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Sony RX CyberShots and CX Series Camcorders
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Old August 6th, 2012, 09:25 AM   #1
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What about the CX760?

I am surprised that there isn't more said here about the CX760. Is it not that good of a camcorder? Are not that many of them being sold? What's the deal?

Mike
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Old August 6th, 2012, 12:31 PM   #2
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Re: What about the CX760?

I have the cx730 and as I understood the 760 is the US model for the 740 in Europe, so beside the fact that the 730 has no build in storage or a projector it's the same camera. I have started a thread about filming with small handicams at weddings (replacing my xh-a1) but the thread has "died" somewhat which shows that there is not so much interest in these type of camera's.

Having only my xh-a1 as a reference I can only say these new Sony additions are brilliant little camera's, the only disadvantage I see with them is lack of real control like I have with my Canon but once you learn to work around that (which isn't easy and often frustrating) they will produce stunning footage under often very difficult circumstances.

I bought 2 of them and use them as my main camera's, together with my two 550d's which are more used for creative stuff and steadicam.

I get footage with them that where not possible with my xh-a1, low light capability is mind blowing for such a little thing and it gives very low noise at very high gain (again, comparing with my xh-a1). Some people didn't believe me untill I showed some footage of it rivaling my dslr with a F1.4 lens wide open at 1600 iso.

I shot footage during a presentation with a beamer, all the lights where out with only light from the beamer bouncing of the wall and I shot the reaction of a wedding couple sitting on the other side of the room, it was REAL dark and the focus was in automode and it didn't hunt once for 15 minutes in a row. Must say that if it does loose focus it's doesn't recover under these circumstances, but which camera would? You could also say which camera would be able to hold focus automatically under these circumstances?

The OIS is mind blowing as well, I"m able to get near tripod like shots holding it in one hand, high, low, standing on my head, whatever, it's that good.

I could go on about the camera but maybe it's better if you just ask if you have specific questions, would be happy to answer them.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 12:48 PM   #3
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Re: What about the CX760?

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Originally Posted by Mike Burgess View Post
I am surprised that there isn't more said here about the CX760. Is it not that good of a camcorder? Are not that many of them being sold? What's the deal?

Mike
My impression is the CX760 is a fully automatic camcorder with a reasonable image quality. Being fully automatic there is not much need for discussion on how to operate it. Moreover, there is no easy way for a professional to manually override the automatic controls for creative purposes and to ensure getting quality footage under adverse conditions.

The Canon HFG10 and Panasonic HS/X900 both offer natural ways to override the automatic controls and are cheaper. The Panasonic HMC40 with included XLR adaptor is currently on sale for only $200 more than the CX760V and is a much better choice for professional and artistic shooting.

Panasonic AG-HMC40 AVCCAM HD Camcorder AGHMC40PJ B&H Photo Video
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Old August 6th, 2012, 01:24 PM   #4
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Re: What about the CX760?

It seems that you have not used the camera because if you would you would know it is possible to operate focus, exposure, shutter etc manually and it does it well, but only one function at the time... This small sony suffers exactly the same limitations as many other camera's in it's class. Plus if you get the model without build in memory or projector its the same price as it's competitors, my model was 50% cheaper then the hmc40 you are referring to. Aslo, if you need good low light performance (who doesn't these day's), the 760 will slap the hmc40 all over the place.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 03:53 PM   #5
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Re: What about the CX760?

I'd suspect that your comment "are not many being sold?" hits the nail on the head - this is the extension of the "top end" consumer Sony lines, and it's a tad pricey in the current marketplace.

As a practical matter, the image quality is going to be only incrementally better than say a CX700, maybe the OIS is that much better (haven't had hands on a 760 to know, the 700 is pretty good already), and the manual controls are pretty much well known.

I really think the "high end consumer camcorder" is likely at a dead end...

When you think about it, other than as inexpensive "B cams", they have less and less relevance, however wonderful they may be for image acquisition - yep, I still love the 550 and 700's I've got for what I'm doing - I get image quality that is better than a more expensive "big" cam that's several years "old", simply because the fast update consumer cycle keeps the most recent tech in the consumer "toys", and they are not unreasonably priced (though I do think the 760 IS overpriced in the current economy - sometimes SONY gets some wacky ideas about premium pricing...).

Since the "average" consumer likely has a cell phone with still and video capability (OK, maybe not GREAT capabilities, but adequate for MOST), it's likely all they "need", at least in their minds, whatever the shortcomings and limitations - at ALL recent "events", I see cell phone cameras EVERYWHERE being used, it's in their pocket after all!

The "pro" isn't as likely to be seen with a "small" camera, no matter how good it is, "image" (of the USER, not the camera) and all that.

HD image acquisition devices are EVERYWHERE (even on MARS, as of today!), and getting cheaper. I'm not sure how well the market and current economy can support the vast range of still and video cameras (keeping in mind that many still cameras can shoot HD video that's quite acceptable too). The HDSLR camera has carved a significant chunk out of both the pro and consumer markets, although I use both, for what each does best (as Noa has noted he is doing).

I figure I'll pick up a secondhand 760 one of these days if budget allows, but it's not a "need", particularly after upgrading SLR's to the SLT-A65, which shoots incredibly good video if you work at it (and it IS work shooting with an SLR style cam).

Not sure if that answers your question, but while the current top of the line "consumer" cameras are certainly great cameras, whoever the manufacturer is... I don't think the "niche" has a huge market, and it limits the sales, thus the experience with these cameras.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 05:12 PM   #6
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Re: What about the CX760?

Well said, I also think these "high end" consumercams fall in between 2 markets, consumers are not most likely planning to pay that amount of cash for a camera while they can have reasonable good HD quality in their pockets for a lot less money (I gave my wife a pocket HD cam for her birthday a year ago, it was only 100 euro and it has about 7mbs bitrate, to my standards it would not be usable in a production but my wife loves it and she uses it everytime she goes walking with our dogs, it's even waterproof. She raves about it's image quality and how easy it is to upload her creations to youtube.

Professionals on the other hand are more concerned about how they are perceived when carrying something this small, they can get away with filming with a dslr but they rather keep these small handicams for their holidays. I have had issues about how I look with such a small camera but my clients are luckely not that concerned about this as I mainly do weddings, they only care about the output.

I now have one larger backpack which holds 5 camera's and 3 lenses, two 550d's, two cx730's and one xr520 and this for a total price less then, let"s say, a ex1. I know a ex1 is a much better camera overall but the sum of my 5 different camera's give me much better production value then one ex1. I can shoot ceremonies with 3 camera's all by myself or quickly grab my steadicam that has one dslr mounted permanently or just take the second dslr for those very shallow dof creative shots. For me as a solo shooter in the wedding market these small swiss knive handicams are all I need, but that is probably just a very small piece of the pie if you look at consumer and professional videomarket in general which could explain why these camera's are not that popular.

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
As a practical matter, the image quality is going to be only incrementally better than say a CX700, maybe the OIS is that much better
Not sure how the cx700 compares to the xr520 but the biggest difference I see between my xr520 and cx730 is that it produces much less noise at max gain, 24db on the xr520 is not really usable but it is on the 730, the stabilization is also much better since the lens moves as well adding additional stabilization. It only becomes unusable on a tripod and there you must turn it off (which you normally always should but it's very obvious on this camera, once you zoom in and slowly pan, the image moves all over the place as the camera tries to compensate and stabilize) and it produces a bit flatter image (a bit less contrast and saturation and it seems that there is less sharpening going on making the image look a bit more natural) which makes it easier in post to match with other camera's.

Also about the high price, in Europe the cx740 is 250 euro more expensive then a cx730, I just bought a 70 euro 32gb class 10 sandisc card meaning I saved 180 euro since I don't need that projector. With the cashback that ended a few days ago I saved another 100 euro meaning I paid 840 euro for this camera which is not overpriced at all, the 740 model though is kinda overpriced which is probably another reason why you don't hear that much about it.

I did see however when searching videoreviews is that these cx760 models with their advanced ois is very popular with people that use these mini helicopters to make areal shots.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 08:03 PM   #7
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Re: What about the CX760?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
It seems that you have not used the camera
You are right, I have not used the camera and I also got the different models mixed up. Amazon lists the current price of the CX760 at $1499.99 while the HMC40 without XLR adaptor is $1649.99. Three 1/4" sensors have about 50% more surface area than a single 1/2.88" sensor; however, the backside illuminated design of the Sony sensor has greatly increased sensitivity. Thanks for stepping in to clear up the confusion my previous post might have caused.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 11:22 PM   #8
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Re: What about the CX760?

Hmmm, may have just convinced me to stick with "last year's model" - the OIS made a big jump right after the XR500/520 with the addition of "roll" axis control, and there have been incremental improvements in the sensors with each generation... though not a lot from the later 5xx series cameras, which were tweaked a bit more than the first ones

I've never had a major problem on tripod with the camera going overboard with IS, even if I forget to turn it off. But that's with the 550 and 700, so they don't have the "crazy eyeball" that the new ones do. I guess that feature is a mixed bag, since it does look to really stabilize handheld footage. I do OK with the active stabilization of the earlier ones, but the eyeball has been intrigueing!

I definitely do the "one man show" trick as well, and with a pretty similar configuration, plus a couple DSC-TX100's for extra angles (good video for the most part, and dirt cheap when they closed 'em out). Every once in a while there's an "urge" for something "bigger", but I really can't justify one cam that costs almost as much as what I've got in my bag of tricks, and I can't complain about the images I'm getting. I'm fairly certain I wouldn't get 3-4x better images from a "big" camera, and I get more "use" out of the extra angles.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 02:12 AM   #9
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Re: What about the CX760?

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I've never had a major problem on tripod with the camera going overboard with IS, even if I forget to turn it off.
I have a "button" assigned to it in the viewfinder so I can access it quickly and turn it on or off depending on the situation, but it can be a pain as you really need to stay focused during run and gun so that you don't forget. On all my previous camera's I could let the IS on on a tripod (which was much safer if I needed to go on and off a tripod a lot quickly) but this one goes haywire if you do (most obvious if you zoom in, not a problem when fully wide). I have had one time that I forgot to turn it on again when going to handheld and the footage shakes a lot, even with the lens wide. Luckily Edius 6.5 with it new stabilization plugin saved the day.
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Old August 8th, 2012, 06:45 AM   #10
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Re: What about the CX760?

Interesting points. Thanks guys. I too, use a tripod alot when videoing. And there are many occasions when I switch back and forth between the tripod and hand held shooting. From what I have read here, it gives me some pause when considering the 760. However, I am really intrigued with the low light capabilities, as well as the improved image qualities and extended zoom of the CX760. From what Noa has said about assigning a "button" to turn on and off the stabilizer, it does give me some hope still. Price is steep though for the CX760, which begs the question; is the cams advances worth the high price?

Have not done any reasearch into the other Sony cams in the 700 series to know about performance, etc.

Mike
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Old August 8th, 2012, 07:33 AM   #11
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Re: What about the CX760?

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Price is steep though for the CX760
In Europe you have the cx730/740, The cx730 however doesn't have that build in projector or build in memory like the cx740 but is 308 dollar cheaper, I bhought myself a 85 dollar sandisc 32 gb class 10 card so saved quite a lot as I don't need that projector.

Quote:
From what Noa has said about assigning a "button" to turn on and off the stabilizer, it does give me some hope still.
On the left hand side of the lcd screen there are 3 buttons you can assign different functions to, it's not a real button but touch activated icons on the lcd screen, I have assigned the OIS, White balance and spotfocus to it. 3 of the most used functions. Exposure I have assigned to the small wheel in the front of the camera, spotfocus is very good as well, just press with your finger on an area you want in focus and the camera does it, I do always check with a hoodloupe lcd magnifier if the camera has focussed right, eventhough the lcd screen is very sharp, it is not possible for me to judge from a distance if the focus is spot on but I can with the hoodloupe. You can also easily manual controll the focus as the screen magnifies during focusing and has the option to use peaking in different colors, I also realy like the fact that I can use zebra's. This tiny cam is packed with features.

Quote:
extended zoom of the CX760
The optical zoom is not that great in reach but the wide angle is awesome :), I have not tested it but if you zoom in electronically the image quality should decrease quite fast.

Quote:
I am really intrigued with the low light capabilities
In my line of work I NEED low light capable camera's but I don't have the budget for a Sony fs100, but at 1/6th of the price I have a camera that I can use alongside my dslr's with practical the same lowlight performance. Compared to my xh-a1 with high gain it's like night and day.
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Old August 8th, 2012, 07:58 AM   #12
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Re: What about the CX760?

I've used my NX70 (same chip/lens as some of the CX range, I forget which one). It actually amazes me in low light. OK, it's not BBC broadcast quality, but it depends on your market.

I've had a couple of occasions recently where I was sure I just wasn't going to get the shot (I shoot steam trains and related events). The sun has set, the skies are darkening, and every time the NX70 gives me something usable, even after dark!

Two recent events had be on a relatively dark station platform shooting a jazz band, and another time I got a steam train racing along the main line after sunset. Considering the total lack of light, I found the results worked out really well, and generally you don't notice the grain unless you're a pixel-peeper.
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Old August 8th, 2012, 08:14 AM   #13
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Re: What about the CX760?

I made a quick and dirty comparison at one of my last weddings to show the low light perfomance, I did this because one of the users on this forum working with much more expensive camera's didn't believe me and asked to show instead of tell, so I did, and after my video all went silent :) I did another quick comparison at my last wedding, when I have the time I"ll put it up as well.

cx730 vs t2i - YouTube
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Old August 8th, 2012, 01:53 PM   #14
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Re: What about the CX760?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post

The optical zoom is not that great in reach but the wide angle is awesome :), I have not tested it but if you zoom in electronically the image quality should decrease quite fast.


In my line of work I NEED low light capable camera's but I don't have the budget for a Sony fs100, but at 1/6th of the price I have a camera that I can use alongside my dslr's with practical the same lowlight performance. Compared to my xh-a1 with high gain it's like night and day.
Hi Noa. I think the optical zoom, or at least the extended zoom, goes up to 17X. I agree that the electrical zoom is pretty weak. I am glad to hear about the low light capability.
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Old August 8th, 2012, 02:19 PM   #15
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Re: What about the CX760?

Optical zoom is only 10x and since it starts so wide that doesn't give you that much to work with, it's ok for most stuff but in some occasions I miss the 20x zoom from my xh-a1.
Once you go beyond that 10x zoom the image will start to deteriorate, that's why I never used such a function.
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