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Sony XR550V/CX550V vs. XR520V/XR500V/CX520V/CX500V preliminary comparison

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys,

This is my first "real" post on this board (I had to post 3 small posts before to get around the anti-spammer measures ) For starter, I want to thank all of you who have posted your comments, videos and experiences on the CX520/500v and the XR520/500v camcorders Youve helped me greatly since Ive been in the process of shopping for a new camcorder for the last month, and this can be a daunting task even with the proper information because there are always some important compromises to make when selecting a camcorder. For example; the CX520/500v while having a fantastic O.I.S (with their additional 3-Way Shake-Canceling E.I.S) have no mic/headphone/viewfinder while the XR520/500v, although having the mic/headphone/viewfinder, dont have the 3-Way Shake-Canceling E.I.S. For me, these were really big compromises and I wasnt really satisfied with either models

Still I had to choose, so after weeks of research and thanks to your many posts, I had decided which compromise(s) I disliked the least and I was about to buy the XR500V on sale here in Canada for 949$ (~ 900 US$). That sale was ending today but just as I was ready to order I read about Sonys new lineup for 2010. Am I glad I waited until the last minute! From what Ive been reading, the new XR550V/CX550V get many new upgrades from their previous models (and a few downgrades as well). It seems like Sony fixed most of the major complaints by users of these camcorders.

Here are the details Ive gathered up to now. Note that for simplicity sake, Ive shortened the XR550V/CX550V to XRs/CXs respectively. Also note that some described features havent been confirmed yet and are sometime contradicted by different sources on the Internet. Even Sonys different press releases are sometime contradictory But for now

As of January 11 2010:

Major features that didnt change on both models:

> Back-illuminated 1/2.88" 12MP Exmor-R CMOS sensor
> 1920×1080i HD format
> GPS receiver with Geotagging
> Illumination: 11 Lux STD mode / 3 Lux LowLux mode

Major features that changed on both models:
(** denotes user addressed complaints, + positive changes, - negatives changes)

** 2X wider angle G-lens, 29.8mm-298mm vs. older 43mm-516mm (great for the majority of uses such as indoor/panoramic filming, bad for filming far away subjects such as birds)

- 10X zoom instead of 12x before -> This is the only important downgrade feature they have made IMO. Read more below:

This new 10X zoom combined with the new wide angle means that, as noted by Suntan 3 posts below: "The new camera will have markedly less reach than the old one" (or about 42% less reach by my estimate) and ideally the zoom factor should have been increased to ~17X instead of been reduced to 10X to compensate for the reduction in reach. The more I think about it, the more I believe this will be either a deal maker or a deal breaker, depending on each user's need.

Also, logically these lens changes should have an impact on video quality, such as sharpness, color fidelity, etc. Even low light sensitivity might be affected. We will have to wait for test results to see just how much impact all these changes have made.

** 2x accelerated auto-focus algorithm (should be closer to Panasonic/Cannon auto-focus performance)

** 24Mbps AVCHD FX recording mode (older 16 Mbps FH mode still available, as well as 9 Mbps HQ mode and 5 Mbps LP mode)

** SD/SDHC and Stick PRO Duo memory cards compatible. Update: According to Sony France, SD/SDHC (> class 4) is confirmed for Video recording only, Memory Stick Pro for Images capture. Final details are still sketchy...

+ 3.5 Extra Fine LCD display (921K) with TruBlack technology (small XRs upgrade / major CXs upgrade)

** Assignable Dial Knob for Iris/Shutter/Exposure/WB/Focus (finally some manual control )

** Viewfinder (color 201k) (small XRs upgrade, old EVF was 124k / major CXs upgrade)

+ O.I.S. with 3-Way Shake-Canceling E.I.S. now active from Wide to Tele zoom (small CXs upgrade / major XRs upgrade ) Wow, imagine even better I.S. than the CX520/500v now available on both CXs/XRs! See preview link at the end of this post

+ Lower power consumption ( XRs are almost the same as the CXs now. This should improve camcorder running time)


Old CXs -> CX550V changes only:

**Dedicated Mic and Headphone inputs (was already available on old XRs)

Old XRs -> XR550V changes only:

+ 1080/60p playback via HDMI and compatible HDTV (was already available on old CXs)
+ HD to DVD built-in conversion (was already available on old CXs)


A few other notable changes (positives & negatives):

+ Sony Cyber-shot Intelligent AUTO (iAUTO) adjusts optimum camcorder settings with Face Detection recognition (handheld or tripod)

- New XRs and CXs get only the fastest HQ 9 Mbps SD mode (SP/LP are gone) Update: According to Sony France, the other SD modes are still available; SP (6 Mbps) / LP (3 Mbps)

+ New NP-FV50 battery offers 15% increased capacity compared with previous models. Update Jan 11, 2010: According to SonyStyle.com, the new FV series batteries ARE compatible with the older FH series. They have the same Battery Type (InfoLITHIUM H-series: Li-ionvoltage), Output Voltage : DC 8.4V (max) and Basic Dimensions. Only their capacity has changed: 6.1Wh/900mAh (FH50) versus 7Wh (1030mAh) (FV50). In other words, you will be able to use either type of battery on all CX550/520/500V or XR550/520/500V. The difference will be more running time from the newer model. Links to full specs and camcorder compatibility at the end of this post.

+ Direct Copy to external HDD

To summarize, many complaints that users had have been fixed. There are now very few differences between the new XRs and CXs, mainly their recording media (hard disk vs. flash). The biggest reservations I still have are the very limited HD resolution modes (theres only one ) I wish Sony had included 720P and/or true 1080P but I understand their need to differentiate these consumer models from their professional line. Im very curious to see how these new models will perform and if they do well, Ill be getting either a XR550V or a CX550V in the spring (after their initial high prices drop to more reasonable levels)

Note: attached below is a PDF from Sonys USA website comparing the XR520V/CX520V with the new HR550V/CX550V

Links to some of the info posted above:

Press Releases:

http://presscentre.sony.eu/content/d...ReleaseID=5465

http://www.sonyinsider.com/2010/01/0...-24mbps-avchd/

Official Sony USA HDR-XR550V page: (for detailed specs, click on the specifications tab)
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921666073263

Official Sony USA HDR-CX550V page: (for detailed specs, click on the specifications tab)
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921666073231

Official Sony France HDR-XR550VE specifications page
http://www.sony.fr/product/hdd-avchd...nicalspecs#tab

Official Sony France HDR-CX550VE specifications page:
http://www.sony.fr/product/cam-high-...nicalspecs#tab

NP-FH50 battery specs and camcorder compatibility:
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665070965

NP-FV50 battery specs and camcorder compatibility:
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921666066758

Sony's CES 2010 preview of their latest Image Stabilization: (Click on the video)
http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/08/s...d-at-ces-2010/

Cheers

 

Sony-2009-2010-Camcorder-Comparison.pdf 58.3310546875k . file
post #2 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Pepin View Post

Hi Guys,
..........
- 10X zoom instead of 12x before -> This is the only important downgrade feature they have made IMO
..........
Cheers

Great analysis - many thanks!

The small extract above (if correct) is a good example of "you can't please everyone [at a given price point]". I bought the CX12 over the HC7 primarily to go from 10x zoom to 12x because I really felt I needed it and telephoto lens are really inconvenient to use and carry.

This one item alone would keep me from getting one of the newer cams despite all the other changes that would be "nice-to-haves" for me.
post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Gull View Post

Great analysis - many thanks!

The small extract above (if correct) is a good example of "you can't please everyone [at a given price point]". I bought the CX12 over the HC7 primarily to go from 10x zoom to 12x because I really felt I needed it and telephoto lens are really inconvenient to use and carry.

This one item alone would keep me from getting one of the newer cams despite all the other changes that would be "nice-to-haves" for me.

Your welcome Tom And thank you too for all your great posts. I've read many of them, as well as viewed many of your YouTube videos (AmtrakTrain, Sugar gliders, etc) Your CX500V videos really shows how good Sony's latest I.S. has become. Now we can get an even more improved version in both the CX and XR version (actual results pending)

As for the 10x vs. 12x, it is almost officially a fact because you'll see it described in the PDF document I've attached. It comes directly from Sony's website (they have a cool feature that when you compare their products you can make an "on-the-fly" PDF of your selections)

For me, having worked often with 10x zoom camcorders, I believe I could manage. I do a lot of filming inside so the wider lens is great BUT still I will have to try it in-store to see what kind of results I actually get. Maybe it's not so drastic. Nonetheless, and all other things being equal, downgrading from 12x to 10x is never a good thing. Beside that, I really like all the other improvements Sony has introduced.
post #4 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Pepin View Post

** 2X wider angle G-lens, 29.8mm vs. older 43mm (great for the majority of uses such as indoor/panoramic filming, bad for filming far away subjects such as birds)
- 10X zoom instead of 12x before -> This is the only important “downgrade” feature they have made IMO

One thing to keep in mind, it isn’t just losing “2x” that will be different. The new camera will have markedly less reach than the old one.

If the new lens starts with an equivalent focal length of 29mm and has a “10x” lens. Then its maximum telephoto focal length will be 290mm.

Compared to the old model that starts at 43mm with a “12x” lens. It has a focal length range of 43mm to 516mm.

As it can be very difficult for people to relate focal lengths to real world shooting situations, here is a good website that will give you perspective on the difference (pun intended.)

http://www.tamron.com/lenses/learnin...comparison.php

I suggest using the clock picture as a good reference of telephoto changes.

Not saying that a camera with a lens set for wider focal lengths is bad. But people shouldn’t look at it as getting “a lens with all the same capabilities of the older one, plus a lot more wide angle.”

The other consideration is how well this new lens performs compared to the older one. All things equal, a wide angle lens is more demanding. The fact that they reduced the range from 12x to 10x suggests that they are aware of reduced optical quality and are reducing the focal range to try and mitigate it as it is.

Will be interesting to see the performance of it when samples come out.

-Suntan
post #5 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

One thing to keep in mind, it isn't just losing 2x that will be different. The new camera will have markedly less reach than the old one...

...Will be interesting to see the performance of it when samples come out.
-Suntan

I totally agree with you and I have updated the exact focal range quoted by Sony and included some of your comments (hope you don't mind)
post #6 of 51
What happend to the manual buttons (W and T, Home) on the screen on the 550V?
post #7 of 51
They're gone. They disappeared on the CX500V, last October.
post #8 of 51
I am quite new to this forum and have a very good understanding regarding focal length having owned several telescopes for both astronomy/birding imaging. I agree with Suntan 100% regarding the big changes the newer model will have in reach capabilities.

I bought my CX520V about a month ago at Henry's Toronto, Canada for $1200 CAD or $1160 US and have no regrets. There is no way to keep up with electronics as they are for ever changing fast.

My main use was to use the camcorder for wildlife video capture and the CX520V has a very good range at 516mm max focal length and excellent optics. I also bought the Sony HG1737C 1.7 X tele lens which is very sharp and provides for an effective focal length of 877mm.

I also use my camcorder for indoor family video capture and to compensate for a wider FOV, I bought the Sony HGA07 0.7X wide lens which provides a 30.1mm focal length. This lens give a very nice flat field with no coma at the edges and still maintains good sharpness & contrast.

The newer model has a 2x wide lens at 29.8mm focal length and I would like to see a coma free FOV using a 0.7x wide lens?

Chris


ps thanks Suntan for the great link showing focal length differences
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericjut View Post

They're gone. They disappeared on the CX500V, last October.

If you were to check the specs for the CX12 vs the XR500V, you'd see that the CX12 had a narrower LCD. It's because the left vertical edge of the CX foldout hardware was given over to those three physical buttons and thus wasn't available to the LCD surface itself.

What they did with the CX5xx series was to scrap the three physical buttons, extending the LCD over that area and thus making the CX and XR LCDs the same width, though the XR one was a different panel with much higher resolution (number of pixels was much higher).

I never used the three physical buttons on the CX12 so I was happy to get the LCD space back on the CX500V and thought it was a fine decision. Others who used the buttons might disagree but I think you can make them "appear" there on the LCD in some mode. As it turns out, this made way for a very nice vertical scroll bar in that area that controls the movement through the much flatter CX5xx menus. It mimics a typical Windows scrollbar, though using in on a touchscreen takes some practice. But it even has a "fast scroll" icon which is quite effective once you realize it's there and train yourself to use it. That took almost three months for me but now I use it all the time.
post #10 of 51
I have been waiting for new models in hopes they have a viewfinder... looks like the CX550 has everything I am looking for now... BUT, the comparison PDF does NOT say it has NightShot... for Low Light it says "Yes (via iAuto)"... anyone know what that is? Does it have IR night shot capabilities? Seems stupid for it not to since the old models do.

The PDF comparison and the Sony web site do NOT say it has SD card capabilities... where did that info come from? Anyone see any close up pics from all sides yet?
post #11 of 51
For the confirmation about SD support on the CX550: http://news.sel.sony.com/en/press_ro...ase/56198.html

"BETTER StORAGE AND Post-Shooting OPTIONS

In addition to the hard disk drive or built-in flash memory, all of Sony’s new camcorders can record video and still images directly to Memory Stick PRO Duo™ media, Secure Digital (SD), or SDHC media card (all sold separately)."



As for IR, I would just check those pictures (from their press release):
XR550V:
http://news.sel.sony.com/en/image_li...ion/high/56068

CX550V:
http://news.sel.sony.com/en/image_li...ion/high/56009

There's clearly a "Nightshot" button on both models.
post #12 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jscozz View Post

I have been waiting for new models in hopes they have a viewfinder... looks like the CX550 has everything I am looking for now... BUT, the comparison PDF does NOT say it has NightShot... for Low Light it says "Yes (via iAuto)"... anyone know what that is? Does it have IR night shot capabilities? Seems stupid for it not to since the old models do.

The PDF comparison and the Sony web site do NOT say it has SD card capabilities... where did that info come from? Anyone see any close up pics from all sides yet?

iAuto is Sony’s Intelligent Auto Exposure mode which includes: Landscape, Backlight, Twilight, Spotlight, Low light, Macro, Portrait, Baby, Walk and Tripod mode.

In all the info I've read up to now, I haven't seen any mention of IR Night Shot capability. Doesn't mean it's not available but I haven't seen it yet.

The PDF that I've posted comes from Sony US and is just a basic comparison chart so it doesn't contain ALL the features/specs of the new camcorders. Also, all this information is preliminary at the moment and different sources contradict themselves, even from Sony's. For instance, the SD/SDHC is not officially mentioned on Sony's US website but it is mentioned in many Sony press releases (as ericjut mentioned) and it is officially mentioned on Sony's France website for both the XRs and CXs.

Follow the link below to Sony France CX550VE and look at the very last section of specs where it says "Enregistreur, lecteur"/ "Support d'enregistrement"/ ...Mémoire interne 64 Go, Memory Stick PRO Duo™ Mark II, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™, carte mémoire SD/SDHC (classe 4 ou supérieure) <<<-----

http://www.sony.fr/product/cam-high-...nicalspecs#tab

I don't know if these discrepancies between Sony US and Sony France means that SD/SDHC will only be available on European models and not in America. It's too early to tell. That would be bad but this has happened before. Often features available in one country aren’t available in another.

The ONLY way we'll really be sure about all this is when the camcorders become available for sale and someone will test them and report their findings. Until then, we should take all these informations with a grain of salt.

BTW. If you can read a bit of French, Sony France gives a bit more info than Sony US. On the link above, you can see that the CX550VE has NightShot but it doesn’t specify if it is IR NightShot.
post #13 of 51
FWIW, "NightShot" is what Sony has used for IR NightShot functionality over many years now.

Also, the link I sent above regarding SD support was the press release found on the US Sony website, which was also announced at CES, where Sony also introduced their line of SD cards to be shortly available in the US.

Finally, please note that all the links I sent were about the XR-550V and CX-550V models, which are US/Japan versions of the camcorders. If the specs were different between the 550V and 550VE (aka European) models, you would think that their press releases/photos would specifically discuss about 550VE.

I think it's a pretty safe bet to say that both features will be available globally on all 550 models.
post #14 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericjut View Post

FWIW, "NightShot" is what Sony has used for IR NightShot functionality over many years now.

...I think it's a pretty safe bet to say that both features will be available globally on all 550 models.

Thanks for the precision on “NightShot”. I wasn't sure it was necessarily based on IR technology. I'm glad they are keeping this option in the new models.

Although I agree that it is reasonably safe to say that SD/SDHC will be available globally (that would be very bad marketing by Sony) I'm simply being careful and do not assume anything because I've seen many cases in the past where one thing was advertized but later turned out to be something different. Added to the fact that presently Sony USA do not mention SD/SDHC support on their XR550V/CX550V specs page, that’s why I said we will be 100% sure when the actual models are shipped and reviewed.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

One thing to keep in mind, it isn’t just losing “2x” that will be different. The new camera will have markedly less reach than the old one.

If the new lens starts with an equivalent focal length of 29mm and has a “10x” lens. Then its maximum telephoto focal length will be 290mm.

Compared to the old model that starts at 43mm with a “12x” lens. It has a focal length range of 43mm to 516mm.

As it can be very difficult for people to relate focal lengths to real world shooting situations, here is a good website that will give you perspective on the difference (pun intended.)

http://www.tamron.com/lenses/learnin...comparison.php

I suggest using the clock picture as a good reference of telephoto changes.

Not saying that a camera with a lens set for wider focal lengths is bad. But people shouldn’t look at it as getting “a lens with all the same capabilities of the older one, plus a lot more wide angle.”

The other consideration is how well this new lens performs compared to the older one. All things equal, a wide angle lens is more demanding. The fact that they reduced the range from 12x to 10x suggests that they are aware of reduced optical quality and are reducing the focal range to try and mitigate it as it is.

Will be interesting to see the performance of it when samples come out.

-Suntan

Hi, can you please help me in clarifying my head ?
With this new wider angle lens, I do not understand this :

I am interested in finding out if the new wider angle lens did not diminished the low range ability of the camcorder. What I mean is that like you pointed the ability of the new sony to look farther has been far dimished by the wider lens (personally I do not mind).
What I care more is the ability of seeing close up object. What I mean is that lets say I have an object at maybe 1 meter of distance from my lens, will it look different (much more farther) with the new wider angle lens when compared to how it was looking with the old less wide lens ?



Regarding the Sony IR option, me too I was and am interested in finding out if the sony kept the green IR nightshot that user IR illuminators.
The thing that make me unsure is that I always thought that the sony blocked the manual controll on their cameras for limiting the IR ability. Maybe they unlocked the manual controlls just for the NON IR video ability of the camcorder...


Thank you
post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcolisi View Post

What I care more is the ability of seeing close up object. What I mean is that lets say I have an object at maybe 1 meter of distance from my lens, will it look different (much more farther) with the new wider angle lens when compared to how it was looking with the old less wide lens ?

Well, the focal length range of the new lens does not tell you the minimum focus distance of the lens directly. The minimum focus distance of the lens is a separate quality from the focal length. Although the design of the lens will impact it, but you won't know for sure until Sony actually releases the specific spec.

That said, the shorter the focal length, the closer an object needs to be to the camera to "look" the same size. For example, a ball that is 20 inches from the lens when it is stroked to a focal length of 160mm will take up the exact same size on the screen as when it is 10 inches from the camera set at a focal length of 80mm. So you would think that the longer the focal length the better, but with most zoom lenses they focus closest at their widest focal length, and furthest at their longest focal length, so it usually equals out.

In short, only Sony can tell you if this one will focus closer than the old one or not.

-Suntan
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

Well, the focal length range of the new lens does not tell you the minimum focus distance of the lens directly. The minimum focus distance of the lens is a separate quality from the focal length. Although the design of the lens will impact it, but you won't know for sure until Sony actually releases the specific spec.

That said, the shorter the focal length, the closer an object needs to be to the camera to "look" the same size. For example, a ball that is 20 inches from the lens when it is stroked to a focal length of 160mm will take up the exact same size on the screen as when it is 10 inches from the camera set at a focal length of 80mm. So you would think that the longer the focal length the better, but with most zoom lenses they focus closest at their widest focal length, and furthest at their longest focal length, so it usually equals out.

In short, only Sony can tell you if this one will focus closer than the old one or not.

-Suntan

Thank you so much for the explanation. I really appreciate.
Do you have any idea when the specs would come out ?

I found these:

xr550 = Focal Distance : 3.8 - 38.0mm
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...specifications

xr520 = Focal Distance : 5.5 - 66.0mm
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...specifications

this is instead my panasonic hs350

Focal Distance : 4 mm to 48 mm

Are they of any help ?

I hope someone will review the camera soon.

Thanks
post #18 of 51
gREAT aNAlysis but i love Sony XR550V [IMG]http://www.****************/img/8/N.gif[/IMG]
post #19 of 51
Thread Starter 
An update on the new battery supplied with the XR550V/CX550V:

According to SonyStyle.com, the new FV series batteries ARE compatible with the older FH series. They have the same Battery Type (InfoLITHIUM H-series: Li-ionvoltage), Output Voltage : DC 8.4V (max) and Basic Dimensions. Only their capacity has changed: 6.1Wh/900mAh (FH50) versus 7Wh (1030mAh) (FV50). In other words, you will be able to use either type of battery on all CX550/520/500V or XR550/520/500V The difference will be more running time from the newer model. Links to full specs and camcorder compatibility below:

NP-FH50 battery:
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665070965

NP-FV50 battery:
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921666066758

I also found a small preview to Sony's latest Image Stabilization. The result looks amazing. Can't wait to see actual footage: (Click on the video)
http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/08/s...d-at-ces-2010/

Note: My first post has been updated to reflect the changes.
post #20 of 51
Looking for all opinions available on wether or not to get one of the two new ones, or just pick up a now probably reduced in price 520V.

I want to ditch my second cam, the older SR11, because the night shots are just that much noteably better with the 520V. But would an upgrade to 24mb/s really make it that much clearer than it already is?

it already looks like broadcast quality to me...
post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Pepin View Post

I also found a small preview to Sony's latest Image Stabilization. The result looks amazing. Can't wait to see actual footage: (Click on the video)
http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/08/s...d-at-ces-2010/

FWIW, they had the same demo for the XR520V a year ago, with very similar results. The Active OIS on the Sony models is really cool.
post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by NV5655 View Post

Looking for all opinions available on wether or not to get one of the two new ones, or just pick up a now probably reduced in price 520V.

I want to ditch my second cam, the older SR11, because the night shots are just that much noteably better with the 520V. But would an upgrade to 24mb/s really make it that much clearer than it already is?

it already looks like broadcast quality to me...

A lot of people will disagree with me on this, but I don't personally think that 24Mbps will help PQ by an appreciable amount overall. Some scenes will benefit from it, like pans and scenes with a lot of details (nature shots, water, etc), but most of us will probably not be able to see a difference while shooting other venues. The output might be a little crisper overall, but that might actually show some of the filtering done by the camcorder a little more too (like sharpening artifacts). We'll have to see what Sony decides to with with the sharpen vs NR @ 24Mbps. Two things for sure: it's going to take more space and will require a little beefier PCs to playback and edit.
post #23 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericjut View Post

A lot of people will disagree with me on this, but I don't personally think that 24Mbps will help PQ by an appreciable amount overall... Two things for sure: it's going to take more space and will require a little beefier PCs to playback and edit.

I totally agree with you on those points. IMO, I believe the QUALITY of the built-in encoder (camcorder hardware CODEC) that transforms the raw 1920x1080@25/30 FPS images into the AVCHD stream is way more important to the P.Q. than the absolute maximum bitrates available.

Whether it's about DIVX, XIVD, MPEG2, MP4, H.264, I've often seen videos that were encoded at relatively low bitrates that looked BETTER than their higher bit-rate counter-part simply because they were encoded with a better encoder (or better encoder settings). In that regard, Sony AVCHD encoder seems to be very good because as hard as I've tried, I couldn't see any major AVCHD compression artifacts in the RAW footage (not that YouTube re-encoded crap) of the XR500V and CX500V.

So going to 24Mbps will only be helpful in very rare case. On top of that, a factor that is often overlooked is that it is much easier (less artifacts) to compress a video stream that is stable than a shaky one, and since Sony consistently has better Image Stabilization than other companies, they can achieve very good results with lower bitrates. The new Sony XRs/CXs with their even better I.S. will make it even easier for the encoder, so I believe the main reason Sony included 24Mbps was simply to address critics' complaints, not because it was technically necessary.
post #24 of 51
I agree and also like the fact that the lower bitrate with higher quality yields smaller files; less storage to manage.
post #25 of 51
All that being said, I'm still glad they gave us the 24Mbps option. But I would have to assess the PQ gain before it would be my day to day default. It is recording 50% bigger files after all.
post #26 of 51
I'm glad the 25mbps option is there too, but I can't imagine it getting too much better within the 60i limitation. I've been shooting lots of high school basketball lately and last summer (in Costa Rica) shot video while on a speed boat bouncing on the Pacific. Even with all of the motion, the active OIS on the XR500 performed spectacularly with amazing video in all settings.
post #27 of 51
Class 4 SDHC when the rest of the world is now on Class 6? Is it Sony's way of saying well if you want SDHC you have it but I'll let you use only Class 4; if you want faster, use Sony's Memory Stick products?
post #28 of 51
This is great comparison. I was about to buy the 2009 model but now i will have to wait and watch
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsnqst View Post

Class 4 SDHC when the rest of the world is now on Class 6? Is it Sony's way of saying well if you want SDHC you have it but I'll let you use only Class 4; if you want faster, use Sony's Memory Stick products?

If I were to hazard a guess, the notion is that Class 4 is the required minimum for recording without hiccups. But I don't think there is anything stopping a person from using Class 6.

-Suntan
post #30 of 51
I was really hoping for 1080 60p this year for the Sonys. If low light and OIS are pretty much on par with the 2009 models I'll probably just go with the older versions.
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