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Old April 25th, 2010, 11:09 PM   #1
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CX550v vs CX520v stabilization

Hi Folks,

Has anyone been able to compare the stabilization of the CX550v and the CX520v? Is it worth upgrading mostly for that feature? I get the impression that the bigger upgrade was from the XR520 to the CR520.

Thanks!
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Old April 26th, 2010, 01:45 AM   #2
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I have both the XR 520 and the CX 550.
I have not done any sort of proper test comparison, but my definite impression is that the CX 550 OIS is a bit more effective, particulalry for rotary motion, which is the type of camera shake that that I find to be most annoying and distracting.
Whether it's worth the up grade or not is in the eye of the beholder.
Personally, I am such a lousy hand holder, I can't get reliabily acceptable footage without at least OIS + monopod.
If you are a steady shooter to begin with, you might find that the CX550 makes the critical difference.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 02:36 AM   #3
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There was a pretty significant improvement between the XR500/520 and the CX500/520 - as Robert notes, primarily noticeable in the rotational axis ("rock" the two cams back and forth around the lens axis, the CX inage in the LCD will stay pretty level, the XR not quite so much...).

The XR500/520 does well cancelling pitch (up and down around the axis), yaw (side to side) and "bounce" (up and down of the whole camera). The CX500/520 added the same "magic" to the "roll" (rotation around the axis).

The XR's are very stable, and with a small bracket rig (which kills the rocking motion inherently), do pretty well. The CX500 manages to help out even more when purely handheld, where your wrist flex is prone to introduce that rocking motion because of the way you're holding the camera.

It's a good question on whether Sony bumped it up a notch with the 550's... if I ever get hands on one, I'll check! It's on my list, but with the economy, not so many secondhand nearly new cameras floating around to pick up on my budget!



The 550's should have an inherent "improvement" by virtue of their built in "wider" native lens range - by itself, a wider frame will appear more "stable", but you'll have to remember that you need to be that much closer to your subject to achieve the same framing, which may ultimately cancel some of the perceived gains. I only mention this because one of the "tricks" used to make it appear that cheaper stabilizers "work" better than they really do is to stick a wide/fisheye lens on the camera.... and... voila, "stable"... or not.

And whether that wide end is really "better" or not is another question that still remains unanswered in my mind.... I'd like to see last years lens range still available with the features of the 550's.

The Sony image stabilization is not a "trick", and performs some significant magic, if you add a monopod or other small basic rig, it's very close (with some practice) to a full "steadicam" for motion shots. I've got a little rig I've been fiddling with (based on rigs I've used along the way) that should make it possible to match a bigger rig and still be "pocket" sized.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 04:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Munk View Post
Hi Folks,

Has anyone been able to compare the stabilization of the CX550v and the CX520v? Is it worth upgrading mostly for that feature? I get the impression that the bigger upgrade was from the XR520 to the CR520.

Thanks!
I agree with Dave's comments, and also that the biggest jump checked empirically came between the XR520 and the CX520. Give those software developers four months and a little CPU to play with, and see what happens!

For the CX520 to CX550, the only improvement I've heard mentioned is tweaks to the "shooting while walking" algorithms. And that seems more like a rumor or a marketing emphasis than a confirmed improvement.

I have a CX500V and I personally wouldn't go to a 550 just for the (maybe) stabilization change(s). There are other reasons to upgrade if you like specific features, but I'm not convinced IS improved significantly between those two models until someone compares them side-by-side.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 11:03 PM   #5
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Stability test (one handed on a bike in the rain)

Loving my CX550VE - heres a direct link to the Bike test - YouTube - BravoCharlieTV's Channel

I was having an issue with the PMB software, did some opening / cutting of 5 seconds and rendering 1080i in Vegas then realised I could dump the camera files raw into youtube over the USB.. the results are via YouTube - BravoCharlieTV's Channel - anything with CX550 in the title is test footage.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 07:09 AM   #6
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If you just want to trim files it is easier and a lot quicker to do it in camera with the divide function. That way you loose nothing ( since you can still back up everything) but have a discrete file of what you want. PMB software is great for transfer to PC and archiving with good search capability but not for editing. I would look at Edius Neo or Edius Pro 5.5 for good AVCHD editing in realtime full resolution.

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Old June 10th, 2010, 04:07 PM   #7
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I find trimming much easier in PMB, actually, but that's partly the difference between doing it on a 3 inch LCD vs a 27" widescreen monitor. Note that when you use PBM to trim, you select your file name, so there's no reason to lose what you started out with. That means it can also be used in two steps to do the same thinking as splitting the clip in-camcorder.

What usually happens is that I edit on the PC if I'm filming and then going home quickly (including trims, deletes, splits, etc.). If I'm filming and then sit in the car for a while (like waiting for a second train to come by), then I will often do some of it in camcorder just to pass the time.

Both approaches definitely work.

And you're correct about the YouTube uploads. Unless you need to combine clips, you can upload 1080i clips direct to YouTube via PMB as is from the camcorder or trimmed via PMB. It makes life so much easier than it was even a few months ago if you post to YouTube a fair bit.
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