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Thinking about the new Sony HD camcorder to go with iMovie '09


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#1 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 12 2009 - 03:36 PM

This one:
Sony HDR-XR520V and Sony HDR-XR500V HD camcorders hands-on - infoSync World
YouTube - Sony HDR-XR520V Review CES 2009
Sony HDR-XR520V Handycam First Impressions Camcorder Review - Sony HDD
Sony Upgrades HD Camcorder Line for CES 2009 - Four new HD camcorders, plus three additional standard definition ones - Softpedia

The questions I'm struggling with are:
-Is it worth it to wait till March when the current generation are being closed out at discount prices
-Does GPS tagging mean that much to me
-Does it make sense to spend $1300 plus on a top of the line camcorder when 'decent' ones are soooo much cheaper
-Is 5.1 recording worth it or a gimmick?
-Can iMovie edit in 5.1?

What's a good resource on these AVC based camcorders? Around this time last year I was reading CamCorderinfo boards but never did get the cash together for a camcorder, I'm determined to budget for it this year.
Camcorderinfo.com Message Board - Sony AVCHD HDR-SR11 and HDR-SR12

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#2 of 29 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 12 2009 - 10:06 PM

Sam.

The only comment I can make at this point is that I am also
considering the Sony HDR-XR520V.

I have the very first Sony HD camcorder that came out 4-5
years ago, and it still rates as one of the very best. However,
I am very excited about the abilities of the XCR520V under
low-light conditions. Since I do a lot of coverage of consumer
shows, I need all the help I can get under diminished lighting
while getting the best HD quality outdoors.

Generally, 5.1 is not a gimmick. It really works, though I don't
know how iMovie '09 handles it. My guess is that it will decode
the audio signal properly.

The big gripes about this model is the lack of the Carl Zeiss lens
and (what appears to be) the absence of a shoe to slide an
external light or microphone accessory into the top of the camera.
I work with a wireless bluetooth microphone and need the shoe
to slide in the small receiver.

Finally, my biggest fear still remains......AVCHD. I am sure iMovie '09
is compatible, but I do know that the format demands a lot of
resource power to work properly and I fear that the decoding process
will take just as long as if I had to transfer the footage off of a HD tape
in real time.

Let us know what you decide to do.

 

Ronald J Epstein
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#3 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 14 2009 - 02:38 AM

Since I do a lot of coverage of consumer shows, I need all the help I can get under diminished lighting while getting the best HD quality outdoors.

--Those are very valid concerns and one of the reasons why I am chomping at the bit to go to a full frame DSLR like the Nikon D700 in addition to getting a camcorder. I do a lot of events for family and friends in churches and restaurants and better low light performance is always a priority.

Generally, 5.1 is not a gimmick. It really works, though I don't
know how iMovie '09 handles it. My guess is that it will decode
the audio signal properly.

--Very Cool. Good to know that it is useful!

The big gripes about this model is the lack of the Carl Zeiss lens
and (what appears to be) the absence of a shoe to slide an
external light or microphone accessory into the top of the camera.
I work with a wireless bluetooth microphone and need the shoe
to slide in the small receiver.

--Hmm, I don't think those are terribly big concerns for me personally. Is the Zeiss lens really all that better than the stock ones? Since I wont be doing interviews external mics arent that big a deal to me either.

Finally, my biggest fear still remains......AVCHD.

--Absolutely. But since I'll be editing on a monster 8 core Mac Pro, the processing shouldn't be all that bad, I hope!

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#4 of 29 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 14 2009 - 10:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
The big gripes about this model is the lack of the Carl Zeiss lens
As a casual observer, I wouldn't worry that the lens isn't stamped "Carl Zeiss". While a Zeiss lens was once understood as being made from high quality ("optical") glass and of a quality design, in recent years the use of such labeling in mass-produced consumer products has become more a licensed label. My impression from friends in the commercial optics world is that this may mean no more than the manufacturer pays Zeiss (or whomever) for their imprint, and the lens meets some basic quality standards. Look to reviews on how the system works overall, and not whether it has a "Zeiss" trademark.

It reminds me of the way "THX" went from a valuable theater approval to a meaningless logo on $100 computer speakers.

#5 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 15 2009 - 01:15 AM

That was my feeling too. I've seen a few websites mention the zoom range on this one is the gripe not that it isn't a zeiss.

This article wraps up the current situation in a nutshell:
Buy Now or Wait for a New Camcorder? - infoSync World

They recommend waiting for the new batch to hit the shelves and a few reviews before dropping the cash, if you can wait. I can definitely wait.

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#6 of 29 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 15 2009 - 06:07 AM

I can wait -- especially when I know you will probably buy before
me and be the guinea pig. Posted Image

 

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#7 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 16 2009 - 02:14 AM

To be fair I have three major tech purchases planned for this year. The Camcorder, a 1080p projector, and whatever full Frame camera Nikon comes up with that does video and costs less than $3k. That's going to stretch me pretty good. So I don't know if I will be first on the block with this camcorder but I would like to get it for spring sports and some weddings I'm going to this year. The PJ will probably come first, just waiting for the price to come down now that the AE3000s have been on the market for a bit and the early adopter rush is over.

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#8 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 16 2009 - 03:37 AM

On B&H and Sonystyle sites:

Sony | HDR-XR500V 120GB High Definition Handycam | HDR-XR500V

Sony | HDR-XR520V 240GB High Definition Handycam | HDR-XR520V

Quote:
Offering all of the latest advancements in Handycam camcorder technology, the HDR-XR500V camcorder is ideal for capturing the moment in high definition (HD). Record breathtaking 1920 x 1080 HD video and 12.1 megapixel still images directly to the internal 120GB hard drive. In addition to a professional-quality Sony G lens, this camcorder features a new, larger 1/3.15" ClearVid CMOS image sensor with Exmor-R technology, which delivers superior low-light performance. Additional features include Face Detection and Smile Shutter technology, a built-in GPS receiver, stunning image stabilization and flexible playback and transfer options.
Key Features

• Camera

* 1/2.88" ClearVid CMOS image sensor with Exmor R technology
* 120GB hard disk drive
* Back-illuminated Exmore R CMOS
* 3.2" wide touch panel Xtra Fine LCD display
* Sony G Lens
* 12X Optical zoom
* Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization
* Face Detection
* Smile Shutter
* Geotagging with built-in GPS receiver

* BRAVIA Sync
* HDMI connection
* Adjustable 0.27" color viewfinder
* Active Interface Shoe
* Power On by opening LCD
* Map Index function
* Dedicated Mic and Headphone jacks
* Dual record with 8.3Mp still image capture
* Assignable Dial
* Adjustable 0.27" color viewfinder

• Video Recording

* 1920 x 1080 HD
* Highlight Playback
* Dolby digital 5.1 channel recording
* Smooth Slow Record
* Film Roll Index

• Still Image Capture

* 12.1Mp Images
* Built-in intelligent flash

• Storage

* Hybrid recording of video and still image to the 120GB HDD or Memory Stick PRO Duo Media



http://www.sonystyle....52921665736672
http://www.sonystyle....52921665736664

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#9 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted February 08 2009 - 05:10 PM

The one thing that bugs me about the Sonys is no way to record any Progressive modes.

Panasonic's HDC-HS300 HD camcorder reviewed, thoroughly enjoyed - Engadget

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#10 of 29 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 13 2009 - 05:12 AM

Holy Moly!

I just saw that quick review and I am ready to ante up for
one of those camcorders.

Going to look around at prices and see what this Panasonic
is going for.

 

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#11 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted February 26 2009 - 08:52 AM

B&H has both the 500 and 520 in stock as of this afternoon. I cashed in $500 worth of Microsoft Live Cashback dollars I had in my paypal account and have paid the diff via amex and now have the 500V on its way to me, should be here Monday! Will do a full unboxing and test clip upload once I have it in hand.

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#12 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted February 27 2009 - 02:50 AM

It's shipped, so it really is in stock.

Sam

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#13 of 29 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 27 2009 - 05:02 AM

Sam,

Had to change my reply as I just noticed something....

Why did you not go for the new Panasonic 300?

From the review referenced above it sounds like it's the
"on like Kong" of all camcorders?

 

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#14 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted February 27 2009 - 01:24 PM

Cause the Sony has shipped and the Panasonic hasnt yet, and I need a camcorder soon. The Sony has some features the Panny doesnt and I'm not sure how often I would use the manual focus ring of the Panny which is the big appeal of it for me.

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#15 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 02 2009 - 08:20 AM

Full Unboxing Flickr Set is here at:
09-Sony HDR-XR500V Unbboxing - a set on Flickr

Will be blogging my tests at:
Navesink.Net: Sony HDR-XR500VUnboxing and Testing

Will post Videos at:
EAhoLaula.com - Photos by Sam Posten III - Wider IS Better!- powered by SmugMug

Battery is charging now, so vids soon! Yay for Snow days!

Sam

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#16 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 02 2009 - 11:41 AM

First Video is up on EAhoLaula.com - Photos by Sam Posten III - Wider IS Better!- powered by SmugMug, but it will be of dubious help for you judging the capabilities of this camera.

-Only changes I made to the out of box settings was to select full HD recording, and yes it seems to cap at 16MB.
-I'm not sure if the IS was on or not. I havent read the book yet and the menus were somewhat obtuse. I'm hping it wasnt cause it looks like it could use some stabilization.
-It was shot at Dusk
-I only have iMovie 08, which resizes all files to a max of 920 wide or something stupid like that.
-I'm a total noob with iMovie
-It was shot at dusk
-After iMovie resized it, Smugmug resized it again.

I'm uploading the same file to Flickr to see how that looks. Smugmug makes it look very 'jumpy'.

I'm also going to hook it up to my lcd flat panel later, but that's only a 720p set...

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#17 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 02 2009 - 02:05 PM

The full size iMovie 08 file is here:

Navesink.Net: SonyHDR-XR500V-IcicleTest Film

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#18 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 03 2009 - 01:35 AM

Tried hooking it up to my flat panel last night only to discover it has a MINI-HDMI connector and not a full sized one. WTF, wasn't this the reason HDMI was invented so we didn't have all these different cable standards?

Now to figure out if BestBuy even carries a converter at a humane price or if I need to go to Monoprice....

Also, figured out you CAN do manual focusing, really easily, using the round twistable below the lens. Nice!

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#19 of 29 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 07 2009 - 05:00 PM

OK I'm having a bitch of a time with iMovie and it will be a while before I can get my hands on Premiere due to how long it takes going through the school.

No matter what I do with iMovie if I make the video larger than the 'large' default output it puts in NASTY looking scan lines.

So, large is as good as I can put up right now.

Here ya go, please right click and save as once each, don't kill my bandwidth =)

-Commute-

The raw video looks AWESOME out of the camera now that I have the mini-hdmi connector too.

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#20 of 29 OFFLINE   TanushreeRanjan

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Posted April 02 2009 - 11:02 PM

hey friends ,
i was confused on to which camcorder should i purchase.
i think this thread has helped me a lot .......
seems that Sony HDR-XR500V camcorder is the best fit for my requirements .....

thankx ...Posted Image





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