Comparison Video for Pocketable 108060p Video Cameras: Sony Hx9v and Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-13-2013, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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The Sony Hx9v was a breakthrough video camera: 108060p video from a pocketable camera with a 16X zoom. And the video in decent light was excellent. We had a big thread here on the camera, with many video examples and users

The new Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40) is lighter, smaller, has a 20X zoom, better stabilization (5-axis), better GPS (GLONASS), a real lens diaphragm, touch-screen focus, a great wifi remote capability, and also does 108060p (with a higher AVCHD profile than the Hx9v). In specs, the Panasonic has it all over the Hx9v. But what about its video quality?

Here's a comparison video:

Vimeo (downloadable):

https://vimeo.com/66102336

Youtube:




Select 1080p.

First the Sony sequence of clips then the Panasonic, same sequence. Outdoor shots are at full zoom (so I had to get closer for the Hx9v). Indoor very dim light is at widest aperture (wide-angle) for both.

Tests of tracking focus, color, sharpness (can you read the numbers on the distant containers?), low-light color rendition and video noise. Also audio.

Edited in Sony Vegas Pro from 108060p originals clips.


My verdict: the Panasonic video has a bit higher resolution and color and, in the dim light shot, much better color rendition. Worth the upgrade from the Hx9v if you have one? No. The Hx9v still takes great video.

There is, of course, the Sony GPS-, wifi-enabled Hx50v coming, with a 30X zoom in a pocketable form, doing 108060p. Technology advances. But how is its video?
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-14-2013, 07:14 AM
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As an HX9V user, thank you for the post. As I've written maybe too many times, the quality of a video is determined by the story telling, composition, shooting and editing. I've also written maybe too many times that "standard" camcorders are not necessary for good story telling, composition, shooting and editing.

Your post adds a little fuel to my fire.

I'm not sure my HX9V is rugged enough to last forever and may one day have to be replaced. As long as my goal for my collection of equipment is to shoot, edit and display 1080p60 the HX9V will have a role. When does fail it will be fun to pick a pocketable replacement. The ZS30 would probably be today's choice.

If a friend new to video were to ask, "What should I buy for a family video camera for under $500", what would you suggest from today's choices? How about under $400? Assume the friend has a current smartphone.
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-14-2013, 09:07 AM
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Mark, thank you for bringing our attention to this new model from Panasonic. My little Sony HX9V works ok so far, so no need for any replacement right now. However if Panasonic offered better still photo quality than any Sony camera in the HX series, with comparable video, I'd be more than happy to purchase one. Small, really pocketable is the way to go in many situations. The form factor proved to be useful in many situations where camcorders could not be used.

What is your opinion about stills from ZS30/TZ40 compared to Sony?
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-14-2013, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I think the still pictures from the ZS30 (TZ40) are much better than from the Hx9v.

Here are links to some posted pictures from the ZS30 and discussion:

Good light:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51290489

Dim light:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51290260

If you move the mouse over the pictures (which you can also download or expand) you will see the exif data, including how high the ISO was.

You have full PASM for stills and a real diaphragm (the Hx9v has no diaphragm; it uses an internal ND to control exposure so there are only two f-stops).
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-14-2013, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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"If a friend new to video were to ask, "What should I buy for a family video camera for under $500", what would you suggest from today's choices? How about under $400? Assume the friend has a current smartphone."

1. If she doesn't care about size and needs a long zoom, the Panasonic FZ200. Has full manual controls for video and stills. Raw for stills. Widest f at the tele end of any camera. mic input. $499

2. If size is an issue and needs long zoom, then the Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40). Not great for really low-light video but ok when the light is at least dim. And the wifi remote feature really works well (a use for the smartphone), as does the gps. $349

3. If she does not need a long zoom, then the Panasonic LX7 is the best: full manual controls just like the FZ200 for video and stills, pocketable (though larger than the ZS30), built-in manual ND filter (a real boon for video), and a really fast lens. Better quality pictures and perhaps video than the above two, and really good in dim light, better than the above two and almost all consumer camcorders. $299
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-14-2013, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

"If a friend new to video were to ask, "What should I buy for a family video camera for under $500", what would you suggest from today's choices? How about under $400? Assume the friend has a current smartphone."

1. If she doesn't care about size and needs a long zoom, the Panasonic FZ200. Has full manual controls for video and stills. Raw for stills. Widest f at the tele end of any camera. mic input. $499

2. If size is an issue and needs long zoom, then the Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40). Not great for really low-light video but ok when the light is at least dim. And the wifi remote feature really works well (a use for the smartphone), as does the gps. $349

3. If she does not need a long zoom, then the Panasonic LX7 is the best: full manual controls just like the FZ200 for video and stills, pocketable (though larger than the ZS30), built-in manual ND filter (a real boon for video), and a really fast lens. Better quality pictures and perhaps video than the above two, and really good in dim light, better than the above two and almost all consumer camcorders. $299

You confirmed my suspicion! Not one of them has a "camcorder" form factor. They all look like "regular cameras".

I should look up the invoice for when I bought my Panasonic SDT750. I think it was a little over two years ago. The price of high quality video has dropped while the convenience went up. Good photos and good video from one smallish $300 camera then? Impossible!
.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-14-2013, 02:05 PM
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im eager to see where the sony wx300 fits into all this. sure it has no 1080 60p, but otherwise looks like a nice compact zoom
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-14-2013, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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There is just one thing missing from these small cameras/camcorders - manual control of audio and mic in. None have it, including the RX100 at $650. Of course, Sony did not allow full manual control of audio even in its $1500 flagship camcorder until 2013.

An advantage of the camera form factor is that no one thinks you are or will be taking a video. The FZ200, btw, has all of the features of a camcorder, including an articulating screen and a view finder and mic in (but no manual audio).
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-14-2013, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishywishy View Post

im eager to see where the sony wx300 fits into all this. sure it has no 1080 60p, but otherwise looks like a nice compact zoom

The Sony Hx50 is the one to watch for: 108060p and 30X in the compact form + active-interface shoe. It is the successor to the Hx9v, Hx20/30v.
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-16-2013, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

"If a friend new to video were to ask, "What should I buy for a family video camera for under $500", what would you suggest from today's choices? How about under $400? Assume the friend has a current smartphone."

1. If she doesn't care about size and needs a long zoom, the Panasonic FZ200. Has full manual controls for video and stills. Raw for stills. Widest f at the tele end of any camera. mic input. $499

2. If size is an issue and needs long zoom, then the Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40). Not great for really low-light video but ok when the light is at least dim. And the wifi remote feature really works well (a use for the smartphone), as does the gps. $349

3. If she does not need a long zoom, then the Panasonic LX7 is the best: full manual controls just like the FZ200 for video and stills, pocketable (though larger than the ZS30), built-in manual ND filter (a real boon for video), and a really fast lens. Better quality pictures and perhaps video than the above two, and really good in dim light, better than the above two and almost all consumer camcorders. $299

My 70 year old sister got her ZS30 today based on my advice! She wants good pictures of her grandkids. If it does not work out, I'll blame it on you! I told her to buy it where she can send it back if she is not happy,

Bill
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post #11 of 16 Old 05-17-2013, 06:10 PM
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saw the sony hx300 in bestbuy today. damn that thing is tiny! waiting for there to be a price drop on that thing. the hx50 is def nice but i dont think i can stomach that much for a camera
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-17-2013, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishywishy View Post

saw the sony hx300 in bestbuy today. damn that thing is tiny! waiting for there to be a price drop on that thing. the hx50 is def nice but i dont think i can stomach that much for a camera
I think you have them reversed, the HX300 is a DSLR style 50x superzoom and the HX50 is a compact 30x superzoom.



HX50 compact 30x superzoom





Sony HX300 50x superzoom
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-18-2013, 12:00 PM
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good catch on my typo, that would be confusing to some. i meant to say the wx300 is super tiny, and the hx50 is too much for a camera for me

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post #14 of 16 Old 05-18-2013, 12:14 PM
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I may have to come up with a way to buy the HX300 "by mistake" and be forced to buy the HX50 as a solution to go with it.
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-18-2013, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

I may have to come up with a way to buy the HX300 "by mistake" and be forced to buy the HX50 as a solution to go with it.
That sounds like something I would do.biggrin.gif
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post #16 of 16 Old 05-19-2013, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Comparison Test Video 2: Sony Hx9v and Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40) on a Rainy Day

With a much clearer result.

Alternating clips this time on a dark, rainy day. First the Hx9v, then the ZS30 (TZ40). The ZS30 clips are crisper (as is the audio), with better color, especially the greens. Almost all clips are at full (optical) telephoto. The ZS30 stabilization is much better too even though the ZS30 is shot at higher focal lengths. Last clip is from the ZS30. Both cameras using 108060p mode.


https://vimeo.com/66520470


The ZS30 does much better all around under the exact same conditions.

You can download the original and see for yourself on your best viewing device. In this video, the original clips were not processed at all - straight from the cameras.

Youtube version:




Choose 1080p.
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