The Official Sony HDR-CX550V Owners thread - Page 25 - AVS Forum
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post #721 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by cjtinkle View Post

Hi everyone,
I just finished reading through this entire thread and have a couple of questions about the CX550V. I'm looking for a camcorder that works well indoors with mediocre lighting (it'll be on a tripod) and can autofocus WELL.

I will be recording myself sewing/quilting, and demonstrating techniques. Most of the recordings of this nature I have seen have been terrible. The camera is unable to focus on the high speed action of the sewing machine needle immediately, it's usually blurry for several seconds first. Or in the cae of quilting, I will be moving a commercial machine around on a frame, and would need the camera's focus to stay with it.

Last, I need a remote for the camera, since I will be recording myself. Is there a remote available? If not, the camera won't work for me.

I'm torn between this model and the Canon HF-S21 (due to it's touch and focus feature).

I will be using a Mac and iMovie to edit.. my final output will be both online videos and high quality DVD. I don't care if it's HD DVD, but I do need excellent quality.

Will this camcorder work for me?

Thank you!

I believe that the CX550V will work fine for you, but so would the HFS21. You will have to decide if the other features it offers are important to you.

For the CX550V a simple wireless remote is included with the camcorder. In addition, you can buy a wired remote, such as this one from B&H:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...r_Silver_.html

iMovie and Mac will edit the videos just fine, and iMovie has various options to send the video online, or send to iDVD to create a DVD. Of course the DVD will be a standard definition DVD. The Sony video is 60i, and that will be easy to edit in iMovie. The 60i mode on the Canon should also not be a problem. However, the 24p and 30p modes on the Canon might need something other than iMovie to edit. For your needs, I don't see any reason to use something other than 60i.

Any of these camcorders can shoot reasonable video in low light, but do put some effort into throwing some light onto your work. You don't need to use pro video lights, but just make sure the ambient light level in the room is reasonable. If your hands and workpiece are in shadow, the quality of the final image will be reduced.
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post #722 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjtinkle View Post

Hi everyone,
I just finished reading through this entire thread and have a couple of questions about the CX550V. I'm looking for a camcorder that works well indoors with mediocre lighting (it'll be on a tripod) and can autofocus WELL.

I will be recording myself sewing/quilting, and demonstrating techniques. Most of the recordings of this nature I have seen have been terrible. The camera is unable to focus on the high speed action of the sewing machine needle immediately, it's usually blurry for several seconds first. Or in the cae of quilting, I will be moving a commercial machine around on a frame, and would need the camera's focus to stay with it.

...

Will this camcorder work for me?

Thank you!

Ideally, you might see if you can try the camcorders first or at least make sure they're returnable.

Note that the CX550V (2010 model) is supposed to have a much improved autofocus speed over the CX500V (2009 model), so if you hear about the latter being heavily discounted that may be academic for you.

I'd also be interested in knowing if the Smooth Slow Record mode would capture long enough for you to use successfully. I have the CX500V and when you press Record its slow-motion mode captures the 3 seconds just ended or the next 3 seconds (you have selected which in advance). It captures action at four times the normal frame rate for that 3 second period and thus the playback takes 12 seconds to watch. That may be too short for your needs, but if not, you might want to intersperse some video from that mode with regular video.

There's also a Golf Shot mode which captures up to 22 fast-action stills, building on the Smooth Slow Record in some fashion.
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post #723 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 01:45 PM
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Thank you Tom, I looked at that Golf Shot mode and also wondered if I'd be able to utilize that, what a cool tool!

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Originally Posted by Tom Gull View Post


There's also a Golf Shot mode which captures up to 22 fast-action stills, building on the Smooth Slow Record in some fashion.

Thank you David. I looked at the link to the B&H remote (as well as a couple of others they have) but neither this one or any of the others list the CX550V as a model it will work on... are you saying it does work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sholle View Post

In addition, you can buy a wired remote, such as this one from B&H:

(sorry, had to delete the url being new here)

iMovie and Mac will edit the videos just fine, and iMovie has various options to send the video online, or send to iDVD to create a DVD. Of course the DVD will be a standard definition DVD. The Sony video is 60i, and that will be easy to edit in iMovie. The 60i mode on the Canon should also not be a problem. However, the 24p and 30p modes on the Canon might need something other than iMovie to edit. For your needs, I don't see any reason to use something other than 60i.

Any of these camcorders can shoot reasonable video in low light, but do put some effort into throwing some light onto your work. You don't need to use pro video lights, but just make sure the ambient light level in the room is reasonable. If your hands and workpiece are in shadow, the quality of the final image will be reduced.

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post #724 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 02:18 PM
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Hey everyone Terry here I didn't introduse my self when I got on here a couple weeks ago. Anyway changing subjects here some, but I'm changing computers my old one is only core 2 at 2.1 speed and things from high def importing stutters, I lived with it during my canon days but figured since I changed cameras I'd get a faster computer to. got a sony F series with an i7 quad and blue ray. So my question is I've got to get a hardrive to change files over to the new computer. Will one do me for doing the storeing and playing back of the camera files and as the backing up of the computer or do I need 2. And can I do a mobil one or do I have to get a desk top type, don't know if the camera will power the portable ones or not and the so called geeks at best buy just say try it and see because they arent carring the 550 so they don't seem to understand. Thanks.
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post #725 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 02:58 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I have experimented some today. Uploading from the desktop is the way to go when uploading to youtube. Also, the file size for mts vids makes all the difference in processing. I uploaded a quick 50mb file and it went fine as well as the processing. When I uploaded 200 plus mb size vids that is when I had no end to the processing.
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post #726 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Just some advice to those who are using hard drives to store your movies. My Western Digital Essential 2 TB external hard drive took a dump last night. Something happened to the root directory or partition table and it won't recognize the files on the drive. I downloaded a trial version of some hard drive recovery software and was able to see the files. Right now the recovery process is going on and it's going to take 5-7 days 24 hours a day for the recovery software to read all 39 million sectors one by one. Sucks.

Going to get Carbonite for safe long term storage. I lost every document and picture for the last 10 years, and I said it wasn't going to happen to me
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post #727 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 03:47 PM
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I registered here just to post another FYI on the "Blue Dot" when the camera lens has direct sunlight on it...

I bought a CX550 at a local store (thankfully - so easy return) and after seeing the earlier 2 posts here on this issue tested for it today here...
I definitely see it on my CX550 also - a VERY bright Blue DOT in videos if sunlight in the lens path.

I tested on my back deck w/sun coming in at an angle from above, even using the (small) viewfinder screen I noticed a dot if facing anywhere in the path of sunlight.
When I copied the MTS file to my Oplay media player for playback on HDTV - WOW, clearly a BRIGHT (intense) Blue dot visible. It disappears when moving the camera lens away from any sun rays.

I'm returning the camera tomorrow to the store...
I'll gladly buy again if sony fixes this.
(Never saw this with my HF11 canon...)

At first I thought the first report here was perhaps using some filter over the lens. (I'd seen some issues with a filter over my E1 DSLR lens years ago) - but clearly that is not a factor. (no filter used here.)

If anyone hears of a fix/update for this please post it here.
Thanks
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post #728 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 04:08 PM
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just chiming in again. i did record today with a tripod using the remote and it works well so long as you remember it's an IR and not a bluetooth remote.
getting worried about the blue dot phenom but no sun here until maybe wed afternoon...
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post #729 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mack View Post

just chiming in again. i did record today with a tripod using the remote and it works well so long as you remember it's an IR and not a bluetooth remote.
getting worried about the blue dot phenom but no sun here until maybe wed afternoon...

Thinking that remote works like a PS3 remote Dave....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xlr8yourMac View Post

I registered here just to post another FYI on the "Blue Dot" when the camera lens has direct sunlight on it...

I bought a CX550 at a local store (thankfully - so easy return) and after seeing the earlier 2 posts here on this issue tested for it today here...
I definitely see it on my CX550 also - a VERY bright Blue DOT in videos if sunlight in the lens path.

I tested on my back deck w/sun coming in at an angle from above, even using the (small) viewfinder screen I noticed a dot if facing anywhere in the path of sunlight.
When I copied the MTS file to my Oplay media player for playback on HDTV - WOW, clearly a BRIGHT (intense) Blue dot visible. It disappears when moving the camera lens away from any sun rays.

I'm returning the camera tomorrow to the store...
I'll gladly buy again if sony fixes this.
(Never saw this with my HF11 canon...)

At first I thought the first report here was perhaps using some filter over the lens. (I'd seen some issues with a filter over my E1 DSLR lens years ago) - but clearly that is not a factor. (no filter used here.)

If anyone hears of a fix/update for this please post it here.
Thanks


Sorry to see that you are having that issue also. Please call Sony and let them know, even if you do return the cam. They really need to know that owners are seeing this issue, and the more calls owners make to them, the more liklyhood they might do something about it. Sony's # is 239-768-7602/or 239-768-7693.

I called Sony today and got hooked up to a support center in (of all places), El Salvador. The tech could speak pretty good english, so there wasn't too much of a issue as far as communication goes. He said to send the cam in for service, as it should not be showing a "blue dot" in the video footage. I'm pretty sure he was just looking at a database of problems that might occur with cams in general, and since there is no answer for this specific problem, he said to send it in for repair.

What sucks about this for me, is Tigerdirect's return policy. You either exchange, or send the unit to the manufacturer for repair.."No Refunds". I learned a lesson. My father always said to me, "You have consequences for every decision you make in life", and does that statement hold true with just about everything. And if I return to Tigerdirect for an exchange there is a big possibility that I will lose my $180.00 cashback. I can't win.

This cam is so new, who at Sony might know what's it doing? This issue is bad news! I don't think it is a "stuck blue pixel" on the CMOS, because if that was the case you would see the "blue dot" in almost all video footage, in theory. I am going to do some more testing with it when the sun comes out, and then decide what to do.

Go Phillies! Go Eagles! Go Sixers! Go Flyers!
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post #730 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 05:16 PM
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yep. too bad we have to wait til' this storm is through. But a $1199 camera shouldn't be displaying this kind of anomaly. If you were shooting anything for $ like a wedding video the client would probably be miffed. I plan on making some $ with this camera even if very modestly like for an actor's video resume or some band gig documentation let alone for my own creative thingamabobs, (good lord, Shark, I just wrote "thingamabobs...!) and this would really screw up some potential shots if it were prevalent.

and yes, one reason TigerDirect and some stores hold the microsft casbacj for 60 days is to make sure yo don't return an item and keep the $.
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post #731 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 05:31 PM
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I just sent an e-mail off to Sony and included a link to my video footage. We'll see how they respond.

Go Phillies! Go Eagles! Go Sixers! Go Flyers!
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post #732 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjtinkle View Post

Hi everyone,
I just finished reading through this entire thread and have a couple of questions about the CX550V. I'm looking for a camcorder that works well indoors with mediocre lighting (it'll be on a tripod) and can autofocus WELL.

I will be recording myself sewing/quilting, and demonstrating techniques. Most of the recordings of this nature I have seen have been terrible. The camera is unable to focus on the high speed action of the sewing machine needle immediately, it's usually blurry for several seconds first. Or in the cae of quilting, I will be moving a commercial machine around on a frame, and would need the camera's focus to stay with it.

Last, I need a remote for the camera, since I will be recording myself. Is there a remote available? If not, the camera won't work for me.

I'm torn between this model and the Canon HF-S21 (due to it's touch and focus feature).

I will be using a Mac and iMovie to edit.. my final output will be both online videos and high quality DVD. I don't care if it's HD DVD, but I do need excellent quality.

Will this camcorder work for me?

Thank you!

Your needs seem lower than the CX550, may I suggest the HDR-CX300. Just go on www.sony.com for the specs, supplied equipment...
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post #733 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 07:07 PM
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Well probably so, but isn't that last year's model? From what I've been reading, the focusing speed improved significantly with this year's model... focusing is my primary, #1 need. Actually, with that in mind I think the Canon is probably the better model for my "needs"... but I also want to use the cam for fun, and the Sony looks a whole lot better for an amateur.

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Originally Posted by mibcc View Post

Your needs seem lower than the CX550, may I suggest the HDR-CX300. Just go on www.sony.com for the specs, supplied equipment...

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post #734 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 300twb View Post

Hey everyone Terry here I didn't introduse my self when I got on here a couple weeks ago. Anyway changing subjects here some, but I'm changing computers my old one is only core 2 at 2.1 speed and things from high def importing stutters, I lived with it during my canon days but figured since I changed cameras I'd get a faster computer to. got a sony F series with an i7 quad and blue ray. So my question is I've got to get a hardrive to change files over to the new computer. Will one do me for doing the storeing and playing back of the camera files and as the backing up of the computer or do I need 2. And can I do a mobil one or do I have to get a desk top type, don't know if the camera will power the portable ones or not and the so called geeks at best buy just say try it and see because they arent carring the 550 so they don't seem to understand. Thanks.

If you are going to scrap that old computer, just pop out that old hard drive and put it an enclosure that connects to a USB. I did that with one of my old drives and now using it has a media back up ( desktop external hard drive ).

It's only on when needed...

For technical assistance just go at a specialized computer store where you are going to buy it...

Good luck
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post #735 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustindu4 View Post

Just some advice to those who are using hard drives to store your movies. My Western Digital Essential 2 TB external hard drive took a dump last night. Something happened to the root directory or partition table and it won't recognize the files on the drive. I downloaded a trial version of some hard drive recovery software and was able to see the files. Right now the recovery process is going on and it's going to take 5-7 days 24 hours a day for the recovery software to read all 39 million sectors one by one. Sucks.

Going to get Carbonite for safe long term storage. I lost every document and picture for the last 10 years, and I said it wasn't going to happen to me

You mentioned it took a bump, that's while it was on ?

I checked Carbonite and it starts at 55$/year is that right ?

Did you consider, blu-ray backup ?
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post #736 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xlr8yourMac View Post

I registered here just to post another FYI on the "Blue Dot" when the camera lens has direct sunlight on it...

I bought a CX550 at a local store (thankfully - so easy return) and after seeing the earlier 2 posts here on this issue tested for it today here...
I definitely see it on my CX550 also - a VERY bright Blue DOT in videos if sunlight in the lens path.

I tested on my back deck w/sun coming in at an angle from above, even using the (small) viewfinder screen I noticed a dot if facing anywhere in the path of sunlight.
When I copied the MTS file to my Oplay media player for playback on HDTV - WOW, clearly a BRIGHT (intense) Blue dot visible. It disappears when moving the camera lens away from any sun rays.

I'm returning the camera tomorrow to the store...
I'll gladly buy again if sony fixes this.
(Never saw this with my HF11 canon...)

At first I thought the first report here was perhaps using some filter over the lens. (I'd seen some issues with a filter over my E1 DSLR lens years ago) - but clearly that is not a factor. (no filter used here.)

If anyone hears of a fix/update for this please post it here.
Thanks

Thanks for the input !

If after testing mine, it does the same thing, this will be a bomb for the 550's !
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post #737 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tingham View Post

I just sent an e-mail off to Sony and included a link to my video footage. We'll see how they respond.

Can't wait for Sony's reply, please post it,... now I am really getting

1400$ with all the different accessories , I hope it's an easy fix, like a software up date and not hardware
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post #738 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 08:15 PM
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Can't wait for Sony’s reply, please post it,... now I am really getting

1400$ with all the different accessories , I hope it's an easy fix, like a software up date and not hardware

Just tried mine inside,I wasn't home during the day. And it does it to pointing at a light bulb. But mine is green and defused the one on the video is blue and more solid. I looks like its lens flare. If you move it away from the light slightly it goes away but thats still odd to see it that pronounced.....( just checked some more and if you zoom in on the light or walk toward it in wide angle it goes away , so I guess that just means that its distant sensitive some how, and if you meter for the light it goes away but I guess its just blowing it out at that point)
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post #739 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 08:43 PM
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so i just shot for a couple of minutes directly at a bright light in i-auto and manual mode with opening up the exposure all the way and blowing out the shot, zooming, panning, trying everything and could not see a blue dot or anything out of the ordinary. maybe good news meaning that not all of them have this issue so it's not a chip or design limitation.

hopefully that helps those affected get some results.
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post #740 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mibcc View Post

You mentioned it took a bump, that's while it was on ?

I checked Carbonite and it starts at 55$/year is that right ?

Did you consider, blu-ray backup ?

The hard drive got corrupted, has nothing to do with bumping the camera.

Not convinced carbonite is the best solution, some reviews are really bad. Some say Mozy is better. I'm going to do more research on it before I plunk down $50

Eventually I will get BD-R, but multiple solutions is the best long term security
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post #741 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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so about this blue dot, I'm confused. What's the method of diagnosing it? I'm pretty sure the manual said not to point the thing at the sun, maybe that 10X zoom turned your CMOS into an ant with a magnifying glass over it and you damaged it.
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post #742 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 08:56 PM
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hiya dustin, in tingham's clips it seems the sun is off at a slight angle and he was shooting wide not zoomed. it looks very digital.
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post #743 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mack View Post

hiya dustin, in tingham's clips it seems the sun is off at a slight angle and he was shooting wide not zoomed. it looks very digital.


oh yeah I see it now. That would drive me nuts.

I just looked back at one video I shot this weekend outdoors and I saw the blue dot for a brief second while the sun was almost in the frame. Like when you stick a camera in the sun or near the sun you get that telescoping haze, I don't know what it's called. I'll try to put it up on youtube
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post #744 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 09:04 PM
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we all should. so far i have shot alot outside and havent seen anything but will really look for it now.
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post #745 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mack View Post

so i just shot for a couple of minutes directly at a bright light in i-auto and manual mode with opening up the exposure all the way and blowing out the shot, zooming, panning, trying everything and could not see a blue dot or anything out of the ordinary. maybe good news meaning that not all of them have this issue so it's not a chip or design limitation.

hopefully that helps those affected get some results.

It seems to have different levels of noticeablty depending which room. same 60watt bulbs just diff rooms. I don't know could this be a matter of if you look hard enough you can find something wrong with anything. I know my hf s10 did some weird things sometimes depending what you pointed it at ( alot of screen door effect ) and my sr11 wouldnt focus at all sometimes unless you moved the zoom a little. I don't know I just hope sony can give some kind of answer either way so we dont have to just not point it at the sun LOL to us all.
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post #746 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's my blue dot video, I edited a lot of the junk out to see the exact spot when it happened. You can see the sun haze circles and when the light gets just right you see the dot

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HryVOwDtr8k

I just uploaded it so it might take a while for youtube to convert it to HD. I'll be interested to see what Sony has to say about it. Tingham if you want my .mt2s file to show Sony I will get it to you, I'll put it on a file sharing site and you can download it by clicking on a link. that way you can show them this is a real problem and it's just not you going crazy

My kid is going to be born in 3 weeks so it's not like I can send it back to Sony and they can dissect the thing for 2 months. I need it for the birth/birthday which will be all inside anyway. After that I don't care what happens to the camera, that's priceless footage
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post #747 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
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And since nobody else seems to be reporting this it doesn't seem like a design issue or flaw but rather maybe just your particular unit.

it's a design issue, mine does it too
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post #748 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 09:41 PM
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Here's my blue dot video, I edited a lot of the junk out to see the exact spot when it happened. You can see thesun haze circles and when the light gets just right you see the dot

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HryVOwDtr8k

I just uploaded it so it might take a while for youtube to convert it. I'll be interested to see what Sony has to say about it. My kid is going to be born in 3 weeks so it's not like I can send it back to Sony and they can dissect the thing for 2 months. I need it for the birth/birthday which will be all inside anyway. After that I don't care what happens to the camera, that's priceless footage

Saw your video that is a true blue dot there at the end I think I was just seeing the lens flare type spots in my inside shots I suppose that's why mine was more defused like those when you started up the sidewalk, that's true flare but that dot at the end is just weird and you were pointing at the porch at the time the sun wasent even toward the lens.
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post #749 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Saw your video that is a true blue dot there at the end I think I was just seeing the lens flare type spots in my inside shots I suppose that's why mine was more defused like those when you started up the sidewalk, that's true flare but that dot at the end is just weird and you were pointing at the porch at the time the sun wasent even toward the lens.

well you can't even see it in HD yet so it's impossible to really make out, you see it very briefly towards the beginning of the video when I take the left turn up the walkway, then again at the very end
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post #750 of 2288 Old 03-29-2010, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm starting to second guess not getting the protection plan, I wonder if sonystyle has a time period when I can still add it on there. I'm not returning the camera, I bought it for inside shots
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