Originally Posted by Thronsen
Any decent reviews out yet for this camcorder?
I am thinking of upgrading from my 'old' (even older then yours Tom Gull!) Canon HFS-100 I bought last year. The reasons Im looking at the Sony:
1. Image stabilization - Is this the same image stabilization system that when it came out last year (the system, not this camera) there was an ad which basically had someone running after their kid and still getting usable footage? My recollection is that the Sony Image Stabilization in 2009 was many times better then that offered by Panny and Canon. I do need an IS system where I can walk and film and get decent results, the 2009 Canon doesnt cut it.
2. Low light - Again looking for something better then the Canon. The Canon is decent, but I do a fair amount of shooting indoors. I understand that its not the low lux mode Im after, but a better general shooting capability. Any comparisons out there?
3. Sunlight - How are Sony's in sunlight. I know the Canon is spectacular outdoors, am looking for something at least in the same ballpark. Not a deal breaker though, as I guess I can also keep the Canon.
Also can someone confirm that the Sony CX does NOT have any sort of pre-record feature, where if you have pre-record on it will start the video from 3 seconds before you press the record button? Thats a very useful feature the Canon had.
I know some of this is pretty specific, but any help would be great. Thanks.
I have the CX500V so I'll take a stab at some answers:
1. Yes, filming while moving was a 2009 Sony selling point. I have a few videos on YouTube where I've done that, though I usually automatically don't. It worked pretty well. See similar things going in in this Dblitz70clip. While it generally compares the CX550V to an FX7, it also has portions showing the CX550V with stabilization off and on side-by-side.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbmlmulmF4I
My understanding is that the 2010 models have improved the "filming while walking" algorithms beyond the 2009 ones. The rest of the stabilization sounds like it's the same as the CX500s which had "3-Way Shake Canceling" added beyond what XR500s had.
2. Low light with low noise - again, the Sony 2009 strong point. I put a number of sample clips on YouTube as did others. (My channel is ThomasAlexHD, but general searches for "low light" and "CX500" will get various hits.)
3. Sonys in sunlight - I've been very happy with mine but some more professional posters have felt the Canons were marginally better and that the default CX500V exposure was a bit bright. Dblitz70 made the same brightness comment about the CX550V. Whether or not the quality difference is visible to the casual observer is probably arguable. The brightness is a perception thing that you can always tweak with manual exposure while filming or afterwards in editing. I have tried doing all of that and realized I like the camera's autoexposure the best.
4. The CX500V does not have an HD prerecord feature but this echoes its slow-motion capture mode. I think the name was changed to "Golf Shot" in the 550 series. In this mode, the cam will buffer three seconds of video constantly grabbed at four times the normal rate. The resolution is less than the HD in order to get all the frames buffered for capture, I think. You can run it in either of two modes: when I press the record button either (a) capture the prior three seconds (which have been constantly buffered and kept) or (b) capture the next three seconds. See examples of this in action in my films of sugar gliders jumping between people. These were all shot with the "capture the 3 seconds prior to my Record command". I waited until the jump occurred and then just said - keep it. Check out:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-USoN_T5wAhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSgbZ5s5HFc
I have trimmed most of the jumps but the original clips for each would have been 3 seconds viewed over 12 seconds as the frame rate was four times higher than usual for the capture.
As far as I know, Sony doesn't have a feature where the prior three seconds can be captured at normal frame rates.