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Old Aug 27, 2011, 4:51 AM   #1
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Default Best $400 Digital Camera for Video

Getting my second digital camera.

Is there anything better than the Sony HX9v for video?

I love the 1080p, and it seems like AVCHD is the way to go for excellent compression and quality.
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Old Aug 27, 2011, 12:32 PM   #2
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I haven't personally compared them, but some people seem to prefer the video of the Canon SX220/230 to the HX9V. In my experience though, video is the one area in which Sony's P&S cams excel. Within that price range, but obviously much larger, there is also the Panasonic FZ100 which is possibly the only P&S cam to date that can truly replace a dedicated camcorder.
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Old Aug 27, 2011, 1:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response, I've been looking at youtube videos of footage all day, the FZ100 looks good, but I feel like uploads of the Sony HX9v look slightly better. Is this just me?
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Old Aug 28, 2011, 1:17 AM   #4
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Well where the FZ100 significantly outshines the HX9V is in control. You have virtually no control with the HX9V - either the video comes out well or it doesn't. On the FZ100, you have control over all aspects of the video (e.g. exposure, effects, etc). The sound on the FZ100 is quite a bit better as well. Again though, it's also a much larger camera and aimed at a different market. I only mentioned it since you are specifically concerned with video and it is, imho, the best P&S cam for video available. Sony's cams would probably be my #1 choice for video in a pocketable P&S. I do take issue with the lack of control that Sony affords though, because you are entirely at the mercy of the camera's internal processing, which often doesn't give the desired result. This is especially true in terms of NR which as I said, Sony is very aggressive about. Some people don't mind a loss of detail in exchange for reduced noise and even prefer the end result - but on the FZ100 you have control over this so you can turn the NR up or down to suit your tastes. I don't believe it can be adjusted at all on the HX9V. According to the Camera Labs review though, the Sony does less focus hunting in video mode.

YouTube vids aren't terribly useful because they have been converted from the original format and quite possibly edited in some other way as well. The best thing to do would be to seek out original, untouched video files as you will find on some of the big review sites. For example ... (scroll to bottom of page)

Photography Blog - HX9V
Photography Blog - FZ100
Camera Labs - FZ100
Camera Labs - HX9V
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Last edited by FiveO; Aug 28, 2011 at 1:24 AM.
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Old Aug 28, 2011, 2:38 PM   #5
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So the FZ100 is last years model right, is there a 2011 replacement? I'm not against buying it because it's a year old, just wondering.

I took a look at the footage from photography blog, and I feel like the Sony's video looked more sharp, specifically the tall structure looks more defined on the Sony and a little more soft on the FZ100. The Sony HX100v's video looked good too, how do you feel about this camera? Although I was reading on dpreview and people thought the HX9v's image quality was better than the HX100v's... so I'm confused.

Just looked at the footage from camera labs and I get the same feeling. The Sony looks markedly more detailed and clear compared to the Panasonic, and in the low-light video Sony definitely looks better. Is it just me that sees this?

I really appreciate you taking the time to discuss this with me. I do realize that the FZ100 offers more control than the HX9v, but when I see the Sony outperform it on 2 sites, to my eyes, it makes me want to get the one that looks better after everything is said and done.

I'm going to continue researching. I've been looking for the right camera for so long lol, at first it was the Panasonic ZS7, but I missed my chance, and then the new ones came out but weren't as good. Then I was going to get the Canon SX210, but Canon only uses motion jpeg and not AVCHD, and the popup flash issue bugs me, and then the Canon SX230 came out and I was excited but found out that nothing really changed that mattered to me. Then the Sony HX9 came along, and I've been set on it, but now I'm wondering if I should spend a little extra and get more controls, but only if the video quality matches of surpasses the Sony HX9's.
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Old Aug 28, 2011, 9:14 PM   #6
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Yes, the FZ100 is last year's model. Panasonic just announced its replacement, the FZ150. The replacement to the FZ40, which is the FZ47, was also just announced but this time around this series also offers Full HD.

Sony's will appear sharper because Sony cranks up the in-camera sharpening just as they do with NR. It's a bit misleading though because the Panasonic actually has the better lens and is capable of producing sharper images. On the Panasonic cams, the sharpness can be adjusted; on the Sony HX9V, it cannot afaik. Thus, the differences between the two are primarily in terms of processing I believe. However, Panasonic's sensors are noisier than Sony's so that will give Sony a little edge in the low light department. Keep in mind that both of these cams will absolutely suck in low light, due to their lenses and tiny sensors. They may look ok at tiny YouTube/Vimeo sizes, but they will look like awful once you throw them up on your big screen TV. In any case, if you prefer Sony's processing, then which one is technically superior doesn't really matter. What truly matters is which one you prefer.

I think the Sony HX9V and HX100 are extremely similar in terms of both still and video quality. If you don't mind the larger camera, you'll enjoy more versatility from the HX100. That said, I personally find the image quality from both cameras to be completely unacceptable. Sony makes great sensors but their processing sucks. That said, the FZ100 still image quality leaves a lot to be desired also. I think the still IQ of its replacement (FZ150) is far better.
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Old Aug 31, 2011, 2:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
That said, I personally find the image quality from both cameras to be completely unacceptable.
I was over at dpreview doing their studio shot comparison, and you're right, pretty much all the cameras I compared to the Sony HX100 and HX9v were superior in image quality. The Canon SX230/SX210/ Panasonic ZS7/ZS10/ even the Canon ELPH 100 and older Sony HX5v. This really puts me in a pickle. The Sony's have the best video quality but worse image quality, how ridiculous. Video quality is still my #1 priority, but it makes me not want to buy a $350 Sony HX9v or $400 Sony HX100 when a $150 Canon ELPH 100 offers superior PQ.
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Old Sep 1, 2011, 6:26 PM   #8
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I don't know if they added the FZ150 to the comparison yet, but they were planning to do so soon. Not much known about that camera yet, but it looks very promising imho.
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Old Sep 4, 2011, 9:29 PM   #9
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Imaging Resource Comparometer should be on everyone's favorite list. Google it and have a ball.
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Old Sep 8, 2011, 7:03 PM   #10
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Do any of these cameras have an option where you can connect it to your HDTV (via HDMI most likely) and see what you're recording in real time?
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