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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 April 19th, 2015, 12:55 PM   #1
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NX5U replacement?

I was disappointed that there was no NX5U replacement (NX7U?) at NAB. My NX5U is coming up on 5 years old and it's still my go-to camera, but there can be plenty of improvements. I'd like to see a 25x zoom like on the X180, an improved low-light sensor, AVCHD and MPEG HD422 recorded to inexpensive SD cards, and an NP style battery. Some say the X180 is already the NX5U replacement, but I'm not willing to use SxS cards (or adapters) and expensive BP battery packs.

What would you want to see in an NX5U replacement?
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Old April 20th, 2015, 01:11 AM   #2
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Re: NX5U replacement?

For any noticeable improvement you'd need to step up to the next tier, in this case the PMW xdcam 1/2" line that's going to give you the low light improvement.

I'd agree X180 is the closest replacement it's 1/3 chip but so was the Nx5. I can't see sony releasing 1/2" sd camera.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; April 20th, 2015 at 02:26 AM.
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Old April 20th, 2015, 07:31 AM   #3
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Re: NX5U replacement?

If you want to keep the batteries and stay Sony then the NX3 is the only one other than the NX5. It has some newer features but misses out on some the NX5 has so when I looked did not think it was a replacement for my NX5U. I will look at the Panasonic DVX200 when it comes out and there is more information about what it will actually do. For long zoom then for Sony it is the X160/180 and the issues you have mentioned that I do not want either. For long zooms you will need to stay with 1/3" sensors I think if you want to stay with a reasonable budget !!! If you stay HD rather than UHD then the X70 works well too with Clear Zoom you can get 24X that works OK. You will still need new batteries but not as expensive as BP batteries and an adapter for you LANC controllers. Not quite as sensitive as the NX5 but much cleaner and sharper image.

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Old April 22nd, 2015, 01:54 AM   #4
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Re: NX5U replacement?

The DVX200 looks very interesting, seems like it could be a replacement for my NX5U. I guess that is the trade-off, the 4/3 sensor for better low-light performance, but with only a 13x zoom.
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Old April 22nd, 2015, 08:02 AM   #5
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Re: NX5U replacement?

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Originally Posted by Ed Arszyla View Post
The DVX200 looks very interesting, seems like it could be a replacement for my NX5U. I guess that is the trade-off, the 4/3 sensor for better low-light performance, but with only a 13x zoom.
If you shoot in 4K you will be able to crop in at least 2x in post so would get at least an effective 26x zoom. However focus is very critical in 4K so you would have to be certain it was in focus or not get this range.

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Old April 22nd, 2015, 11:46 PM   #6
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Re: NX5U replacement?

I think the type of work you do should lead to the camera you get not the other way around. Sure it's 5yrs old but if it does what you need why upgrade?

I really don't care for 4k cameras even if they're all the rage because they're the new thing on the market. I had friend who got a 4/3 camera, interchangeable lens, short dof, beautiful image. But the only work he could find couldn't be filmed with so he ended up selling it.

Maybe there is no successor to Nx5 is because that is where tapeless 3 1/3" cmos tech has pinnacled.
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Old April 23rd, 2015, 01:37 AM   #7
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Re: NX5U replacement?

True. I primarily do events that need the long zoom. As nice as a 4/3 camera with interchangeable lens (or even the DVX200 fixed lens), short dof, etc., would be, it would be wrong for my needs and frustrating to try to adapt to it.

I get caught up in the UHD/4K hype, but for all of my clients, HD is the best they can handle. In addition to corporate stuff, I also shoot for a local TV station and they still broadcast in SD!

As long as the NX5U still works, maybe I'll stick with that. Clients don't know what I'm using anyway. To them, all the gear looks the same, they wouldn't know an NX5U from a RED Scarlet. ;-)
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Old April 23rd, 2015, 06:25 AM   #8
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Re: NX5U replacement?

I got a JVC HM600 half year ago and it's very similar to NX5. In fact those were two cameras I had narrowed it down. The JVC won out because of the dual sd card. It also has a 23x lens as opposed to 20x of Sony.
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Old April 23rd, 2015, 07:20 AM   #9
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Re: NX5U replacement?

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I got a JVC HM600 half year ago and it's very similar to NX5. In fact those were two cameras I had narrowed it down. The JVC won out because of the dual sd card. It also has a 23x lens as opposed to 20x of Sony.
The NX5U has dual SD cards slots too and an FMU128 slot. I will buy the 23x zoom other than that the two cameras are pretty similar. I think the JVC has a fan for some reason. Neither will do 60P in 1920x1080 that is part of the AVCHD 2.0 spec that the NX3 will do if that is important . The NX3 misses out smooth gain switching etc. If that is not that important the NX3 has Clear Video zoom which works out to 40x as well as touch spot focus on the LCD a feature that I love on my smaller Sony's and wish the NX5 had. I had thought of getting the NX3 but the lack of smooth gain switching stopped me, so still have my NX5U !!!

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Old April 23rd, 2015, 09:46 AM   #10
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Re: NX5U replacement?

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The NX5U has dual SD cards slots too and an FMU128 slot. I will buy the 23x zoom other than that the two cameras are pretty similar. I think the JVC has a fan for some reason.
I believe Nx5 while having 2 sd slots can't record simultaneously to the second as a backup. While you can use the FMU as a backup it's an additional purchase, which makes the price significantly higher with the already higher price of the camera. It also adds bulk and weight.

In addition the import process is easier. I can simply copy the files directly off the sd card to my mac and import into my editor with no additional software. Files can be recorded as single file not requiring an additional step of stitching which sometimes introduces gaps.

It is true jvc has a fan which I don't like but in the real world the sound of it doesn't effect anything. The fan I believe is to avoid the possibility of the camera over heating.
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Old April 23rd, 2015, 11:31 AM   #11
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Re: NX5U replacement?

When I bought my NX5U , when they were first introduced, there was a special deal on the FMU128 which I got at that time. I think it was about 50% off so a good price for memory at that time and also SD cards were not that big then. Yes, AVCHD is FAT 32 so cannot record long times without creating multiple files. I am on a PC so Sony transfer software works fine for either SD cards or the FMU128. I normally record to 64G SD cards and use the FMU128 as a backup.

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Old April 23rd, 2015, 12:49 PM   #12
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Re: NX5U replacement?

Actually the limitation isn't AVCHD. exFAT formated cards can support files larger than 4gb
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Old April 23rd, 2015, 07:03 PM   #13
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Re: NX5U replacement?

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Actually the limitation isn't AVCHD. exFAT formated cards can support files larger than 4gb
Yes but if you put an exFAT card into a camcorder and record AVCHD it will still break into files that would fit on a FAT32 formatted disc. That was my point. All the cards I use are 64G formatted exFAT but they still have all the files as if they were FAT32 when recording AVCHD.

Cameras using XAVC for instance use exFAT formatting and do not split files but on the same camera with the same card recording AVCHD it will split files. Example my FDR-AX100 . AVCHD will split the same as AVCHD on my NX30U both shooting 60P 28Mbps. Record XAVC-S on the FDR-AX100 and there is no file splitting. Same card in the same cameras with exFAT formatting containing both the AVCHD and XAVC files. PlayMemories will read both of them off the same card at the same time. Card has a master Private directory then sub-directories "AVCHD" for the AVCHD files and "M4Root" for the XAVC-S files

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Old April 23rd, 2015, 08:27 PM   #14
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Re: NX5U replacement?

The JVC HM600 can record AVCHD larger than 4gb files. I'm not saying formatting a card as exFAT will allow the Nx5 to record in files larger than 4gb that is a limitation Sony has set for whatever reason and has nothing to do with AVCHD codec.

exFAT - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"exFAT*(Extended File Allocation Table) is a Microsoft file system optimized for flash drives. It is proprietary and patented.*exFATcan be used where the NTFS file system is not a feasible solution (due to data structure overhead), or where the file size limit of the standard FAT32 file system is unacceptable.

exFAT has been adopted by the*SD Card Association*as the default file system forSDXC*cards larger than 32*GiB."
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Old April 23rd, 2015, 09:15 PM   #15
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Re: NX5U replacement?

Yes I understand about FAT32 and exFat etc and that the AVCHD codec is not limited in file size as it happily exists as an m2ts file when joined. I shoot theatre so clips when transferred to my PC with NTFS formatted hard drives are over 12G in size. Not sure how many camcorders allow AVCHD files sizes greater than a FAT32 format would allow though. Hence my comment. Clearly on my FDR-AX100 with an exFAT 64G SDXC U3 card AVCHD is recorded with a FAT32 limit and XAVC-S with no file size limit. Yes, clearly set by Sony. However I do not know how Canon, Panasonic etc camcorders respond with a similar exFAT card recording AVCHD. Would be nice to know. From the comments of people on this site wanting to join files together looks like a lot of the manufacturers are much like Sony likely depending on camcorder model too.

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