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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old August 22nd, 2007, 09:33 PM   #1
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Sony Cameras : stabilization worse than other brands?

I got the Sony (HDR-HC3) becuase the Canon equivilant had the mic at the back of the camera which I thought was real lame. I'm doing handheld and some tripod people stuff, no external mic, so getting great sound is real important.

Only thing is that I read somewhere that image stabilization with Sony is not true stabilization, and I notice on my footage, it can look quite jumpy and jerky.

Can someone give me an overview of this, and should I go back to Canon cameras for this one issue, or am I overblowing this. (and does the mic at rear or the Canon perform poorly as I assume). thanks.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 01:05 AM   #2
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I've got both the Sony HC3 & Canon HV20. The Sony has electronic stabilization and the Canon has optical stablization and is much better. The Canon's got a mic input too.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 04:14 AM   #3
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Tony, do you find the Sony is "unacceptable" as far as that goes?

I see the new hdr-hc7's have optical now. Why did take Sony so long to catch on?

The Canons, you are saying you can put an external mic. the mic is still in back? Sonys have better sound still?
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 08:37 AM   #4
 
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Optical stabilization isn't always preferable. I cringe when I read so many posts about "how much better optical is than electronic."
Not so. A good high end optical is of course, better than electronic. A good electronic is better than a poor/avg optical.
Just as an example, for motor mounting, skydiving, paragliding, hanggliding, BASE jumping, or skateboarding, optical on the Sony and Canon low end camcorders cannot be used. It must be disabled. I have at least 400 jumps with the HC3 and HC5 camcorders, around 30 jumps with the Canon (totally useless in freefall or motor mount), and although I own an HC7, it's extremely rare I jump with it because it too, is terrible for motor mount or freefall.
It's not *just* about having the cooler/mo' bettah new feature, but rather...how does that feature impact you and your workflow?
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 12:26 PM   #5
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Doug, thanks,. let's get specfic here: I'm shooting people talking and moving around a bit. With the hdr-hc3 (stead shot or digital stabilization), it often seems that I'm getting seasick watching. very jerky and jumpy. Even when I'm concentrating on holding camera steady.

I see now the the new version, the 7, has optical. my guess is that issue would be resolved. Correct? For MY specific use: shooting peole talking and walking a bit would I be better off ditching the 3 and getting the 7 no?

I don't know anything about your sporst stuff, but from everything I read optical is better, both Canon and Sony say that in their blurbs on the camera ie, that optical gets rid of the problem before the image hits the sensor.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 12:28 PM   #6
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..how does that feature impact you and your workflow?"

This is what i'm saying Douglas -- my first shoot with hc3, looks very bad, hence, need for this post. I'm debating what to do.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 12:40 PM   #7
 
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optical *can* be and often is better. Optical works with a gyro, magnets, sensors, or all of the above communicating with each other. Heavy shakes vertically during a pan might be great but maybe the camera has weak horizontal stabilization.
Some lenses only have vertical stabilization.
In my early JVC cams, we had to open up the cam and glue the piezo sensors in place because you couldn't shut off the IS completely.

OIS/Optical Image Stabilization can be a blessing or a curse. Canon tends to do it better than anyone (IMO) in still camera lenses, and pretty darn good in small camcorders. Sony doesn't do it well in big lenses (IMO) but they do it better than Canon in consumer cams (IMO).

I don't know what is causing your video to look bad without seeing it. Perhaps you've got weird shutter speeds occuring and it's messing with your picture. Or, you're leaving IS enabled while shooting from a tripod. Many options/causes to weirdness in the frame that you might want to blame on IS.
Post a short vid, maybe we can figure it out.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 02:26 PM   #8
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Doug, I'm shooting everything on auto with the hc3. On tripod it's fine. off the tripod hand held pretty bad. Again this camera does not have optical, its their steady shot - digital right?

So I'm thinking of trying the new hc7. I assume that's probable as good as the Canon v20.

JUst thinking what a hassle that will be everytime have to turn off IS and then back on going from tripod to handheld. but maybe if the new version is good enough I wont need the tripod
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 04:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle View Post
Just as an example, for motor mounting, skydiving, paragliding, hanggliding, BASE jumping, or skateboarding, optical on the Sony and Canon low end camcorders cannot be used.
So, do I consider my XLH1 and my HV20 as "Canon low end camcorders?"

Thanks---Mike
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 04:56 PM   #10
 
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So, do I consider my XLH1 and my HV20 as "Canon low end camcorders?"

Thanks---Mike
The HV20...absolutely.
I can't imagine anyone crazy enough to attempt to strap an XLH1 onto a skateboard or skydiving helmet, and having never tried it myself, I can't answer whether the OIS can manage it or not.
That said, I have flown with an XDCAM, so I guess an XL series cam isn't far out of the question.
The HV20 absolutely cannot manage high vibration. Neither could the HV10. All of the Sony HC series can. Somewhere here, I've posted identical comparisons. But always with the caveat that if you're not running ATVs, skydiving, aircraft wing/body mounts, etc...these small camcorders and their OIS is fine.
Kevin, you never want OIS enabled on a tripod. It softens the picture and can create various shifts in the vid as well.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 05:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle View Post
The HV20...absolutely.
I can't imagine anyone crazy enough to attempt to strap an XLH1 onto a skateboard or skydiving helmet, and having never tried it myself, I can't answer whether the OIS can manage it or not.
That said, I have flown with an XDCAM, so I guess an XL series cam isn't far out of the question.
The HV20 absolutely cannot manage high vibration. Neither could the HV10. All of the Sony HC series can. Somewhere here, I've posted identical comparisons. But always with the caveat that if you're not running ATVs, skydiving, aircraft wing/body mounts, etc...these small camcorders and their OIS is fine.
Kevin, you never want OIS enabled on a tripod. It softens the picture and can create various shifts in the vid as well.
Sorry, I missed the part where we were only discussing skateboards and helmet cams. I thought the original question was which system is better----Optical or Digital. And besides, my neck muscles would never handle the helmet with my XLH1! :)

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Old August 23rd, 2007, 05:14 PM   #12
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Douglas,

So between the Sony HVR-Z1, HDR-FX1, HVR-V1, HDR-FX7 (which I believe are digital) or the Canon XH G1, A1 HDV, XLH1 Camcorders, (which I believe are optical), which have the best image stabilization for normal/general use?

Thanks in advance----Mike
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 06:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch View Post
Douglas,

So between the Sony HVR-Z1, HDR-FX1, HVR-V1, HDR-FX7 (which I believe are digital)
They all have optical image stabilization.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 06:48 PM   #14
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They all have optical image stabilization.
Sorry, but then let me restate my question then, which system is better, Sony or Canon?

Thanks in advanced----M
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Last edited by Mike Teutsch; August 23rd, 2007 at 06:49 PM. Reason: added word
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 06:58 PM   #15
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Hum,

To quote Sony, "Super SteadyShotŪ Image Stabilization System

Picture stabilization system that uses motion sensors to detect and compensate for camera "shake" without compromising picture quality like some "other" digital stabilization systems."

Does not say optical, is it optical or digital on the Sony HDR-HC3?

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