uncrowded environment. I'll keep the original older photos and documents I inherited because those really do have sentimental value. That's maybe 8 cubic feet of material. But for content I create and newer items, the digital copy is far more accessible and can be backed up easily. Libraries are digitizing as well - this isn't an avant garde trend anymore, it's a practical use of cheap storage and great output devices.

So my basic advice is the same as for buying a cam - figure out your needs and meet them. Don't worry about what other people like or don't like, just understand the technology and make it work for you.

Wow! Tom you sure have been busy over the years and what you are doing makes a lot of sense. My bother in-law has over 100 8mm video tapes to copy. His Sony camcorder died, so he has to figure out how to digitize them.

Chris
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Wow! Tom you sure have been busy over the years and what you are doing makes a lot of sense. My bother in-law has over 100 8mm video tapes to copy. His Sony camcorder died, so he has to figure out how to digitize them.

Chris

I've had to be honest with myself about the odds of me ever personally scanning or converting everything - it's kind of a mind-numbing and slow task. The advancements in all aspects of computing gave me a partial out.

The big conceptual change was being able to make copies of something that were 100% like the original and fully transportable across digital media. Everything else follows from that as the prices of all things digital drop.

Once the prices of conversion services go down some more, I'll probably get the remaining slides converted via snail mail. I'm not so sure about the old photographs. I don't like letting the more unique ones out of the house. They're not valuable to anyone except our family but losing them in the mail would be bad. I'll probably need to risk it at some point to get high-res copies scanned, but hopefully I can get that done locally.
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Very happy to have found this thread. Read every single posting - took a good bit but learned quite a bit.

We purchased two CX12 before the CX500/CX520 were announced. Obviously cost us a pretty penny. The one single reason why we picked up the CX12 is that it had better low light than the Canon.

Now, I'm reading about the CX520...

OK, won't be trading both CX12 but may do so for one pending on the difference in price. It's going to be expensive regardless to upgrade.

1. How much better is the CX520 videso and photos in normal indoor lighting which I deem to be 'low' lighting? The CX12 is still not that 'clean'. Are there any samples online of files I can download to compare the two in identical lighting?

I'm really a nut about low light quality.

2. Are the photos also much better in the low noise department?

3. The single greatest bother to me reading the specs is the lack of a earphone output. What gives? How do you monitor the sound? I use wireless bluetooth microphone with the CX12 and monitor the audio using a pair of earphones. Or on playback on camera, can listen to the sound better.

How does the CX500/520 get around this limitation?


Another huge pro is the better stabilization when hand held. Should be useful. I'll probably like the new menu system more too.

Thanks,
UL
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there is also the XR-500 which is basically the same camera (except it has a hard drive, instead of "electronic" memory), only different options...
It has more physical options, but less in software.

The XR has a viewfinder (which is one of my struggles on keeping the cx), it also has outputs for mic and headphones...which the cx only has the flash shoe to use for that, and if needed for flash, can it be used for anything else?

Rick
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there is also the XR-500 which is basically the same camera (except it has a hard drive, instead of "electronic" memory), only different options...
It has more physical options, but less in software.

The XR has a viewfinder (which is one of my struggles on keeping the cx), it also has outputs for mic and headphones...which the cx only has the flash shoe to use for that, and if needed for flash, can it be used for anything else?

Rick

The mic output might be decisive in this case for the next to last poster. I think this thread or the XR owner one contains a direct comparison I did on the two cams from marketing specs on the Sony Style website.

Dave Blackhurst has compared XR to CX directly now as posted on another website. He confirmed that the CX does have an extra type of stabilization vs the XR - the "3-Way Shake Canceling" is real and he could see it working in the CX but not in the XR. If standard stabilization damps down left to right and up to down motions, the 3-way refers to EIS damping down a twisting motion (clockwise/counter-clockwise). This and other comments from him re CX vs XR are at the Digital Video Information website, end of a recent Canon vs Sony XR500 thread in the AVCHD subforum.
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Thanks for the comments. I know about the XR but decided a year ago that hard drive based units are out for us due to size/weight/fragility/battery life. When we take our trips, I have to carry two cameras, two camcorders, one printer,one laptop, one pro wireless mic system. All these in a roller to take on the plane is already overweight so I need to go as small as possible.

My primary question: is the CX500 MUCH better in low light than CX12? Or is it a small incremental?

Thanks,
UL
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Thanks for the comments. I know about the XR but decided a year ago that hard drive based units are out for us due to size/weight/fragility/battery life. When we take our trips, I have to carry two cameras, two camcorders, one printer,one laptop, one pro wireless mic system. All these in a roller to take on the plane is already overweight so I need to go as small as possible.

My primary question: is the CX500 MUCH better in low light than CX12? Or is it a small incremental?

Thanks,
UL

Personal opinion having traded in a CX12 for a CX500V in October: the 500V is much better in low light than the CX12, both in "full auto" mode and in "low lux" mode. Better means "low noise in the video" to me - much less graininess. Low Lux mode is used for much lower light levels and is noisier but brighter than regular settings. Low Lux is primarily halving the (electronic) shutter speed to get more light at the expense of seeing more noise and losing a bit of color. It is noticeably brighter than regular exposure. In any given case where the regular exposures are good enough, I don't invoke Low Lux mode.

Please take a look at videos on YouTube to see this for yourself. I have some specific ones under ThomasAlexHD comparing regular filming vs Low Lux of the same subject. I also have an older HC7 film of the Brunswick Railroad Museum HO layout to contrast with CX500V film of the same subject. Others have posted CX500V low light clips as well.

The OIS on the 500 is also much improved over the CX12. Arguably, the CX/XRs are best in their weight class in low light low noise today, and the CX5xxV series is best in its class on the stabilization side. Other cams beat the Sonys on specific other features but the Sonys shine in these two areas at the moment. You couldn't make that statement about the CX12s. They were respectable but not on top.

There's a CX12 vs CX500V comparison of marketing specs either here or in the XR500 owner's forum. I went through the same questioning - is it worth trading in the CX12 and getting a CX500V? For any given year to year comparison, I'd expect not. But the new EIS algorithms and the Exmor-R chip handling of low light represent actual performance improvements you can see.

In my case, I had simply avoided using the CX12 indoors unless the subject was too good to ignore. I needed something to capture sugar glider behavior after my wife bought two of these new pets in September. So I didn't upgrade just to get the new capabilities, I needed the low light improvement specifically.

Part of the financial equation for me was being able to trade in the CX12 and also get pro rated rebates on the service plan for it. That paid for about 40% of the new cam. The CX500s use the same filter size, batteries, chips, etc. as used by the CX12, so there was no new investment there. Of course, you're getting 32 GB of built-in memory which probably is worth $150-200.

Anyway, I think Sony managed to change the technology enough this year to make the incremental differences important as opposed to "cool". GPS would be an example of the latter - not personally a buying factor though I like the concept. I just didn't have a need for it.
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...
1. How much better is the CX520 videso and photos in normal indoor lighting which I deem to be 'low' lighting? The CX12 is still not that 'clean'. Are there any samples online of files I can download to compare the two in identical lighting?
...

Discussed previously in depth a few minutes ago, but "personal opinion: video: much better, I don't hesitate to film indoors anymore". And yes, lots of clips of CX500V low light filming on YouTube (mine under ThomasAlexHD, and a lot from Japanese consumers right after the cam was released. Also check XR500Vs. Generally, Low Lux mode not what shows this cam off, it's the regular video taken in low light without that mode turned on.

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2. Are the photos also much better in the low noise department?

I'd go with "marginally" on this one though I haven't played with it much. The resolution is a bit higher, both at capture and storing (I use the 9MB interpolated 16:9 size). I compared photos of my workplace from the CX12 and the CX500V a few days after I bought the latter. The 500 does take better stills, but not near as much better as the difference between the low light videos for the two models.


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Another huge pro is the better stabilization when hand held. Should be useful. I'll probably like the new menu system more too.

Another place where real change has occurred this year. I suspect the optical stabilization (included in the XRs) is better but not greatly so. The CXs have an additional EIS mode that takes advantage of the extra sensor pixels to adjust for some level of twisting motion, when you rotate your hand clockwise or counter-clockwise a bit while filming. This is highly effective if you make that kind of motion handheld (I certainly do). Again, see clips online for the HC7 at the Brunswick HO layout vs the CX500V there. I was embarrassed to see how shaky the former was after watching the latter.

What I have found now is that I'm using the tripod a lot less and it's not mattering much. No stabilization can make up for gross movements, but this one does a fantastic job if your motions are generally pretty stable to begin with. I could easily see jerking in the CX12 footage of trains last year - my equivalent CX500V footage is much smoother. There's no magic here, you have to try to be steady and smooth. But you get a big assist from the cam's electronics.

Menu system: totally personal preference. Check out one in a store if you can, or make sure you read the online manuals carefully. The 500 menus are much more like the HC7 ones - flatter. And I'm now finding I can scroll through them quickly looking for things where I didn't pick up on that for the first month. Having "My Menus" back is a big plus for me. But I've heard people complain they like the old XR/CX menus better, so no one else's opinion counts here except yours!
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Thanks Tom. Yes, I saw the CX12 and CX500 comparison specs. You put it up and it is absolutely fantastic. As mentioned, the only thing that really bothers me is the lack of headphone output.

Anyways, reading your post, I'm sold on the improvements. Normally I never think of a year to year upgrade except that I accidetally stumbled on this thread and realized that this year, there seem to be a very significant improvemment in the categories that really matter - namely low light and stabilization. GPS is a nice gimmick that will impress my friends but just a passing thing.

Thanks again. Now to see if we can hunt out a deal.

Thanks,
UL
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Originally Posted by ultralight1 View Post

Thanks Tom. Yes, I saw the CX12 and CX500 comparison specs. You put it up and it is absolutely fantastic. As mentioned, the only thing that really bothers me is the lack of headphone output.

Anyways, reading your post, I'm sold on the improvements. Normally I never think of a year to year upgrade except that I accidetally stumbled on this thread and realized that this year, there seem to be a very significant improvemment in the categories that really matter - namely low light and stabilization. GPS is a nice gimmick that will impress my friends but just a passing thing.

Thanks again. Now to see if we can hunt out a deal.

Thanks,
UL

You're welcome. As a CX12 owner, you're most likely to be able to make a cost-benefit choice based on direct evidence. I was quite skeptical about a year to year change being worth getting, but my needs had changed somewhat and user reviews of the XR500 were really positive. So I scoured the XR forums and buyer reviews - I could only find 3-4 CX5xx buyer reviews and no professional ones in late September/early October.

These two websites helped me decide as well:

http://camcorder-test.slashcam.com/compare.html

http://www.videoaktiv.de/Table/Testbilder/

If you haven't seen them before, you can do many direct comparisons of stills or video clips, including some between the CX12 and either an XR or maybe a CX now.

Don't know how and if you can address your audio concern - I'm too much of a point-and-shoot person to have explored mics. The only accessories I've bought are a neutral density filter, a polarizing filter, a telephoto lens and a wide angle lens - plus two batteries and some 16GB chips, of course. Of those, the polarizing filter has been the most useful. I've only used the conversion lens a handful of times each...12x puts you pretty close. But I may pull out the telephoto lens to capture the Amtrak Capitol Limited next week from a distant footbridge as an experiment.
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