AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I posted this same thread as a reply to another similar post.


I am stuck! I've been hovering back and forth between these 3 camcorders and I don't know which is the one to buy.


Panasonic HDC-TM90k

Sony HDR-CX160

Canon HF R21 Vixia


They are all around $500. We are having our first child in 2 months and I plan to use it mostly for filming family events and baby stuff. I am totally new to this and have very little idea what I am doing. I've done some research and I've picked these because of price, cmos size, and features.


Frank
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
It's going to come down to low-light performance. I'm a Sony person as far as these camcorders go but I think the Panny beats it in PQ, the CX160 didn't score very high in HD quality.


Another option is a used CX560 dpending on your budget.....would be superior to all 3.


Image stability and low-light gathering is impressive, just an idea though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I am stuck with the same problem, deciding among Canon R21, Panasonic TM90k and Sony CX160 and we have a baby on the way
. I tried Sony CX160 and Sony XR160 so far. I first went with Sony CX160. The main problem was that the internal memory. 16GB filled up withing 1 hr recording at the highest quality. So, I though I need a bigger one and got XR160, which has 160GB HDD. I didn't like the HD quality of both these camcorders. Its not up to my expectations. I compared TM90k and CX160 at my local bestbuy a couple of days ago. I felt that TM90k's color was way better on the little screen. I don't know how much the difference will be when viewed on a big screen though. TM90k has a fill-in flash and can take 5.0 MP still photos if that's of any importance. After looking at XR160, I revised my opinion about needing more storage. Since SD cards are becoming cheaper by the day, I think 16GB with a couple of SD cards should serve the purpose well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,170 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by i6pwr /forum/post/20805964


It's going to come down to low-light performance. I'm a Sony person as far as these camcorders go but I think the Panny beats it in PQ, the CX160 didn't score very high in HD quality.


Another option is a used CX560 dpending on your budget.....would be superior to all 3.


Image stability and low-light gathering is impressive, just an idea though.

Really? The CX700 low light performance was not good at all. Why would the CX560 be better? The Panny TM90 tested very well for a mid range camcorder. So far it has impressed the hell out of me. 40x zoom and the image stabilization is rock solid even at long zoom settings of a 1120mm equivalent. Amazing! Having 28mm wide is the best option I think but everything else about it is amazing for its size. Image looks very good indoors too. Colors don't wash out in low light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by schebro /forum/post/20806501


CX-160's description says this


"Wide Angle G lens to capture everything you want"


Does anyone know what it is equivalent to in "mm" (like 28mm wide-angle lens in TM90k)?

It's on the Sony web site ( here ):


"Focal Length (35mm equivalent) : Movie Mode: 29.8mm - 894mm (16:9),..."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronomy
Really? The CX700 low light performance was not good at all. Why would the CX560 be better?
The CX160 has a completely different sensor than the CX560, which is the same as my XR500 and the low-light is very good, I didn't mention the CX700.


The CX700 has the same sensor as well (500 & 560) and I personally feel the low-light performance is pretty darn good for a consumer camcorder....much better than many I have used before.


If you are concerned about the internal memory filling up quick I would go for the hard drive based versions.


I was in the same boat as you when my 2nd was born and wanted to film for lengthly periods without dumping onto a PC. The larger HD units are a blessing with toddlers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
I hate to shell out alot as much as the next person when I only use it occasionaly...but when you are filing your kids, and plan on editing and at least keeping the footage for years...the versions with the better IS and improved low-light capabilities, are more than worth it.


You may find yourself upgrading and losing some value on the one you sold.


Go for a wide angle with decent HD storage with kids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I liked the Canon just because it seemed to have more features. I'm a Sony person too, but maybe not in this situation. So what's the verdict? Which is best for me and for the money? The Panasonic?


Frank
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
If your options are limited to the ones in the first post and you are not even considering the Canon M4xx series, my take on this is that the Panasonic SD90 would be the obvious choice.


However, add the M4xx, and the answer becomes much less clear...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,170 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by i6pwr /forum/post/20807788


The CX160 has a completely different sensor than the CX560, which is the same as my XR500 and the low-light is very good, I didn't mention the CX700.


The CX700 has the same sensor as well (500 & 560) and I personally feel the low-light performance is pretty darn good for a consumer camcorder....much better than many I have used before.


If you are concerned about the internal memory filling up quick I would go for the hard drive based versions.


I was in the same boat as you when my 2nd was born and wanted to film for lengthly periods without dumping onto a PC. The larger HD units are a blessing with toddlers.

The Sony's didn't test very well on Camorderinfo.com and thats were I am basing my info on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,170 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlikely Suspect /forum/post/20808223


If your options are limited to the ones in the first post and you are not even considering the Canon M4xx series, my take on this is that the Panasonic SD90 would be the obvious choice.


However, add the M4xx, and the answer becomes much less clear...

yes the new canons are the best at low light but the zoom is not in the range i like plus the TM90 is sharper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I just returned from my local Best Buy where they happened to have all three models in stock. I was able to pick up and use each of the three which narrowed it down a bit. The Canon didn't seem in the same league as the the other two. The display seemed darker than the other two at factory defaults. The Sony was nice, but the image stabilization didn't seem up to par with the Panasonic at full zoom. The recorded video was crystal clear tho and very "HD". The Panasonic definately seemed like the best of the three. The video was gorgeous and the image stabilizer was rock solid. The only down side is the zoom is not so great, 24x I think.


So, for now, I am feeling the Panasonic......until I go look up that Canon mentioned in the above posts. (sigh)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I was just saying that's the only negative compared to some others I've been researching. I did not get a chance to bring any video home....just what I could record in the store and see on the 3 inch screen. I stood in the middle of the store and zoomed all the way to the back of the store on one of the tv's mounted there. The picture looked great, crystal clear, and I could even read small print on the tv! I am impressed. Best Buy wanted $600 but Amazon has it for $447. I am almost ready to pull the trigger........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
I don't think you can tell much on a 3-inch screen, really. If you want to compare PQ in order to make that gut-wrenching final decision , head on over to VIDEOAKTIV, a German site that reviews camcorders. You can download test videos for the Eurpean versions of the camcorders you are interested in, which are shot under identical conditions at the same objects and in almost the same way (wrt panning and zooming). Sure, these are the PAL versions and the features aren't always the same, but PQ differences between models should translate.


For example:
http://www.videoaktiv.de/Testvideos/...a-HF-M-41.html
http://www.videoaktiv.de/Testvideos/...-SD-99-EG.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Thanks for those links, GI Joe Sixpack!

Here you can find the Panasonic SD90, Panasonic SD800 and Canon M41 compared directly on that site.


The low light capability of the Canon is really quite striking! It's vastly superior to both Panasonics. I also find that the SD90 (called SD99 on that site) has a quite a bit of grain even in the start of the test videos (the brightest part).


Man, I was really interested in the SD90... But that test really shows how the Canon devastates the Panasonics in low light. However, it might be possible to do manual adjustments, so I'm sure one can get better results.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top