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Old May 18, 2010, 10:39 PM   #51
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Hmm, it seems that my ISP won't let me host .mts files for AVCHD. I guess that's an antipiracy thing. Anyone know of a site that will let me upload my sample files to share them? I started to upload to motionbox which supports .mts but when the timer went up to more than an hour, I had to bail...
There aren't too many servers that support *.mts yet. Vimeo doesn't support it either.

You can try to convert to H.264 or something along those lines using Handbrake (free) or a similar app.
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Old May 19, 2010, 7:56 AM   #52
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Hmm, it seems that my ISP won't let me host .mts files for AVCHD. I guess that's an antipiracy thing. Anyone know of a site that will let me upload my sample files to share them? I started to upload to motionbox which supports .mts but when the timer went up to more than an hour, I had to bail...
I believe Vimeo.com will work. I had downloaded raw video samples for the Canon SX210 there. Its like youtube, in that you can stream lower quality stuff, but you can also download the original video that was uploaded to the site. I'm not sure how long it will take to upload though.

Also, I was thinking about picking up the ZS7, but it looks like every local store has a restocking fee if you return it. Anyone know of any B&M stores or online places that have good return policies? I just wanted to try it out, see if I liked it, but if I had any issues with it, it could be returned.

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Old May 19, 2010, 3:31 PM   #53
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Also, I was thinking about picking up the ZS7, but it looks like every local store has a restocking fee if you return it. Anyone know of any B&M stores or online places that have good return policies? I just wanted to try it out, see if I liked it, but if I had any issues with it, it could be returned.
If you're in the US, yep. B&H Photo (15 days) and Amazon (30 days) will take it back with no restocking fee. Amazon will keep the shipping charge if you return a non-defective item but that's less than $10 and well worth a trial run with any item. 6th Ave Electronics gives you 30 days also but that policy only applies in their B&M stores, not online. They have stores in NJ, NY, PA and DE.
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Old May 20, 2010, 9:17 AM   #54
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i have been a sony fan a long time .but after reading many reviews and viewing many pictures and videos .i am now leaning towards the panasonic.
i wish it had 1080p though.
i watched the vid comparison on youtube and panasonic looks to produce more real to life looking video ,cept for the streaking.the colors look better ,the white looks whiter to me during video.
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Old May 20, 2010, 3:02 PM   #55
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Bah, if I could get my vids uploaded everyone could decide for themselves easily. Honestly, we played the Panasonic video on my dad's 55" LCD TV and it looked great, I'm not missing the 1080p myself. The image stabilization alone is worth it.
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Old May 21, 2010, 8:42 PM   #56
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I went to another local store to check out their cameras and was surprised to see that they had both the HX5V and the ZS7. Since the cameras were hooked into a security lock, I wasn't able to get to put my own SD card in. I may have to go back later and ask if they can unlock those two to test out things.

Anyway, I took a few pictures from standing in the same spot (luckily the cameras were back to back so I could do this) and man, the LCD on the ZS7 seemed a lot better than the HX5V. In addition, at least from the LCD, it looked like the ZS7 had fuller/brighter color with IAuto on compared to the Auto on the HX5V.

I liked how the ZS7 felt, as well as the placement of the microphone. The test pictures looked more vibrant too. The HX5V's interface was much better looking, at least from the short time I was using it. On the ZS7, the text and the icons and such look like something on my old early 90's VCR. Unfortunately, because the cameras could only use internal memory, I couldn't make any changes related to the video format. It seemed to be locked at QVGA. From the short test videos I did take, the HX5V's video looked sharper than the ZS7. I'm assuming that is because of the 1080i format.

Well, as of right now I'm leaning towards the ZS7 and hopefully the camera department people at the store will let me throw in my own SD card to take a few pictures.
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Old May 21, 2010, 11:42 PM   #57
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Anyway, I took a few pictures from standing in the same spot (luckily the cameras were back to back so I could do this) and man, the LCD on the ZS7 seemed a lot better than the HX5V. In addition, at least from the LCD, it looked like the ZS7 had fuller/brighter color with IAuto on compared to the Auto on the HX5V.

I liked how the ZS7 felt, as well as the placement of the microphone. The test pictures looked more vibrant too. The HX5V's interface was much better looking, at least from the short time I was using it. On the ZS7, the text and the icons and such look like something on my old early 90's VCR. Unfortunately, because the cameras could only use internal memory, I couldn't make any changes related to the video format. It seemed to be locked at QVGA. From the short test videos I did take, the HX5V's video looked sharper than the ZS7. I'm assuming that is because of the 1080i format.

Well, as of right now I'm leaning towards the ZS7 and hopefully the camera department people at the store will let me throw in my own SD card to take a few pictures.
The LCD is terrible on the HX5V. You truly get no idea of what your photos will look like on it. The ZS7 does have better saturation and contrast in all modes. However, the HX5V photos are much better when viewed on your PC than viewed on that awful LCD screen. We have some purple flowers here that grow everywhere. I shot them with the HX5V and they appeared nearly white on the screen. When I got home I copied them to the PC and lo and behold, they were purple as they should be.

I am actually very partial to the ZS7 interface though the HX5V's is fine as well. Both are easy to use. The mic placement on the HX5V is terrible also. I have a very hard time not putting my fingers there even after using the camera for a month. The video is indeed better on the Sony, though neither cam can replace a good camcorder. I'm hoping we get to that point within a few years.

As for getting some hands-on time, do what I did ... Ask to see both cams and tell him you want to try them. Simply tell them you are sticking your own SD card in so you view the images at home.
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Old May 22, 2010, 10:25 AM   #58
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The LCD is terrible on the HX5V. You truly get no idea of what your photos will look like on it. The ZS7 does have better saturation and contrast in all modes. However, the HX5V photos are much better when viewed on your PC than viewed on that awful LCD screen. We have some purple flowers here that grow everywhere. I shot them with the HX5V and they appeared nearly white on the screen. When I got home I copied them to the PC and lo and behold, they were purple as they should be.

I am actually very partial to the ZS7 interface though the HX5V's is fine as well. Both are easy to use. The mic placement on the HX5V is terrible also. I have a very hard time not putting my fingers there even after using the camera for a month. The video is indeed better on the Sony, though neither cam can replace a good camcorder. I'm hoping we get to that point within a few years.

As for getting some hands-on time, do what I did ... Ask to see both cams and tell him you want to try them. Simply tell them you are sticking your own SD card in so you view the images at home.
I just realized that the SD card I have is from 3 years ago and doubt it is anything higher than a class 2. Is there anyway that it will record HD video to that on either cameras? What class is recommended for this cameras?

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Old May 22, 2010, 3:45 PM   #59
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I just realized that the SD card I have is from 3 years ago and doubt it is anything higher than a class 2. Is there anyway that it will record HD video to that on either cameras? What class is recommended for this cameras?
The ZS7 manual recommends Class 4 for AVCHD and Class 6 for Motion JPEG. I own: (1) a Panasonic Class 10 (totally unnecessary, got it because the store only had Class 2 and Class 10) and (2) a Sandisk Extreme III (unrated, 3 years old). Both cards do fine though I have seen benchmarks posted online stating that the Extreme III operates near Class 6 speeds.

You could record HD with a Class 2 but not at maximum quality. The ZS7 records in 17, 13 and 9 Mbps at the respective quality levels. A Class 2 writes at 16Mbit so you could do up to the middle quality level video.

I am partial to certain brands for reliability such as Panasonic, Sandisk, etc. However, Transcend cards have a good reputation also and they are quite inexpensive. Check out NewEgg if you haven't already.
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Old May 22, 2010, 5:52 PM   #60
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I went back to the store and popped in my memory cards to take some videos and pictures. Anyway, i got home and took a look at them. The Panasonic's video seemed a little blurry/distorted when I did any pans, while the Sony was very smooth like a digital video camera. The sound on the Panasonic is MUCH better than the tinny sounding Sony.

In regards to the pictures, I thought they both looked pretty good, but on either camera, when zooming to 100%, there was quite a bit of artifiacting. Im assuming that it could be because I was on iAuto and/or indoors. Can anyone comment on it?

After taking my own samples, I still don't know which one I want to get. :/
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