Brief Sony XR500 vx CX500 specs comparison at DVinfo.net

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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 03:23 PM   #1
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Brief Sony XR500 vx CX500 specs comparison

Specs comparison between CX500V (32GB flash) and XR500V (120 GB HD) overlaps in most ways but the following differences appear:
1. Main storage (flash vs HDD). Note that both use about 1.3 GB for op sys files, maps, etc.
2. About a 4 oz weight difference (HDD 20% heavier).
3. Case size and some control placement.
4. Cam control dial on XR500V near lens (as in CX12). Cam control dial on CX500V at upper-left rear on left side. I expected to prefer the latter but found the dial kind of stiff to rotate and also my right thumb was just barely long enough to get there. The CX dial is definitely smaller. Did like it when using left hand to turn the dial, but I'd bet the intent was that it be used by the right. Note that the cam was cord-secured without a battery, so might be better when held for real.
5. HDD LCD is 3.2" 921K pixels, CX LCD is 3" 230K pixel. CX very much like CX12, no problem reading it, but the other one is much "finer" resolution per these specs.
6. HDD has headphone out jack, CX doesn't.
7. HDD has "microphone input", CX doesn't. Not sure what this refers to given active shoe on both.
8. HDD has "Easy" button/mode, CX doesn't.
9. Shutter speed for scene selection shows 1/8 to 1/725 for CX, 1/8 to 1/800 for HDD. ??
10. HDD size: 71x75x137 mm; CX 62x65x133.
11. HDD LCD has some basic buttons to left of LCD, same as on CX12; no buttons on CX, all LCD.
12. HDD has separate viewfinder, CX does not.

I handled both at Best Buy today, and they feel very different in the hand. The HDD one feels like a huge beast to me after using the CX12 and holding the CX500. But this is preferred by some people for balance, etc., so no amount of text will describe which you'll prefer (if either).

Since the right hand fingers rest on the HDD case on the XR500 and on the camcorder top ridge on the CX500, finger placement may be an issue for large hands. Mine just fix on the CX500 without covering the built-in mic. I don't use the active shoe, but if I did, I think I'd have to curl two fingers to keep from intruding into that area while it was in use. Not true on the XR500, I think, since your fingers don't normally rest on the camcorder ridge and the active shoe cover. Both cams have a small bump forward of the zoom rocker that I guess helps keep the next finger forward from slipping into the rocker.

I'd have to look again but I think the little button on the CX12 that suppressed flash if ANY add-on filter was screwed in is gone. That is, I think flash is now electronic-controlled again even if a filter is attached.

Didn't look at HDD menus. CX menus changed somewhat from CX12 but probably close to no learning curve there. A plus: you can again create "My Menus", assigning six items each for Photo, Video, and Other Settings modes for easy access instead of dipping into the stock menus.

The manuals and spec sheets are all online at Sonystyle.com. Except for the differences noted here (hopefully complete), the optics, sensors, and other basic capabilities should be the same assuming the processing chip is also using the same programs to capture and record in both cases.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 01:34 AM   #2
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Having used the CX series (7 & 12), I liked the compact size, but given the pricing of these new CX's and the reduced feature set, I decided to just get XR's for my multicam set.

On point 7, there is a 1/8" stereo mic input on the XR, in addition to the proprietary shoe.

I haven't seen the new CX's "hands on", but I know I feel like the XR was just a bit of a step backwards as far as ergonomics - it's never felt quite as comfortable as either the SR11 or the CX12. When I compared the XR with the CX12, there just wasn't enough size/weight difference - and I find the VF is handy outdoors and under many shooting conditions, plus bigger is better for the LCD...
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 10:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Having used the CX series (7 & 12), I liked the compact size, but given the pricing of these new CX's and the reduced feature set, I decided to just get XR's for my multicam set.

On point 7, there is a 1/8" stereo mic input on the XR, in addition to the proprietary shoe.

I haven't seen the new CX's "hands on", but I know I feel like the XR was just a bit of a step backwards as far as ergonomics - it's never felt quite as comfortable as either the SR11 or the CX12. When I compared the XR with the CX12, there just wasn't enough size/weight difference - and I find the VF is handy outdoors and under many shooting conditions, plus bigger is better for the LCD...
There are always a few decisions made that puzzle me. Why a headphone out jack on the CX12 but not the CX500V? Etc. If the CX500V performance ends up pretty much equivalent to the XR series as you'd expect, the low-light and stabilization improvements are probably enough to have me upgrade. I wasn't planning on it until I read the raves other people have posted in those two areas for the XRs and until my wife bought some small "sugar glider" pets and I have a reason to film in low-light for the first time.

The switching of the cam dial from left front to left rear is going to be interesting to see reviewed. I suspect reviewers will complain that the dial can't be used single-handed (true) and is stiffer than the CX12 or XR dials (also true). But the dials in front also can't be used single-handed, so that seems a bit argumentative to pick on that. In fact, I'm always nervous I'm going to get fingerprints on the filter lens when I use the front dial. I haven't been able to hold the CX500V without the stupid "don't steal the cam" device on it at Best Buy, but even with that caveat, it seemed like I could steady the cam via the LCD and use the dial with my left hand better than I could do with the dial on the front. Fortunately for me personally, I use the dial sparingly, but I imagine there will be some posting wars about whether the dial should have moved or not, and if that made it unusable.

I'm starting another quick thread with a direct CX12 to CX500V specs comparison (amateurish though it might be most of it is copied straight out of the marketing spec sheets or manuals). That might be helpful or interesting to people who want the smaller footprint regardless. If you took away the low-light and stabilization improvements, I'd probably say most of the changes were incremental. They did rework the menu UI though, and I think I much prefer the new approach which is really a return to the HC7 style for the most part.
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Old October 4th, 2009, 08:08 AM   #4
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IF I am reading the specs correctly they have also included a realtime converter from AVCHD to SD MPEG2 for direct writing to the new VRD-P1 DVD burner. For lots of consumer that is a really useful feature.

"The HDR-CX500V supports a direct connection to the VRD-P1 DVDirect® DVD burner (sold separately). The camcorder down converts HD to SD automatically when connected to the P1, which allows you to burn DVDs directly from your camcorder without the need for a PC. And because the VRD-P1 is powered by your camcorder, you don't need an additional AC power cable. "


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Old October 4th, 2009, 02:01 PM   #5
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IF I am reading the specs correctly they have also included a realtime converter from AVCHD to SD MPEG2 for direct writing to the new VRD-P1 DVD burner. For lots of consumer that is a really useful feature.

"The HDR-CX500V supports a direct connection to the VRD-P1 DVDirect® DVD burner (sold separately). The camcorder down converts HD to SD automatically when connected to the P1, which allows you to burn DVDs directly from your camcorder without the need for a PC. And because the VRD-P1 is powered by your camcorder, you don't need an additional AC power cable. "


Ron Evans
I didn't pick up on that since I don't burn DVDs (I move everything to large USB drives), but that is a good feature. I also think the manual indicates that you can put AVCHD content directly onto a regular DVD and a Blu-Ray player will play that DVD OK. That's not the same as creating a Blu-Ray disk. That's in the context of the manual emphasizing that if you put AVCHD HD content on a regular DVD and play it on a regular player, at best it won't work and at worst it can zap the content of the DVD. I didn't study this in depth or try to confirm it elsewhere so I list it as a possible feature that someone would need to confirm if interested.
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