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Old August 26th, 2008, 11:35 AM   #1
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Bought CX12; HC7 feature comparison

I bought a Sony CX12 last night (thanks to Best Buy discount coupons!). The SR11/12 feedback was so strong I couldn't wait any longer.

Very first impressions with minimal indoor work last night:

1. Stills - grainy in low light, but the flash wasn't firing and I only took a few and didn't change the setting. Shots in a well-lit room looked very good.

2. Video - very impressive. Took full HD video of our all-white cat watching a video on TV with birds, mice, butterflies, and the like. Then hooked the camera right up to the TV and played it back so the cat was watching himself - he was mesmerized. Excellent quality and better than equivalent-light footage I took indoors with the HC7 last Christmas. The SR reviews indicated this was likely (SRs outperforming HC7 in low light), and that looks correct to my eye so far. Also, after watching for 3-4 minutes, I realized that I wasn't noticing hand-induced jitter much at all, indicating I may have been able to hold the smaller camera more steady than the HC7.

3. Menus and so forth - I prefer the CX12 ones, particularlly ones that relate to playback. It's great not having to rewind tape all over the place.

4. In-camcorder editing is simple but highly effective for me. I often only remove footage I don't want without editing the remaining footage. Again, I hooked the camera up to the TV (a 46" Sony Bravia XBR) and did the editing that way. Play a clip, halt where you want to zap footage, adjust, and Divide the clip from the menus. Play more of that clip, divide again where you want to come back in. Then delete the middle clip. All on a 46" monitor, essentially. Then you can reorder the clips into a playlist for playback or transfer to a PC.

5. Transfer to PC via USB 2 - had to install Motion Picture Browser for this as the Ulead Video Studio 11.5 Plus didn't find the camcorder. Not a problem, actually. The Sony software pulled the pictures and video off the camcorder via USB 2 very quickly, as opposed to my having to pull the footage off the HC7 via playback in real time into the Ulead software. Hugely faster via USB.

6. Editing in Ulead went much better than I expected given postings all over the Internet about the horsepower needed to edit AVCHD. I have a PC with a single 3.2 GB processor, nVidia 75xx graphics cards, 2 GB of RAM, 32 bit Vista. I'm thinking there's editing (which I do) and EDITING, which others do. For my play / excise unwanted footage / then render approach, my PC seemed to do as well with the AVCHD footage as with MPEG-2 footage. There may be a percentage difference in rendering, but for the size clip I was doing (about 5 minutes), it was not perceptible - I'd have to time it. I believe the Ulead software is now smart enough to re-render only those portions of a video that have actually been touched (back to reference blocks or frames, presumably). So if you throw away 20 percent of the footage and just add a few transitions, it's doing very little new rendering, it's mostly copying file bytes around. That's my hypothesis, anyway. A different test would be to do color correction, addition of music, and all the rest. I suspect that would slow everything way down.

7. I moved the newly rendered combined-clip with transitions to a 500GB USB drive and hooked that up to my PS3. Playback of the original clips and the Ulead-produced clips looked identical to me. So it seems like I can do all the editing with the new format that I have done with the MPEG-2 files from the HC7.

All in all, it was a pretty successful evening as far as I'm concerned. / Tom
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Old August 26th, 2008, 11:38 AM   #2
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CX12 vs HC7 - some specific comparison items

CX12 better
-----------------------------------------
12 x optical zoom vs 10 x for HC7
Still resolutions 50-100% higher than HC7
Video resolution 1920 x 1080 instead of 1440 x 1080
Sensor size, EXMOR, BIONZ, face detection, smile detection, Dynamic Range Optimization
Dolby Digital 5.1 sound vs 2 channel stereo in HC7
Microphone can be linked to optical zoom so it emphasizes sounds from zoomed area
Weight: 1 lb vs 1 lb 6 oz
Size: 3 3/8" x 3" x 5 1/2" vs 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" x 5 1/2" per specs but seems fully 1/4" smaller in 2D
AVCHD format – smaller, can transfer to PC much faster via USB2.x
Data transfer to PC done via USB 2.x, do not need to play back in real time to capture
Presentation of pictures/video segments in playback menus much better than tape rewinds
Multiple playback visual indexes for clips by date/time, faces present, etc.
Can do simple video editing in-camera: divide clip, delete clips, re-order clips (playlists)
Editing coupled with mini-HDMI to HDMI means can do that editing on large HDTVs
Max recording length for media (16 GB) 110 minutes vs 63 for mini-DV tapes
Memory sticks reusable, cost per unit becomes favorable as you take more footage
All solid-state electronics except lens movement and a few other levers and so forth
Quick On mode – returns from half-power standby in around a second
Menus better organized (personal opinion)
Cam Control is a round dial instead of a roller in the side of the camera
Smooth Slow Record in color – HC7 rumored to be black and white (haven’t confirmed)
Two extra scene settings: twilight, twilight portrait
Docking station if you like that (USB connector is in docking station)
Progressive shutter mode if considered a strength
Direct-to-DVD burning capability with standalone Sony DVD burner
Video and stills all on Memory Stick – can put stick directly into readers out of camera

HC7 better
---------------------------------------------
MPEG-2 format requires less computer horsepower to edit, Windows Media Player OK
Tapes cheaper for footage at initial purchase
Has sharpness control, shutter speed control
Can create “personal menus”
Has viewfinder
Has cinematric 24 fps mode
Has four extra “picture effects” – Mosaic, Negative Art, Skin Tone, Solarization
Has four extra “digital picture effects” – Cinematic, Flash Motion, Still, Trail
Can display color bar in video stream and can also record it to tape if desired
Has two extra fader effects – Monotone, Mosaic
Minimum illumination listed as 2 lux vs 5 lux for CX12
Specific LANC terminal (LANC supposedly embedded in A/V I/O for CX12)
Better control over microphone levels (only 2 levels in CX12)
Wider shutter speed range for scene modes (1/2 – 1/500 vs 1/30 – 1/250)
Reviewers like the handbelt better in HC7 vs SR12 etc.
Can change media while mounted on tripod (CX12 memory stick door can’t open)
Cam Control includes Shutter Speed as a choice
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Old August 26th, 2008, 12:41 PM   #3
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Hi Tom -
Congratulations on the purchase, mine just came in yesterday to upgrade from the CX7. Having already enjoyed the features of the CX7, it wasn't a huge upgrade, but it is definitely cleaner in low light than the 7 series cameras (CX7 already beat the HC7 from my tests, CX12 is even better).

Not sure where you got "progressive mode", but not aware of anything of that sort on the SR/CX, in fact if there is any "weakness" in the camera, it's the lack of shutter control, but I can live with it/work around it. Also slow shutter should be color on both cams.

Check out the spot focus/exposure, the SR only had one or the other, this added the combined function ala the HC9, very cool use of the touchscreen - just point at what you want properly exposed/focused!

You've quickly discovered the joys of tapeless - instant access to clips, fast transfer via USB, and while rendering can take a while, it's not a huge deal on short clips. Quad core helps, as will software optimization over time.

LANC function confirmed on the A/V jack - plugged in my SPK-HCB and it fired right up and worked as expected.

Smile shutter is an interesting function, seems to work pretty well and I have an intended use for that, so pretty exciting addition in my book.

Similar to how the CX7 was a "tweaked" and slightly upgraded version of the other 7 series cams, the CX12 has a couple tricks up it's sleeve that didn't make the SR11/!2, but I'd count the image quality as pretty much identical (although I *think* the CX12 is again slightly better in low light for some reason - the LCD definitely "shows" brighter...), which is good for me as I can use the two together in multicam - the CX7 was so close to the SR11 that only the most anal <me> would notice any differences... now the match looks perfect!

I too think that the small size helps with handheld, though this is somewhat counter-intuitive - I think the CX falls below the mass threshold so that it acts more like you're just extending your own body instead of supporting the weight of a camera, which seems to help for me (and apparently you!).

I do miss the "P-Menu" ability - I like to customize my menus, but I'm learning the two tier system of the SR/CX, it's becoming easier.

You must have one HUGE tripod plate to cover the MS door - there's a lot of distance between the offset tripod mount and the door!

Welcome to tapeless, you'll quickly find it's a pretty nice thing to never think about dropouts, aging tape mechs, and all the other fun things that go with tape! Perhaps it's a bit early to declare tape obsolete, but judging from how the consumer has accepted the AVCHD/Memory card type cams, I doubt there will be a refresh of the HC series this time out... will be interesting to see!

I'm just waiting for the "prosumer" AVCHD from Sony, c'mon already!! WE've all designed it for them on these forums, they just need to build it and we'll come!
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Old August 26th, 2008, 10:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
...Not sure where you got "progressive mode", but not aware of anything of that sort on the SR/CX, in fact if there is any "weakness" in the camera, it's the lack of shutter control, but I can live with it/work around it...
"Progressive Shutter Mode = Yes" is under the Optics/Lens section of the online Specs page. I think it's referring to how the CMOS chip is processing light across the sensor surface as opposed to a camera-type shutter. Steve Mullen's SR12 etc guide describes this, I think. I'm not sure it has any effect on us as users - it's just the way it works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Check out the spot focus/exposure, the SR only had one or the other, this added the combined function ala the HC9, very cool use of the touchscreen - just point at what you want properly exposed/focused!
I see that one though the menus confused me at first. They've got the choice where you actually set the spot for both, and separate menu items for setting the exposure/focus controls to Auto or not. I kept going into the choice for setting it and hitting the Auto button at the bottom, never sure I was setting everything to Auto. But I eventually caught on that you enabled it in two places (and/or) and then used it in a third. I miss the personal menu feature, too, but overall I like the CX12 menus better than the HC7 ones.

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
You've quickly discovered the joys of tapeless - instant access to clips, fast transfer via USB, and while rendering can take a while, it's not a huge deal on short clips. Quad core helps, as will software optimization over time.
Yeah, I love the convenience of tapeless. I slid the camcorder into the budget - the new PC will have to wait <g>. So far, performance has been fine except for clip playback through PMB. But I really use the PS3 for that anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
LANC function confirmed on the A/V jack - plugged in my SPK-HCB and it fired right up and worked as expected.
Thanks, I do have a tripod with LANC so good to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Smile shutter is an interesting function, seems to work pretty well and I have an intended use for that, so pretty exciting addition in my book.
We've got a DisneyWorld vacation coming up this fall, there should be smiles to capture. I have to check it out.

My comment on weight and stability comes from an earlier trip where I filmed about 10 minutes of outdoor show on a stage with my hands above my head. I'm sure I'll appreciate the lighter weight.

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
You must have one HUGE tripod plate to cover the MS door - there's a lot of distance between the offset tripod mount and the door!
Hmmm, haven't actually mounted it yet. The tripod surface is definitely bigger than the camcorder size. I just noticed that statement in a quick look thread somewhere, and it does look like the little Memory Stick door is hinged and it opens below the bottom of the camera by its own thickness. I expect the camera bottom to be flat with the tripod surface with the threaded pin (that's actually on a little rectangle you can pop in and out of the tripod itself). So hinging down below the camera to any degree means it just can't go there. But it's not a biggie for me if a switch or two is needed. It's less work than popping tapes in every 60 minutes or so when you're using a 16 GB memory stick.

I took some outdoor stills today at the two highest resolutions, and then some indoor ones once I figured out why my flash wasn't enabled. They're not as good as I expected and I miss my in-camera sharpness control. These look soft to me, particularly the indoors ones. But that may just be a settings thing or maybe I should use the two settings close to the sensor pixel count instead of the interpolated ones.

The flash thing is a design flaw to my mind. I routinely put a clear protective filter on the 37mm mount if no other filter is appropriate. Fortunately, the Internet came to my rescue. There's a little button that gets pressed in when a filter is screwed in place, and it disables the flash. (Sony probably assumed we'd put only telephoto or wide lenses on, which would block the flash, so disable it if a filter is screwed in. They didn't document this, someone described it.) I could not find a way to get the flash mode set and enabled. Once I found the issue described online, I could unscrew the filter enough to get flash enabled, which is somewhat acceptable. But this is really a silly workaround to have to use.

Other than the image softness and the filter sensor issue, I'm very happy so far. The speed of transfer to the PC is just great!
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Old August 27th, 2008, 01:44 AM   #5
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shutter...

"Progressive Shutter Mode = Yes" is under the Optics/Lens section of the online Specs page. I think it's referring to how the CMOS chip is processing light across the sensor surface as opposed to a camera-type shutter. Steve Mullen's SR12 etc guide describes this, I think. I'm not sure it has any effect on us as users - it's just the way it works.


I've owned Sony's for years now, & the "progressive" shutter is used in the still mode, not for video. It used to be mechanical, i'm not sure if it's still that way though.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 10:28 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Tom Gull;925376
I took some outdoor stills today at the two highest resolutions, and then some indoor ones once I figured out why my flash wasn't enabled. They're not as good as I expected and I miss my in-camera sharpness control. These look soft to me, particularly the indoors ones. But that may just be a settings thing or maybe I should use the two settings close to the sensor pixel count instead of the interpolated ones.
[/QUOTE]
One of my favorite test subjects (a wild bunny) showed up in the early evening and let me take pictures and video. I was able to film him from about 8 feet away for over 10 minutes (yes, he was very trusting - he was even eating for most of that time and watching me just in case). I then played the video and the stills back on my 46" Sony TV and noticed the following:

1. The stills seemed much better in this session - many of them looked great on the TV. I also had the "overly soft" ones in the camcorder still and compared. One issue before that I didn't spot on the PC was that a bunny two days ago was just behind some plants on one side, and the focus went on the plants, not the bunny. That didn't happen tonight and the bunny looked just great at all zoom settings - unless I moved or he moved during the snap - only a few shots like that.

2. So I think the extra zoom means I may have to be more careful with stills than with the HC7, and the CX12 may have to be held stable a bit more carefully. But I'm now beginning to believe the CX12 will produce better stills when I see them on the TV. It also looks like it produces better low-light results in video and stills. I'm still not sure whether the 10.2 MP or 6.1 MP setting is better in 4:3 mode (one interpolates, the other is very close to the sensor count). But I'm beginning to favor 16:9 stills heavily in any case because 90% of my viewing is on the widescreen TV.

There were some test pictures I took of plants and bushes where the CX12 produced some amazing detail when I framed things just right.

I played with putting manual exposure on the Cam Control dial and that was neat. But it was generally too late in the day to drop the exposure more than a notch at best. I tried different settings, and when I saw the pictures on TV, I had to admit the auto exposure actually produced the best ones in this one type of lighting.

The reduced weight was a benefit tonight - try holding a camcorder onto an object eight feet away for 10 minutes with some zooming, while trying not to spook a wild animal.

And the "production cycle" was super-easy. I previewed everything on the TV 5 minutes after shooting, deleted some losers, entertained the cat enormously with the bunny video, and then transferred it all to the PC via USB in maybe 5 minutes at most. With the simple clip trimming and combining editing, I think the render time for the AVCHD output was about 1:1 (rendering time about the same as the actual film time). If that continues to be true for me, I'll always do better than with the HC7 MPEG-2 footage because I had to capture the latter in real time just to get started.

I hope to try some sunlit stills at a zoo soon, and some video there and of moving trains and a soccer game. The camera is winning me over and if the stills look superior with frequency, I'll be a very happy man. That's not an unconditional endorsement because everyone's needs are different and what means nothing to me may be a showstopper to many people (lack of the viewfinder, for example). But I am thinking the camcorder looks to be what it's advertised to be so far, which isn't always the case.

If you're new to HD, I'll definitely add that it requires adjustments in filming technique if you're sloppy. If you don't use a tripod, some footage will be very tough to do well. I use the tripod a lot more than I did with SD. If you pan and/or zoom quickly, it will look really bad. OIS seems to work really well until you zoom all the way in at 12x, and then any movement in your hand will be very apparent onscreen. I'm not an expert on filming by any means, I'm just saying I can see that HD footage magnifies your bad habits and puts them right out front for everyone else to see.
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Old August 30th, 2008, 08:26 PM   #7
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Can swap out Memory Stick while on my tripod

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Hi Tom -
You must have one HUGE tripod plate to cover the MS door - there's a lot of distance between the offset tripod mount and the door!
The good news is that you're right about being able to change Memory Sticks with the camcorder on my tripod. The little door does hinge down below the bottom of the camcorder and my tripod head is as wide as the camcorder. But the camcorder sits off-center on the head (the original but now unused width is under where the mini-DV tape drive housing was on the HC7. So the door can open fully beneath the camcorder while mounted on my tripod.

Warning: this doesn't mean the chip is hot-swappable, of course. Just that you can swap it out on the tripod after you power off the camcorder. There are various warnings about not powering off while read/write I/O is occurring, and of course, about not popping the Memory Stick out then either.

I took video of an Amtrak Superliner going about 75 mph at about 30 feet from the track, and video of two slower freight trains as well. Playback on the TV looked as good as the train HC7 footage I took last year despite the extra speed. Looking good all around for video so far. If close-up soccer play looks good, too, then the CX12 will get the video nod over the HC7 for me (it's better in low-light).
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Old August 31st, 2008, 12:28 PM   #8
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Tom -
Other than making sure that the camera is not reading or writing to the MS Duo (red indicator light is OFF), I don't think you need to power down (or I'm sure you could hit the "quick on" button to swap if you're really paranoid) to swap sticks. I've taken the Duo out or put it in a bunch of times now (doh?) with the camera powered up...

THEN AGAIN... I didn't take any time to RTFM <wink>... Normal MO is "take cam out of box, run through menus (turning off annoying beeping and chirping and turning on anything I think I'll want), insert apropriate media, start shooting anything that moves" as a test!

Is there a warning in there I SHOULD have read?? I"m 99% sure hot swap is "safe" if not recording (although if smile shutter is on, using the quick on is probably a better plan, so I think I'll do that much).

The more I use this little guy the better I like it, always loved the CX7 for a "go anywhere" cam, and this is a nice upgrade, definitely a worthy sucessor to an already incredible little cam in a pocket rocket format.

Definitely recommended as a "B" camera (now if I could find an "A" camera equal to it's image quality that didn't cost what the EX1 and Z7 do!!!), and a perfect personal shooter/family cam. I was going to skip the upgrade as the CX7 has been doing the job intended for me, but I have a use in mind for the smile shutter, and that feature makes the upgrade "work" for me. Sony has another winner in this one, IMO.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 06:31 PM   #9
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Tom -
Other than making sure that the camera is not reading or writing to the MS Duo (red indicator light is OFF), I don't think you need to power down (or I'm sure you could hit the "quick on" button to swap if you're really paranoid) to swap sticks. I've taken the Duo out or put it in a bunch of times now (doh?) with the camera powered up...
Is there a warning in there I SHOULD have read?? I"m 99% sure hot swap is "safe" if not recording (although if smile shutter is on, using the quick on is probably a better plan, so I think I'll do that much).
I read the manuals completely a few weeks ago (from the Sony site) because I needed to see if this really would be superior to the HC7 and that meant digging into the details. I know that may make me the only person in the U.S. who has done this, but what the hey. Anyway, I've got a 16GB chip in there so I remembered warnings and was cautious without rechecking the details...

...which are, they warn you not to pop the memory stick out when its access light is going (ever), don't open the access door to it while recording, and don't remove the battery pack or AC power or "apply mechanical shock or vibration to the camcorder" while the movie/still mode lamp is on, the MS access light is on, or the Quick On lamp is on or flashing. All of these are stated to result in possible loss of pictures, video, or damage to the memory stick itself.

So I think you're correct you might be able to swap them if nothing is going on and the power is up. The documentation doesn't say not to as far as I can see. For me, it's such an infrequent action that I'm sure I'll just power off to be safe.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 06:58 PM   #10
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Tom -
The more I use this little guy the better I like it, always loved the CX7 for a "go anywhere" cam, and this is a nice upgrade, definitely a worthy sucessor to an already incredible little cam in a pocket rocket format.

Definitely recommended as a "B" camera (now if I could find an "A" camera equal to it's image quality that didn't cost what the EX1 and Z7 do!!!), and a perfect personal shooter/family cam...Sony has another winner in this one, IMO.
Yes, I agree that this is a powerful cam and I'm going to keep it. I'd definitely recommend the CX12 to people who understand its limits (no viewfinder, 100% intended for use with a hefty computer for editing, target is an HDTV eventually if not right away, etc.). I fall exactly into that "personal shooter/family cam" market and I'm professionally a computer applications person, so this is exactly in line with the future I see coming. I've digitized the video my grandfather took in the late 1940s and photographs going back into the mid-1800s. Might as well do the same with what I'm filming today!

Thinking about another thread, I'm leaving behind the concept that the original media has any inherent value later in life except for true family heirlooms. I realize that's partly because I'm sure the quality of the video is 100% retained when the original file is simply copied around. This differs sharply from earlier video media where every single copy operation reduced the quality. I know there are valid cost and other reasons to remain with digital tape, say, but I'm on to the next approach at this point.

A few last comments unless someone has questions about the camcorder:

1. I filmed my soccer game today on full auto and the quality looks at least equivalent to the HC7. Both have trouble capturing still frame moments on auto because if you make the shutter speed fast enough for that, you may introduce jerkiness as people seem to jump from one spot to another. As an aside, if I understand Steve Mullen's table correctly, you can indirectly set the shutter speed in the CX12 by controlling exposure manually, sometimes with an ND filter as well. Bottom line on this test - I wasn't sure if the AVCHD format would hurt here, and it seems to have done just fine for my limited needs.

2. It was great just putting the camcorder on the tripod and walking away without a second thought for changing tapes mid-game, etc. I had a 16GB chip in there and it handled the whole game easily with a fair bit of battery left over as well.

3. I ended up capturing 77 minutes in about a 9 GB file. I thought I saw something in the documentation that said the camera would split to a new file every 2 gig, but it didn't actually do that. It took 17 minutes to transfer the file to the PC. I broke the 9 GB file down into about 45 short clips, stuck a page turn transition between each one, and ended up with about 20 minutes of edited video. I think it took about 80 minutes to render on a single-processor 3.2 GHz Intel PC with 2GB of main RAM running 32-bit Vista (Ulead VideoStudio 11.5 plus). The editing itself was slower as it took the PC longer to decode to the right frames, but it was acceptable. I'm sure I'll upgrade my PC at some point, but I don't have to do it right now just because of the AVCHD format. I'm doing simple editing (splits and trims), so I suspect someone doing serious editing should listen to what people are saying about needing quad core PCs.

I hear people saying we're into the third-generation AVCHD consumer camcorders now, and it shows. This is a gem if you're the right market for it, don't mind using Memory Sticks, and have the computing power and TV to go with it. I look back at the first camcorder videos I took in 1994 and they look infinitely closer to my grandfather's 8 mm films than to what I can get out of the CX12. The personal filming changes in the last 14 years have totally outpaced the changes of the prior 50 years.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 01:19 AM   #11
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Tom -

I had the chance to shoot a bit over the weekend and use the smile shutter function some more - got some great pix of the kids! There's definitely a bit of rolling shutter skew if you pan too fast, but duh, don't pan too fast... otherwise the thing handled motion like a trooper.

Other than that, absolutely amazing color and crispness, just shooting auto.

1. Will have to experiment some more with adjustability, sort of resigned to the reality that the camera will do what it thinks is the best, so far so good, my SR11 hasn't made a decision I would argue with yet, so expect the same here. Love the control knob, gives me SOME feeling of control!

2. Extended shooting times are a big boon with these - be sure to get a bigger battery or two!

3. The files will be split in the camera, PMB reassembles them into one large file seamlessly. If you access the MS via windows explorer, you'll see the separate files, otherwise it's a seamless experience. 4:1 was about what I was getting rendering with a 6000+ dual core, but you can go find something else to do while it renders anyway! Not sure how fast the quad will render, think I'll re-render an old project just to collect data!

Having used and loved the little CX7 and been very happy with the results, it's saying a lot to be impressed with this new little pocket rocket, but I am. Same small size, nice addition with the control knob, and amazingly enough, improved images, especially the stills!


Frankly, I wouldn't be suprised to see tape gone from the consumer market as early as the next generation of cameras, at least as far as "new" models. I was a doubter, couldn't make any sense of the concept of tapeless, but the CX7 sold me, and the SR11 and CX12 are a far more efficient and effective (not to metion PRACTICAL) camera solution for me.

While archiving is still a head scratcher, I expect to have enough disk storage to keep anything important around until BR becomes affordable! It's not like massive hard drives aren't reasonably priced... I'm sure I have gigabytes of junk files already, so keeping some video that is so-so isn't a big deal!
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 08:46 PM   #12
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Tom -
3. The files will be split in the camera, PMB reassembles them into one large file seamlessly. If you access the MS via windows explorer, you'll see the separate files, otherwise it's a seamless experience.
Makes sense that the camera presentation is different from what is seen at the Explorer level. I think the whole 77 minute clip was shown as only one clip in the camera's own playback dialogs, so it may have pretended the files were zipped together even though they were stored as different files.

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Tom -
Frankly, I wouldn't be suprised to see tape gone from the consumer market as early as the next generation of cameras, at least as far as "new" models. I was a doubter, couldn't make any sense of the concept of tapeless, but the CX7 sold me, and the SR11 and CX12 are a far more efficient and effective (not to mention PRACTICAL) camera solution for me.
I agree, and I wonder if we're not seeing evidence of that already. The HC9 was a really minor upgrade to the HC7 - virtually the same model in a different color. It and the UX20 look to have been releases early this year and neither got the upgraded CMOS sensor found in this year's hard drive and memory chip camcorders, even though the UX20 is an AVCHD camcorder. So maybe Sony is trying to push the market towards hard drive and chips. They've won that battle with me, actually, as it sounds like they have with you. I am really looking forward to my next vacation and have some short day trips planned for upcoming weekends.

Speaking of great ideas someone mentioned (I have no name to quote, unfortunately), I like the one about having two chip slots in the camcorder and they be hot-swappable, with an automatic cutover to the other one if your current first chip fills up. Someday...
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Old September 4th, 2008, 12:59 AM   #13
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Hi Tom -
Yeah, the camera displays the larger files as a single clip, and PMB splices the files back together in transfer. It's only the file structure that reveals the 2G max file sixe if you look at the actual files on the MS Duo. Only really interesting if you're into the tech behind the curtain!

I just wish Sony would get off the dime and release something in the FX7/V1U class with these newer sensors, and it probably will have the dual MS feature for the pro/prosumer market. No room in these little cams to squeeze much more into the compact size! Mic, Headphone, and USB would've been nice, but the SR11/12 has all that. These li'l critters are sort of their own market, and have their place. With some creativity, you can do quite a bit with them, and they certainly provide a lot of image quality in a cam you can pretty much take anywhere.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 11:48 AM   #14
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Watch out for that tree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Hi Tom -
...they certainly provide a lot of image quality in a cam you can pretty much take anywhere.
Actually, my first thought moving around with the cam was that I'd have to be really careful walking because it was so light in the hand. You know how sometimes you're not watching and you walk and bang your hand into something sticking out you didn't notice? (Hopefully I'm not the only person who does that periodically...) This is so light that you could easily forget it's there swinging off that hand strap - boom, you've just cracked it into a table edge! I don't really expect to ever forget it's in my hand, but the weight won't be the reminder - it will be the fear of the replacement expense and hassle.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 01:20 PM   #15
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Yeah, you could almost forget it's there <wink>. Since there's not a traditional neck strap attachment point I was befuddled for a while, but I put together a couple lanyards (you can buy simple ones for "keychains", but the length isn't adjustable, I bought the parts from some guy on eBay that had the bits for flashlight lanyards, and built my own, with adjustable length option! I attached a pic so you could see what one of them looks like, I've got a black one too, but you can get all sorts of colors, and he had lots of different fittings/clips/adjusters/breakaways to choose from.

Clip onto the "D" ring on the handstrap, and hang it around your neck when not shooting and you want your hands free! It's a bit large for a "necklace", but hey, pretty cool "bling", maybe Sony should release a special gold plated version!
Attached Thumbnails
Bought CX12; HC7 feature comparison-dsc03758.jpg  
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