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Old November 2nd, 2009, 11:33 PM   #1
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CX500V

Definitely like the looks of the revised menu and the 3" LCD, but still not seeing this over the XR's.

Not sure what the heck they were thinking with the A/V jack (LANC), though typically you wouldn't be handheld if using the LANC. I know I'd miss the VF, headphone/mic jacks too, but it sure is a compact package!
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 06:37 AM   #2
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This mini tripod handle may be useful for handheld though.

High Definition Camcorders - DVD Camcorder - AVCHD Camcorder - Camcorder Accessories - Tripods - GPAVT1 - Sony Style Canada

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Old November 6th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #3
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Big downer for me is that it doesn't have the hi def LCD like the XR/SR.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Definitely like the looks of the revised menu and the 3" LCD, but still not seeing this over the XR's.

Not sure what the heck they were thinking with the A/V jack (LANC), though typically you wouldn't be handheld if using the LANC. I know I'd miss the VF, headphone/mic jacks too, but it sure is a compact package!
Someone in another forum just pointed out another potential difference between the XRs and the CXs this year. I sent an email off to Sony to confirm whether or not it's an actual fact.

I took some video this weekend of a model train layout in fairly low light, a real train in daylight, and then the Amtrak Capitol Limited arriving at a station in early twilight (pretty dark to the eyeball). As an experiment, I decided not to use a tripod the whole day. I then viewed the results on an HDTV Sunday night and was truly impressed by the smoothness of the video. I figured either I had become a master videographer in the last year (right!) or the new Sony stabilization is as good as people have claimed (I think I believe now).

I had film of the same train layout from two years ago with the Sony HC7 - the difference was incredible. I generally decided that real people probably would either never comment on shakiness with this particular set of videos, or would assume it was shot from a tripod. It was exceedingly good compared to all my previous efforts off-tripod.

I mentioned this in a forum where people were asking about differences between cams, and someone pointed out that the CX500V marketing spec mentions "3-way shake cancellation" where the XR520V spec doesn't. That turned out to be correct. As I said, I emailed Sony to find out if this is new to the CXs or just not mentioned with the XRs. I had suspected from some online test results that Sony tweaked the CX low-light capability a bit over the XRs because they had four months to work on the software. Now I'm wondering if they added some really effective EIS to the CXs in that time period.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 07:05 PM   #5
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The XR stabilization is pretty darn good, but I suppose they could have improved it some more... or maybe they just gave it a fancy new marketing moniker... I'd have to have both side by side to know for sure, but it's possible. I've been very impressed with the image stabilization of the XR over last year's SR - takes out MOST of the shakes from my experience, and with a bit of extra gear, almost as good as a steadycam, IMO.

Which test results did you see that indicated more low light improvement? I know that the CX's usually come out a few months after the corresponding Tape or HDD camera, and seem to get a few tweaks... I really like the XR with all the I/O options, but always interested in improvements - I usually split my camera fleet with a couple CX'x in there...
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Old November 11th, 2009, 08:50 PM   #6
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Dave's message (odd, no Quote button available):
"The XR stabilization is pretty darn good, but I suppose they could have improved it some more... or maybe they just gave it a fancy new marketing moniker... I'd have to have both side by side to know for sure, but it's possible. I've been very impressed with the image stabilization of the XR over last year's SR - takes out MOST of the shakes from my experience, and with a bit of extra gear, almost as good as a steadycam, IMO.

Which test results did you see that indicated more low light improvement? I know that the CX's usually come out a few months after the corresponding Tape or HDD camera, and seem to get a few tweaks... I really like the XR with all the I/O options, but always interested in improvements - I usually split my camera fleet with a couple CX'x in there... "

Sony Tech Support answered and basically said they're not allowed to discuss any specs beyond what is officially published. They gave me a phone number I can call for some group like "Sustained Support" if I'm still interested. They carefully pointed out that the second group might or might not choose to supply more detail than what is published at their sole discretion. That's probably a boiler-plate reply if I had to guess.

I hadn't gotten any hint before that the XR and CX stabilization were different - everybody seems to love both. But the marketing specs do indeed contain that extra blurb for the CX.

There was discussion of the CX500V and the staff mentioned they had one in house and had done a "let's take it out of the box" quick survey. I think they speculated that the low-light images seemed marginally better. If it wasn't them, it was on slashcam-com. The speculation that having 4 more months to tweak software might have been used was mine, based on my own career in software development. It would be a little unusual in my experience to fix no bugs or make no tweaks in that long a timeframe with a new model coming out. But you also can't just randomly develop new features in for products that are otherwise supposed to be really similar like these cams.

For those who haven't seen them, these are two great European-based sites for comparisons:

HD camcorder tests and comparison of Sony PMW-EX3 (PMWEX3),Sony PMW-EX1 (PMW-EX1E/ PMWEX1) and Canon XH G1s Best values highlighted

VIDEOAKTIV - Cam-Testbilder
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Old November 11th, 2009, 09:17 PM   #7
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I bought this camera (50i/CX500E) a month ago and all I can say is the stabilization (in Active Mode) is the best money can buy, at any price without using a clunky steadycam system. If you know how to pan or move the camera properly, the dreaded rocking motion is gone. If you hold your camera moderately still (like when you're trying to get a static shot), the footage will come out without those jiggles, rocking or rolling motions normally associated with handheld shots without some kind of support.

I wish I could be more scientific about this cam's great feature but the scale below based on my experience over the years using compact and handycam-sized cameras could be somewhat useful.

On the scale of 1-10 with 10 being steadycam steady and 1 useless:

-Sony CX500E (and I assume the whole variations and series) = 9
-Sony SR12E and variations = 6 or 7
-Sony FX1E/Z1 = 6 or 7 (soft, medium, hard settings) or about on par with the SR series*
-Sony VX2100E/PD170P and variations = 5 or 6*
-Sony TRV 940E (950 in the US.) = 5 or 6
-Sony HC1E and variations = 3 or 4 at best
-Sanyo Xacti HD1000 = 1 (or better in the OFF position)

*Even with its size and form factor, the steadiness in the footage still can't compare to that from the CX500E.

Your experience may vary but you can get the rough picture. If the young people in the movie Cloverfield had documented their sufferings with a Sony CX cam, the movie would have been much more watchable!

Hope this helps
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Old November 12th, 2009, 09:19 PM   #8
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I'm dipping my foot in YouTube upload waters for the first time to post some clips that maybe give some indication of CX500V performance. I posted one short one of two pets just to try things out, and then two clips of a model train (one HC7 one CX500V) and one of a real train. I haven't gone through video selecting the best examples, these were just ones close at hand.

If you go to YouTube at this URL:

YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

and Search for ThomasAlexHD, you'll see at least the two model train clips and maybe more if there's some kind of indexing lag (all four). These were HD clips but don't seem to show up that way automatically, so you may want to spot and hit the HQ button to the bottom right of the player. All of these were handheld, so in the CX500V ones you'll see some gross movements the stabilization won't damp, but not much jittering. In the HC7 clip played back at full HD, it's jittery even when my hand was relatively stable. It actually looks less so at this lower resolution...

Assuming you have high-speed Internet, you'll also want to make sure you specify that in your Playback Settings. And I just realized that the button to the right of HQ switches the playback to full screen mode where the stabilization quality is more obvious, I think. I see minor jerkiness in the real train moving left to right but I know that's hesitation in the playback buffering as opposed to the clip...
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Old November 13th, 2009, 08:25 AM   #9
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I can't find all the clips via YouTube searching so here are the direct URLs:

Amtrak Capitol Limited
YouTube - Amtrak Capitol Limited Harpers Ferry WV Twlight CX500V handheld

CSX freight
YouTube - CSX Freight Train 2 CX500V handheld

HC7 model train
YouTube - HO Train 2 2007 Sony HC7 handheld shaky

CX500V model train
YouTube - HO Train 1 CX500V handheld

Cat meets glider
YouTube - Sugar Glider meets Cat - CX500V
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Old November 15th, 2009, 01:34 PM   #10
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OK, indexing seems to be working on YouTube now or it has caught up with uploads somehow. You can also find any new material from me by searching for "ThomasAlexHD". I have uploaded a low-light clip of sugar gliders playing in their cage (CX500V in October) and some more train footage from Durango Colorado (CX12 in August).
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