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Sony NXCAM / AVCHD Camcorders
Sony HXR-NX100, HXR-NX70, NX30, NX5, NX3/1, HXR-MC2500, HDR-AX2000, etc.


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Old July 31st, 2010, 12:47 AM   #1
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from CANON XHA1 to SONY ... NX5

I had a very good offer last night to sell my adorable canon xha1 and I would like to upgrade to a better machine that will not cost me a fortune :)

I am thinking of replacing my CANON XHA1 with a Sony NX5.

what u guys think? is it a good idea or not?

I will apreciate any advise and comment

PS: i was going for a used Ex1 but unfortunatly I lost my chance
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Old July 31st, 2010, 12:38 PM   #2
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Should be a nice upgrade....The ability to do away with tape will be a big plus..just keep in mind that with AVCHD you will need a Quadcore or better PC to make editing less painful.....I use Neoscene to convert my footage when dealing with Multicam shoots...

Last edited by David Wayne Groves; July 31st, 2010 at 01:08 PM.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 03:55 AM   #3
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Anthony, unlike David I'd say that it's no upgrade, it's just an expensive sideways move. What do you gain? You have the same 1"/3 chipped, 20x zoom camcorder with a different name badge. The NX5 is the same weight, size, form factor. The lens is the same speed. OK, you'll have added flash banding if that's what you're after, but to get this you'll have to change all your batteries, your LANC controller and your car charger. And maybe your computer. And hand over a pile of dosh.

Now an EX1, that's a different matter because the camera's in a different class. You'll still be shelling out on the deal, but at least you'll have big chips and great low-light performance to fall back on.

So what's up with the Canon? What doesn't it do for you right now? Will changing your kit make you a better filmmaker? Do you have money sloshing about looking for a home? Easy questions for you to answer.

tom.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 06:56 AM   #4
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Don't know how the Sony NX5 deals with low light but if it's in the same class as a fx1000 I would say that the much better low light capability would be a "upgrade" reason if low light filming was on top of your list, otherwise I wouldn't see it as a upgrade either. (or maybe if you hate minidv cassettes and absolutely want to switch to cards, that could also be a reason to change)
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Old August 4th, 2010, 07:45 AM   #5
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thank u David,Tom and Noa for your replies!

Tom I think I have to agree with you. going to an NX5 is not really an upgrade . Maybe.is better to put a D.I.E recorder To my current CANON XHA1 than sell it and then buy the NX5....


ps2: I have desided to save money to go EX1r or XF300 now that their prices are the same .
4650 UK pounds
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Old August 4th, 2010, 09:05 AM   #6
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If you didn't have an XH-A1 already, would you choose the NX5? Adding a tapeless solution to an XH-A1 would put you over the price of the NX5 right?
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Old August 4th, 2010, 12:58 PM   #7
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The cost of going tapeless is this:

Sony HVR-MRC1 Memory Recording Unit HVR-MRC1K - B&H Photo Video


There's a number of threads here where folks have had great results bolting the above to the Canon XH-A1.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 01:07 PM   #8
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XH-A1 - $3400 + $750 for tapeless = $4150
NX5u = $4000

Is the $150 difference worth it if you don't own either cam? Not trying to hijack the thread too much but this is the decision I'm at right now.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 02:35 PM   #9
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AVCHD is a better encoder than HDV and with the NX5U you get effectively endless recording by swapping out cards. Neither available with staying with the Canon and using the MRC1. Tape will end in 60 or 80 mins I believe card in MRC1 can go to 144 mins with 32G card.

With the FMU one can record for over 11 hours and with a combination of HD and SD on cards simultaneously. Yes I know that's possible with using the MRC1 but then one of the recordings is on tape in HDV the SD in DV rather than SD DVD ready MPEG2 recorded by the NX5U.

For really long form recording the NX5U is very convenient. Lanc will be the same as the Canon.

I like my NX5U a big improvement over my FX1. Yes I would love an EX1 too but the cost difference is considerable to get the same recording times and flexibility. I already had batteries, chargers, Lanc controllers and these are expensive for the EX1. As an aside note the XR500 appears to have lower video noise most of the time compared to the NX5U or the EX3 that we shoot with!!!! The 'R' sensor is very good in the small Sony cameras and low light is also excellent to compete with the larger sensor in the EX series.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Owens View Post
If you didn't have an XH-A1 already, would you choose the NX5? Adding a tapeless solution to an XH-A1 would put you over the price of the NX5 right?

and the answer is NO.. :)

But i do have the canon xha1, I actually have 2 ,

on my first canon xha1 I have the datavideo dn-60 recorder .
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Old August 4th, 2010, 03:44 PM   #11
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I had the Canon A1 and sold it. I got the NX5U and it is a little bit better than the A1 in low light. However, the video footage on the NX5U is very useable since still keeps the nice colors and not to noisy. With the A1 it was very noisy and colors were muddy looking.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 04:57 PM   #12
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I've shot with A1s for the last 3 years. I still have 3 and also 2 NX5Us.

Tapeless is a HUGE advantage! I go to a wedding and only have to think about the battery. Looong ceremonies? Who cares.

Capture process is MUCH better. 30 minutes compared to hours of rewinding and changing tapes.

NX5 image is better, LCD is much much better, you get a nice macro lens setting, image stabilization is MUCH better, low light is quite a bit better (retains color better).

A1 has better auto focus and I prefer some of the manual controls on the Canon.

Overall, the NX5 is a big upgrade especially if you shoot weddings or other long shoots.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 06:37 PM   #13
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Anthony:

You say you already have two XHA1 cams. You seem to really like the XHA1. You've probably spent some time mastering the settings and working with downloadable presets, right? So, maybe the NX might not be much of an upgrade for you.

I say this as someone who owns both an NX5 and an XHA1 plus some other Sony cams. I do mostly multi-cam shoots. If I already owned two XHA1s, I might be thinking about getting some better matching small b-roll cams (like something in the HV series) rather than an NX5. This is simply because of how much easier it would be to match up two XH1A cams and to not have to deal with different control layouts.

Several questions come to mind, but the biggest one is whether you are thinking about selling one of your XHA1 cams just because somebody offered to buy it or if, instead, you already are looking to get another camera?

Are you doing multi-cam shoots with your XHA1 cams and will you be doing future multi-cam shoots using the XHA1 with the NX5 (and/or other cams)?

How well does the Datavideo unit work for you? How well will your editing system deal with AVCHD?

I can get kind of close in matching my XHA1 with my NX5 using a recipe from dvinfo on matching the XHA1 with the FX1000. (I built a preset and use that when shooting with both the NX5 and FX1000. Of course now that I'm looking for that recipe, I can't find it). There are still differences. (Granted, I notice them a lot more than my customers do, but the differences do create work.)

Differences in control layout can make for difficulties. One example is that the ND filter switch steps downward on the XH but steps upward on the NX5. This can be an issue for multi-cam shoots under pressure (particularly weddings). Plus, as somebody pointed out above, you would have to keep track of several different kinds of batteries.

Like the corporate cousin, the FX1000/Z5 cams, the low light performance of the NX is distinctly better than that of the XH. This is important to me when I shoot weddings in the sometimes dimly lit churches in this area, and when I have to deal with the "lights-down" first dance atmospheres of wedding receptions. Stopping the XHA1 down to 1/30th sec and f/1.6 helps, but dim video is till dim and tends to be noisy. I personally find it much easier to handle these conditions with my FX and NX than the XH.

For handheld shooting, I find the NX has some real advantages over the XH. Number 1 is Sony's new "Active Steady Shot" modes which I think gives significantly better handheld stabilization. Not quite as good as a steady cam rig, but noticably better than the XH image stablization. A second thing for me is that the NX has tapeless recording built-in so the camera is easier for me to hand hold than the XH. With my XH, I use a Sony MRC unit. The MRC is usually mounted to the accessory shoe on top of the XH. I find this awkward for handholding. I've tried using a hook-and-loop (velcro) mounting on the back of the XH battery door. This gives better balance but the mount does not feel secure to me. (I'm going to try wider velcro tape and see if that makes a difference.) You may already have addressed these matters with your Datavideo unit.

The NX5 gives more flexibility with microphones. The XH requires you to choose between the on-board mike and external XLR mikes. The NX5 lets you use an external mike along with the on-board one or mix a line level input with the inetrnal mike. These functions may or may not matter to you.

The NX5 allows me to record PCM audio tracks and the camera has an audio limiter rather than just the audio automatic gain control on the XHA1 (and most camcorders). I find these functions very useful when I record music performances (say a jazz piano trio or a classical piano and violin concerto). Your mileage may vary on this. You might be already set-up with more sophisticated recording capabilities, in which case these features would not matter to you.

The XH uses CCDs which makes it less susceptible to flashbanding than the NX5 which uses CMOS sensors. Flashbanding drives some people crazy. It doesn't bother me. I only notice it when using flashes to synch up multi-cam tracks and I am stepping through the track frame by frame. If flashbanding drives you crazy, then you want to avoid the NX.

The NX5 LCD screen is amazingly sharp compared to the Canon. This is an improvement but not necessarily an upgrade.

Here's another point: how much long form recording do you do, and how long is "long" for you?

With the XH and a tapeless unit (such as the Datavideo or Sony MRC), you can get a bit over 2 hours on a 32 GB card. With a stock NX5, you can swap SD cards in and out and keeping recording as long as you need. The FMU is an add-on ($750 US$ right now) which gives you 128 GB, which is a lot of recording time for a project. The XH lets you do back-up recording to tape and card. With the NX, you record to cards and the FMU. Does this matter to you?

Finally, if you really like your XHA1 and are thinking about an upgrade, and have the budget for it, you might be happier with a Canon XF.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 11:56 PM   #14
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thanks again everyone for replying! I really apreciate it!

Here is the story,

I have 2 canon xha1 , 1 canon hv30 and a Canon 5D MARK II (i also had sony hdr-hc9 and sony hd100e which I sold them last month so I can invest to a better equipment) I do multicamera wedding shoots with them and they are great, color matches 100% with no color correction and the biggest plus its that i have always have a backup and storage to the tape...

Since i bought the cheap D.I.E recorder of DATAVIDEO I have started to think different about working with tapes...........I HATE TAPES.... drop frame issue, long capture time. ..Datavideo is ok. have some bugs and errors but generally is ok (even if the system run out of battery the video is still there to watch it)...

anyway and here I am now, To give the A1 away or not ? I thought that was a good idea to sell the second a1 and get a tapeless camera than buy a second ''D.IE datavideo'' for it, but after thinking it better the NX5 is not the best upgrade for me or best investment..... the real target should be sony ex1r or better the CANON XF300....
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Old August 5th, 2010, 12:44 PM   #15
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Sounds like the best decision. If I had your current set-up, and was as comfortable with the XHA1 as your are, I would put off a new camera for a bit and get a couple more tapeless recording units instead.

I would think that your Canon 5D can probably give you the low-light wedding reception shots you can't get with your XHA1 cams and you could get a couple more tapeless recording units (one for your other XHA1 and one for the HV30) for a lot less money than you would lay out for a single NX5 with FMU after selling your XH. Plus, you can probably defer upgrades to your computer editing hardware and software, as well, because you would still be working mostly with HDV.
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