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Old Jan 22, 2008, 2:26 PM   #1
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I want to buy one of these camcorders but my head is shed ! :? with specs and reviews ive read what do you guys think ?

Some of the important thinsg to me are:

1: Must be able to easily edit the files and output them to alternative formats if need be, I use Sony vegas 8.0 pro and Adobe After effects 7.0 pro.

2: Portability.

Ive read the xacti has issues with low light and image quality is the sony much better ? How much smaller is the sony to the xacti ?

Help out here guys its so damn confusing :O
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Old Jan 22, 2008, 4:30 PM   #2
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You will probably get more response from the SimplyDV, CamcorderInfo and VideoHelp forums. I have the Panasonic SD5 and am very pleased with it - reasons for selection were small size, positive reviews, flash memory convenience and HD capability. As you are probably aware, editing of AVCHD (used by all three models) is difficult without the right software and a powerful PC. I believe that Sony Vegas 8 Pro supports AVCHD editing (the cheaper version only supports Sony's AVCHD). I have both Pinnacle 11 and Nero 8, and editing and producing DVDs and different HD file formats is straightforward. You'll need to check the PC requirements for your software with AVCHD - they will be higher than for MPEG2 editing.

Unless you have a Bluray or HD player you won't be able to view edited HD video on a TV but viewing it on a high resolution PC screen is again straightforward. As regards low light, it appears that all three models struggle in poor lighting - only the much more expensive HD camcorders seem to give good results (from reviews).
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Old Feb 3, 2008, 6:53 PM   #3
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I can't speak for the other two camera models, but I'm very satisfied with the SD7 I got three months ago. I like its sharp image quality, helpful optical stabilization, compact form factor, long battery life and ease of use.

PORTABILITY: I wanted HD solid state recording ability in as small as package as possible. Early on I considered the Xacti but was apprehensive about less-than-flattering reviews of its image quality, and they were only 720p at the time. After viewing Steve Jobs plug for Panasonic's new cameras in early 2007 I considered the SD1, then the succeeding SD5, but instead got the smaller SD7 as soon as it was available. I prefer its vertical pistol grip form over the cylindrical SD5 - both models are technically identical otherwise. I can slip the SD7 into my jacket or pants pocket (cargo pants work best) where it is available in an instant, although it does make for a bulging pocket (it is not as flat in thickness as the Xacti).

EDITING: I have no inclination to learn sophisticated video editing so ease of use was paramount to me in this regard. The SD7 clips download flawlessly to iMac (Of course! Why would Jobs recommend Panasonic otherwise) where I edit them in iMovie. That's all I need. I know Final Cut Pro would have more robust editing features. Maybe someday I'll give it a try. I don't know how the Sony software would work (don't they have a different AVCHD scheme?) I believe Adobe may have a Mac version of their video editing software, at least they do for most everything else.

Hope this helps.
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Old Feb 3, 2008, 7:17 PM   #4
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I just found this:

http://crave.cnet.com/8301-1_105-9746777-1.html

It has a lot of current AVCHD editing and playback software information, including Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum Edition.
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Old Feb 4, 2008, 1:37 AM   #5
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Chainstrainer wrote:

"I just found this:

http://crave.cnet.com/8301-1_105-9746777-1.html"

This link is probably as good a summary as you will find on the current state of AVCHD editing on a PC (but I think that trial downloads are more available than stated). If someone ise not too interested in editing, the in camcorder software or provided software should suffice for a PC user (no experience with Macs!). But if you want to edit with PC software to include titles, transistions, background music, etc, the PC hardware requirements will vary between software programs but are higher than with standard definition video. Provided that your PC meets the requirements, programs such as Nero 8 easily provide HD viewing on the PC, SD DVD authoring, and HD or Bluray DVD authoring for the future. Your Sony Vegas Pro is higher end so will be fine if your PC is powerful enough.

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