Does NEX7 kill dedicated camcorders? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-17-2012, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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This is what I am trying figure out.

I own Sony HDR-CX550V and happy with that.
Recently I started to have "sinful thoughts" that the recent NEX-7 camera may offer a replacement for a stand-alone camcorder like CX550V (at least, for those who shoot just short footage and have great lenses to put on the NEX baby).

Yes, CX550V has an excellent image stabilization, very handy zoom range, 64 Gb internal memory, fits in the pocket as a complete system etc., etc., etc.

However, if we forget everything except image quality per se, how about full HD @60p of the NEX7????

Does anyone have a technical insights or side by side comparison experience?

Thank you!
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-17-2012, 03:23 PM
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Camcorders produce sharper video with far less artifacts than cameras like the NEX. I have the NEX-5N (for video there is no difference between the 5N and the 7) and camcorders. The NEX takes good videos, and they have a nice look. When compared with camcorder videos, you can see the lack of sharpness.

Here are two videos, shot in the same place (at different times). Both were shot at 108060p.

The first was shot using the NEX-5n:


https://vimeo.com/29018746

Looks nice, huh?


The next was shot with a Sony GW77 camcorder:


https://vimeo.com/45606199


Which do you like better?

You can download the original 108060p uncompressed files if you are a member of Vimeo (free).
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-17-2012, 03:29 PM
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Hi sheremy - if you don't mind the NEX-7's 29 minute recording limit, or the moire problem, there's still its tendency to overheat. See this series of posts over at dvinfo.net: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-avchd-nex-vg10-nex-vg20/505347-nex-5n-7-overheat-issues-2.html#post1748747

Not really a "camcorder killer".

Panasonic's GH2 (and FZ150) cameras, with their unlimited video clip length, come closer to being "camcorder killers" - but challenges with autofocus accuracy & speed, limited manual audio level control and lack of a headphone jack are all still issues for these cameras.

I have high hopes for the GH3 - but, even if it has lightning fast tracking video autofocus, 1080/60p, manual audio level control, focus peaking, zebras and absolutely zero aliasing/moire, these features can already be found in camcorder-world (for less money than the GH3 is likely to cost).

These $300-$1000 camcorders lack only the GH2 or GH3's depth of field control and interchangeable lenses (features that are irrelevant for many, if not most, consumers).

In my view, camcorders will be around for a very long time.

Bill
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-17-2012, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

.
In my view, camcorders will be around for a very long time.
Bill
Agree. I think we'll see bigger chips in some new higher end consumer camcorders fairly soon, such as an upgraded NEX-VG20 with a servo zoom lens. Sony seems to be on that path with the introduction of the NEX-EA50UH. Once this happens, I think the gap will start to close between DSLR's and camcorders.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-18-2012, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

Hi sheremy - if you don't mind the NEX-7's 29 minute recording limit, or the moire problem, there's still its tendency to overheat. See this series of posts over at dvinfo.net: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-avchd-nex-vg10-nex-vg20/505347-nex-5n-7-overheat-issues-2.html#post1748747
Not really a "camcorder killer".
Panasonic's GH2 (and FZ150) cameras, with their unlimited video clip length, come closer to being "camcorder killers" - but challenges with autofocus accuracy & speed, limited manual audio level control and lack of a headphone jack are all still issues for these cameras.
I have high hopes for the GH3 - but, even if it has lightning fast tracking video autofocus, 1080/60p, manual audio level control, focus peaking, zebras and absolutely zero aliasing/moire, these features can already be found in camcorder-world (for less money than the GH3 is likely to cost).
These $300-$1000 camcorders lack only the GH2 or GH3's depth of field control and interchangeable lenses (features that are irrelevant for many, if not most, consumers).
In my view, camcorders will be around for a very long time.
Bill

You mention 2 cameras and i have both,the FZ150 is fixed lens with 24X zoom and good auto focus,although it has 1080i as well as 50/60P the video cannot compete with the GH2 who,s video can match or beat all the camcorders i have tested ,there is audio control ,most lenses have good AF.Moire and ailising i rarely watch any HD tv programn where those problems do not show,but with some DSLRs ie canons it is bad.
http://vimeo.com/42061125#at=0

http://vimeo.com/44947080#at=0
The GH2 Can take great and varied footage.
Having said that of course camcorders will always have a use in consumer video.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-18-2012, 07:40 AM
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"GH2 who,s [sic] video can match or beat all the camcorders i have tested ,there is audio control ,most lenses have good AF."

I have the GH2 and the Panasonic TM900 camcorder. The latter produces better quality video, leaving aside the issue of dof. It has excellent AF, full manual controls of video *and* audio. Its power zoom is clearly superior to any lens offered for the GH2 - variable speed and soft touch. And the camcorder is much smaller. Oh, and the GH2 does not have 108060p. The best it can do is a high bitrate 30p. While there is much ado about hacked versions of the GH2 with very high bitrates, I am unimpressed that this does much of anything. I may have some experiments to show on this. AVCHD is a really good delivery codec.

"of course camcorders will always have a use in consumer video."

Actually, camcorders will always have a use in professional video too. Why? because they take better video than cameras.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-21-2012, 12:03 PM
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Hi Mark.

First of all the GH2 kills anything as far as detail / low light / cinematic video. Doesn't matter if it's only 30p, and doesn't need to be "hacked" - only the 1.1 firmware update. Being able to isolate a subject with shallow depth of field is huge, so your opinion that they "take better video than cameras" is COMPLETELY subjective.

How many films to you see at the movie theater that looks like camcorder recordings? Perhaps now in 2012 people have grown tired of the deep DOF look and like having those strangers blurred out in the background at their beach home videos. Saying "they take better videos than cameras" makes my skin crawl. I happen to think cinema DSLRs (AF100/GH2's) take much more pleasing videos than handycams. So what?

Also, I had both the NEX-7 and NEX-5n at the same time and did a few tests. The video is NOT exactly the same; the 5n was about 1/2 stop better in lower light with the same lens. Sony's 16 MP sensor is still better than the 24mp version and I'm an A77 owner (24mp). So I have no reason to lie to you. There is slightly more noise at ISO 1600 and 3200 with the NEX-7, and the color profiles aren't exactly the same.

To answer the OP - The answer is maybe. If you only take very short clips then yes, it's possible it'll replace your camcorder. Both my NEX-7 and 5n overheated randomly and seemed to get worse as the ambient temperature rose. I say randomly as one day I put one in my freezer and it still overheated. Took the 5n to Florida and got about 2 minute takes before complete shutdown which is why I switched to Sony Alpha cameras (plus in-body stabilization and more lens choices). The Nex-7 is a great fun little camera but if you're recording Junior's 20 minute play I would be nervous that it'd overheat.
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-21-2012, 12:30 PM
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I think we agree that for cinematic low-light shallow dof look, the GH2 is tops (among consumer options), as you do not sacrifice that much sharpness (relative to a TM900).

I have a GH2 (1.1) and a NEX-5N, and have plenty of experience in shooting videos with them, even sports videos. For the style of videos I like to take - on the fly of people doing things in real life - not only is a camcorder better suited in terms of useability, but deep dof is desirable (a lot of times, but not all) and good audio, without the need for external equipment, very important - the NEX's (other than the VG20) and the RX100 are a complete failure for audio (all auto). I like to wow people by the realism, audio and video. You are exactly correct it is a matter of taste, but the technical trade-offs must be kept in mind. People like Philip Bloom, who takes wonderful videos, just assume that shallow, cinematic looks are what one should shoot (and he seems to not care much about audio). For the typical person posting to dpreview forums on cameras, I doubt that set shots in low light and color grading are on their menu. They want to shoot their kids and grandkids, and using a GH2 to do that is ludicrous relative to a good camcorder unless they are really skilled and dedicated. And they will absolutely never take a GH2 on their vacation, it is just too big, again, unless they are really dedicated. The RX100 is no GH2, and it's no camcorder either (to return to our old discussion).
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-21-2012, 02:34 PM
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Edited; that should read "Sony's 16MP sensor".
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-21-2012, 02:37 PM
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Mark, have you shot with the alpha DSLR's? I find the onboard audio to be fantastic. I bought a little gadget that knocks out the wind noise - the "windcutter" - a self adhesive "cat" that goes over the microphone. I recorded some footage and when I played it back on the home theater I would have sworn the birds were in the room with me - I had to pause the video to confirm they were not. This is with the A77. I find once you knock down the wind noise the audio is pretty darn good.
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post #11 of 12 Old 08-21-2012, 02:44 PM
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I took a 5n + LA-EA2 + Sigma 17-50 F/2.8 lens on vacation and took wonderful videos with it, especially at Gatorland. Shot at around F/5.6 they look spectacular IMO. Not as crisp as the GH2, but far more lifelike (accurate) colors with less blown-out highlights.

Shame the damn camera would overheat after 2-3 minutes when it really heated up.

I also dragged along a Sigma 70-200 lens and 300mm equivalent without IS was a real pain.

I cannot recommend enough the A77/A57 for video - the stabilization is fantastic, the body is weather sealed (a77), the focus peaking is handy for MF, and I can get about 3 hours of video before the battery goes. Plus the stills. I don't know man, I think the GW77 is a wonderful camcorder and I might pick one up yet. Each one can have their place.

One camera everyone raves about for low light and sharpness is the Canon HG-10 - I shot last Christmas with it. I absolutely hate the colors and I believe I even manually set the WB. Some of my least favorite footage.
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post #12 of 12 Old 08-21-2012, 04:13 PM
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Interesting. Thanks. I really like the IBIS in the A77, and it is very useful to learn the audio is good. You are right that wind noise is the big nemesis of good audio outdoors, and the only soultion is dead cat stuff. I was lucky at the seaport that except for one scene, the wind was dead. Good for me, bad for the sailors.
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