AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curious what you all think about these 3 camcorders. I'm looking for a good quality HD for family / travel videos. Battery life, video and audio quality (including stabilization) and ease of use are all important. I'm not overly concerned with still captures, manual controls, etc. Just something that works well in indoor and outdoor conditions.


The reviews I've read seem to be all over the map. The SDX1 seems good but some reviews don't have a lot of good things to say about the video quality. The Canon sounds like maybe battery life and low light filming may be an issue?


They're all pretty close in price right now (Panasonic is $80 cheaper).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by joepublic /forum/post/19602853


The reviews I've read seem to be all over the map. The SDX1 seems good but some reviews don't have a lot of good things to say about the video quality.

They're all pretty close in price right now (Panasonic is $80 cheaper).

This might sound aggressive but isnt meant to, but what reviews are you talking about? The only review I can find that directly comments on video quality (in English as the native language) is somebody named cush at digitalmerareview.com. There it says the video quality is "average." However, he doesnt provide any base line data for what average is. He classifies it as an entry level camcorder, which he defines as 400-600 dollars, but only has 1 other camcorder in that level, and only like 5 camcorders reviewed in all, if that many, I cant remember now and had some trouble navigating the site today.


Other than that, I cant find anything in native English that actually comments on video quality specifically. The specs are very close, which is being discussed in another thread. However, in Autstrian sites and German sites the reviews seem very positive (from the rough translations google provides), though it is sometimes listed as slightly lower priced than other cameras like the SD60 (which confuses) though that is not always the case.


If you know of quality reviews, please direct me to them! I am on a similar hunt, though mine is 200-300 max. I did consider the R10 canon, but decided the SD60 tested better and had much higher reviews on average, so I went for it. The sony never dropped to my price point so I cant comment on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply. I think that is actually the review I was referring to. Good point though, I probably should have looked at the site a little more widely than just the info I went there for. Now that I look I don;t see reviews for the other cameras I'm looking at.


This is what I saw that stuck with me:


"The colors appeared flat and the footage showed a bit too much noise for my liking. The edges were also soft..."


I like everything I've read about other Panasonics but they are a little out of my price range. This one seems to be a good deal and a good price at the moment ($300 with an 8 GB SD Card at Costco). The other


The Canon seems like it might be a better overall deal at 389 with a 4 GB SD card. I like the built in memory too with the Canon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by joepublic /forum/post/19604025



"The colors appeared flat and the footage showed a bit too much noise for my liking. The edges were also soft..."

Yea, I recall that scaring me when I first looked at the X1. If it weren't for the excellent reviews of the SD60 at Camcorderinfo and other sites I would be really nervous because of that. However, given the same size sensor, same processing system, same mm width opening and so forth, I have a hard time believing that the color reproduction could be that far off of the SD60. Unless they have modified their in camera processing since the 60 came out? I dont know a lot though, so maybe it could be significantly different, but I don`t think that particular site should be given too much credibility.


I mean, what size tv is he viewing on and how has he processed the footage? I ask that because, I wonder if the difference between 720p and 1080i on an "entry level" camcorder is ever really going to be "Salient," as he puts it, under normal viewing conditions? Heck most people wouldn`t define the difference in professional tv 720p and 1080i as salient. Maybe what he wants for an entry level camcorder can simply be best acquired via 720p, as his cons are processing despite the improved image quality? Or is it actually a testimony to the well executed performance of 720p on the X1 rather than a negative to the 1080i? There just isnt enough background info or comparison data for me, personally, to draw any meaningful conclusions from his review. Notice, though, in the end, he does recommend it and gives it one of the highest ratings of all the cameras he has reviewed. Who knows?


(I am not meaning to actually say this is better than your other options, but only that this site/reviewer is not a reliable source of information. I have read many good things about the Sony, but have not really researched it.)


There were many reviews that helped me make up my mind on the SD60, over the R10, from cnet to user reviews, but this was the most influential:
http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...Comparison.htm


Of course, that does not mean that the SD60 is the same as the SX1...though it would still have a larger sensor with more effective pixels and a real optical stabilization than the Canon (that last one was the critical reason I decided not to pursue the R series Canon)......what are your intended uses?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,516 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by joepublic /forum/post/19604025


The Canon seems like it might be a better overall deal at 389 with a 4 GB SD card. I like the built in memory too with the Canon.

the cheapest HF R11 I found online is about $500. The cheapest HF R100 I found online is about $270 (hmm, was $250 a week ago). Even with Costo's $390 price tag, the HF R100 still makes more sense to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts
Hey joe, check out the other thread going on, I posted some links to a German site that has good comparisons, and the OP at that site had one of the same cams you are looking at, he can probably give good info to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I also was leaning towards the SDX1 based on the camcorderinfo reviews of other Panasonics. The comparison between the Canon and the SD60 really swayed me towards the SDX1 even though it's not the same, I figured it would hopefully be very similar.


The 32 GB on the Canon sounded good too but for $90 more I figured I could make up for that. Ungermann, thanks for the reply too. I think in the end it did seem like the difference in price had a lot to do with the built in memory. I wanted to try to limit it to one I could pick up at Costco so I think maybe the Panasonic at 300 was a close comparison to the R100


I picked up the SDX1 from Costco last night. 299.99 with an 8 GB SD card. So far I like the camera though I haven't had much time to play around with it. Once I do I'll definitely post what I think. I intend to use it mostly for family videos, travel, parties and things like that. I have a minidv camera that I've had for a long time so any of these 3 is going to be a big improvement.


The German site does seem to rate the Canon slightly higher but there also seems to be more positive reviews for Panasonics overall on the other sites I've looked at. People I've talked to that own similar Canon models have concerns about battery life so that was a concern as well. In the end I'm sure that both would satisfy my needs and both seem to be a reasonably good deal from what I've seen.


Thanks for the help. Once I have some time to use the SDX1 I'll let you know how it goes.


By the way, there was nothing on my Costco receipt about the warranty being extended. Just the mention about 2 years for computers and TV's and 90 day return for camcorders, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts
Congrats on your purchase. If you get a chance to offer any advice let me know. I really don't know much about cams, though I know a bit more about digital cameras.


On camcorderinfo.com they mention being able to adjust the saturation levels. Can that be set, then put back into auto for all other functions, but with the new saturation level set? Or do you have to switch to full manual mode?


If so, what saturation level do you recommend (anyone)?


Finally, The lady at Costco did tell me that they had a full 1 year warranty, including Labor and parts. I pointed out that Pany said only 90 days on labor, but she assured me it was 1 year through Costco.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Interested to see how easily the video is to work with. Have you taken any video yet? Have you transferred it to your PC? What software are you using? I'm trying to find something with decent HD quality (720p is OK) that's also easy to work with in Windows Live Movie Maker. Any further info on this particular Panasonic (HDC-SDX1) would be greatly appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. Good to know about the warranty. I've seen this with other Costco things so it makes sense.


I'm definitely far from knowlegable about cameras in general but I'll give you some feedback once I play around with it, probably over the weekend. So far I do like it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by workinghard /forum/post/19611678


On camcorderinfo.com they mention being able to adjust the saturation levels. Can that be set, then put back into auto for all other functions, but with the new saturation level set? Or do you have to switch to full manual mode?

Good question, I'll try this and let you know. I've only tried the automatic modes so far. The Intelligent Automatic Mode (I think that's what it's called) seems pretty good where it will adjust settings based on the type of action and lighting, etc. It also has as part of the face recognition, an option to select a subject and it will maintain focus as that subject moves around. Another feature I haven't tried, just read in the manual that sounds like it could be useful. I do notice it adjusts pretty quickly to chanegs in light and focus. I can't say how it compares to other cameras but I tried pointing it at a dark area of a room and then straight at my computer monitor and it adjusted to the lighter subject within probably a second each time I did that. It seemed like a pretty reasonably quick adjustment to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by bodotdot /forum/post/19615358


Interested to see how easily the video is to work with. Have you taken any video yet? Have you transferred it to your PC? What software are you using? I'm trying to find something with decent HD quality (720p is OK) that's also easy to work with in Windows Live Movie Maker. Any further info on this particular Panasonic (HDC-SDX1) would be greatly appreciated!

I did play around with the software that came with it a little last night. I forget the name of it at the moment. The software is pretty limited from what I can see in terms of adding effects, etc. to the videos. Editing them seems a little basic too compared to other software I've used. It will do the basics but not much more. I noticed that applying effects takes extremely long. Adding a fade in between 2 clips for example took something like 15-20 seconds. On the same PC I can do it in other editing software without a noticeable delay.


Transferring the files off (as AVCHD files) worked without a problem. I didn't try the other formats yet but I assume they'd be the same.


The good news is that the files import easily into Windows Live Movie Maker. I only did short test videos but they all imported easily, transferred quickly, etc. and were played without any issues. The bad news, which I guess isn't all that bad is that you can't transfer from the camera using Windows Live Movie Maker, as least as far I can tell. Maybe I'm missing something but the camera didn't show up in the OS at all, just the Panasonic software. Maybe there's drivers for Windows 7 that I need in order to do that but I didn't see the camera show up as a device in Windows. I guess it could be an issue down the road if the Panasonic software stops working on is not supported.


Hope that helps. I'll be doing some more over the weekend and will update you with anything else I can think of.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by joepublic /forum/post/19621056


Good question, I'll try this and let you know. I've only tried the automatic modes so far. The Intelligent Automatic Mode (I think that's what it's called) seems pretty good where it will adjust settings based on the type of action and lighting, etc. It also has as part of the face recognition, an option to select a subject and it will maintain focus as that subject moves around. Another feature I haven't tried, just read in the manual that sounds like it could be useful. I do notice it adjusts pretty quickly to chanegs in light and focus. I can't say how it compares to other cameras but I tried pointing it at a dark area of a room and then straight at my computer monitor and it adjusted to the lighter subject within probably a second each time I did that. It seemed like a pretty reasonably quick adjustment to me.


Well, I ran some tests today. The camera is certainly loaded with functions, I read through the manual before it came, but I had to revisit and it will take several readings and several days of practice before I really understand all the features I think...But, the answer to my original question was, yes.


If you go to manual mode, then go to the actual menu and adjust the recording settings, there is a color setting. It ranges from -5 to +5 in 1 point increments. I ran the tests at -5 in manual and auto, the then +5 manual and then auto, and there was a significant difference between the two setups in both modes in terms of color saturation. So, as an actual menu item it changes the permanent setting in the cam. I think they only allow access through manual mode in order to prevent noobs like myself from ruining their videos on accident. Lol... I do agree that color saturation is the weakest point, but I am positive that editing software can be used, as the colors are surely all present, and look very good and realistic to my eyes. However, for most home videos I wont want to edit, I will only do that for special videos, and so I want to identify the optimum in camera settings for sure. If you have a recommendation of what to put it on let me know so I can start there.


Unfortunately I had to wait until my wife went to bed (our Xmas present, but her surprise) and so, with the new limiters built in to the ceiling fans it cant be more than 200 lux in here, probably less. It looked good, but as the focus is color quality I will wait, and when I get better conditions I will upload some video and see what you guys think in terms of saturation.


I will, of course, use my own judgment, but other opinions are always appreciated.


Also, a note on the OIS, it rocks. I love the stick feature to. Without the OIS hand held video in max zoom is horrible of course, jumping all over the place. However, with the hybrid it is significantly better, huge change. But, there is a slight rocking motion, as it occasionally moves as the shaking is a little more than it can counter (which was obviously the design, so that it can be used while walking). But, there is an additional locking function (which also forces improved holding techniques) which improves even further on the base hybrid function. VERY usable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bodotdot /forum/post/19615358


Interested to see how easily the video is to work with. Have you taken any video yet? Have you transferred it to your PC? What software are you using? I'm trying to find something with decent HD quality (720p is OK) that's also easy to work with in Windows Live Movie Maker. Any further info on this particular Panasonic (HDC-SDX1) would be greatly appreciated!


I don't think it gets any easier than mp4. I shot some quick videos just before I left work, and then some tonight at home. Popped the SD card in, opened it up with no problem. Ran the HDMI to my tv, no problems. Shot video, put it on my computer and then to my tv in under 5 minutes for 4 video clips, including setting up the HDMI. However, the AVCHD files don't even show up...going to have to download the software to do that, and then learn more.


And there you have it. MP4s should be fairly native, but AVCHD requires a bit more education, specific programs, and time from what I understand. Of course, many low budget cameras can shoot in 720p mp4 files...as many do in 1080i AVCHD these days...but then again progressive has advantages over interlaced in terms of action too...now to bring an ending to my meandering dialogue: If you want HD, surely you cant get any easier than mp4 I think. Unless you have a mac maybe, but surely it doesn't get any easier than the iframe either....samsung has the H200 for 250 on amazon, which does 1080i in mp4 format...but....sorry, meandering to a close.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts
sorry to bring this pretty much dead thread to the top, but I wanted to share this. My wife is Japanese, so I went to hunt down the Japanese manual so I can print it out for her, and came across this.

http://panasonic.jp/dvc/tm35/spec.html


apprently the tm35 is the exact same model, except though do not have the alternate recording formats, and it comes with built in memory. But man, they sure do make the Japanese models are sexier! (I suppose that could have dual meanings, but I meant the camcorder)


Next time I go to Japan I will have to pick her up one of those nifty carrying cases...pretty sharp. If you see one for sale in the USA post it here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I've looked all over trying to find one person who's had any sort of personal experience with the Panasonic SDX1 or the Samsung H200--and you're it! Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm leaning toward the Samsung, simply because it seems very similar to the Panasonic, and it's $50 less @ Amazon right now. I was trying to find an Ebates merchant who sold either one of these, because Ebates had double discounts today, but no luck. As long as the MP4s are easy to handle in Windows Live Movie maker, I think the Samsung is the way I'll be going. Thanks again for your help with this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,075 Posts
The specs does look a bit similar but I'd expect the stabilizer and the auto focusing to be significantly better on the Panasonic than the Samsung. When it comes to auto focusing, both Canon and Panasonic are usually on top and for the stabilizer, both Panasonic and Sony are usually on top although Sony will only put optical stabilizers on expensive camcorders rather than very cheap ones.


It's too bad the Sanyo HF1A and the HD2000A isn't being sold for under $300 any longer. The picture quality is infinite times better than those 2 camcorders but the stabilizer is a different story. I think the Samsung might have a better stabilizer and never mind comparing it to the Panasonic. It would be an embarrassing test for the Sanyo. It's still a trade off either way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,516 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by workinghard /forum/post/19629716


I don't think it gets any easier than mp4. ... MP4s should be fairly native, but AVCHD requires a bit more education, specific programs, and time from what I understand.

Depends on a platform. Many PC programs are slow with MP4. Also, this camcorder records MP4 only @ 29.97p, which is fine for YouTube, but if you want higher image for "reality" feel then you have to shoot in AVCHD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann /forum/post/19641347


Depends on a platform. Many PC programs are slow with MP4. Also, this camcorder records MP4 only @ 29.97p, which is fine for YouTube, but if you want higher image for "reality" feel then you have to shoot in AVCHD.

Now, I actually purchased the Samsung H200 and sent it back (unfortunately before even opening it...) Isn't AVCHD really just a form of compression, right? And so the 1080i still films at 60fps and would be of, all other factors equal, the same quality as the SDX1 in AVCHD right? Just a different format and file size I think?


In the end, concerns over build quality and stabilization, and a few other factors, drove me off the H200. But I can understand choosing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,516 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by workinghard /forum/post/19641610


Now, I actually purchased the Samsung H200 and sent it back (unfortunately before even opening it...) Isn't AVCHD really just a form of compression, right? And so the 1080i still films at 60fps and would be of, all other factors equal, the same quality as the SDX1 in AVCHD right? Just a different format and file size I think?

I just meant that the SDX1 shoots AVCHD at 30i and MP4 at 30p.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Given all of the comments above, can someone offer a rating on the Samsung H200? Keep in mind I'm looking for better-than-SD video quality, easy-to-transfer and edit video from a Class 10 SDHC card into Windows Live Movie Maker, and something that will shoot pretty decent quality video in indoor "Birthday party/family gathering"-type situations.


Knowing what you know about this particular model and my particular needs, how would you rate this choice on a scale of 1 to 10 (ten being the best)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by bodotdot /forum/post/19644077


Given all of the comments above, can someone offer a rating on the Samsung H200? Keep in mind I'm looking for better-than-SD video quality, easy-to-transfer and edit video from a Class 10 SDHC card into Windows Live Movie Maker, and something that will shoot pretty decent quality video in indoor "Birthday party/family gathering"-type situations.


Knowing what you know about this particular model and my particular needs, how would you rate this choice on a scale of 1 to 10 (ten being the best)?

The problem with that is having somebody knowledgeable that had actual hands on experience with each of these relatively low budget models. Most people that really know what they are talking about are not interested in these models, I think? Your best bet is to check out review sites, where the previous models from Panasonic pretty much take the cake in terms of overall performance, from what I have seen.


Though the H200 did win a TIPA award, I personally think it was largely for the sake of versatility and price, and that SDX1 would have beat it out if it had been out. But that is just my unfounded opinion. I did buy it after all



Of course, in the end, if we don't have properly calibrated televisions...alot of the above comments are kind of ridiculous in the first place
 
1 - 20 of 22 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