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Old June 25th, 2009, 10:34 AM   #1
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Is it worth it to change from SR11 to XR550?

Just as the title asks; would it be worth it for me to upgrade from my SR11 to the XR500? What would be the advantages, if any?

Mike
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Old June 25th, 2009, 07:00 PM   #2
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Mike I have both SR11 and the XR500. You win some and loose some. The XR500 has better low light and lower noise levels as the main differences and if you shoot in these conditions a lot it will be worth the upgrade. You loose zebra so setting manual exposure is not as convenient. If you don't use this facility you won't miss it!!! As a family camera the GPS is useful if for no other reason than keeping the correct time on the camera!! The camera is just a little smaller and of course uses all the same accessories like batteries and chargers etc. Unlike the SR11 it does not need a dock so connections are direct with the camera which is more convenient in my mind.

Ron Evans
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Old June 25th, 2009, 09:17 PM   #3
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For me it was a "couldn't switch fast enough" upgrade. But low light was a primary consideration - family/kids stuff, "run and gun" shooting style, B cam for weddings/events - point/aim/shoot. No time to fiddle with too many settings and slapping on accessories.

Do a little searching for any night/low light footage from the XR. You'll see the blacks stay silky, not noisy. To me that's huge - looking forward to the 4th! The camera isn't noise free, but it's significantly cleaner than the SR.

You lose Zebras, but the AI of the camera seems to autocompensate pretty well, the button/knob (I usually set that to exposure) and AE shift work well if you're already familiar with the Sony functions.

Ron covered it pretty well, it's slightly smaller and lighter, I don't think it fits the hand as well as the SR, somehow slightly awkward feeling to me, but I can live with it.

Once you start the cam, it seems to drop into the "quick on" mode for a while, meaning fast starts if you close/open/close the LCD during a session of impromptu shooting.

And the super OIS is really pretty effective if you shoot handheld a lot - it's the first HD cam I've shot that doesn't feel like you HAVE to have additinonal stabilization to keep 'er steady, though it really shines when mounted on one of my monopod/belt/shoulder stabilizer rigs.

Oh yeah, and if you go from the SR11, you double the storage from 60G to 120G... like anyone really needs that much storage...
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Old June 26th, 2009, 10:49 PM   #4
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Ron, have you edited footage from both cams for the same project? I have the SR11 and am a bit worried the difference will be allot. Have been considering the HMC150 but really don't have that kind of cash now. I would use the XR500 as an A cam and the SR11 as the B cam for weddings and events. Appreciate any info.

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Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
Mike I have both SR11 and the XR500. You win some and loose some. The XR500 has better low light and lower noise levels as the main differences and if you shoot in these conditions a lot it will be worth the upgrade. You loose zebra so setting manual exposure is not as convenient. If you don't use this facility you won't miss it!!! As a family camera the GPS is useful if for no other reason than keeping the correct time on the camera!! The camera is just a little smaller and of course uses all the same accessories like batteries and chargers etc. Unlike the SR11 it does not need a dock so connections are direct with the camera which is more convenient in my mind.

Ron Evans
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Old June 27th, 2009, 01:24 AM   #5
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Randy, I had the SR and went to the XR. It depends on what conditions you shoot under, and knowing how to adjust the cameras to be close. I believe Ron has shot and intermixed on the same shoot, so he can probably offer more details. I shot under identical conditions but two different shows, and I'd say you should be OK - under really awful elementary school multipurpose room lighting (meaning cafeteria AND theater!), I could see the difference in the XR, but I doubt most would see it. Mainly the lower noise signature, which stood out to me, and maybe a bit more lattitude.

Under "good light", I'd expect them to be pretty close. Being that they both are Sony, it helps somewhat as opposed to mixing Sony and Canon, which people do all the time, but to me the two look different. With a bit of CC in post, 90%+ of perople would never notice.

Aside from the small size "perception" vs something like the HMC150, you can probably get away with the XR500 as long as you're not doing high end wedding/event work. I'm in the same boat, like to get something "big", but not thrilled with the offerings, and really can't justify the price in this economy, so a trio of XR500's are the ticket for now, upgraded from SR11's. And added an HX1 in for a special purpose camera - doesn't do anything well, but was cheap and is good enuf... still hoping for an Alpha body with video.

You might find yourself wanting to upgrade the SR if you have much low light shooting, but it should be OK for a cutaway for the XR. The "just released" pricing is starting to drop on the XR's and oddly the SR's are going up in the used market now they are unavailable...
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Old June 27th, 2009, 11:21 AM   #6
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Randy, To support what Dave has said. In good light there is very little difference. In low light there is a difference because of the lower noise level of the XR500. I regularly mix two FX1 HDV, the SR11 and XR500 in theatre lighting. Color balance is almost identical between all the Sony's ( I usually fix WB at the indoor setting on all of them ). You will only really see the difference when light is low and grain starts to appear on the SR11 but not the XR500.

Ron Evans
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Old June 27th, 2009, 02:42 PM   #7
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Thanks for the reply. Sounds like the low light capabilities are pretty good. Have read many posts about it but reading your posts about mixing them helps me with my decision. Wish I could afford the HMC150 but not in my budget. Still might wait for the HMC40 to see how the reviews come out on that one before my final decision. From what I have read, it should go for around 2500. Low light will be a deciding factor when I decide. Thanks again.
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Old June 27th, 2009, 05:25 PM   #8
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[/quote] Unlike the SR11 it does not need a dock so connections are direct with the camera which is more convenient in my mind.

Ron Evans[/QUOTE]

Ron

I dont understand your point. I connect directly to my SR11 (from
Fred
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Old June 27th, 2009, 07:50 PM   #9
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Unlike the SR11 it does not need a dock so connections are direct with the camera which is more convenient in my mind.

Ron Evans[/QUOTE]

Ron

I dont understand your point. I connect directly to my SR11 (from
Fred[/QUOTE]

Correct Fred I was thinking about my SR7 and continue to use the dock even on the SR11 as it is set up connected to the PC.

Ron Evans
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Old June 28th, 2009, 01:21 AM   #10
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The dock is a mixed asset - it's nice if you like to dock/charge/transfer, but it takes up desk space. The SR had the USB jack as does the XR, the CX12 didn't, and I found after I hooked up the dock for that I just ended up going direct to the on camera jack on the SR. Now I've switched to all XR500, I have a little hole on my desktop... where the dock used to go!

I didn't mind the dock, yet I also can't say I miss it.

And I just shot some fireworks and late dusk/night shots that I had shot with the SR last year in the same location - I still have to look at the footage on a large screen, but it looked incredibly clean on the LCD, and handled low light very very well. The SR would have been struggling to get anything, the XR delivered clear video.

The sooner Sony gets the "R" sensor technology into the rest of their line the better IMO - I can't find any downside to this new sensor, so can't figure out why it's only shown up in this one model so far. Gimme something with three of these and a suite of manual controls please! And a new Alpha model DSLR-V with "R" and video to go with my old Minolta glass...
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Old June 28th, 2009, 07:29 AM   #11
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I wish Sony would come out with a 3 chip model with this sensor too. The constant comparison between my FX1 and the SR11 and XR500 has made me decide to change the FX1 but I wish there was an FX model with this "R"sensor and AVCHD. A competitor for the Panasonic HMC150. At the moment my choice would be the FX1000 as I will need to have a HDV tape deck around for the future.

Ron Evans
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