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Old August 12th, 2013, 01:32 AM   #1
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Video problems – faulty HX200v perhaps or faulty me!

Because I find the Sony HX200v just fine for shooting wildlife video, especially given the reach, portability and the price, I decided to purchase another copy as a backup. But this time I decided to buy locally and that means PAL and 50p. From limited experience 50p is essentially indistinguishable from 60p, or so I thought. The 50p footage looks extremely jerky to me and I tried two different computers and three different media players.

I sat the cameras on adjacent tripods, similar framing and auto, and hit the record buttons at the same time. These files uploaded to Vimeo are the original mts files direct from the cameras.

To see what I’m talking about I believe it is necessary to download the originals as the Vimeo compression confuses things.

I would be most grateful for any feedback on this. Have I got a lemon, am I doing something wrong, or is the Sony implementation of 50p on these cameras a bit shoddy, do you think?


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Old August 14th, 2013, 04:06 PM   #2
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Re: Video problems – faulty HX200v perhaps or faulty me!

What shutter speed are you using it might be 1/25 make sure its 1/50
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Old August 14th, 2013, 05:49 PM   #3
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Re: Video problems – faulty HX200v perhaps or faulty me!

Thankyou Matthew, appreciate your response. In fact I shot those clips with both cameras in movie mode, as usual, where, to the best of my knowledge about the only adjustment that can be made is exposure compensation using the thumb wheel, and very handy it is too.

So movie mode means automatic, more or less. And while this limitation does not endear it to serious videographers I find the camera useful in certain situations. When the Two-faced Multi-banded Tit suddenly out-of-the-blue flies by auto is the only way to go:-)

However, when one switches the mode dial to movie mode we are informed that ‘Movie mode with adjustable settings’ however DPReview tell us that ‘Movie recording is a point-and-shoot experience on the HX200V. You can turn on a wind filter and adjust the mic level, but that's about it.’ Perhaps not the best site in the world when it comes to movie capability but that’s my experience too. When the mode dial is set to manual mode and the movie button pressed the camera reverts to auto. Having said that I may well be missing something altogether.

I can't get anywhere with Sony New Zealand (non) Support!

Last edited by John McCully; August 14th, 2013 at 06:50 PM.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 06:11 PM   #4
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Re: Video problems – faulty HX200v perhaps or faulty me!

I don't see whats wrong with them?

If you are talking about the fact that they don't match perfectly, that's fairly typical.

As well as even though the camera's or close to each other small distances or angles can matter a lot.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 11:55 PM   #5
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Re: Video problems – faulty HX200v perhaps or faulty me!

That’s interesting, Al, many thanks. Maybe it’s my computers, both of them. Somewhat unlikely I have to believe, but you never know. Might be a virus or something!

What I’m on about is the motion of the van across the screen from left to right. My Internet connection is not very fast and the problem is not apparent when the files are played at Vimeo; both files stutter to a point, however when I go to the Vimeo site and download the HD version, or even the SD version (original if you have a plus account is even better) then you will note that 00002b (60p) plays very smoothly, as it should, while 00002a (50p) plays with a pronounced stutter that even makes 24p look smooth. Of course one needs a computer that is capable of playing AVCHD 50p/60p files effortlessly.

The download is small, only about 1.6 mg each for the HD version.

If they both play silky smoothly on your computer then that’s extremely useful information to me.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 11:29 PM   #6
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Re: Video problems – faulty HX200v perhaps or faulty me!

Noticed a little "hesitation" in both clips at different points, just viewing on Vimeo. Does the stutter show up on the camera LCD or if you paly back on a TV? Somehow I'm thinking it's happening at a later stage...

And yes the HX's are more or less press and go - the camera decides the "best" settings for video, you takes what you gets in video mode. But I've found them to be pretty capable cameras myself, lot of bang for the buck! Been impressed with the "300" update to your "200", ending up with that and an RX100 being a pretty good combo for size and capabilities.
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Old August 16th, 2013, 12:32 AM   #7
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Re: Video problems – faulty HX200v perhaps or faulty me!

Thanks for your comments, Dave. I routinely move the files off the camera cards onto my computer hard drive. I have a HP laptop i7 running Windows 8, and very capable when it comes to playing AVCHD files, which is plugged into a Dell 24” monitor. I use VLC media player however I have used Media Player Classic and Windows Media player also. I also have a Dell desktop i7 running Windows 7 and again no problem playing AVCHD files. I have a Sony CX700, a Sony HX100v, a Sony HX200v NTSC version and a Sony NEX 5n all of which as you know produce AVCHD 1080p 60 files which play perfectly. I use Sony Vegas Pro 12 and again, files rendered to AVCHD templates of all manner of configurations play perfectly smoothly.

The above cameras were purchased from B&H and are NTSC rather than PAL. I prefer NTSC 60p because I also shoot with a Sony EX1 configured to shoot 30p. I presumed 60p AVCHD files would inter-cut better than 50p PAL files.

I purchased a HX300v but after evaluating it versus the HX200v I decided I didn’t need the extra reach and it appeared to me that the image stabilization was not as capable as in the HX200v, so I returned it. If I didn’t already have the 200 I would have certainly kept the 300.

I noted a PAL 50p HX200v on sale, very good price, at a local online outfit here in New Zealand and so that is the camera I’m having this issue with. Lesson number 1: the best deal is not always the best deal; product support here is essentially non-existent. Having said that I also understand that the world is not full of folks who shoot video using a Sony HX200v PAL version and to expect the kids at Sony Support who answer the telephone to know about this is probably unrealistic. I am not surprised when it becomes clear they haven’t got the foggiest notion of what I’m talking about. The authorized Sony Service Center, Pro Video has seen one HX200v camera and that was for a different problem and they really don’t want to know about this. I did get a response from a Sony Asia forum moderator informing me that there should not be a visible difference between 60p and 50p AVCHD files all else being more or less equal.

And the fact is that the difference is like chalk and cheese when the untouched files are played on my setups. The 60p plays as smooth as silk, as it should and always has from all my previous cameras while the files off the 50 PAL copy look like 12 to 15 frames per second, if that.

I conclude that either I have a lemon or the 50p implementation of 50p in the HX200v is just wrong. Thus far I can't get an answer. Just playing on Vimeo may or may not enable the problem to be viewed however downloading does, as I have done that too.

I agree, the HX200v is great bang for the buck for certain situations, but unfortunately my latest purchase has been money down the drain.

Sorry to be so long-winded Dave and thanks again for your input. Further comments appreciated as always.
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Old August 16th, 2013, 02:32 PM   #8
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Re: Video problems – faulty HX200v perhaps or faulty me!

Looks like you're all good on handling 60p... doing the same here myself. It's odd that the different frame rate is acting up, but I believe you... not sure what the cause would be though. My first guess is that there's some sort of softwre glitch "somewhere" in the chain, but even that seems odd.

Perhaps check your settings in Vegas - I'm wondering if there's a switch buried there that might be the "answer" - perhaps post in the Vegas forum here and see if anyone routinely deals with 50/60p interchangeably - I know there are a few around these parts. It's not something I've dealt with personally, and there are so darn many switches in Vegas, I don't think I've seen half of them or would know what to do with them! But my "guess" would be that somehow the software is expecting one frame rate, and when it sees another, it gets confused and glitches, causing the stutter?

Sony support is always fun to deal with - not a lot of product specialists and a lot of products... offhand I doubt it's the camera, but I'd try shooting a test and running it through the HDMI to a TV just to be sure. Process of elimination...
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Old August 16th, 2013, 03:42 PM   #9
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Re: Video problems – faulty HX200v perhaps or faulty me!

It’s not a Vegas thing Dave as the files directly off the camera untouched by Vegas exhibit this problem. Those files above at my Vimeo web site did not go near Vegas and are directly off the cameras. The fault is happening in the camera, clearly. I have even swapped and re-formatted cards and that made no difference.

I have concluded that this particular camera has a firmware problem or that all HX200v PAL cameras shoot jerky 50p footage, which is not to say those are the only possibilities.

Cheers.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 06:21 PM   #10
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Re: Video problems – faulty HX200v perhaps or faulty me!

For the record and in order to keep things tidy I should report that I have returned the problem camera and obtained a full credit - after much discussion with the on-line retailer - still not knowing the cause of the problem. However, in as much as the HX200v is more or less discontinued it hardly matters. I have also deleted the sample files from my Vimeo account but should anyone be interested I do have archived copies.

This time consuming nonsense reminds me that the best deal is not always the best deal and if the price is too good to be true it probably is.

Having returned this camera and having cancelled my order for the Blackmagic Pocket camera (good decision, I reckon) I’m have a serious bout of non-buyer’s remorse.

Well, not really!

After seriously malfunctioning and a visit to the repair shop my old Sony EX1 now has a completely new front end ($1600.00 US I might add) and judging by footage shot in the past compared to now I have to believe it never was right since the date of purchase. Of course it is also possible that Sony have made significant improvements which have been incorporated in the replacement front end.

Whatever, that along with Doug Jensen’s advice to generally shoot with gain set to minus one third has me delighted and a happy shooter again. I’m not suggesting that the EX1 should be compared with the HX200v any more than a cheap putter should be compared with a high end driver to use a golfing analogy, but I must say my thirst for better and better image quality has been assuaged, for now.

Thanks again to those who contributed to this thread.

Cheers...
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