I am currently looking into getting a new video camera for my project studio. I don't do a lot of heavy projects, but I do a lot of family related DVD's and soon Blu rays. I also do a lot of video archiving and I shoot a lot of general video, as well as interview type shooting as well. Over all, I guess I am a consumer buying looking for pro-sumer features at a decent price point.
I seemed to achieved this is 2008 and when I bought my Canon HV30. I went with the HV30, because at the time, flash memory cameras where pretty pricey, and the size of the card wasn't much. And the bigger capacity cards where expensive then. Now, not so much. The other issue I had with using the flash or SD card memory cameras was the archiving. I wasn't comfortable with not having a solid back up of all my videos. These days, that is not an issue with my media computer I have built. Lots of drive space and back up options.
I have enjoyed my results with the HV30 very much with it, but there are some things I am not enjoying and looking to change. One thing is, it does not record in full 1920 x 1080 HD. It is only 1440 x 1080, and it only goes to 1080i and not 1080p. The other issue is, I am CONSTANTLY running out of mini DV tapes. I never tape over footage I shoot, I always save the tape for archiving purposes. But buying tapes is getting pricey with all the videos I have been shooting as of late.
Now, I have a really solid media PC built with, as of right now, 10 hard drives all together (7 internal, 3 external) with well over 12TB of storage space. So archiving to hard disk is ok to me now. Plus I have a blu ray drive for back up if needed. I started shopping around for a new camera. Something point and shoot friendly, but had a higher end usage for. I am aiming for something Sony made to make file formats easy to deal with in my Vegas Pro 11 NLE program. I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 cell phone that shoots good video, but Vegas stumbles over the files a lot, and I am looking for more camcorder friendly features.
For my new camera, my price point is $750 to $800 max. And the $800 is pushing it. I have narrowed my choice down to 2 Sony Handycams. I basically am just looking for some opinions or feedback from others before I commit to buying one.
My original want, was the Sony CX560v, but this model as been discontinued.
So, I was looking at this one, as it has a 160gb hard drive in it. The issue is, I hit up several google searches and websites, and have found little to no reviews on it. The 160gb hard drive is very appealing to me, but I am also concerned with hard drive failure. I know that all cameras and media storage can fail, but the risk is slightly higher with a hard drive. I also don't know if I would need to have a hard drive, as I always have a tablet or laptop or some sort of device to dump files onto if I need to free up more recording space. But here it is off of Amazon's website:
This was the second one I was looking at, and the one I am leaning towards right now. And no, it's not because of the gimmicky built in projector either. I actually saw a full 9+ minuet review on this one from B&H Photo. The surround sound capturing mic was an amazing feature to me, as well as the white balance options and what not. This one seems to pack everything that my HV30 does plus all the new features I am looking for.
And here was the B&H photo video review on it:
Any thoughts or suggestions? I am looking forward to any and all feedback. Thanks!
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Last edited by liberty610; 11th Nov 2012 at 10:25.
liberty - if you don't want the projector, you can save $100 by getting the $648 Sony CX580V instead of the $748 PJ580V. But if you want a camcorder with a viewfinder, a standard hot shoe, fully manual audio level control, or the ability to manually zoom with a zoom ring, the CX580V may not be for you.
There is one camera in your price range that has all of these features - the $798 Panasonic HC-X900. I own its predecessor, the TM900, and its AVCHD files work just fine with Sony Vegas.
Here is a documentary piece shot in India with the X900:
I hope this is helpful, and welcome to solid state recording!
Hybrid Camera Revolution
Oh wow Bill. Thanks million for the reply! The projector ordeal was not really important to me. Neat little feature, but, meh.
I just took a quick peak at the one you posted. Thanks a million. I'll be looking at this one more carefully and seeing about it. 3 Cmos is what my HV30 has. Is the 3 Cmos better then the one censor that the Sony model has?
After reading some user reviews, I have a concern. One 3 seperate reviews, I see people complaining that longer videos that are 40 mins or longer have playback issues. Apparently, the camera splits longer videos into 4gb chunks and it cause audio and video sync issues and dropped frames. This is something I wouldn't be able to handle, as a few of my projects require constant recording of an hour or more....
Last edited by liberty610; 11th Nov 2012 at 20:45. Reason: Read some reviews on suggested camera.
The HV30 is a single CMOS sensor camera.
Sony's TOTL HDR-CX760V adds a viewfinder, manual control dial, and hot shoe but unfortunately it's a bit above your price range.
NJRaodFan, Sorry. You're correct. I saw a lot of 3 Cmos stuff when researching befroe I bought my HV30. Not sure why I thought it was a 3Cmos.
And yes, that Sony cam does look nice, but I am pushing the envelope at $750/$800.
That Panasonic cam looks nice, but again, I am reading reviews on it about issues with longer recording times.
Do all solid state cams with SD cards or memory sticks have issues with longer video recording times? I have some projects where the camera will be running non stop for over an hour. No pauses or anything.
If all flash memory models with have issues with that, should I go for the Hard drive model from Sony instead?
TM900 (plugged into the wall), and the "Motion Image Recording Time" chart on the X900 specs page shows 5 hour 20 minute continuous recording times at the highest quality bit rate (28 mbps) for the X900.
That said, the limiting factor is probably the stock battery, not the memory. If you want to record for much more than an hour, you will have to do it on AC power or buy a higher capacity battery. This is true for any of these cameras. The X900's stock VW-VBN130 battery actually has more capacity (1250mah) than the CX580V's FP-50V (1030mah).
With a higher capacity battery such as the $27 Wasabi version of Panasonic's VBN-260, the X900's continuous recording time just about doubles. For longer recording times than that, you'll have to plug it into the wall.
Cheers, and again, hope this is helpful,
Hybrid Camera Revolution
Thanks for the replies guys! I actually hit a financial snag and had to go with a Sony model. I got the model that is exactly the same as the one with the projector, except the projector is not included. It is the Sony HDR-CX580V.
I am pretty happy with it. I have tested several shooting modes and explored a lot of the manual options, and I think it will do just fine for my projects. I was heavily considering the Panasonic, but I was just to short on funds. I also ended up not having to buy an extra memory card as I already had a 32 gig one on an android tablet I don't use much. So I am running 64gigs on it.
I love the solid state state option. No tapes to switch, longer recording times. Great camera over all. Thanks again for the replies guys!
There is no audio/video sync problems with a proper software. Use the so-called "video to video" converter software, and you can join AVCHD files without reencoding (direct stream copy) and without any sync problems. Select the MKV format and copy video and copy audio options. I tried many many many many softwares before it, and they were not perfect. It is the best solution for the problem.