Need real world advice Canon Vixia HF200 vs. Sony HDRCX100 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-11-2009, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all--

I've been holding out for a new HD consumer level camcorder for more than a year. I have an SD Sony Handycam which records straight to DVD originally purchased to film my two young boys. I've noticed the video is seriously grainy now that we have a Sony Bravia 1080p 46" LCD TV. I'm also afraid of the longterm viability of the dvd storage.

I've narrowed it down to the Canon Vixia HF200 and the Sony HDRCX-100. All the reviews I've read (and I don't think I've missed one! ), point to the Canon. Here are my issues:

1-I currently have all Sony components (TV, camera, BluRay player) which I know will work seamlessly with the Sony camcorder--not so sure about use with the Canon.

2-I will need to use the camera indoors mostly--school plays, Christmas morning, etc. where the light seems to be bad all the time due to high ceilings and not a lot of sun! There are mixed reviews on the two cameras low light performance--not sure what to believe.

3-image stability is key to me. I do absolutely prefer the most crisp, true to life color as possible within the under $600 price range.

4-portability is also key, that's the main reason I'm looking at these smaller cameras--I want to be able to carry it in my purse easily for those unknown moments. I'm not willing to trade image quality down to a pocket "HD" camera however.

5-I've read nothing but bad things about the Canon photo software. I have a 6 month old Lenovo IdeaPad--their top of the line for graphics, etc. so I think I'm ok pc wise. However, I don't have any photo software since my old Sony Photo package won't work on this new Vista 64 platform. Crappy software from Canon scares me. I will not do any editing, I just want to get it on to my pc for backup alone.

6-I've never taken more than 30 min of video at a time so I know that long battery life isn't much of an issue for me.

7-I also don't see myself adding mics, flashes, etc. as I've never been so inclined so having those capabilities missing from the CX100 isn't a big deal to me.

8-optical vs. electrical zoom--Canon is 15x optical zoom while Sony is 10x electrical zoom

So I guess it gets down to better low light performance, pc, etc. compatibility and pure image quality overall.

I'd love to hear opinions, thanks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-04-2010, 03:40 AM
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I am looking at the same 2 cameras. It seems that both you and I use a camcorder for the same uses. Which one did you go with and are you happy with your decission?
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-04-2010, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yrock777 View Post

I am looking at the same 2 cameras. It seems that both you and I use a camcorder for the same uses. Which one did you go with and are you happy with your decission?

Just a quick side note on the Sony line: the great low light performance you may have heard about for the Sonys is found only in the 500 series cams, at least this year. It comes with the new Exmor-R chips. There was a thread started by someone with a 200 series cam wondering why the low light performance wasn't up to snuff. It's a matter of price vs feature. The higher-end Sonys have a bigger sensor chip and the Exmor-R architecture. They arguably produce the least noisy low-light performance out there for cams in their class. But the 100 and 200 series models don't have that Exmor-R chip or the same sensor size...
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-04-2010, 07:55 AM
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I would not worry about mixing brands, they will play nice together.

Neither camcorder is particularly well suited for low light conditions.

Both camcorders will give you excellent video (with descent light).

The Canon software is a joke. Don't know about Sony. Windows Movie Maker is free and will work. There are other software solutions that are not very expensive. Most are available for sample. I have tried many of them over the years. I am currently using and would recommend Vegas Studio 9 Platinum on a moderate system with no problems.

The 15x optical zoom is nice.

I have the HF200 and really like it.
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-02-2010, 09:00 PM
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The OP mirrors what I'm looking for except, I'm comparing to the new Sony CX150 w/ the backlit sensor and image stablization
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-14-2010, 02:52 PM
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I just got a HF200 and kinda wary about the low light video. Its a bit grainy, need to test more for sure
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-14-2010, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by playaj View Post

The OP mirrors what I'm looking for except, I'm comparing to the new Sony CX150 w/ the backlit sensor and image stablization

I'm looking into the CX150 too. I'm guessing it's the newer version of the CX100. If price is also a concern, you might go with the CX100 because I think they're starting to discontinue it so you might be able to get it for cheap. The red one is already discontinued on Sony's website.
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