• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Canon M52 Returned - Sony NEX7 or CX730E


Standard Member

Apologies I am new to the forum but would really appreciate opinions on some purchase advice ...

This week I've had to return a Canon M52 camcorder after only 3 weeks of use. Pretty disappointed as I tend to put faith in Canon kit. Aside from the focus motor fault it had developed (and accordingly an odd rattle from the lens area when powered off) I was generally disappointed with its build quality for a £500+ camcorder. Image and audio quality were just ok to me and certainly not in the 'wow' category.

I've decided to add a few quid and opt for a Sony alternative - but am torn between a (hopefully) superior camcorder (CX730E) or make an investment into the NEX eco system and go for a NEX 7 (the NEX having DSLR equivalent video capability).

I have retained a much loved IXUS 980IS for stills which suits my needs, but my personal/business needs are drawing heavier on the need for a quality video camera.

Thoughts would be much appreciated!



Established Member
"(and accordingly an odd rattle from the lens area when powered off)"
More than likely this is the image stabalisation system of the camera. My X900 does that too when powered off - quite normal. Having handled many camcorders in the local stores - most of them appear the same build quality. I couldn't get hold of anyone who actually owned a CS730 or equivalent model with the "wobbly lens" and so went down the Panasonic route. I was a little aprehensive spending the money since I'd always owned Sony camcorders and was always happy with them (all much older models up to mini DV). I saw from another posting of yours that you've ruled out Panasonic. Having dived in I'm more than happy with my choice and finally bought all the accessories (batteries, charger, memory cards, reasonable tripod, external mic etc.) and so the cost really jumped up. But been worth it. So be sure to budget for any extras - that was great advice I received here on the forums. Maybe there are more reviews of the Sony's than when I was looking - check out Youtube too - and if I remember right, recording video with a DSLR is limited to 15 minute "chunks" of shooting time (unless things have changed recently). Good luck and be sure to report back what you decide. Posting your experiences always helps others in the same situation. Good luck. Graeme


Standard Member
Thanks for the quick response Graeme - much appreciated :thumbsup:

Indeed I hadn't quite appreciated the cost of quality accessories, a 2nd (high capacity) battery specifically being a bit of a shock!!

I will indeed report back shortly ...
G5amo - the max recording time for the NEX7 is 30 minutes (as long as it doesn't overheat). If your requirements include event video, the NEX may not be the right choice.

The CX730 is a fine camcorder - but the X900 costs less and produces images that are just as sharp and steady, as in this side-by-side of the two cameras:

The Panasonic has a couple of other advantages besides cost - it has a standard accessory shoe instead of the Sony's proprietary "active interface shoe" - and it gives you full manual control of shutter speed and aperture, while the Sony does not.

Here is a slashcam side-by-side of the two cameras - the X900 scores 442 ("very good"), while the Sony scores 390.("good").

Hope this is helpful,

Hybrid Camera Revolution


Standard Member
Bill / Graeme - thank u very much for your input.

A quick update ... I visited my local Jessops this morning to purchase some cleaning sundries and managed to have a chat with one of their video bods.

We quickly discounted the NEX for my needs & discussed the obvious notion(s) of the Sony 730 & Pana 900 as slightly more expensive but also accomplished ranges. Crucially though I was able to show him samples of recent holiday footage on my iPad which I felt were very flat in term of saturation (nothing like the excellent quality samples in the YouTube clips above).

He agreed the camera was potentially faulty but talked me through a couple of manual settings on a similar HR506 and some clever use of the onboard filters (which I hadn't yet dabbled with). It became immediately apparent that I was possibly expecting a little to much from out-the-box point and shoot (although my ageing MV5iMC rarely needed manual intervention).

Amazon UK also email'd me this morning to say they agree the unit I returned does not appear to be functioning correctly however I have opted for a replacement M52 as opposed to a refund (I have rarely stepped outside the Canon eco system - so want to play around with another M52 with my newly acquired tips before making another judgement). Still not convinced it would survive a tumble but I guess I'll just need to live with that!

Am going to upload some footage onto YouTube to compare the old and new M52 units, hopefully the new one will be much better.

Thanks for your help.


Distinguished Member
If the NEX 7 is anything like my NEX5 then the video quality from the large sensor is very good, but the lens zoom is limited. However, the NEX has interchangeable lenses whereas the Pana camcorder is fixed . . . maybe that's no big deal as it's an excellent lens, but low-light using sony's big sensor and (say) an f/1.8 ex SLR lens is pretty impressive. (50mm SLR lens behaves as 75mm but retains the aperture!).

That Pana rattle is very likely the (stationary) spinning disc used for OIS - it should be quiet once powered.

The latest video from AVForums

Spielberg, Shyamalan, Aronofsky, Chazelle, Eddie Murphy and Mel Gibson - all the latest movies
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom