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Sony HDR-GW77: waterproof, dustproof, shockproof small HD camcorder - Page 3

post #61 of 637
Thread Starter 
"If you had taken took the same shots with the HX9V, what do you think you would see?"

First some ugly very low-light comparison pictures. How dim? ISO 800 at 1/8th of a second at f3.3 for the Hx9v:

DSC00592.jpg

Now, under the same lighting, the GW77 picture (f1.8, 1/60th):

DSC00031.jpg

What do we see?

The Hx9v picture has less noise, but the GW77 picture is considerably sharper (the figure is what is supposed to be in focus (the eyes)) and has more color (compare the color of the lips and the blue). The Hx9v is soft, and in fact had a hard time focusing, even using the focus assist (the orange light). I used the touch screen on the GW77 to select the focus point and it had no problem locking in. In low-light, the GW77 wins unless noise is your only criterion. This is no doubt because of the f1.8 lens and less dense pixels. Perhaps also because there is less noise reduction going on for the GW77. NR blurs, as you can see in the wood in the Hx9v picture on the right, which looks like watercolor.

Tomorrow I will go out in the sun with both cameras.
Edited by markr041 - 7/25/12 at 9:06pm
post #62 of 637
One of my brains wants to concentrate on the technology. It loves the big sensor RX100. In the 70's it bought enough Nikon and Mamiya gear to fill multiple cases. It built a huge darkroom. It spent a fortune. It understood, and could explain, it all. I shot a few good photos, but not many.

My other brain wants to tell a story with photography and videography. This is the brain I want to be in charge. It has to fight the other brain from taking over. It might be because I have guy genes. My wife takes great photos and doesn't give a rip about the buttons or settings if the shot comes out "right".

Related to this, my 10 year old granddaughter taught me the lesson again last weekend on a camping trip. She was on the beach with a Cannon Elph I discarded awhile back because it seemed like a toy. She was shooting her new puppy playing with their other family dog at high noon. She showed me a shot on "her" camera where her puppy was in flight. All four legs were tucked up, the tail extended, ears out and nose stretched forward. She didn't tell me that she was zooming the viewfinder in on the lower left corner of the shot. Had she said that, I would have said something stupid like "Too bad you didn't zoom in and get it focused better because ....."

Because her creative brain was in control and working, she got the prize winning shot of the weekend. It is now framed as an 8x10, under glass on her wall. Had she inherited my gear head brain there would be no shot at all because it was technically impossible.

What is fascinating me about your use and display of the GW77 shots and clips is that it appears to be so well suited to getting the story. Your videos and photos have more than enough clarity, color, punch and impact to get the job done. And, it is in a package that is small, rugged, rain proof and unobtrusive. The camera is put together so as to not get in the way of the creative brain. It can clear the path for the creative brain to work.

Your shots of the figurine are evidence that the two cameras are both good enough to get the story, but the GW77 wins by a little.

Thanks for sharing your video and photo adventures with me.

Bill

PS: The puppy shot is attached for your entertainment. and proof that great shots can be less than technically perfect. Notice the shadow that wouldn't be there if she had waited for "better light".



Her full frame:


Edited by bsprague - 7/26/12 at 7:55am
post #63 of 637
Thread Starter 
Comparing Hx9v and GW77 stills in daylight.

I shot similar pictures using the HX9v the next day to compare with the GW77 pictures I had shot and posted above.

Here is the Hx9v version of the pine picture:

DSC00597.jpg

and the GW77 again:

DSC00021.jpg

The Hx9v flower picture:

DSC00601.jpg

and the GW77 version, from above:

DSC00007.jpg

And here are some fresh ones taken at about the same time.

Hx9v:

DSC00598.jpg

GW77:

DSC00033-1.jpg

Hx9v:

DSC00605.jpg

GW77:

DSC00040.jpg


NOTE: The Hx9v 4:3 photos show up as larger because of photobucket.com, the sharing site. In fact, the GW77 photos are larger. The reason the Hx9v photos are 4:3 is that that is the largest resolution photo aspect ratio for that camera. The 16:9 aspect ratio is the highest resolution one for the GW77. You can choose a 16:9 aspect ratio for the Hx9v; that essentially just chops off the tops and bottoms of the 4:3 picture. You can choose the 4:3 aspect ratio for the GW77 photos; that just chops off the sides of the 16:9 pictures! So, 16:9 is native to the GW77; 4:3 is native to the GW77. again, at the max resolution, the GW jpegs are larger than the Hx9v jpegs.

I think I see that the GW77 pictures are sharper.
Edited by markr041 - 7/26/12 at 11:28am
post #64 of 637
Hi Mark,
Thanks for posting all the helpful information. To take still pictures with the GW77, what are the options to do so? For example, it sounds like you can snap a photo by itself or use a frame grab from a video. For the frame grabs are you just pulling the frame while you are editing the video on your computer? Or do you pysically have to press a button to take a photo while doing video? Are there advantages/disadvantages to doing it one way versus another from a photo quality perspective?

For video, do you have any particular settings you like to operate with in low light versus good light?
post #65 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

I think I see that the GW77 pictures are sharper.
I certainly can't see that they are any worse! Thanks for doing the work and showing the comparison.

You're doing a very convincing job of setting the GW77 at the top of the list for a dual purpose travel camera aimed at those that dislike lugging or packing a larger camcorder/camera. In a world full of smartphones, Sony appears to be making a new market category all by themselves: "packable, pocketable, crossover, rugged with quality dual image modes". That's a long ways away from fussy DSLRs with fragile lenses and certainly different from the market where people think they should be photographing and filming with their iPads. Its also a fair distance from the crowded market of "bridge superzooms".

Sony also seems to be defining another segment with the RX100. It seems to be aimed at photo control freaks that want a DSLR in their pockets that can shoot RAW.

I wonder if there are more buyers in the control freak group or the crossover tourist group. Sony probably won't tell us. My guess is that there are a lot more cruise ship tourists than Lightroom junkies.

Mark, I appreciate you showing and explaining your camera and it's capabilities as much as I did two years (or so) ago when you did similar with the HX9V -- that has, and continues to be a source of fun for me and my granddaughters.

Bill
post #66 of 637
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KnowledgeSeeker View Post

Hi Mark,
Thanks for posting all the helpful information. To take still pictures with the GW77, what are the options to do so? For example, it sounds like you can snap a photo by itself or use a frame grab from a video. For the frame grabs are you just pulling the frame while you are editing the video on your computer? Or do you pysically have to press a button to take a photo while doing video? Are there advantages/disadvantages to doing it one way versus another from a photo quality perspective?
For video, do you have any particular settings you like to operate with in low light versus good light?

There is a separate button for snapping photos and a button for changing the camera to photo mode. There are lots of stills options:

1. You can just treat the camera like any stills camera and take pictures - half press the photo button for focus lock, etc.and you can, if you want, set WB, manual focus and control aperture. There are also scene modes and "intelligent" auto, macro mode etc.

2. You can take pictures while shooting a video: just press the photo button while filming (the resolution is less than in full photo mode).
You cannot take a still picture while shooting 108060p.

3. You can grab a frame. You can do this in the camera: in playback mode you can stop the video while watching it and touch a place on the screen to capture the frame you see (frame grab). You have controls for frame-by-frame advance and reverse to get exactly the right frame. The resolution is the same as the video, so less than taking a regular still picture. You can use the Sony Playmemories software to also frame grab the video on your computer.

I do not change any settings for low light. There is a low-light setting - it sets the frame rate to 1/30th of a second (normally, and appropriately, the shutter speed in low light is 1/60th). I shoot 108060p, so 1/30th of a second would make action blurry. The low-light performance is good, so there is no need for this in most instances.
Edited by markr041 - 7/27/12 at 8:35am
post #67 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

Tingham: You are right - I posted a video from the Alamo using the JVC HM400 two years ago! Here is the link:
https://vimeo.com/10394295
It is interesting to compare the videos: The HM400 video now looks a bit soft with perhaps less dynamic range and is less fluid (maybe Vimeo's dealing with interlaced) compared to that of the GW77, and it was at the time one of the sharpest camcorders.
Here (again) is the GW77 Alamo video:
https://vimeo.com/46224323
Shield: The RX100 is a good choice to complement the A77. Its videos will mix in well with those from the A77, as they share the same softness and moire but good dynamic range. The GW77 videos would stand out too much and make the A77 videos look soft.
If anyone wants to see the difference between what a real camcorder like the GW77 and a big sensor still camera that does video produces, I shot in the same garden and under the same lighting conditions that I took the GW77 video a video using the Sony NEX-5N, which is a large sensor camera that no one argues is inferior to the RX100 (and some have argued is superior to the A77 in low light).
Here are the links to the two videos:
First, the NEX-5N (with kit lens) video:
https://vimeo.com/29018746
Then the GW77 video (same as the original post, here again for convenience):
https://vimeo.com/45606199
The NEX-5N video looks very nice, but then when you see the GW77 video you see clearly the resolution difference (and some NEX difficulty with red). I would expect the RX100 video will also be nice-looking, with good dynamic range, and its softness would only be apparent when compared with a camcorder.


The A77 video look soft? Who told you that? I have videos I've taken that are razor sharp with the A77. It all depends on what glass you're using. If you're used to the kit lenses perhaps, but throw on some good glass and it's really sharp.
post #68 of 637
2 second Vimeo search for a77 video.

Does this look soft to you?

https://vimeo.com/46410490

Keep in mind with large sensors and shallow DOF you don't get the camcorder-y live look of the GW77, so no, the corners aren't going to be as sharp as they're blown out (which is by design cool.gif)
post #69 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

With all the bells and whistles of the regular Sony camcorders, but much smaller and tougher, specifically almost identical in parts and capabilities to the Sony HDR-CX580: same sensor, 10X optical zoom, active mode steady shot optical, 3" 920k screen, touch focus, mic level adjustment, 108060p mode, f1.8-f3.4 G lens, etc. waterproof means submersible to 16 feet.
Here is a video straight from the camera, using the telemacro mode, which allows great close-ups with narrow dof:
https://vimeo.com/45606199Here are frame grabs from the video straight from the camera:
201207111505512.jpg
201207111528404.jpg
201207111523572.jpg


These 3 frame grabs are some of the worst I've ever seen quality wise from any camera. I certainly would not use these as selling points; they look like muddy garbage.

Here's some frame grabs from the "soft" Sony A77 that I shot. Not stills, but frame grabs from 1920x1080 footage. I'm not here to bash the GW77 but when I start hearing things like "soft" video footage from the A77 I just shake my head.



post #70 of 637
Thread Starter 
Shield: your standard of what is sharp is obviously lower than mine. yes, I see the lack of sharpness in the video you posted. It looks great, though. But any lens you place on the big sensor cameras is not going to reduce the video artifacts like moire. That's a firmware/sensor problem.

Here for your edification are two test charts, one from the Sony NEX VG20 and one from the GW77, from slashcam.de. You clearly see the difference, and the artifacts are not subtle (the round part of the resolution chart). You, like owners of the the NEX cameras and the RX100 (whch has a similar resolution chart to the VG20), just appear to refuse to believe that such expensive cameras, which produce such beautiful videos, lack sharpness and have distortions compared with mid-level camcorders. The shallow dof precisely hides the deficiencies, as does the grading in post and low-light shots used by many people with these big cameras.

I don't know why you care so much to defend - your camera can produce some great videos. It's not a contest, just a fact that the videos have these defects.

camcorder-testergebnisse_testbilder_testbild_iso_klein_218 NEX.jpg 17k .jpg file

camcorder-testergebnisse_testbilder_testbild_iso_klein_265GW.jpg 20k .jpg file

The difference is shocking, isn't it?
Edited by markr041 - 7/26/12 at 4:21pm
post #71 of 637
Thread Starter 
"I'm not here to bash the GW77 but when I start hearing things like "soft" video footage from the A77 I just shake my head."

Obviously you do more than "shake your head" (would that you did).


The frame grabs look good, but other shots are no substitute for resolution charts, since there are no sharp details.

The frame grabs from the GW77 are downrezzed by the sharing site.
post #72 of 637
Thread Starter 
Shield: I don't mean to pick on you, but you do not know what you are talking about when it comes to resolution and quality in video. If you did not hijack this thread I would leave it alone. But you did, and I won't in the interest of objective truth.

Here is a test report on your alpha 77 video performance: http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Sony-Alpha-A77-Digital-Camera-Review.htm#motion&sharpness

Its resolution is even worse than the NEX-7 which is worse than the NEX VG20 I mentioned above and the NEX-5N whose video I posted (which is clearly less sharp than that of the GW77). The alpha 77 resolution is worse than a low-level camcorder -see the reported dynamic line resolution: 575/550. That compares with 1000/900 for the Panasonic TM900 and about 800/700 for Sony mid-level camcorders. And the Samsung W200, a $159 camcorder, has resolution of 750/750.

And then there is moire and jello, specific to the alpha 77 and not in camcorders. Your pig shots are not going to cut it I am afraid.

Resolution and moire are not the only qualities of videos. One can take some fine videos with still cameras, and shallow dof shots are very appealing. As Bill has indicated, what counts are the shots you take. But please do not argue against facts or hijack or bash just because you own a particular camera, or for whatever reason.
Edited by markr041 - 7/26/12 at 4:20pm
post #73 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

Here is a test report on your alpha 77 video performance: http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Sony-Alpha-A77-Digital-Camera-Review.htm#motion&sharpness
Its resolution is even worse than the NEX-7 which is worse than the NEX VG20 I mentioned above and the NEX-5N whose video I posted (which is clearly less sharp than that of the GW77). The alpha 77 resolution is worse than a low-level camcorder -see the reported line resolution: 575/550.

i read from somewhere the reason why dslr can't have good video is because of the presence of mirror, that is why canon dslr can not record 60p. even though they have superior processing chip.

canon can make better camcorder but won't because their dslr maket is making them lots of money. that is why they came out with not so good mirrorless last week, so as not to affect their dslr business.

the a77 dslr can take very good still picture but not so good video due to the presence of mirror.
Edited by spyker1212 - 7/26/12 at 4:55pm
post #74 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shield View Post

2 second Vimeo search for a77 video.
Does this look soft to you?
https://vimeo.com/46410490
Keep in mind with large sensors and shallow DOF you don't get the camcorder-y live look of the GW77, so no, the corners aren't going to be as sharp as they're blown out (which is by design cool.gif)

A quick search also yielded this video (A77):

post #75 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by xfws View Post

A quick search also yielded this video (A77):

to go near the surfing dog and take clearer video shot with wave splash effect or surf with the dog.... needs a bulky underwater housing for a77... but no need any bulking housing for gw77 cause gw77 is waterproof....:-)

i am still saving to get my next camcorder....the gw77
post #76 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by spyker1212 View Post

to go near the surfing dog and take clearer video shot with wave splash effect or surf with the dog.... needs a bulky underwater housing for a77... but no need any bulking housing for gw77 cause gw77 is waterproof....:-)
i am still saving to get my next camcorder....the gw77

I guess that person had it on auto, I don't know, but the GW77 seems ready to go.

No doubt there are some nice videos on Vimeo made with DSLR's. But you have to get into "filmmaker mode" and make sure this and that is just right with lenses and settings. Not to mention the bulkiness versus pocketability.

FWIU, the GW77 does have independent manual controls, so you could actually shoot a short or music video with it and make it look professional in an editor. The only downside I see is it may be difficult to convince people in certain situations that the little pocket camcorder is capable - like showing up to a wedding with it in a paid context,
post #77 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shield View Post

the RX100 and didn't even own one.

after i buy the gw77...i will next buy the rx100

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/07/26/the-sony-rx100-digital-camera-review-the-best-pocket-digital-compact-of-the-year-actually-ever/
post #78 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by xfws View Post

I see is it may be difficult to convince people in certain situations that the little pocket camcorder is capable - like showing up to a wedding with it in a paid context,

most of us grow up with camera taking still photos. so still photo is programmed in our brain. so we are impressed with photographers with big and bulky lens taking photo at wedding reception.

the newer generation now uses smartphone photo and video camera. i am sure 20 years from now. they will look at those big and bulky dlsr at wedding reception and just laugh. and amazon will post the #1 selling camcorder full frame sony gw7000 camcorder(smaller than gw77) selling for $199.... cause the popularity of camcorders will be where camera is right now.
Edited by spyker1212 - 7/26/12 at 6:43pm
post #79 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shield View Post

Chubby faced kid? Kids are off limits. That's my nephew dickhead. Sorry you can't afford a superior stills/video cam like the Alpha A77. I see now why your posts on dpreview are such a joke - you bash the RX100 and didn't even own one. Have fun with your everything in focus handy cams. Not tough to get full focus at F/8.

I don't think "chubby faced kids"' was some kind of slight. Kids often have chubby cheeks. It's cute. But, if they are off limits then how about not posting pics of them? And, how about being so disruptive? I'm very appreciative of the OP here (and anyone) who takes this much time and effort to share the capabilities of his gear.
post #80 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by droht View Post

I don't think "chubby faced kids"' was some kind of slight. Kids often have chubby cheeks. It's cute.

i think the kid is cute too.

i read a photography book the other day. it says most serious photographer take photos of kids and old people. cause kid no matter what looks cute while for old people, the uglier the better the picture.
Edited by spyker1212 - 7/26/12 at 7:33pm
post #81 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by spyker1212 View Post

i read a photography book the other day. it says most serious photographer take photos of....old people. cause ...for old people, the uglier the better the picture.
That would be me. Come take my picture!

Bill
post #82 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

That would be me. Come take my picture!
Bill

take a video of yourself now, and make funny faces on video. after 20years. your grandkids will treasure it. cause they will appreciate video more than still photos.

another reason why i want the gw77 is to also let my 8year old use it and not worry breaking if it hit the floor. cause the gw77 is shockproof.
Edited by spyker1212 - 7/26/12 at 8:14pm
post #83 of 637
Ahh, so I see our pal "Mark041" has "reported" by post to the admins, and REMOVED/EDITED his post calling my nephew chubby faced. If there was nothing wrong with saying that, why did he edit his post?

So let's recap - he gets a camera, posts some horrific screen caps from it, and bashes other cameras (and kids) in the process to justify buying it. In the meanwhile makes an absurd post on dpreview where he gets called out on it. Located here:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1009&thread=42022210&page=1
He's obviously looking to ruffle feathers with his title "The RX100 is not a good video camera".

The cameras he slights (A77 + RX100) he has never personally owned. Makes sense to me. Again Mark have fun with your resolution charts and the handycam.
post #84 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by xfws View Post

A quick search also yielded this video (A77):

You do realize that video was @ 30 p and with the original firmware of the A77 from October 2011, right? That camera does 1080p60 and is on firmware 1.05 now.
post #85 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shield View Post

You do realize that video was @ 30 p and with the original firmware of the A77 from October 2011, right? That camera does 1080p60 and is on firmware 1.05 now.

Actually, I wasn't aware of that.

Since the GW77 just came out, then we can look forward to an even better image when it is updated.
post #86 of 637
Thread Starter 
"Ahh, so I see our pal "Mark041" has "reported" by post to the admins, and REMOVED/EDITED his post calling my nephew chubby faced. If there was nothing wrong with saying that, why did he edit his post?

So let's recap - he gets a camera, posts some horrific screen caps from it, and bashes other cameras (and kids) in the process to justify buying it. In the meanwhile makes an absurd post on dpreview where he gets called out on it. Located here:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1009&thread=42022210&page=1
He's obviously looking to ruffle feathers with his title "The RX100 is not a good video camera".

The cameras he slights (A77 + RX100) he has never personally owned. Makes sense to me. Again Mark have fun with your resolution charts and the handycam."



I did report Shield's name-calling and offensive language to the moderators (the first time in 7 years and over 1400 posts I have ever done that). They eliminated Shield's offensive posts (I did not request they take any particular action; that was their decision). *They* also replaced "chubby-faced" with "other" in my post. It was not meant to be derisive, but I am happy to have it gone if someone is offended. The point of these threads is to reveal facts about cameras through both personal experience - videos! - and by references to tests by professionals that are illuminating.

Both the GW77 and the RX100 are small cameras, one focused on stills and one on video. It is interesting to compare their video performance given that their costs are the same and they satisfy the need for a take-anywhere camera. What seems to be the case is that, not surprisingly, one gets better pictures with the RX100 and better video with the GW77 (leaving aside the limited zoom range of the R100). Why the A77 is relevant at all to this thread is unclear.

The dpreview dialogue (in the *general* Sony forum) is interesting. I was very interested in the RX100 and considered buying it if the video was good. I read the detailed manual and the reviews of both the GW77 and the RX100 on slashcam.de, which is a camcorder-centric site, and decided the GW77 met my needs better.

Here is what I found about the RX100:

According to the manual: Sony says that the zoom makes noise while shooting, and this is picked up, that the video button clicks (!) and that is picked up in the video, and that digital zoom - resolution-degrading digital zoom - cannot be turned off. These are deficiencies that no camcorder has. When I mentioned these problems, the responses ranged from "nobody zooms during a video" to "I don't care, get out."

The NEX-5N (which I own) also has a clicking video button. This means one has to edit out the beginning and end of every clip to eliminate the noise. Not very convenient.

I also saw from the slashcam review that, like other big sensor cameras as reviewed by slashcam.de and camcorderinfo.com, indicated the resolution was relatively low in video and artifacts were a problem, unlike for camcorders. The responses to this ranged from "Look at how sharp this video I found on the web is!" to "I don't care, get out".

And, of course: "how can you say anything if you do not own the camera"!
Edited by markr041 - 7/27/12 at 9:03am
post #87 of 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

.........Both the GW77 and the RX100 are small cameras, one focused on stills and one on video. It is interesting to compare their video performance given that their costs are the same and they satisfy the need for a take-anywhere camera. What seems to be the case is that, not surprisingly, one gets better pictures with the RX100 and better video with the GW77.

............According to the manual: Sony says that the zoom makes noise while shooting, and this is picked up, that the video button clicks (!) and that is picked up in the video, and that digital zoom - resolution-degrading digital zoom - cannot be turned off......


I think there is a 'law' that things can get twice as good or twice as cheap every two years in technology products. Sometimes both.

It seems to me, that both cameras are different than what was on the market two years ago when I was shopping for my first video camera. I think I would have bought the GW77 if I could have.

On some other site, where a guy was going nuts over the RX100 for video, I asked about the noise. He, responded that he had not noticed it in actual use. So, I'm not sure.

This is a video site, so still photography doesn't count as much, but my personal interest are starting to return a little to photography because I'm discovering Photoshop for the first time. So the dilemma of what my next camera will be goes on. I'll have to enjoy the shopping and may soon take a trip to a Sony store.

Bill
post #88 of 637
Thread Starter 
Maybe with the GW77 things got twice as good and twice as cheap (almost).

Just a few years ago there was the Sony HDR-TG5v or 7VE:

http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&partNumber=HDRTG5V

It was the exact same form factor as the GW77 with built-in GPS and maps and 16GB built-in, but it had a smaller sensor (1/5"), no optical stabilization, a worse lens, a smaller and lower resolution LCD (2.7", 460,0000 pixels), 2.3MP stills, and took only 108060i at 17Mbps.
It was not waterproof, shockproof or dustproof (but it was made of titanium!).

It sold for $999.
Edited by markr041 - 7/27/12 at 12:26pm
post #89 of 637
So, what do we get two years from now?
post #90 of 637
Thread Starter 
Based on existing technology:

1. Built-in wifi. This could be useful - you could leave the camera out on a tripod, view what it is seeing and control the camera (zoom, settings, photo, video) . Already a Sony Bloggie can stream over wifi, and a new Sony pro camera can be controlled by an iPhone or Android app.

2. Incorporate balanced optical steady shot, like on the top Sony camcorder (eliminate the digital part of stabilization).

3. Buit-in projector, as in most of Sony's regular camcorders.

4. Full manual mode in video - shutter, aperture (like on the RX100).
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