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Old April 15th, 2010, 06:52 PM   #16
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I agree with Dave in that I like the spot focus etc of my XR500 and actually miss it on my new NX5U !!! If this new camera had more manual control like independent gain control and zebras' back then it would be a nice camera I think. As long as it was a small premium over the CX550.

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Old April 15th, 2010, 08:34 PM   #17
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I'm assuming this camcorder is gonna be in the NXCAM line and it'll be to the NX5 what the A1U was to the Z1U in the HDV line. I just have three questions involving this camera.

1. So far, I've only seen this camcorder being mentioned in British and European websites involving information about NAB. I have not seen any information on it on any North American website nor on Sony's Pro Site on this side on the Atlantic. Is this camcorder a PAL only version like the VX2200 & PD175 or will it come to North America?

2. And if it does come to the USA, will it have multiple shooting formats (60i, 30p, 24p) like the NX5 or will it only have one format like the consumer camcorder it is being compared to, the CX550?

3. And finally, I know it mentions having an internal 60GB flash memory & being compatible with memory stick pro duo cards and sdhc cards. But what about external flash memory like the FMU-128. Will it be compatible with it or have it's own version of the FMU128?


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Last edited by Ozzy Alvarez; April 15th, 2010 at 11:45 PM.
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Old April 15th, 2010, 10:08 PM   #18
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I've used it in the previous camcorder and it's not as good as a traditional focusing ring. I just think it's weird that they had it in consumer camcorders but for their latest small semi professional camcorder, it's missing it. Even their first AVCHD camcorder, the SR1 had a traditional focusing ring.

To me, this is almost like putting 24p within 60i, Yes it can easily be fixed with software such as NeoScene which works very good by the way but still.
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Old April 15th, 2010, 11:55 PM   #19
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Paulo - While it might be nice to have a full ring, it would require a complete redesign, not likely cost effective, and as Ron says, I'll take the spot focus on that 3.5" screen... unless you've got peaking, manual focus on a small screen is not easy or reliably accurate...

It will be interesting to see what features if any appear in the firmware revision for this camera, at the moment it's not clear what exactly differentiates it from the CX550V... zebras and maybe gain control would be logical, peaking has been seen in Sony cams before (HC9), and alternative frame rates would be an interesting addition, but we will have to see. Alternate frame rates shouldn't be that difficult to offer, and at the right price point would silence a lot of Sony critics. If they upgrade the firmware with peaking zebras and frame rates, it would certainly make this an intersting little camera.

I also noticed this camera doesn't seem to have popped up on this side of the Atlantic yet, but I would "think" there should be an NTSC version as well as a PAL one - better would be firmware that could do either, their small P&S cameras are set up so you just dig down into a menu and choose... but they don't do that on the big boys, so it would be pretty strange to see on this, but a nice and EASY thing for them to do I should think.

Internal 64G of flash, plus a MS Duo/SDHC card slot - that's a lot of record time any way you slice it - effectively half of the FMU128 built in, plus whatever you add via the slot - would you really need an external recording unit with that? There's an HDMI out which should do the trick if really necessary?

I think Sony is going for the "discrete" shooter who wants a small, light rig for high quality image aquisition without being obvious that you're shooting anything "pro". Having used these small cams for a while now, they are surprisingly effective and you can almost stick the whole thing in your pocket... certainly a small camera bag will hold a decent little rig that will produce excellent images. After looking at some samples on a German camcorder review site, the CX550V looked like it would keep up really well with the "big boys".
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Old April 16th, 2010, 06:55 AM   #20
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My XR500 is certainly better than my FX1 which was one reason to get the NX5U. In full auto outside in daylight there is almost no difference in the picture from the NX5U and the XR500. Indoors in low light the NX5U is a little better and has a lot more control clearly but the XR500 is still a very good picture. Since the CX550 is a generation ahead of the XR500 it will likely be a very good match for the NX5U in a much less conspicuous form factor. I had thought of getting a CX550 but may now wait and see what this camera spec really come out to be when the NTSC version is hopefully announced.
As to the focusing some have mentioned and I agree that focusing on the NX5U is not great. One needs to use the expanded focus and peaking as the auto focus is not as good as the FX1. In contrast the spot focus on the XR500 is accurate all the time. There is always a backfocus issue with these small cameras so one needs to continually focus when zooming changes and focus needs to be performed at the focal length of the shot not easy on a small LCD. The zoom in, focus and frame doesn't work. This is where the spot focus is quick and accurate. I never use manual changed focus on the XR500 always in manual but set with spot focus. Having had spot focus on the SR7, SR11 and XR500 I really miss it on the NX5U.

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Old April 16th, 2010, 04:28 PM   #21
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At NAB, they said it was going to be in the $2k range. I stopped paying attention when I found it had no audio controls. The mic input is a 1/8" jack and the pro-looking mic mount is just a rubber cover over a hot-shoe mount.

It is tiny and I'm sure the image is great.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4009/...ed93df8f_o.jpg
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Old April 16th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #22
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Looks like some graphic changes, MPEG2 SD rather than the 12.0Mpixel graphic on the CX550. IF it has no real changes then will not be worth the money I expect since 2K will put it at almost twice the cost of the CX550!!!. That's too big a premium for graphics!!!

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Old April 16th, 2010, 04:58 PM   #23
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I'm in the exact same boat, very happy with the XR500 and CX500 right now, I can live without total manual control if I'm getting good results from the "autopilot" and minimal adjustments... still the CX550 with the 3.5 LCD and various other minor tweaks and improvements is on my list to upgrade at least one camera. It's not as compelling as the change between the SR11 and the XR500, as it's still the same sensor and basic camera in many respects.

$2K is a logical price point, but unless the firmware adds peaking, zebras, gain control, more audio control, and alternate frame rates and PAL/NTSC formats... that's a big jump for a $35 lens hood and a shotgun mic you can probably replicate or improve upon for $125 or so... and who isn't going to buy a big backup battery anyway? The stock one is always good enough for a backup!

I'm just waiting to see what if anything they really add to this new "pro" version of their top of the line pocket rocket - the firmware possibilities are certainly interesting, but will they deliver?
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Old April 17th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Fadely View Post
At NAB, they said it was going to be in the $2k range. I stopped paying attention when I found it had no audio controls. The mic input is a 1/8" jack and the pro-looking mic mount is just a rubber cover over a hot-shoe mount.

It is tiny and I'm sure the image is great.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4009/...ed93df8f_o.jpg
Are you saying that this thing has no XLR inputs? If true, that will be disappointing. I was hoping this thing would be the AVCHD version on the HVR-A1, not a mini-AVCHD version of the HVR-HD1000.

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Old April 17th, 2010, 08:03 PM   #25
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No place to put XLR inputs from the picture - you've got a mic holder/adapter in the Sony Ai Shoe, and a cable which I can only presume goes to the 1/8" mic input on the cam. Keep in mind that the "XLR" input module of the A1U still has to either interface via the 1/8" jack or the hot shoe mic inputs (don't remember which it used). So many people are getting used to the idea of a dual sound acquisition approach (although this runs contrary to the "small package"), I suspect audio again took a back seat to retain a compact form factor.

Logically, I was looking at the pricing, and would hope they bring it more in line with the HD1000, or preferably even lower - unless the firmware really ups the ante, I think most people would buy a Rode and a $10 lens hood off eBay & hop up a CX550... There's simply not $800 in added value in the mic/holder and hood... Still no sign of any actual verifiable specs/features or US availability, only speculation it might be available in July for the E (PAL) version.

The only compelling thing behind this cam would be some serious "pro" firmware tweaks, otherwise the CX550V with whatever you want to add on would be just as effective - I'm seeing evidence that you HAVE to have a lens hood with the CX550, otherwise you get lens flare, apparently sometimes seen as a "blue dot" resulting from internal reflections in the lens assembly. Hoods are cheap.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 08:10 PM   #26
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I'm all for other ways of focusing. I'm just saying that a traditional focusing ring is better than a little dial especially if this thing is going to cost $2,000 although I'm not going to be surprised if it ends up costing $1,500 to $1700 at B&H. You'd think for that price, they'd at least match some of the features of the HMC40 which costs $1,850 with a free copy of Edius Neo 2 Booster and a 3 year warranty. I'm still looking forward to a real successor of the A1u. It just may take a bit longer than I thought.

Still, their may be something that can justify a $2,000 price-tag. At least I hope.



-EDIT-
I didn't originally see Dave's last post when I wrote this.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 09:06 PM   #27
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I still look for a camera between the CX550 and the NX5U. A better CX550!! Larger lens for more light to the sensor, independent gain control, Zebras, not much else really. I would like 1920x1080x60P. A better competitor to the Panasonic TM700 !!!
A more expensive CX550 with a different colour scheme/graphics will not do it !!
I like my SR11, XR500 and NX5U so new camera will have to offer me something real.

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Old April 18th, 2010, 02:28 PM   #28
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It will be interesting to see what the actual feature set turns out to be - firmware could be a treasure trove of goodies, or a big nuthin'. Until accurate info comes out, it's anyone's guess, but that MPEG2 label on the side at least hints this may have some alternate recording options that may be interesting.

I've always felt like an updated TRV900, HC1/A1U, FX7/V1U sort of thing is what's missing in the Sony lineup. Something just enough bigger to include some realistic control surfaces/buttons/knobs. This little guy actually seems like a bit of an oddball when you think about it, yet I've seen more than a few people (myself included) that use these small cams/rigs with good results...

I'm not sure, given how good the R sensor seems to be, that there's a lot of need for bigger glass - my XR500 and CX500 in low lux can see far better than my eyes can and still deliver a pretty usable image (IMO at least "close enough" to that of the big cameras), not sure how much more one "needs".

What I'm REALLY looking for now is an R sensor in an Alpha series DSLR-V, which supposedly is coming... someday... maybe... hopefully with reasonable manual control.

And there is that factor of how much "manual" control really gives you, if the cameras "auto" algorithms are highly optimized. These small cameras are getting so "intelligent", that limited override capabilty for the rare moment it's needed, is probably enough - you get a good image and can always tweak in post, and ultimately that's what counts. I'm guessing that for high quality image acquisition on the fly, this cam will do better than a lot of the ugly stuff I see on TV (news, etc.).
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Old April 18th, 2010, 06:45 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Ozzy Alvarez View Post
Are you saying that this thing has no XLR inputs? If true, that will be disappointing. I was hoping this thing would be the AVCHD version on the HVR-A1, not a mini-AVCHD version of the HVR-HD1000.

Ozzy
The one they had on display had no xlr inputs - 1/8" only. Nor did I see any manual audio control in a quick pass through the menus. I have an HVRA1U and was expecting something similar. This looked like a consumer cam with a big mic to me.

The Sony guys on the stand knew little about it and there was no signage for it but it was on the rail alongside the NX5U.
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Old April 18th, 2010, 06:52 PM   #30
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1/2 inch R sensor in a sub 2000 cam? Sounds awesome to me.
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