Panasonic x920 or Sony PJ 790 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-15-2013, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been reading about these for over a week now, and I could use some help deciding if any of you have used both cameras. I have a 10 month-old daughter that will be the subject of most of my videos. Unfortunately I'm not nearly skilled enough at autofocus to use my 5D III for this purpose. As far as I can tell, they both have great image quality. The Sony has the projector (don't really care), but might have better image stabilization (do care). I believe that the Sony has more manual controls, but I'm not certain. The Panasonic is cheaper and might be a better value. The panasonic is smaller, but that's not that important to me either. I think my biggest priorities are:
1. Ability for an amateur like me to get the shot.
2. Image Quality.
3. Ease of editing on the PC when using 1080/60 (I think the Canon G30 lets you record this in MP4 and in AVCHD and I don't think either of these do unfortunately.) The less I have to post process, the better. As a matter of fact, I considered the G30, but I wasn't too impressed with the white balance on Slashcam
4. Sound is not too important but I'd like to be able to hook up an external wireless mic possibly.

Any help with this decision would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Rob
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-16-2013, 01:00 AM
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if you have the money. buy the sony pj790.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-16-2013, 03:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Why do you suggest the Sony over the Panny? Have you used both? Thanks,
Rob
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-16-2013, 03:58 AM
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The X920 adds a level shot function over the previous model, the X900 but the Sony might still be smoother. In the past Canon was usually behind Panasonic and Sony when it came to the stabilizer but we'll need someone to test the current models. As far as manual controls are concerned, in my opinion, Panasonic does a better job than Sony since you're able to independently control the shutter and aperture. The X920 also adds a focusing ring around the lens. The G30 is also good at manual controls. As for colors and white balance, I'd say they all would be decent and I wouldn't necessarily go by one review. As for auto focusing, I'm not sure how it is now but for previous models, it was usually Panasonic and Canon having the best. Yes, that's another thing that should be tested between the current models.

When it comes to the editing, I wouldn't worry about the fact that Sony and Panasonic is lacking a 35Mbps mode. A decent computer will edit both equally well. Their both H.264 based.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-16-2013, 06:52 AM
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Rob - Slashcam hasn't tested the Sony yet, but you can learn a little by looking at their side-by-side of the specs (comparison is between Euro models, X929 and PJ780VE - which are equivalent to the US X920 ($859) and the $1598 PJ790): Slashcam Comparison of Panasonic X929 and Sony PJ780VE

AVCHD edits just fine on a PC with any of the mainstream editing programs from Sony or Adobe - so no worries there.

As for stabilization, here is a good test of the X920's O.I.S. and Level Shot modes (please watch at 1080p, and turn the sound off so you don't have to listen to Bart's breathing wink.gif):



And here is Bart's test of the PJ790's O.S.S.:





To me, they both do a pretty good job with their stabilizer modes on. I certainly don't see enough of an advantage (for either camera) to justify a significant price difference.

I am also struck by the Sony's lack of wi-fi. I would much rather have the X920's wi-fi than the PJ790's projector, GPS and built-in 96GB.

Before I had it, I thought wi-fi/WLAN was a gimmick - but, in fact, it is an amazingly convenient way to share stills and video without a computer while you are still away from home. It is also really useful to be able to use your phone or tablet as a wireless remote control.

I would get the X920 and save the ~$700 difference.

Good luck with your decision!


Bill
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-16-2013, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Bill, Thanks. That Slashcam comparison is the same one I saw, and to my eye, they both beat the Canon.

It looks like the Panny has some limitations with its manual control. Here's a quote from a review...

"You can set shutter speed and aperture, but you can't always set them independently, and gain control for boosting exposure is only an option when the iris is completely open."

Here's what I found about the Sony, "Manual Features: Assignable dial provides control of the focus, exposure, white balance, iris, and shutter speed. Advanced controls with expanded focus, zebra, and peaking. 31 step Mic level control."
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-16-2013, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyker1212 View Post

if you have the money. buy the sony pj790.
I agree.

IMV, the Sony is overpriced but its stabilisation, sound and wide-angle lens are remarkable features that put it above the Panasonic.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-16-2013, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Bill. Just FYI, the Sony has Wifi, but it's a separate accessory. Not ideal, but available nonetheless.
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-16-2013, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Paulo,
You make a couple of good points. I didn't realize that the Panny had more manual control. And as far as autofocus goes, the one with the best AF would probably win me over since that's the primary reason I'm using it instead of my 5DIII.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-17-2013, 10:47 AM
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Hey there my namesake.

I am personally biased towards the Sony : http://www.avsforum.com/t/1429201/the-official-sony-pj710-pj760-pj780-pj790-owners-thread

I have last years PJ710

But objectively if you do get it just be aware that it is not the magic be all that will totally eliminate shakes.
You have to train your arm and your way of moving to get the best shot. No floppy arms !
The lens will float and keep moving slightly in some instances if you use too much zoom.

When you are zoomed in at max this effect gets worse if you yourself also start to move. (I find all cameras do this not just the Sony.)

But it is amazing for going up and down stairs. Also great when in a vehicle on a bumpy road. See the test vids I posted above.

I tried walking on sand and that was a disappointment- part of it was me- I kept looking at the LCD and not watching where I was going so the lens had to compensate for my exaggerated missteps.
Haven't tried running- but the Sony's promo vids. sure look good. (For my future experiment, I will be picking up an external stabilizer mount for it- when I figure which one is the best for max portability/performance.)

I was also worried about the AVCHD format- it turned to be the best format to use with my chosen NLE. No issues at all.
And yes since you have a young one- the built in projector will be awesome- my brother just got a lower model Sony PJ since he liked mine so much and his three younger daughters love that instant feature.
You can even use it to have a big look at what you have just shot and then decide to retake the shot if you are able to. Much better than the small LCD. Provided of course you have a smooth surface to project onto.

Speaking of which- the still pics are really good even though I only have jpg on my model. I never bothered to replace my point and shoot cameras I always use this instead.
That Carl Zeiss lens actually works goodly for my amateur needs.

Oh yeah- iAuto works really well- set it and forget it.
From long shots to macros it switches really fast and seamlessly and chooses the best settings. (The only times I see it hesitating and flick through multiple settings is when I move from an extremely bright sunny environment to a really dark one. But that's to be expected- I have learned to compensate and choose the best angles to eliminate this even when on the move. A learning experience for me.)

I played around with the manual zoom and other manual settings- but it's not my thing so never really did an in depth test of those settings.

Rob

[Edited- to correct info highlighted in bold. Originally had the word "out" which is incorrect.]
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post #11 of 11 Old 07-17-2013, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Rob smile.gif
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