The Official Sony HDR-CX500V/HDR-CX520V Owners Thread - AVS Forum
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Camcorders > The Official Sony HDR-CX500V/HDR-CX520V Owners Thread
-Bill-'s Avatar -Bill- 09:39 PM 09-01-2009
Since no one has started this yet I'll do it.

My CX520V is shipping to me this week from BHphotovideo with a NP-FH100 battery and a 2.0x telephoto lens. I already have the sony waterproof case and I think the camcorder will fit in the current shoe that I have.

I also just built a 40 IR LED array for night shooting. I'll post up some video and pictures when I get some more testing on it.
I'll make sure to take a picture of the bottom of the cam since I haven't seen any yet. Could be helpful to some. (like those with the waterproof sports pack)

I also put up a poll to see who all bought which camcorder. The results might be interesting.

Travelmate's Avatar Travelmate 07:56 AM 09-02-2009
I got my HDR-CX520 three days back. No GPS for this model though. Not important to me.

Just tested its NightShot indoor using a purchased IR LED board operating 12V DC with 30 large IR LEDs. Works very well. Waiting to test outdoor at 30m.

-Bill-'s Avatar -Bill- 09:03 AM 09-02-2009
Travelmate's Avatar Travelmate 06:30 PM 09-02-2009
Only the 'V' model has GPS. Here you can find the model without GPS

The 'E' is for PAL system

-Bill-'s Avatar -Bill- 07:47 PM 09-02-2009
Where can you get the non-v model?
I can't find any definite info anywhere that such a model exists without GPS
I think everything I googled like earlier asian models, Japanese models, have GPS.
If you bought the camcorder about a week ago why didn't you get the GPS model unless the older non-GPS was much cheaper?
pachanga's Avatar pachanga 05:45 AM 09-03-2009
I´m buying this afternoon the sony hdr-cx505ve, the 505 is the european version of the 500. Would post my first impressions on a few days.
bsd107's Avatar bsd107 09:30 PM 09-03-2009
Just received my CX520V yesterday (yes, it has GPS).

This thing is TINY compared to my old HC1 that it is replacing. I'm really happy in my decision to bypass the XR520V and wait for this one, as size was really important to me.

No viewfinder will take a little getting used to, but the viewfinder on the XR520V is so poor compared to the one on the HC1 that I wouldn't have been entirely happy with it anyway.

Charging now - no time to play with it yet....
-Bill-'s Avatar -Bill- 08:51 AM 09-04-2009
I haven't seen anyone post full quality stills from this yet.
I took a few in 6.2MP, 9MP (widescreen mode), and 12 MP.
I have been given some space over at laptopvideo2go to host some images and maybe some full hd video too.
I'll have more updates later but the still image quality is very nice.
bsd107's Avatar bsd107 11:31 AM 09-05-2009
Originally Posted by -Bill- View Post

I haven't seen anyone post full quality stills from this yet.
I took a few in 6.2MP, 9MP (widescreen mode), and 12 MP.
I have been given some space over at laptopvideo2go to host some images and maybe some full hd video too.
I'll have more updates later but the still image quality is very nice.

If you've got a modern Cybershot camera, could you post some comparison pics?
avuton's Avatar avuton 10:57 PM 09-10-2009
Definitely looks interesting; all spec sheets I've seen seem to omit information on weather or not it's 1080i, so I'm assuming it is? Thanks.
duck33's Avatar duck33 01:33 AM 09-12-2009
Since this is the proper thread I'll post it again... Just bought the CX500V $920 plus tax..
seanwha90's Avatar seanwha90 09:55 AM 09-12-2009

Good price! Where did you buy?
-Bill-'s Avatar -Bill- 12:16 PM 09-12-2009
Its 1080i but the video still looks nice when converted to progressive scan.
I don't have a modern cybershot but maybe I can find someone who does and compare pictures.
duck33's Avatar duck33 04:47 PM 09-12-2009
Originally Posted by seanwha90 View Post


Good price! Where did you buy?

Got it at Best Buy. I also picked up a 16gb Pro Duo for $60 and the NPFH70 for $67. I told the wife I raped them. hehe
seanwha90's Avatar seanwha90 08:57 AM 09-13-2009
Very impressive. I have seen people bring online store's price to BB and ask for price match. But, there is no online store listing less than full price right now.
pachanga's Avatar pachanga 04:40 AM 09-15-2009
Well I bought the sony hdr-cx505ve, I´m not getting as good video as the Panasonic HDC-SD10 I tried before Panning slowly the camera doesn´t seem to make a nice work. I have the strongest Image stab On and automatic mode on too. I´m importing my videos with Mac and iMovie09.
Don´t think this would affect the final clip quality, but I´ll try to import videos with windows and sony´s import software. Somebody have experienced this?
Help would be apreciated
duck33's Avatar duck33 03:43 PM 09-17-2009
So, I posted 2 HD video's on Youtube that I shot with my new CX500V.

Both video's were shot inside the house. One was uploaded from Imovie 09 and the other was uploaded using Sony's PMB. I will say, viewing the video's off the camcorder (HDMI) to my TV looked GREAT! I'm not sure if YouTube compressive the video or not but it just doesn't look as good to me.

You guys be the judge:


Video was uploaded to YouTube from Imovie 09 no setting's were changed just uploaded to mac and then posted. File is


Video was uploaded to PC from camcorder and posted no setting's were changed. Uploaded from Sony's PMB. File is 20090913152815.m2ts.
Absrnd's Avatar Absrnd 02:00 PM 09-18-2009
I bought the CX520, (same as the CX505), and for anyone in doubt if you should buy this, the Youtube vids posted look less detailed then the original quality !

I was amazed about the quality and how little noise there is with filming in the dark, all round details are great, and the extra image stabilizer does much better then I have seen elsewhere, and was the main selling point for me

I will try to make some pictures this weekend and post them here.

I also found some great sample clips of the image stabilizor and quality, but I'm not allowed to post links as a newbie :?
Absrnd's Avatar Absrnd 02:25 PM 09-18-2009
Forgot to mention,
I have a PS3, and could plug the camera in the USB and play all the vids with no problem, and use the PS3 controller.
it didn't give the option to save to the HDD of the PSG though , but I transferred all the MTS files on my mac to a HDD drive and plugged it an and played fine on the PS3.

only there was one big file to play that was divided into the smaller segments I made while filming, and I had to skip all the older ones to get to the latest movie I shot.
-Bill-'s Avatar -Bill- 05:42 AM 09-19-2009
The camcorder saves a different MTS file each time you press the record button (or after you hit a certain file size limit maybe)

I'm taking my camcorder to the lake today. Will get some footage in the water.
Absrnd's Avatar Absrnd 06:48 AM 09-19-2009
On my mac I see the seperate MTS files, but on the PS3 it's just one big file that is devided into chapters like a dvd.

it's not a problem, I'm so happy I can play it all on the PS3

-Bill-'s Avatar -Bill- 02:18 PM 09-19-2009
Well I had to make a surprise visit to the emergency room before I even got in the water so I'll have to get some skiing video later.
I'll keep you guys posted but I do have access to Laptopvideo2go's servers to upload some 1080p (~30 FPS of course) in mkv format straight from the cam using the highest quality setting.
Travelmate's Avatar Travelmate 07:23 PM 09-20-2009
Did anyone noticed that when you zoom out the video is steady due to the built-in stabilization. However, when you zoom in the video no longer becomes steady because of the handshake. I suppose this is normal, right?

Anyone got the SONY VRD-MC6 DVDirect DVD recorder?

duck33's Avatar duck33 08:04 PM 09-20-2009
Originally Posted by -Bill- View Post

Well I had to make a surprise visit to the emergency room before I even got in the water so I'll have to get some skiing video later.
I'll keep you guys posted but I do have access to Laptopvideo2go's servers to upload some 1080p (~30 FPS of course) in mkv format straight from the cam using the highest quality setting.


Does the camcorder record in 30fps or is that a setting you need to change? Also, what do you mean by mkv format?
pachanga's Avatar pachanga 03:54 AM 09-22-2009
Well now I have recorded many hours with this camera I must say it´s an amazing camera. On the 24" iMac screen the image is good on full HD but playing directly the m2ts files results loosing some quality (I assume it´s due to the fact that those files are Interlaced). Played those files with the cam conected directly to a Full HD Loewe TV the quality is amazing, and the image stabilization works great haven´t seen any similar HD cam doing this job so well. Also recorded some low light footage and the results are outstanding too. I recorded a wedding and the camera took about 161 still pictures (I guess I had the smile dectection on ), the low light still pictures are not as good as a nice digital cam but are still useful.

The problem with the Mac is that iMovie 09 recognizes the camera right, but it imports the video to .mov and the size it´s twice the original .m2ts, no quality degration though.
stoneyb's Avatar stoneyb 07:20 PM 10-02-2009
Mine just came today. I got it from B&H, who had it for $100 under list.

It's a beautiful camcorder, but I'm very concerned about the file bloat when importing into iMovie. I've seen 16x increase for a 17-second clip to 6.5x for a 49-second clip. Obviously, I need to try this with a longer clip, but this seems completely crazy. Is there any way to avoid this bloat?
-Bill-'s Avatar -Bill- 07:49 PM 10-02-2009
Use a real operating system?
Vegas doesn't bloat the files at all. You can get direct 1:1 quality from your input/output.
eugkim's Avatar eugkim 09:38 PM 10-03-2009
This was my introduction into HD video. I've been happy with a Sony DCR-PC120BT for years. This changed when my kids' soccer coach asked me to tape a game. I set the camcorder up on a hill behind one of the goals on a tripod. I went to review it afterwards and it was unwatchable. Thus began a week of in-depth research for a replacement.

I was very hesitant to change from tape format, so the HV40 and HDR-HC9 were at the top of my list. However, after long consideration, I decided to go with flash format, and the HF S11 and CX 520 were the only real considerations. I must say that I've always been a Sony guy for all video (Nikon for photo), so I was biased. However, the deciding factors were the better steady cam and night properties.

Today was my first experience, and I was impressed. It'll take some time to get accustomed to the editing, but the video was amazing. Best money I've spent in a while.

I'm using the included software to transfer to the computer. I'm a novice - is Roxio Creator 2010 a good option as an upgrade? I don't need anything too complex, as I won't have a great deal of time to devote to editing.
bsd107's Avatar bsd107 11:42 AM 10-04-2009
I also just switched from tape to tapeless - going from a HDV Sony HC1 to the new CX520V.

I find going tapeless to be so much more convenient.

The one warning I will give is that now that we aren't using tapes, we are reliant on hard drives for long-term storage. And hard drives these days are NOT as reliable as they used to be. The newest 1.5TB and larger drives are some of the most unreliable devices ever made.

Therefore, a very good backup strategy is required, with multiple copies maintained on separate devices.

That was the one upside of tape - it's pretty reliable as long-term storage (supposedly it's the most reliable format for this), and once you've actually shot the video it's already on your archive media....
bsd107's Avatar bsd107 11:45 AM 10-04-2009
I've also found that using my CX520V in combination with my PS3 has been extremely convenient, fast, and the video quality is great.

Moving from a HDV-based Sony HC1 to the CX520V, I've been extremely happy with the CX520V.

I just took it to Disneyland and used it at night - the stability on the CX is amazing. And the low light and night video quality is leaps and bounds above that of the HC1 - there is simply no comparison here. Plus, the CX520V is small enough that I can easily keep it in a large shorts pocket - this was simply not possible with the HC1.

The one thing that was annoying me on the CX520V was that the GPS seems to take a while to fire up. I.e. For many of the videos I was taking, the icon on the screen showed no GPS reception, although I was outside in clear view of the sky and had not made any significant change in location for hours. I expected this after driving 200 miles and first firing up the camcorder, but it should take so long if it's only been put away for 20 minutes....
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