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Sony HX9V as camcorder?

I_K

Novice Member
Hi Everyone,

I currently have a Canon HF200 which has served be well although I am not too thrilled with its indoor ability and also offers very narrow angle for shooting and indoors I cannot always compose the shots properly.

Now I have been considering the Panasonic SD90 however I have also seen the Sony HX9V which has good reviews and basically I would prefer a 2 in 1 device. the HX9V also does 1920x1080 50/60p same as the SD90 I believe and also offers wide angle.

So my main question is if anyone has used the HX9V solely as a camcorder do you miss a proper camcorder or does it do sufficiently well for general recording of say kids/parties, general vidoes of family etc. I am a point and shoot person so I havent really used many of the manual features of the HF200 hence I wouldnt need lots of manual settings as long as the video quality of HX9V is near enough HF200/SD90 I would be happy and added bonus is that I can take good photos with it also which I cannot do with say HF200.

Many thanks for your help and advice.
 

12harry

Well-known Member
I don't have this camera, but as you know its a stills camera with a good WA feature - you really need to check it out in a shop (take a memory card with you, try stills and video of the children, away from the window (or in the Winter afternoon), that's my suggestion).

You need to establish if the stabalisation works in video-mode as well as stills, also if autofocus etc.

Unfortunately camcorders are not good Stills cameras (mainly due to low-res sensors) - and - stills cameras don't make good camcorders (mainly due to handling features )..... but the crossover is blurring. My own NEX5 has a poor zoom, but works well for learning video (95% use). also it accepts other lenses using an adaptor, it has a huge sensor=APS-C . . . . but it's twice the price.

Let us know how it performs.
 

I_K

Novice Member
Hi 12harry,

Thanks for the reply. I went to Comet and someone had theres stolen from the display and they didn't even know it until I pointed it out as I wanted a quick play.

It's always difficult to judge something on 5 minutes of testing so I was hoping someone who probably has a camcorder and the HX9V would be able to give better advice on how it performs.

I have seen some clips on vimeo and the HD quality looks really good but I need to know if the autofocus is any good indoors. I would hate it if it kept focusing every time I panned or someone just went past the screen.
 

12harry

Well-known Member
I understand your reason for asking - that's what Forums are for!

However, I don't get yr comment about Autofocus - in general Mfr try to make them fast-acting, so if you pan you'd expect the Af to move about.

My NEX5 will AF as you suggest, but I was on an action shoot recently (Fight-Club) so I had to use Manual focus - you just have to judge the distance and follow the action. Others were there with tripods, but to follow a "staged fight" you need flexibility. It was my first time, but the footage is surprisingly "real" with the focus slipping here and there with subject-movement blur etc. Children probably don't move as fast as a fight, but are unrehearsed; - so I wonder if yr fears of AF are well-founded?

If yr new camera has a wide-angle, that may help to maintain focus, provided there is enough light . . . . It's surprising how "more-light" seems to solve everything.
 
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I_K

Novice Member
So having used the NEX5 does it replace a camcorder for you or do you think sometimes a camcorder would be better, taking quality into consideration. To be honest some of the indoor footage I have done with my Canon HF200 has been dissapointing especially it being a £450 camcorder but with a tiny sensor and the HX9V has a bigger sensor and the footage which I have seen on vimeo and youtube for indoor shots does seem better for £200 camera.

I do like the pocketabibility and as I am no pro...I think the HX9V would do just fine...sometimes you want everything in a device yet most of the extra settings I would hardly use just like the HF200...I only do everything in auto so is there a point in paying higher price when something cheaper can do it almost as good and some cases better.

I think I have made my choice, the HF200 is going on ebay :)
 

12harry

Well-known Member
Speaking only on NEX5 as you asked. (It is used 95% vid) - there are four snags:
1) No ext mic input/headphone o/p - well not-yet.
2) No electric zoom - yet pros tell us NOT to zoom when filming.
3) LCD difficult to use in sunlight (common with camcorders lacking EVF).
4) Zoom 18-52 is 3:1 and 16mm lens isn't worth having (used twice - useless IMHO).
The only camcorder I've owned was a shoulder-mounted VHS-C about 20 years ago - I hardly notice the loss of features . . . . NEX5 allows me to film and learn.

But GOOD points specific to this camera:
5) zero noise focus-motor on standard f/3.5 zoom
6) amazingly good stereo audio, provided you fit a "dead cat"
7) low visual noise - even in semi-dark - even better when using f/1.8 lens + Adaptor
8) very handy swing-LCD

+There is no issue with "quality" provided the above are taken into account . . . it's 1920 x 1080 50i (But newer version is 1080p). It has a APS-C sensor which makes shallow DoF possible; and adaptors for int. lenses opens up many possibilities.
It is excellent indoors and with simple LED lighting can film in otherwise total darkness.... although as always the more the better!
However, as I said it's more than yr budget, so a "fixed" stills camera (like HX9V), might be better for indoors - but you'll notice the loss of some "camcorder" features.... but I doubt it has so large a sensor as NEX5...... I guess it depends on 1)Budget. 2)zoom requirement. 3)Low-light

That's my take as you asked. . . .
 
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jonna

Distinguished Member
I have this camera, i bought it last summer as well as a Panasonic SD900 camcorder (which i haven't yet used :blush:), anyway, superb as a point and click camera plus a host of automatic and manual shooting options. As a camcorder i've had extremely limited experience, but i have done a number of tiny clips which were really good quality (not perfect, but that's probably my fault) and i suppose the more you use it the better you would get, but i don't know the camcorders limitations. One thing i found was the controls are slightly small and fiddly.
I can post another clip if you would like.

 

12harry

Well-known Member
Jonna, you say: " I have this camera" er, - which is that?

-and why wouldn't you use the SD900 having spent serious money on it?
Without a link, I can't view the YouTube vid - can you provide a link, pse?
 

jonna

Distinguished Member
Jonna, you say: " I have this camera" er, - which is that?

-and why wouldn't you use the SD900 having spent serious money on it?
Without a link, I can't view the YouTube vid - can you provide a link, pse?
Sorry, Sony HX9V, i was replying to the opening post.
I haven't used my camcorder yet because of serious diy projects have taken up my time and there have been a number of occasions where i would have used it but didn't take it out, which can be very frustrating, but my pocket sized Sony camera is always with me.
The link is there for the video clip :confused:.
 
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I_K

Novice Member
Hi Jonna,

Thanks for the clip.

Would you be able to record about 30 second video indoors say with a 60/100 watt bulb on so I can see what sort of low light I can expect from the HX9V. If you can do some slow pans and a zoom that would be great. I am not expecting miracles however it should be better than some camcorders as the sensor on the HX9V is still decent at 1/2.3" compared to my camcorder which has 1/4.1" and its not great in low light.

Many thanks
 

I_K

Novice Member
Thanks. Would you be able to upload it somewhere where I can get the original MTS file from as youtube compresses stuff too much.
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
Sorry, Sony HX9V, i was replying to the opening post.
I haven't used my camcorder yet because of serious diy projects have taken up my time and there have been a number of occasions where i would have used it but didn't take it out, which can be very frustrating, but my pocket sized Sony camera is always with me.
The link is there for the video clip :confused:.
Jonna what format was the original video in ?. My son has a Panny still camera that records 720p25 that's not bad at all. Knocked up a video he shot of youngest grandaughters first xmas play. Burnt to a DVD blank in AVCHD it's pretty good on a 40" Full HD TV.

Graham.
 

jonna

Distinguished Member
Jonna what format was the original video in ?. My son has a Panny still camera that records 720p25 that's not bad at all. Knocked up a video he shot of youngest grandaughters first xmas play. Burnt to a DVD blank in AVCHD it's pretty good on a 40" Full HD TV.

Graham.
Graham, the original footage was 1920X1080X50P.
 

jonna

Distinguished Member
2 short clips taken last summer


This one was recorded tonight with 4x 7w energy saving bulbs as lighting

It's not brilliant, but for someone who wants a very pocketable camera/hd camcorder combined it's not bad either.
 

I_K

Novice Member
Jonna,

Thanks for the clips. The indoor clip seems very good and I think better than some camcorders are able to produce.
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
Graham, the original footage was 1920X1080X50P.
What settings did you use for the mp4 export before upload to Youtube ?.

You can't really tell how good or bad the quality is when you upload to youtube because they recode everything.

Interesting to export to 1280 x 720 50 fps (720p) and upload to Vimeo in HD instead

Happy New Year by the way :D

Graham.
 

jonna

Distinguished Member
What settings did you use for the mp4 export before upload to Youtube ?.

You can't really tell how good or bad the quality is when you upload to youtube because they recode everything.

Interesting to export to 1280 x 720 50 fps (720p) and upload to Vimeo in HD instead

Happy New Year by the way :D

Graham.

A Happy New Year to you Graham. The clip was rendered with the following setting - HD 1920X1080X50P, i don't know if this was the best setting for uploading to YouTube because as you know i'm somewhat of a HD virgin ;) and i thought when you played the video back YouTube gave you the option of 1080p viewing.
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
A Happy New Year to you Graham. The clip was rendered with the following setting - HD 1920X1080X50P, i don't know if this was the best setting for uploading to YouTube because as you know i'm somewhat of a HD virgin ;) and i thought when you played the video back YouTube gave you the option of 1080p viewing.
Just found the 1080p and full screen options. Pretty good quality for a compact still camera.

Found this the OP might be interested in.

 

I_K

Novice Member
one thing I have noticed after re-watching the clips, the zoom is audible especially in the indoor shots where its very quiet and when zooming you can hear the motor.

Got to compromise somewhere I guess.
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
one thing I have noticed after re-watching the clips, the zoom is audible especially in the indoor shots where its very quiet and when zooming you can hear the motor.

Got to compromise somewhere I guess.
Zooming while filming is not good practice anyway. The perspective change can induce nausea in an audience. Pro's don't do it they track the camera towards or away from the subject which looks entirely natural. Best to use the zoom to frame the shot first.
 

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