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Sony RX CyberShots and CX Series Camcorders
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Old March 16th, 2011, 11:13 PM   #106
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

Pat,

I had returned my CX700v as soon as I found out I couldn't get full manual control out of it, so I did not give the camera any significant quality tests.

Of the little I DID shoot, here are my thoughts:

1080/60p was gorgeous. I shot on auto mode, late afternoon, exterior -- I wish FCP7 could transcode Sony's 60p. The Panasonic TM700 is really good, as well -- that's too close to call for me.

1080/24p looked fantastic as well on automatic. I was able to transcode the 24p clips to ProRes in FCP7 and watched it on a 24" HP monitor. I would compare the 24p of the CX700v to the Sony Z5U - it looked that good. Sony sure screwed up not giving full manual control with this camera.

That last thing that impressed me was the Low Lux mode. Aside from the Night Vision, a handy feature the Panasonic cameras lack, the Low Lux mode on the Sony was better than my Pany HMC40 and Canon HFS200.

I think the CX700v is the ideal camera for people who shoot live concerts in small venues and have no control over the environment. You can sneak this camera in your pocket, have an ultra wide angle lens for tight spaces, and the automatic mode will compensate well for the concert lighting. BUT if you want control, this isn't the right tool to use.
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Old March 17th, 2011, 08:34 AM   #107
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

Thanks Jeff,

I shot some more test video yesterday indoors and outdoors. In auto this camera seems to operate with a wider aperture than the TM700 in the same lighting, which may account for the softer images I was seeing (softness was more pronounced on the frame edges). Using landscape mode outside gave me a crisper image, and the footage looks much better than it did earlier. There is a fair amount of CA at full zoom - it was particularly bad in full auto, but improved somewhat in auto mode/landscape mode.

Pat
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Old March 17th, 2011, 08:58 AM   #108
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

What reference point are folks making comparing to? A 100K professional camera? A 1.3K camera?
If I look at what we get for our money compared to what I spend on my HDV camera just 5 years ago, this stuff is just amazing!
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Old March 17th, 2011, 08:31 PM   #109
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

I have the camera and starting to play with it. So far I like the view finder since it can be used to turn the camera on and off. Pretty neat. Like the audio icon on the LCD display so I can see that audio is being recorded in 5.1. Have set the video to max recording, which means the picture mode does not work. Anyone know if you put a SD card it, can it be pointed to for pictures and work?
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Old March 18th, 2011, 01:19 AM   #110
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

If it's like the CX550, nope, the 24Mbps must consume all the available processing and buffer, so it can't do dual mode (shoot stills while shooting video).
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Old March 18th, 2011, 05:59 AM   #111
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

I cannot say enough good things about the camera... My only real complaint is I had to wait from when I ordered it on January 5th until it arrived on march 9!

I was a previous owner of a xr500v, and was pleased with it as well.

I have no problems with the manual controls on this camera, as they are far superior to those on the xr500V. I do understand, fully, though that is a consumer-oriented camera... Not even a prosumer camera.

This camera was designed for the techno-dude in the household that likes a top of the line camera with a few extra sprinkles of "pro" stuff. Think a top of the line point and shoot digital camera vs. A Nikon D300.

In my opinion, it was never designed by Sony to make movies or to replace a $225K F35. Do I wish it had a "ring" on the lens rather than the little knob? Sure. But then it would be bigger. I love the compact size of this camera and was very pleasantly surprised at just how small it was when it arrived, considering I had bought it sight unseen.

Please keep in mind that there seemed to be a leap in manual abilities and technology from my xr500v (which is now two years old) and the cx700V. I skipped the cx550. I am thrilled to be able to set my shutter speed at 60 and leave it there! I actually think the response on the little knob for focus or exposure is not too bad at all. Considering the market the camera was designed for, i have really only three gripes....

1. The zoon can be a little laggy. Move the zoom rocker and theres an almost inperceptible delay, but enought to bug me a little....
2. It seems to take a while to boot up. The XR500V was up from dead and ready to shoot in like 2 seconds. This one is more like 4-5 but feels like forever.
3. I miss the ability to use the viewfinder while the LCD is open and flipped around! I hope this gets fixed in a FW update. I got some of my best and funniest videos of my young children when I flipped the LCD around so they could see themselves. On the XR500V, I could then use the viewfinder to see what I was shooting, On the CX700V, they took this out for some reason!

Last edited by Stacy Rothwell; March 18th, 2011 at 09:40 AM.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 08:58 AM   #112
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

Stacy, great post. I have always had larger Sony cameras in the past. I always had to carry these around with a shoulder strap and the wife never wanted to use them. But when I put the 700 in her hand last night she had this big smile and loved it. So, even though some things are "different", the trade offs that Sony made to make the unit as small and light as possible is huge for the market they are going after.

I had not run across the LCD out and viewfinder goes dead. I agree this is not ideal, but maybe this is so the battery life is as long as possible? Again, trade offs for what the majority want. And if I am the designer, small size, light weight and Maximum battery life would be my first design musts.

After reading the manual, not totally sure how and what to use to dump my video clips to an external disc.
I assumed the built in USB would be this, but the manual to me implies I need to purchase the optional USB cable. I also need to find the part number for the HDMI cable which is not included. Real tight of them to not put in the Svideo cable. Clearly they want to make us spend a bunch more money. :o(

But so far, am glad I finally went from a tape work flow to a tapeless. Now I am all ready to take pictures of my second Granddaughter who will be born in a few weeks.

Too bad one cannot leave the camera in max quality and still take pictures to an SD card. Will have to see how quickly I can change this.

Question for the smile feature. I have heard if you are not using this but leave it enabled, it can focus on faces which might not be what one wants to do. Are folks leaving on or off this feature if you are not using?
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Old March 18th, 2011, 09:39 AM   #113
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

Dave,

I also am using the camera, exclusively, in 60p mode so I don't get the pictures. On the other hand, when I was using the XR500V, I ended up deleting most of those pictures anyway. You can easily stop video and take a picture.

I did have one other gripe.... the transfer speed when using Picture Motion Browser. Normally, the included software with pretty much any product is pure crap. PMB, however, is REALLY good software!

However, it is so slow I could watch my grass grow during the transfer. I did some testing and found the following:

1. When using the full PMB software on the PC, it is the slowest. Think like 3GB in 1.5 HOURS. Totall unacceptable.
2. When using MTP USB mode and using the PMB Portable and transferring that way, it's better but not what I'd call fast. It did 3GB in about 40 minutes.
3. If you just set the USB to Mass Storage and drill down and copy the files yourself, that is blazing fast. The 3GB transfered in under 2 minutes.

As far as I can tell, there is a translation going on with the file names. The file names on the camera itself are 00001.MTS, 00002.MTS, etc. But when you use the software it renames the files with the date and time they were shot. Way better. This method seems to be what's talking so long.

More interesting than that, it doesn't seem to just be a bug in the new version of PMB becuase I used the old trusty XR500V, compensated for the lower bitrate by shooting longer to get right around 3GB and that transfer worked very fast inside the latest version of the software that is so slow on the CX700.

So frankly I'm stumped. I've tried all these tests on three different PCs (one with Win7 x64, one with Vista x32 and one with Win7 x32). All pretty much extactly the same.

As far as the HDMI cable, I just bought one off of amazon. You don't need a special Sony cable. I bought this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001P75I18 and it works great.

Yes, you need a special cable (for crying out loud) to use the "internal" USB to copy to the external drive. It's like $30. Quite a lot.

But again, other than these gripes, most of which are not really THAT much of a deal breaker, I highly recommend this camera to anyone. The 1080p60 looks amazing on TV and edits quite well. I was surprised.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 09:48 AM   #114
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

Stacy, thanks for this data. I hope to play with the transfer stuff soon, so will take your inputs as I try.

That adapter part is great, but 2.95 shipping for a 1.18 part, ouch, I will try and find at Frys.

I plan to have lots of data to transfer, so I need to find a working fast process.

So, did you have to use the 30 dollar cable to transfer to an external USB hard drive for the fast speed, or could you use the internal connected one?

I had assumed I could just hook up the USB to my windows box, and just SMB the files over w/o
any special s/w, or a different USB cable needed. Is this not true? :o(
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Old March 18th, 2011, 10:41 AM   #115
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

You don't have to have the special USB cable. I don't

Just use the built-in one on the hand grip. It's the same thing. I think the special cable is for when you want to hook it up to a external drive that's designed to copy without a PC.

The speical cable is a not to the Type B (Flat) it's to the Type A (which normally ends at the device instead of the host).

If you use the USB in the grip, please let me know what your success is on the transfer speed, please.

Regarding the HDMI cable..... Do you know what you're going to pay for a "non-generic" cable? Probably like $40 if you buy from Best Buy or Sony. a total of $4.50 is pretty good.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 10:52 AM   #116
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

Will try to give a transfer a try soon.

Here is one cable I think would work?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ES5ZRS/ref=ord_cart_shr?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER
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Old March 18th, 2011, 10:56 AM   #117
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

Stacy -
Are you trying to use the USB out that is built in with that little pigtail, or the socket on the side of the camera? I'm going to venture a guess that the socket is designed for transfer to an external drive, and may be somehow limited, where the USB pigtail is for "regular" transfers - otherwise it's very odd that you're seeing slow transfer rates. I don't have a 700 to play with :-(... but that's a guess from the description and that oddball dual USB out setup.

Second, do you notice a difference in startup time between "first" startup and subsequent ones? If Sony retained the design used previously, the first startup is a little longer, then when you close the LCD it goes into a "snooze/fast restart" mode for want of a better term, so any reopening of the LCD will reboot the camera much faster, within a set amount of time (I have no idea what that "standby" period might be). I know some earlier Handycams had a button for quick restart you had to press, but then I noticed the button disappeared and you could tell they made it an "auto" feature.

With 60P you should be able to do clean frame grabs of around 2M pixel, might be enough for stills, usually the "dual mode" is somewhat limited, and I suspect interpolated anyway, so frame grabs might be "better"?

Finally, I find it REALLY strange that the flipping the LCD 180 turns on the VF on feature has disappeared - that's a feature I'd think would be a "must" with Japanese consumers, for the very reasons you've mentioned - the ability to flip the LCD so kids can see themselves while you "monitor" via the VF was a surprise the first time I discovered it, but it does get you some great footage! I just double checked though, and the CX550V ALSO no longer has this feature, so I guess they eliminated it after the XR500... bummer.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 11:20 AM   #118
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

Yep, have the VF on, and when I open the LCD, off it goes.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 11:29 AM   #119
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

Stacy, need to make a larger file but. When I copied a 140mb file via SMB, it took a while and it called the file .MTS

When I used PBM, it seemed to be much quicker, and call the same file .m2ts

Playing this one my PC via VLC, the video is not smooth, even thought the audio is. With is full screen, the video is choppy. But, if I make the size smaller, it is fine.

Playing via media player, the audio is messed up. (But I might need a PC reboot since have heard this before playing other type of files)

If I play the same video via PBM, audio and video perfect.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 06:32 PM   #120
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Re: Sony introduces HDR-CX700v 1080p60 camcorder

Wow can recommend a good camera bag to carry the camera with lens hood on, batteries, and cables.
Would like to have something as small as possible, but fit all the needed stuff for a trip
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