Thoughts on a new camcorder.

Jerry K wrote on 3/12/2016, 11:20 PM
The past 5 years we been shooting with a Sony HDR-AX2000 and been pretty happy. By the way the Sony HXR-NX5U and Sony HVR-Z5 has the same camera head and lens as my HDR-AX2000.

We are thinking of replacing our Sony HDR-AX2000 with a newer model and would like your thoughts on one of the two models we are Looking at.

First off most of our work will be in low light catering halls with mixed lighting. We also shoot dance recitals with harsh and mixed lighting.

We are not interested in 4K. Our budget is up to $2,000 dollars.

The two camcorders we are looking at are the Sony HXR-NX100, Canon XA30.

(Here's my spin)

I think the Sony HXR-NX100 will produce a sharper image with the 1" sensor and a brighter picture with less noise in low light. Another plus is the larger and sharper LCD screen and the extra record modes.

The Canon has good reviews with all the bells and whistles that I need but I'm concerned about the smaller sensor.

(Now the posable down side and please correct me if I'm wrong)

From my experience a single sensor will have less dynamic range and more blow out over a 3 sensor camcorder. I also believe when shooting in mixed lighting the white balance and color reproduction on a single sensor is less forgiving compared to 3 sensor camcorder.

Any thoughts on these two camcorders, Sony HXR-NX100, Canon XA30 would be appreciated.

Jerry K.

Comments

OldSmoke wrote on 3/13/2016, 12:06 AM
The HXR-NX100 is certainly the better choice in opinion. I owned the HF G30 which is the same camera package (lens&sensor) as the XA30 and I wasn't impressed with the image quality at all. The NX100 shares the same sensor as the AX100, X70 and the upcoming Z150. I own the AX100 and it is great camera in all situations. Images are better then a NX3/1.

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FPP wrote on 3/14/2016, 10:18 PM
I've been producing multicam productions with the SONY HDR-CX900 and have benefitted greatly from it's 1 inch sensor as well as all the other professional features this camera has to offer.
At least half of my projects are live stage plays with very fluctuationing lighting profiles and this unit dances all over them with very little loss of acceptable image quality, if any at all to mention, considering the default environment. I use 3 CX 900's along with 3 CX330's and as long as I stick with the right production disciplines, I've been producing some very professional like product that leave my clients feeling like their money was well spent.
I never expect the camera to do all the work and this has been a winner winner, chicken dinner for me.
It would take another 1/2 hour to list all the peripheral production hardware I use to complete my set up so I would close by saying that I highly recommend this unit or for 4K needs, it's big brother the FDR-AX100.
There's a lot of great video producers like myself with budgets and this is a perfect entry level professional camera that if used properly will win the confidence and praise of your clients.
Dach wrote on 3/15/2016, 10:36 AM
I am also looking at a new camera. Having used Canon exclusively since I started in 2000, I currently have a XA20 and G30. These two camera are very similar and I was left very disappointed in my investment.

Sony, especially the NX100 has caught my attention. If 4K is not desired, then this camera in my opinion has a lot to offer and is very reasonably priced.

Canon's most recent releases have been under performing and over priced. The video cameras are not inline with the market place.

Chad
videoITguy wrote on 3/15/2016, 4:02 PM
Canon pro cameras are far better than anything Sony has to offer. You may be looking at consumer cameras which don't compare to pro stuff.
DGates wrote on 3/15/2016, 11:54 PM
Of the 2 models you've mentioned, the Sony simply looks more professional. It has 3 dedicated control rings, lots of manual adjustment controls on the side, plus real ND options. The Canon by comparison looks downright amateur by comparison, at least in the accessibility to controls. Plus the Sony should have no learning curve for you, since you're coming from a similar camera.
ushere wrote on 3/16/2016, 1:39 AM
interestingly i posted a reply a few days ago it never made it... such is life....

the gist of it was with a budget of $2k you should have no problem picking up a second hand, good condition ex1/r/3. this will not only give you 1/2" chips but pro audio input among all the other features a serious prosumer camcorder can offer.
FPP wrote on 3/16/2016, 2:06 AM
Oh yeah.. Almost forgot about that "Budget".. The Current Sony Prosumer line up has permitted a lot of budget oriented videographers a very generous and robust peek in to professional video recording with the HDR CX900 unit.. It is holding it's value very well since it's release... With that said.. You should be well within your budget if you buy one at roughly $1,100 (us) to $1,399, new.. I've seen them go for $799 to $900 used.
Either option leaves more than enough left over to purchase a quality (XLR) adapter that works very well.
Viola! You now have a professional tool.. Use it correctly and you will get professional results with this camera.
I stand by my statement.. I own 3 of them.
OldSmoke wrote on 3/16/2016, 9:13 AM
The EX1 while a great camera requires SxS cards or an adapter. The NX100 has pro audio too.

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Jerry K wrote on 3/17/2016, 6:52 PM
Thanks for all the good postings on my camcorder question. I have a question about record formats.
XAVC S (1920 x 1080)@59.94p(50Mbps)
VS
AVCHD (1920 x 1080)@59.94p (28 Mbps)

#1 how much better if any is XAVC S vs AVCHD?

#2 from one of the formats listed which one will give smother preview playback with Sony Vegas Pro 13?

#3 when rendering for bluRay DVD which formate out of the two posted will render quicker?

Jerry K
videoITguy wrote on 3/17/2016, 8:22 PM
again Jerry K, you look for broad sweeping generalizations - whether you choose a certain type of camcorder or suggestions of good encoding formats.

IT all depends!

XAV-S is a fantastic format - and particularly at the intermediate workflow level - It is the pro level.

AvCHD - is a problematic format - but is chosen for efficient balance in low-cost consumer world.

You can NOT make comparisons between these - because they are really night and day.
DGates wrote on 3/17/2016, 11:29 PM
again, Jerry K, you look for broad sweeping generalizations

Like this one:

"Canon pro cameras are far better than anything Sony has to offer"
VidMus wrote on 3/18/2016, 4:40 AM
Jerry K said, "We are not interested in 4K. Our budget is up to $2,000 dollars."

Get two Sony HDR-CX900 cameras. You can get a good price with the Amazon warehouse deals. You will be a little over budget, but you will have what you REALLY need!

Having a really good sensor is important, but even if the camera has the best ever sensor with an inferior lens in front of it, then it is no good. I have some less expensive cameras where the video is sharp when zoomed out but when optically zoomed in they look real soft and just plain poor. The lens on those low budget cameras are very poor quality!

The HDR-CX900 has both a good sensor AND lens. The latest firmware update gives it a much better auto focus. Some remaining auto focus issues are from the shallow depth of field where the camera has issues in finding what item to focus on. And it is not always what the user had in mind. Sacrificing low light capabilities by closing the aperture a bit and increasing the depth of field will help the auto focus a lot. I do this at Church. I make up for some of the low light loss by slowing the shutter speed to 30. Compromises...

No matter what camera you get, there are some compromises. The idea is to make sure the compromises do not interfere excessively with your shooting needs. One MUST know their camera to get the best results.

The best ever camera is junk if a person does not know how to use it properly.

www.dannyfye.com
ushere wrote on 3/18/2016, 8:04 AM
XAV-S is a fantastic format - and particularly at the intermediate workflow level - It is the pro level.

seriously? s is fine for capture (i suppose) but as an intermediary (longGOP encoding. 8-bit and 4:2:0 chroma subsample)? xavc-i (intra) as intermediary for sure...
Jerry K wrote on 3/18/2016, 8:18 AM
MidMus I agree with everything you said. After reading all the replies here I have come to the conclusion Sony HDR-CX900 or the Sony HDR-AX100 is the way to go in a small camcorder.

Better yet the Sony HXR-NX100 is probably a better way to go. This camcorder has the best of everything except 4K which I do not need.

I would buy the Sony HXR-NX100 in a heart beat and love everything about it except the size. I'm semi retired and plan on using the camcorder half of the time for family events so smaller is better in this case.

The Sony HDR-CX900 is really nice and a great deal if bought open boxed or used from Amazon or B&H.

For not much more money I can get the Sony HDR-AX100 open boxed or used. What I like more about it is, not that it has 4K but it has XAVC S.

I did ask the question earlier in this post about XAVC S vs AVCHD but haven't received any feedback yet.

Jerry K
OldSmoke wrote on 3/18/2016, 8:31 AM
Jerry

The CX900 has XAVC S same as the AX100. The two cameras almost identical aside from the 4K option on the AX100. The AX100 has a night shot feature and maybe some other small differences. I use mine together with a Beachtek for XLR when needed. There is one more camera you may want to look at, Sony's RX10ii, a DSLR shape camera with a better 1" sensor in an even more compact format which great for traveling. The only downside, you can't record video beyond 29min at a time.

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VidMus wrote on 3/18/2016, 10:42 AM
The CX900 has the night shot.
Jerry K wrote on 3/18/2016, 11:33 AM
Thank for letting me know that the HDR-Cx900 has XAVC S. The reason I thought it was not on the CX900 was B&H's website specs do no show it, the overview page does.

So back to my earlier question, how does XAVC S edit, play and render in Sony Vegas Pro 13 vs AVCHD?

Jerry K
VidMus wrote on 3/18/2016, 11:50 AM
"... how does XAVC S edit, play and render in Sony Vegas Pro 13 vs AVCHD? "

Real well! I have no problems with it.
OldSmoke wrote on 3/18/2016, 12:04 PM
Yes, it does have Nightshot, my mistake.

XAVC S at 30p is fine, 60p will require a good system. I would however use Catalyst Browse and convert it all to XAVC Intra.

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RedRob-CandlelightProdctns wrote on 5/1/2018, 11:35 PM

I'm surprised no-one here is talking about user operability or differences in zoom range.

I own a Sony NX3, Canon G30 and Canon G40 (and others). Can can offer this:

- The NX3 has serious problems how it reads certain red/pink colors on stage.. I've had a horribly tough time getting this to match any other camera when that color hits, although I get close after color correction in post (doesn't help with a live switch though!)

- The Sony NX100 ZOOM RANGE is only 12x (24x with "clear zoom"), while the G30 and G40 have an optical 20x zoom range. That's a *big difference* if you need the extra throw.

- Both my Canon and Sony cameras are pretty clean when gained up, but I find my G30 and G40 create a slightly more shallow DOF which looks visually appealing. My NX3 can look soft sometimes, more often than my G30 and G40 (unless they are far into their digital zoom.. [I know.. why would you WANT that?!])

- Both the NX3 and G40 have a decent zoom ring -- I love using the ring for zooms over rockers. The XA30 and XA35 when I tested them had a slightly larger ring than the G30/G40 which was I thought was a nicer feel than the G30/G40. NX3 is like butter.. love the ring, and found on my friend's Sony NX100 that it also had very smooth rings. That's huge for me. Having the 3 rings on the Sony definitely puts it ahead of the Canon's in many ways in terms of operability


FAST FORWARD to May 2018 -- I'm looking to purchase two new cameras now, and sell my XHA1s and a JVC HD memory-card camera. Still considering the XA30 and the Sony NX100.. choices choices!

Last changed by RedRob-CandlelightProdctns on 5/1/2018, 11:36 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

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OldSmoke wrote on 5/2/2018, 11:19 AM

Sony released a new line, AX700, PXW-Z90V and HXR-NX80. They are all based on the same chip and housing, I decided on the AX700, the successor to the AX100 but now with the updated RS sensor and it has picture profiles including HLG and a much better autofocus. I always found mixing Canon with Sony cameras is asking for troubles, the color science is just different and hard to match in post. The Z90V and NX80 are more "professional" but don't have a still mode to shoot photos. Also rather new is Sony's HXR-NX5R which similar to the NX3 in size just with a better sensor and codec.

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bitman wrote on 5/4/2018, 2:30 AM

Check out Sony RX10 mark 3 or mark 4, 25x optical zoom, 1 inch sensor, XAVC-S, tipa world award:

http://www.tipa.com/en-en/awards/sony-rx10-iv

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OldSmoke wrote on 5/4/2018, 7:06 AM

Check out Sony RX10 mark 3 or mark 4, 25x optical zoom, 1 inch sensor, XAVC-S, tipa world award:

http://www.tipa.com/en-en/awards/sony-rx10-iv


I looked at the RX10 for a long time before I went with the AX700. While the RX10 has a much better optical zoom range, there are no build in ND filters and there is a recording time limit on that camera. I also read that it gets rather warm/hot during long recordings.

Proud owner of Sony Vegas Pro 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 and now Magix VP15&16.

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CPU: i7-9800x @ 4.6GHz (custom water cooling system)
GPU: 1x AMD Vega Pro Frontier Edition (water cooled)
Hard drives: System Samsung 970Pro NVME, AV-Projects 1TB (4x Intel P7600 512GB VROC), 4x 2.5" Hotswap bays, 1x 3.5" Hotswap Bay, 1x LG BluRay Burner

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john_dennis wrote on 5/4/2018, 7:33 PM

I made my decision to buy the RX10 IV some months ago, but actually brought it home today. The 30 minute time limit is unlikely to be an issue for me, though heating might since I shoot outside in the hottest time of day. Not having a built-in ND filter is obnoxious and makes a rather expensive option even more expensive.

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