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Sony RX CyberShots and CX Series Camcorders
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Old January 8th, 2011, 01:57 PM   #1
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2 New sony cams/upgrade of cx550/and higher one

here are the links of 2 new sony cams both shoot 60p/24p
CX700
HDR-CX700V | Full HD 96GB Flash Memory Camcorder | Sony | Sony Style USA

CX560V
HDR-CX560V | Full HD 64GB Flash Memory Camcorder | Sony | Sony Style USA

only downside i see is the usb cable that comes out of cam.
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Old January 8th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #2
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Three, actually.

HDR-CX360V | Full HD 32GB Flash Memory Camcorder | Sony | Sony Style USA
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Old January 8th, 2011, 02:25 PM   #3
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cx700 followup

seems this is the upgrade to the 550. the new 560 loses the viewfinder. the 700 has 24p added. for the most part other than that theyre identical spec wise, the 700/550 and you lose 1/2inch on the lcd on the 700 which is 3inches vs 3 1/2. theres also 5:1 surround sound on the 700, not sure if thats on the 550 and you can manually control the audio on the 700.
the usb cable that comes out on the 700 i could do without. 1299.00 for the 700. 1098.00 for the 550 including an extra npv100 battery. these prices are at bh.
i think i may still get the 550. that 1/2inch on the lcd makes a difference to me, although the 24p looks interesting.
both available in march
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Old January 8th, 2011, 02:48 PM   #4
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Just to clarify, all three add 24p and 60p to their predecessors, and all three have the 3" screen. The 700 adds expanded focus, zebra and peaking. And the lens seems to go wider at the wide end on all three as well.
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Old January 8th, 2011, 05:10 PM   #5
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The 360 has a 1/4" imager, NOT the 1/2.88 of the CX550 and other 5 series cameras - big diff, IMO.

Although they show the wide end to be a tad wider (26.3 vs. 29.8), I wonder about that as the 550 is already on the verge of barrelling...

Ideally, Sony should step up and offer a firware upgrade to the 550, adding the 24p, 60p, zebras and peaking - I'm about 99.99% sure the features could be added, and I'm not thrilled about 3" screens being the "upgrade" to the 3.5" (which they really quite obviously AREN'T). The CX550 still looks like the better of the lot to me!
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Old January 8th, 2011, 06:02 PM   #6
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new cams

im leaning on getting the 550. the smaller screen is a factor for me. why would they reduce it. the 24p isnt really a big deal on a cam like this. good marketing for sony because its what will get people to buy the 700.
other than that, no big differences
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Old January 27th, 2011, 06:21 PM   #7
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550 users. worth getting 700 or 550?

im leaning to the 550, are there any features that justify spending the additional 300 for the 700. i assume based on what ive read the excellant lowlight of the 550 is equalled by the 700 and overall perforamance is the same. the main things i would miss on the 700 would be the 24p mode and 60i.
input appreciated. dont think the remaining supply of the 550s will be around much longer.
i also think the reduction to a 3" in screen is a big factor for sticking with the 550
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Old January 27th, 2011, 09:27 PM   #8
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Based on the published specs, I think the differences between the new CX700 and the CX550 are quite a big deal. The ability to shoot 60p (not the usual 60i) alone is almost worth the $300. Besides, it can also shoot 24p, brings back the long gone zebra and provides peaking to aid focusing.

Only if your work deals mainly with content for TV broadcasting or SD DVD, the ability to shoot native progressive at this price is golden, at least for Sony users. Even if the current web infrastructure still forces you to drop half the frames from the 60p to 30p, it will either look better than or be faster to get to this framerate than deinterlacing 60i. The playback on adequate systems is creamy smooth with no loss of apparent resolution in fast motion scenes like 60i or stutters on panning like 24p or 30p. And last but not least, no more wasting time on deinterlacing for the web.
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Old January 29th, 2011, 10:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Stamos View Post
im leaning to the 550, are there any features that justify spending the additional 300 for the 700. i assume based on what ive read the excelent lowlight of the 550 is equalled by the 700 and overall performance is the same. the main things i would miss on the 700 would be the 24p mode and 60i.
input appreciated. dont think the remaining supply of the 550s will be around much longer.
i also think the reduction to a 3" in screen is a big factor for sticking with the 550
Well, the price difference you quoted is only $201 ($1299 versus $1098) unless you factor in the extra battery that comes with the 550v.

As somebody who uses CX550 cams as second cams, my 2 pennies worth of reaction to the differences between the 550 and 700 cameras are these:

(a) "Zebra stripes" for exposure control on the CX700 may favor buying it.

Potentially worth the price of admission for anyone who: (a) will be using a CX cam as his or her primary camera and (b) who may be manually controlling exposure. If memory serves, Jim will be taking a trip to Greece this summer and will be shooting video at a family wedding. Given the very bright and high-contrast lighting in summertime Greece, Jim could find himself in a lot of situations where he might want manual exposure control and might find the zebra stripes very helpful in difficult lighting situations. I’m thinking back a decade or so, to how useful I found zebra stripes when I was shooting weddings with a Sony TRV900.

Much as with the old TRV900, the CX cams allow manual control to vary iris or shutter, but won’t allow you to simultaneously vary both at the same time. You have to choose one or the other. (Alternatively, you can choose manual "exposure" where you dial in a level and the camera chooses the combination of iris and shutter.) While you do not have the separate control of, say, an NX5, the zebra stripes are nonetheless very useful in the kind of high-contrast, bright and dark lighting that will be typical of summertime in Greece.

(b) The 700 will give you 60p which may be something of an advantage. Or not.

Shooting 60p is somewhat better than 60i for high motion/high contrast subjects like dance or athletics. Nice but not crucial. There are some theoretical advantages for delivery in the progressive formats that seem to be where video is heading in the future. But, buying "for the future" does not seem not economically rational --- maybe everything will be 3-D in a few years? Who knows? Anyway, as I see it, 60p is not a big deal if you are mainly delivering DVDs or Blu-Ray today and is at best a marginal improvement for other current forms of delivery.

Regarding Dave’s comment, I agree that it would be nice if Sony would provide a software upgrade to the CX550 to enable 60p recording. I certainly would be willing to pay for an upgrade if it were available. However, that does not seem part of Sony’s business model. Seems to me that Sony's business model is to change camera models rather than selling upgrades to older ones. Maybe somebody will create a hack that enables 60p? I'm not holding my breath for this.

(c) 24p seems pointless for most buyers as Jim indicates.

24p is something that provokes intense passion is some people. Some will only shoot 24p. Others passionately hate it. Most (like me) are indifferent to it. I've used 24p maybe, 3 or 4 times in four years (These were times when the only way I could get a shot in an unusually dimly lit wedding reception was by using 24p with a slow shutter speed and the widest possible aperture while standing close to a dancing couple.)

Seems to me that, if you are shooting NTSC video and are a 24p partisan, there are a probably better camera choices.

(d) "Expanded focus and Peaking" — useful but not a big deal in choosing between a CX550 and CX700.

My take on this is that these features offset the disadvantages of the CX700 having a smaller viewscreen than the CX550v. I think "expanded focus" and "peaking" are very useful with much bigger cams like my NX5. But the 550 and 700 are tiny cameras. Because they are so small, I – with my thick fingers — find manual refocusing to be physically difficult to the point that I just don't do it. That's true for me with manual focus with either the touchscreen or the tiny knob/dial on the front of the camera.

Frankly, these little cameras excel at auto focus, so why not rely on it?

The few times that I've needed some kind of specific focus for hand-held shooting, I've found it much easier to use the "spot focus" feature rather than manually focusing when I am doing hand-held shooting.

For me, the main use of manual focus is in using the CX550 cams as locked down "b" cams in an event shoot, like a dance recital where the stage lighting may come up from black. (That's something that can temporarily derange an autofocus on any camera.) While it would be nice to have the expanded focus and peaking features of the CX700, I've found that a the 3.5" high-res screen on the the CX550v is good enough to set a sharp fixed focus on the stage area that I need.

If you will be shooting where you need critical manually refocusing, and you do not have my difficulties (i.e., thick fingers), then the expanded focus and peaking functions may favor the CX700 over the 550.

(e) The CX700 has more hours of on-board storage, which may or may not matter to you.

If you are shooting for longer periods of time without access to a place to offload your video, the 700 has a 96 gB of storage capacity versus the 64 gB of the CX550. On the other hand, the $200 difference in price would pay for extra batteries for the 550 as well as some SD cards so you could free-up space by offloading video from the flash memory to the SD cards.

(f) Finally, consider that there are always other things you may want to buy for one of these cameras and the price difference can cover some or all of those costs. If I were taking a CX cam to Greece, I would be thinking about things like additional batteries, a charging unit adaptable to European power systems, a lens hood and a hood for the viewscreen. The $200 price difference goes a long way to covering those costs. And, maybe you want to work with external mics, say a shotgun and a wireless lavalier? That $200 pretty much pays for the cost of a mic adapter like a Beacktek or Studio One along with a bracket to hold the shotgun and wireless receiver. (It goes a long ways towards covering the costs of a Juiced Link unit if your interests run in that direction.)
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Old January 30th, 2011, 12:40 AM   #10
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upgrading to 700 or go with 550

jay thanks for your comments.
i can totally see your points and it makes more sense to me to go wtih the 550. it will definitely be my second cam unless im on the go as the wedding in greece.
plus i would like to get the underneath bracket for a light/mic and the xlr adaptors.]
plus i would get the free nv100 battery thrown in, even if it does eliminate using the vf. as far as a hood for the lcd, the ex1 hoodman loupe should fit it perfectly as the screen is the same size as the ex lcd and ive used the hoodman loupe before . its excellant.
btw, jay do you have a main cam other than the cx550?
im really going back a forth on this one. it would either be the nx or the ex3.
the ex1r is impossible to handhold and since im lefteyed, i cant use the hoodman loupe on the ex . the ex3 has a great vf and i would probably go with olofs shoulder mount for the ex3.
the nx looks good, but lowlight on it falls off quite abit from what i would want in that im coming from a dsr300.
thanks for the input
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Old January 30th, 2011, 02:08 AM   #11
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1. I got the CX550 cams to use a B-cams. They are so small and take such nice video that they are my "take along" camera of choice. For example, one easily slips into my laptop computer bag with my laptop computer.

2. The NV100 battery about doubles the weight of the CX550 camera and sticks out the back enough to interfere with using the viewfinder. It is possible to kind of squinch around the battery and use the viewfinder. A hood or loupe for the viewscreen would be better for bright lighting.

3. I've had an NX5 for about almost a year and have been pleased with the results in the event and wedding shoots that I do. Not sure the hoodman loupe would work on an NX5 any better than with the EX1 where you found it unsatisfactory for left-eye work. Obviously, with their larger (") sensors, the EX cams can go lower into low light light than the NX, but I really haven't had major problems with the NX. The problem is actually with figuring out all of the settings and not screwing up the picture. While you are coming from a DSR300, I was coming from VX2000s, so my perspective and interests were different. I found myself a lot more comfortable with the NX5 and it fit my budget.

4. When I was buying cameras last year, I looked at an EX1 but not the EX3. The EX3 was simply beyond the budget I set for myself. Also,with its interchangable lenses, it was a different kind of beast than I was looking for. It might be different for you. If you can find one to rent for a few days, I really recommend checking one out to see if it really is the kind of thing you want and how you like working with it. A shoulder mount would be something I'd be getting if I had one and were planning on doing much handheld shooting.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 05:13 AM   #12
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nx question

jay, i also have a pd150. i would be happy if the nx matched that in lowlight but ive heard it doesnt come close since its hd and needs more. whats your take?
what size light are you using with it at receptions?
how are you handholding it and are u using the lcd or vf whch is much better than the one on the ex. i would save about 5000.00 buying the nx over the ex3 with sxs cards included.
i need to find an nx here to rent. no problem finding an ex3
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Old January 30th, 2011, 01:57 PM   #13
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1. I find HD from the NX comparable in sensitivity to the VX2000/PD150 for reaching into low light but a tad off from the later VX2100/PD170. Same thing for my FX1000. Sony specs said that the VX2000 was rated to 2 lux while the NX/FX cams are rated to 1.5 lux. (If I recall correctly, the EX cams are rated down to something like .15 lux),

I made some comparisons but have found comparisons to be ... well, complicated by the shooting format and how you display the footage for comparison.

Footage from the NX = 1080/30i (fka 60i) in widescreen 24 Mbps AVCHD. FX = 1080i HDV. Footage from VX = 480i in 4:3 SD. Even in very dim lighting conditions, the NX/FX HD footage is so much sharper than the VX pictures that the VX images almost look out of focus when viewed on a current model HD tv screen. The VX images were even softer when recorded in widescreen mode. In the very dim lighting, the NX/FX do seem to have more video noise, which is what you would expect with having many more small sensors versus the VX's fewer and larger sensors. You'll see the same thing in comparing your PD150 with an EX camera. When I tried out an EX1, it reach even deeper into dimness (as you would expect with " sensors) but seemed to me to get even more noise down in the bottom end of the range.

When converted to DVD and viewed on an older SD tv set, however, the NX/FX footage seemed (to me) preferable to the VX footage. I did not have access to an EX long enough to make this comparison using it.

One interesting thing: my CX550 cams seem to have less video noise than the NX/FX/VX cams in the dimmest lighting. Ron Evans has observed the same thing when comparing a CX500 (hard drive model) with his NX5. Search for his postings on this which (I believe) were in the NX forum.

2. In my area, none of my customers allow video lights, so I do not use them. If you can use a video light at receptions, there is no problem with the low light issues we just mentioned. With low light, we are talking about verrrrrrryyyyyyy dim lighting. This is the kind of lighting where my old HDRHC1 would get nothing and footage from my Canon XHA1 was almost unusable. If you've got a video light, you are out of this territory.

3. Coming from a PD150, you'll find it easy to get functional with an NX5 in an afternoon even though the NX5 is half-again larger and heavier. You can use same batteries, too. An EX3 will require much more time.

4. When handholding the NX, I usually have one hand in the strap and brace the other under the lens or body, and I switch on the "active steady shot" ois. With the VX, I had to deal with an undermounted XLR adapter and top mounted shotgun microphone and bracket. So, even though the NX weighs more, I find it easier to run in handheld mode than the VX. The PD150 had built-in XLR inputs, so handholding would have been less cumbersome than it was for me with my VX cams. I've tried a shoulder mount, but it does not work for my multi-cam shooting style. I've found it easier to move on and off lightweight tripods and use the "Active Steady Shot" OIS setting when handholding. (I use a preset button to switch in and out of "active" mode.) The EX3 is a much larger cam and does not have the "active" mode steady shot, so a shoulder mount would be a necessity for me.

5. I use viewscreens on all my cameras except when I'm out in the very brightest outdoor light. I've tested home-made viewscreen hoods and found that, depending on the outdoor lighting, they sometimes work well and that sometimes a viewfinder is the only choice. I'm ambidextrous, so I do not have your "left-eye" issue with the positioning of view screens. I've used the viewfinders on my CX cams even with the the "100" batteries mounted in the camera. This is functional but not good or easy. Something like the Hoodman loupe would avoid this issue.

6. Regarding SxS cards, I think I read that current EX models can use SD cards, and that there are inexpensive adapters if you bought a "pre-owned" older model. Those were not available back when I was looking for cameras, and the option to use SD cards will chip a little off the large price difference between the EX and NX.

7. I think I recall Ron Evans posting about shooting some stage shows with a multi-cam combination of an SR11 or CX cam, NX5 cam and an EX3 cam. You might try a pm to him with questions about the EX3 versus and NX5.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 02:36 PM   #14
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Yes we shoot with EX3, NX5U, XR500 and SR11( occasionally another XR500). As one would expect EX3 is the best in low light. It's close between the others with the XR500 having the lowest noise level of all of them. I use XR500 as the fixed full stage camera, AE shift at -4 with spot focus and leave for the entire show !!! The SR11, since it has zebra is set on manual exposure and I check every so often. Also used in a fixed setup but usually on a particular section of the stage. The EX3 is used as the closeup camera and I follow the main action with the NX5U. Edited with Edius they all match up really well with little colour correction needed. They are all set fixed at indoor WB preset. AUdio is from a Sony Bluetooth mic at stage level into the XR500 set for 5.1 ( so it is the center channel which I extract in Vegas later). EX3 and NX5U use shotgun mics.

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Old February 1st, 2011, 02:04 AM   #15
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sd card choice

jay/dave/ron/ since you guys use the 550 alot, which sd cards are the best to go with performance/reliablility wise. brand? class#?
32gigs will hold 3hrs?
can i record on hd and sd at same time. and last how much are the 32 gig cards?
one more thing, since you can only use the manual dial for one thing at a time, what setting do you feel should this be applied to in dark settings/receptions.....daylight outside settings....?
and stage shoots?
thanks
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