sony HDR-CX550, wide angle finally
Got myself a sony cx550 - wide angle lens finally!
i am so fed up with wide lens adapters, which weigh more than the camera itself ( hv30 ). Honestly, i'm not interested in x1000 zoom, wide angle is much more usefull to me.
onboard sound is also way better, however i think I'll still be using my external mic, along with ZOOM H4N. OIS is fantastic, results are similar to using canon hv30 with Glidecam2000 or Merlin steadicam (both will stay home now, I guess)
Well, it comes with all usual things sony - non of the previous accessories would fit (purely artificially), colors are "sony" (i much prefer canon hv30), no progressive mode, and AVCHD requires recompression for editing.
But overall i'm happy .
Was waiting for the CX550 for ages after my cam gave up, but after reading up on it, I plunged for the XR520E, based on CrazyEight's recommendations (thanks mate). The camcorderinfo.com review said picture sharpness / resolution on the CX was actually worse then previous models, despite increasing the bitrate from 16/17Mbs to 24Mbs. The main advantage of the CX550 over the XR520 is incidentally the wide angle, with the XR520E going to 34mm. Again, as per camcorderinfo, the additional bitrate was rarely used, and the picture was much softer.
The colors might not be as pleasing 'out of the box' as the Canon, but they're far easier to grade. Besides, if you really want video with more 'punch' right out of the camcorder, set WB shift to -2, and off you go! The stabilization, as you point out, is nothing short of miraculous! I have very shaky hands, but with this camcorder I do manage to record watchable footage, previously with my HR10, I had to be very careful how to hold it, and still results would like they were shot during an earthquake.
The lack of progressive mode is my only major gripe with the camera. Not because of the 24p obsession afflicting some members here, but simply because I usually crop, zoom and manipulate the picture in post quite a lot, and interlace is quite hard to work with, halfing the vertical resolution in each frame. De-interlacing offers a partial solution, but the best de-interlacer is SLOW, and you run into the usual problems of needing an intermediate codec etc; just as if performing 3:2 on the pulldown on the HVs.
Anyways, would really love to hear more feedback from a fellow Sony owner.
Last edited by tull_power; 2010 July 17th at 02:58.
Hi Tull Power, thanks for the WB-2 tip, will check it out.
I read in the reviews that cx550 is not the sharpest camcorder on the market, but in my view results are actually sharper than my HV-30. Perhaps, because HV-30 is HDV (1440x1080) and CX550 is AVCHD (1920x1080). Anyway, wide angle lens outweighs the rest for me
I also see no visual difference between 17Mbs and 24Mbs. Interesting that camera defaults to 17Mbs, and 24Mbs has to be set manually. On the other hand, i don't have a huge plasma screen to say for sure. Higher bitrate is probably better for fast moving subjects. As storage space is not a problem these days i always shoot at 24Mbs.
2011 November 8th, 05:26
Cool! I also got a new sony cx550 - wide angle lens and I'm so satisfied with the results. I am happy taking images of earth facts for my collections.