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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm ready to purchase my first HD camcorder after having used a Sony DCR-TRV38 MiniDV unit for about 7 years. My application is making home videos of family events such as vacations, kids dance recitals, school events, etc. Good low level light performance is important, as I'll be using the camcorder indoors a lot. In looking at the current crop of HD units, I'm drawn to the Sony HDR-CX150, which seems like a great unit for a retail price of only $550. However, I'm also drawn to the HDR-CX500V for $700 at B&H. As I see it, the advantages of both are summarized below. I assume the CX500V will provide better quality video footage as it has a better lens and larger CMOS sensor, but I like the smaller size of the CX150 and SDHC compatibility. Anyone care to push me in one direction or the other? Does the CX150 come with newer software? Thanks in advance.


CX-150 Advantages:

Lower price

Smaller size

SD/SDHC compatibility

24 Mbps capability (CX-500V maxes out at 16 Mbps. How important is the mbps rate?)


CX-500V Advantages:

1/2.88 Exmor-R CMOS (CX-150 has ¼ CMOS.)

Sony G lens

32 GB internal memory (CX-150 has 16 GB.)

3.0 LCD (Slightly larger than the 2.7 LCD on the CX-150)

GPS (No big deal to me.)

Proven design with lots of good reviews.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by snackmasta /forum/post/18294997


I'm ready to purchase my first HD camcorder after having used a Sony DCR-TRV38 MiniDV unit for about 7 years. My application is making home videos of family events such as vacations, kids dance recitals, school events, etc. Good low level light performance is important, as I'll be using the camcorder indoors a lot. In looking at the current crop of HD units, I'm drawn to the Sony HDR-CX150, which seems like a great unit for a retail price of only $550. However, I'm also drawn to the HDR-CX500V for $700 at B&H. As I see it, the advantages of both are summarized below. I assume the CX500V will provide better quality video footage as it has a better lens and larger CMOS sensor, but I like the smaller size of the CX150 and SDHC compatibility. Anyone care to push me in one direction or the other? Does the CX150 come with newer software? Thanks in advance.


CX-150 Advantages:

Lower price

Smaller size

SD/SDHC compatibility

24 Mbps capability (CX-500V maxes out at 16 Mbps. How important is the mbps rate?)


CX-500V Advantages:

1/2.88 Exmor-R CMOS (CX-150 has ¼ CMOS.)

Sony G lens

32 GB internal memory (CX-150 has 16 GB.)

3.0 LCD (Slightly larger than the 2.7 LCD on the CX-150)

GPS (No big deal to me.)

Proven design with lots of good reviews.

A couple of thoughts:


1. 24 mpbs on a camcorder with a smaller sensor vs 16Mbps on the 500 seems like a non-factor to me. Even with the CX550 vs the CX500, the 24Mbps may be of marginal value to most of us. Those who disagree will disagree very strongly, but many of the rest of us just seem not to care. The higher bitrate apparently also limits the type of outputs you can create if you're writing to DVDs or Blu-Rays.


2. The Exmor-R design is behind the low-light performance of the 500V so unless the 150 has it, you should expect significantly better low-light performance out of the 500.


3. Similarly, the higher-end model may have much superior stabilization unless Sony specs for the 150 say the exact seem thing in this area as they do for the 550 or the CX500.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by snackmasta /forum/post/18296683


Tom, thanks for your input. I've placed my order for the CX500V!

I envy you!

I'm trying to buy a camcorder for months now but, I can never decide! hahaha

It seems you decided in like... 10 minutes?! lol.


And about the camera, I have no doubt you won't regret it. CX500 has loads of good reviews! Congrats!
 

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you made the right choice, the CMOS sensor size is a lot more important than the 24 bit rate when it comes to low light and general picture quality
 

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Just a clarification-The CX150 and CX110 have Exmor-R CMOS sensors. That's one of the improvements over last years model, the CX100. So they should have better low light performance than the CX100.
 

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Yes, but a Exmor-R 1/2.88" will trump a Exmor-R 1/4" any day as far as low light is concerned.


I also think you made the right choice by a long shot.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericjut /forum/post/18301025


Yes, but a Exmor-R 1/2.88" will trump a Exmor-R 1/4" any day as far as low light is concerned.


I also think you made the right choice by a long shot.

correct. however, the pixel count is much higher on the cx500 as well, so i wouldnt expect to much of a difference in low light


but yeah the cx500 is the obvious choice if you dont care about a shorter zoom
 

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I just bought the CX300 which allows the use of SD cards which I'm happy about, but what I like best is the wide angel lens built in. I've always found with most camcorders that I have to pay an extra $150 at least to get a decent wide angle attachment.


other than that the new cx300 has everything and more than the cx500 except for the smaller sensor. so far i'm really happy with the quality of the video especially indoor, but I'm wondering if I'd be even happier with the 1/2.88 over the 1/4 sensor on the cx300.
 

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Ok, I have been following this thread and a few others trying to make up my mind between the CX150 and the CX500v. I use to have a Canon Optura Pi, but it was stolen and I am now looking for a camcorder to replace it. After reading tons of reviews on this site, I am pretty sure I have narrowed it down to either the CX150 or the CX500v. But I need a final push to make the decision.


I am looking for a solid camera for shooting family, sports (basketball and football), indoor training videos (need good voice pickup for these), vacations, holidays, etc... Some of the things that I am having a hard time deciding on are the 25x Optical Zoom of the CX150 vs the 12x Optical Zoom of the CX500v. I like to be able to zoom in on things and get great shots up close. Is the 25x Optical Zoom of the CX150 that big of a plus? If so, would it be considered a bigger plus than the 1/2.88 Exmor R sensor on the CX500v? I know the CX150 comes with the 1/4 Exmor R sensor now. Is there a big difference in the two?


I'm also curious if the Sony G lens on the CX500v is that much better than the Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens on the CX150?


Right now these seem to be the biggest questions going through my mind. Can you please help me answer these questions via your experiences with these camcorders? Thanks for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just received my CX500V yesterday. I also bought Sony’s 1.5 meter mini HDMI cable from B&H for $27. (Sony charges $50 for it.) I shot a quick test video last night in low light conditions, and I am very impressed with how it looks on our HDTV. I also loaded the PMB software unto my 4-year old PC with an Athon 4200 dual-core processor (2.2 GHz) recently updated with 3 GB of memory. The software imported the video with no problem, and I was able to burn the AVCHD file to a DVD+R that plays on my Panasonic Blu-Ray player. The disc looks subjectively identical to the HDMI feed directly off the CX500V. Overall, I’m very pleased with the CX500V. I don’t think you can wrong with the CX150 either, but I bought the CX500V based on the larger R-Exmor sensor, greater build-in memory, and the presumably better quality lens.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by snackmasta /forum/post/18334368


I just received my CX500V yesterday. I also bought Sony's 1.5 meter mini HDMI cable from B&H for $27. (Sony charges $50 for it.) I shot a quick test video last night in low light conditions, and I am very impressed with how it looks on our HDTV. I also loaded the PMB software unto my 4-year old PC with an Athon 4200 dual-core processor (2.2 GHz) recently updated with 3 GB of memory. The software imported the video with no problem, and I was able to burn the AVCHD file to a DVD+R that plays on my Panasonic Blu-Ray player. The disc looks subjectively identical to the HDMI feed directly off the CX500V. Overall, I'm very pleased with the CX500V. I don't think you can wrong with the CX150 either, but I bought the CX500V based on the larger R-Exmor sensor, greater build-in memory, and the presumably better quality lens.

your assessment is exactly the same as mine after I got my CX500


The HDMI cable I bought was $10 off of amazon and works fine, you don't need to get the sony one
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4WardMotion /forum/post/18332010


Some of the things that I am having a hard time deciding on are the 25x Optical Zoom of the CX150 vs the 12x Optical Zoom of the CX500v. I like to be able to zoom in on things and get great shots up close. Is the 25x Optical Zoom of the CX150 that big of a plus? If so, would it be considered a bigger plus than the 1/2.88 Exmor R sensor on the CX500v? I know the CX150 comes with the 1/4 Exmor R sensor now. Is there a big difference in the two?

The recent Sony camcorders have great image stabilization (I think the CX500 is better than the CX150), but shooting at the telephoto end of a 25X zoom handheld just isn't going to be pleasant to watch in HD. Locked on to a tripod, OK.
 
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