First HD Camcorder - X900/SD900?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by hyeung, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. hyeung

    hyeung
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    Hi,

    I'm looking to purchase my first HD camcorder (not bothered with 3D); budget around £500-600ish. We have a first newborn on the way, so looking to use the camcorder to capture the baby's development. But will also be used for general family and hoildays etc.

    As well as outdoor, it'll mainly be used for indoor/artifical light (low lighting)?
    I have to say that my knowledge in camcorders is very limited!!
    Anyways, having reviewed some camcorders in the budget range. I hear the Panasonic SD900/X900 was good rated.

    However, I'm very unsure between the SD900 or the X900? Understand that the X900 is the newest model; however, I don't like the sound of the cost cutting changes on the X900 i.e. materials used, floppy lcd, removing all buttons and integrating into the touchscreen etc.
    Putting these cosmetic things aside, whats more important is that there appears to be views that the older SD900 model is still better in picture quality?

    So you can understand for someone with limited knowledge in this area, I'm most confused as to what to do? At the moment the SD900 is not widely available. But heres the thing, Amazon are selling the SD900 for £688, and the X900 is only £654.

    Just wondering if anyone can help me decide on which I should purchase for my needs? If the SD900 was alot cheaper, i'd probably not give it too much thought based on the similar performance. But I am prepared to pay alittle more if the SD900 its going to be the better camcorder.


    Any help or guidance would be most appreciated?
    If there are other better camcorder options for my budget, I would appreciate feedback on this as well?

    Thanks,
    Hung
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
  2. pilsburypie

    pilsburypie
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    I have owned both and decided to return the x900. The ergonomics and aesthetics are nicer on the sd900 and I felt it had the edge in PQ. Both are excellent cameras though and you won't be disappointed with either.
     
  3. jutty0069

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    I'm in the same boat as you baby on way not sure which to choose or whether there's a better camera for the money been in lots of local shops and no one stocks the higher end cameras. Will follow this thread with interest.
     
  4. Bill Bruner

    Bill Bruner
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    hyeung - I have the TM900 (SD900 equivalent), and I would trade it for a X900 if I could.

    The X900 is better in low light, has a higher resolution LCD and viewfinder, and a wider lens angle at the wide end of the zoom.

    Both cameras produce great images, but the X900 scores higher than the SD900 in this Slashcam side-by-side comparison: HD camcorder reviews/tests and comparison of Panasonic HC-X900M and Panasonic HDC-SD909 Best values highlighted sorted by score

    In my view, this is a no-brainer. The X900 is less money for a newer and more capable camera.

    Congratulations on the new baby!

    Bill
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2012
  5. Sonic4

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    I would heed the advice given by several members regarding the choice between the newer X900 and the older SD900. I have recently chosen the SD900 - as several have stated, there is undoubtedly a "cost cutting exercise" by Panasonic involving the newer X900. Although there are plus's to be gained in the X900, there are clearly examples of cost cutting - The older SD900 has been further reduced at Amazon in recent weeks - making it an excellent buy.
     
  6. hyeung

    hyeung
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    Anyone tell me the differences with regards to image stabilization between the sd900 n the x900?

    Managed to get a physical look at the x900 in the store over the weekend and it looked and felt big in comparison to other cams on display :(
    I now know what people mean with regards to the materials used, buttons and the loose LCD screen.

    I prefer the size of the x800, v700 etc but obviously prefer the features on the x900 i.e viewfinder.
    Is the the sd900 size like the x800/v700?

    I'm certainly finding it tough to decide....particularly when the views are split across the 2 models...
    Btw regarding the price reduction on the sd900 from amazon, Just checked and annoyingly it's now 794!
    I guess it looks like its now more in favor of the x900, cos 794 is way too much :(
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  7. pilsburypie

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    "The X900 is better in low light" Twaddle - Panasonic marketing - same sized sensor
    "X900 has a higher resolution LCD" - Maybe, but from my first hand experience it is spread over the 2 layers supporting 3D. This gives the LCD a WORSE appearence than the SD900. The SD900 screen is beautiful, the X900 screen looks grainy and unsharp.
    "X900 has a wider angled lens" - this was my sole reason for going for the X900 over the SD900. I shoot mostly at wide angle. But, I thought the PQ was worse on the X900.... only just, but I noticed it. I did loads of testing (unscientific) side by side shooting and I preferred the SD900 every time so I returned the X900.

    The X900 does have an extra axis of image stabilisation - roll. This I did think was better on the X900.

    The button placement on the X900 was rubbish, the feel and finish was no where near as nice as the SD900.

    I had both cameras for a week to shoot and play with. I had no hesitation keeping the SD900 and returning the X900.

    But, if there is a big difference in price, then that is another matter. Don't get me wrong, the X900 is still very decent.

    Here is my full review on both cameras: http://www.avforums.com/forums/camcorders-video-editing/1600275-panasonic-sd900-vs-hc-x900.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  8. 12harry

    12harry
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    Odd isn't it that Pana would allow their aprentices to redesign a very successful camcorder, when all the Marketing department wanted was to flog a 3D lens that no-one wants....

    I see that Amz now quotes a higher price for the SD900, which is slightly odd, but someone else suggested it was due to promo-discounts.
     
  9. hyeung

    hyeung
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    Thanks for your input!
    Would you have still gone for the sd900 if you had to pay an extra 34 quid? is it still worth that bit extra?
    Btw, is the size n weight more or less the same between them?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  10. Bob++

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    I have an SD700 and it is perfect for the use you describe.

    Remember that you will need an editor (Try Magix) and possibly a tripod (although a bean bag works quite well).
     
  11. pilsburypie

    pilsburypie
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    £34 is nothing really in the scheme of things - but yes, I'd have paid that. Size and weight are very similar, but the SD900 just looks and feels smaller. Look at my review I linked to and you'll see my comments on size. The X900 is 1 or 2mm bigger - virtually nothing, but seems to look quite a bit bigger due to its more blocky ergonomics. The SD900 is sleeker making it appear and feel smaller.
     

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