Panasonic X800 or X900 sound difference?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by itsallshots, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. itsallshots

    itsallshots
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    Hi All,

    I am looking to buy my first ever camcorder after coming from a background of DSLR's. I understand that the optics on the X800 and X900 are the same which is important to me, but also I wanted to know how much of a sound difference is the stereo vs the 5.1 on the X900. The extra features like manual focus is nice but for me its optics and sound that im interested and wanted some advice from you guys.

    Thanks for helping
    Itsallshots!:smashin:
     
  2. 12harry

    12harry
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    - Welcome. -

    It's difficult to advise, since we hardly know what level of quality you want.

    Perhaps you can say what you plan to record?
    +Is it concerts, or a very loud pop-group,
    a solo music performer who can be mic'd
    - or general chatter (like you Reviewing kit)....?

    Why don't you use the DSLR in video-mode?

    Not sure why the optics are important to use, - have you used these camcorders?

    Audio quality - are you after CD-quality or something acceptable on YouTube, say?
     
  3. itsallshots

    itsallshots
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    Thanks for your reply 12Harry,

    I have a home cinema with a HD projector and reasonable 5.1 amp + speakers and wanted good optics and audio because my home system really amplifies any artefacts that are there. I was really going to use it to keep a good record of family videos more than anything else and enjoy it for years to come. My DSLR's are okay for video the range of my lenses means I would need to change more often and some of my zoom lenses have image stabilisation good for photography but not video. I think I am going to go for the x900 because the true 5.1 from a front end speaker isn't representative of true 5.1 so emulated stereo to 5.1 might be okay for me.

    Thanks for your help none the less!!
     
  4. 12harry

    12harry
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    Never used 5.1 and I suppose it is really only phase-changes anyway. The mic distance on camcorders is hardly sufficient for stereo (being about a third of our own separation - and probably much worse, since our head-features increase the separation of some sources, hence our ability to pin-point sounds more-or-less.).

    Read the reviews about the 900//X-model, as many who have used both prefer the earlier-build. Both will be good for family recording, although maybe a tad over-spec'd.
    For low-light (ie indoors) read comments, as there are better camcorders.

    You should try yr DSLR (IMHO) as the stabilisation in camcorders isn't perfect - if you move the lens it reports what it sees - no OIS can really change that....and a solid tripod will enable you to achieve your best. A large-screen display (you mentioned) will show up any poor camerawork and the better spec camcorders won't hide it either. Keep pans very slow - and- don't zoom when filming. Overhead shots improve the "scene understanding" but you still need to support the camcorder - the lighter they are, the more difficult to keep steady (hence the OIS).

    DSLRs only fault is lack of power-zoom and "handling" but that is personal. You can buy a very good set of extra zooms (& WA) for far less than the camcorder price and only have one piece of kit to lug about. Recently I saw a Canon-fit 18-200 zoom for just under £200 and if you want low-light then a decent prime lens like f/1.8 will suit small-people far better than the x900 at the wide-end(f/1.9 DYOR). DSLRs tend to be far less noisy due to their larger sensors - but not many are really geared to video (esp Nikon, IMHO - hence I ditched my Nikons and bought a Sony NEX5. which I use in movie-mode 95% time. It has a poor manual zoom 3:1 but doesn't stop me learning and I'm building a crane for overhead shooting. For low-light I use the SLR's 50mm f/1.8 (~75mm view).


    IMHO most "families" prefer prints. It's just much easier - no "file" issues and Video is plagued by "formats!"
    - - - Also, you will need to learn Editing (and have a powerful PC to achieve it) - even the best camcorders can't edit-out the bad bits....and you show maybe 20% of what you take.
    +You will need extra batteries for a family-day-out. I suspect you may find the audio is lacking that "something" since almost all audio in films is generated afterwards - and you will have plenty of time in the Edit to add some more - that's where the "fun" starts - esp if one in the family is good at script-writing.


    Good hunting.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
  5. Gramuk

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    FWIW - The reason I bought my X900 was to record my kids / family. Ok, so it may be a little over spec'd in some respects (and some say poor low light capability but it's better than anything else I've owned) but all I can say is that its the best thing I've bought so far. I did use an old Panasonic stills camera with AVCHD video capability but this was no good for the regular concerts and school performances. The stills camera was restrictred to 15 minutes recording (no good for a 1 hour performance and you need a tripod). Stills camera's are not allowed to record much more than 20 minutes or so. Mainly use the camera out-doors where it is fantastic - the OIS is all that I ever wanted as I dont carry a tripod on family days out - people would think I was nuts! Even walking along and videoing the kids running by in the park is pretty steady. (and looks nice as it's realistic - if that makes sense). Indoors has been fine so far too - just a few test shots to get the lighting right before the important shots and you're away. I much prefer the camcorder to stills camera for general family recording - mainly the image stabalisation and handling. I went and bought a 3rd party (against my usual judgement) a high capacity battery and charger and have to say that I've had no issues at all with reliability and it was less than 40 GBP. I'm still learining and finding I get some great hand held shots at the skate part of the kids scooting by and when it's all edited it looks pretty cool. The kids love it with some funky music edited on there. Archiving the full 50p for me to view over our network and copy to DVD format for the grandparents. They prefer to sit and watch a video rather than stills "slideshows" on a TV. Although of course will still give them the "paper" prints. (some of which are taken from the 50P video as well as my DSLR).
    On the 5.1 sound then yes I did test this with my 5.1 setup and it works pretty well but I stopped using the internal microphones and bought an external mic - primarily to cut down on wind noise but it turns out the audio now is awesome with a great bass response for home cinema (brings it all to life!). I haven't looked back and everything I record is full 50p and Stereo. Results are great.
    Of course others will have thier own opinions for thier particular uses but for me the setup does exactly what I bought if for. Even started to "think" a little bit more about the filming with different camera angles and a little more care during edits etc. and starting to produce some quite interesting video's once it's all edited down.
    I read the reviews as much as I could and then was in a position where I "had" to get a camera for an upcoming school play - pleased I got it. Good luck in choosing a camera. You gotta dive in sometimes.
     
  6. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    You are confusing Dolby Pro-logic surround which uses phase differences carried on a stereo carrier to give 5 channels of surround sound. The crossover frequency of the amplifier sends the bass content to the .1 bass channel. (A very poor substitute for proper discrete sound systems like DD5.1, DTS and even higher quality audio that BD discs support).

    DD5.1 is entirely different. There are 5 full frequency entirely independent sound channels plus a 6th restricted frequency range channel to drive the system subwoofer. It's easily possible to say have a totally different sound track from each of the 6 channels, alternatively you can take a single mono sound effect and whizz it around the room using a 5.1 capable sound editor like Magix Edit Pro.
     
  7. 12harry

    12harry
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    I expect you are right grahamlthompson but as I recall my camera can be set to 5.1 yet definately has only two mic capsules.
    That' why I suggested it was "phase effects"
     
  8. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    That's rather different, if you only have 2 source elements then the 5.1 output clearly can't be discrete 5.1 even though the 5 channels are from then on discrete. The key point is that having 5.1 allows you to do a lot more post prod with the audio than you can with DD2.0.

    A simple example you may have a conversation between two people on a stage filmed from the front row of the auditorium and want to add some audience reaction. 5.1 lets you build this behind you exactly as you would hear it in the real situation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  9. 12harry

    12harry
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    glt, I haven't used the 5.1 (not as yet having the necessary speaker arrangements) . . . struggling to put decent Stereo together, mainly to pre-test my vids before showing at a bigger venue (which is 2-ch Stereo). So, I'm planning a Sub to check the LF Umpf. L&R will be bookshelf JPW which appear to sound the same as some KEF's I bought new abt 4 yrs ago (Yep things move slowly at 12Harry-Towers).

    Back to 5.1
    I understood my Vegas Studio v10, did 5.1 decoding (as this is one of the Project options available) - but I've not ventured there . . . having enough difficulty making camera-kit, without adding to the long-list... maybe the Audience-reaction is reconfigured (rather like L-R panning-control).
     
  10. Turbo Dragon

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    If I may throw my 2 cents in. Getting 5.1 right on location (especially if your moving) is a big headache. A constantly shifting 5 channel audio image is a pain to sort out in post production if there is a problem after the event.

    Also consider what you will do if you wish to give a stereo copy of a 5.1 film? Would you do a stereo compatible sound mix as well?

    If its normal family footage etc. then I would stick with stereo.

    Recording a wild track in 5.1 separately is a good idea and edit it in afterwards if your making a planned film/movie.

    There is a reason 'creative' 5.1 on films is all done in post production.
    5.1 in live TV is always a static image and used for atmospherics only.

    Good luck to you.....
     

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