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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 4:24 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 828
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
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Thanks zackiedawg for your quick answer like expert,

You almost talk like you already had a lot of experience with HX5 even though you don't have it. But your explanation makes a lot of sense to me. I also saw that some guys at dpreview.com posted the images of night show people on the stage taken in AMB mode and they look very decent for low lighting. So this clears my concern on its use for non-stationary scenes.


You're welcome...I haven't had any experience with the HX5, but I do own the TX1, which was the first Sony camera with the AMB and HHT modes - I've thoroughly experimented with these modes for a while, which gave me a unique knowledge of their workings and best settings by the time the HX5 became popular. My TX1 doesn't have the HDR mode - but I've had that mode on my DSLR...so again, I was lucky to already know quite a bit about how it works!

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 4:01 am 
I am testing Sony Hx5 and its impressive auto-focus. Really fast and great to make videos with intense use zoom in and zoom out.
Its very good camera !
Cheers,

Carlos

ps: in my opinion is top camera in auto focus performance. Show !


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 6:43 am 
Thanks Ric01,

I missed your response since it was at the bottom of previous page, and just read it. I like your methodology of listing pros and cons and calculating the net total. Your list seems very thorough and well thought out. I guess that if GPS is turned off and still shots are used mostly, battery time would be quite longer.

While I like the photo performance of HX5V, especially for low light. The resolution and sharpness is not better than best P&S from Canon, Panasonic. I also saw some report that auto-focus is slower than ZS7 under low light. But I can live with all this, it's still very good quality photos. What bothers me a little more is the lack of manual aperture control, which seems to be done by neutral density filter automatically. So there is no way to control depth of focus. But still I can live with that.

What's really bothering me is its cons in video performance because I want it to be like mini-camcorder for me. Many users reported severe barrel distortion at the maximum wide angle, and I saw some Youtube videos on it. It looks like big distortion indeed. It's said that it should be zoomed over 1.3X to remove distortion. I wonder what's the default zoom setting when camera is turned on. If it's 1.3X or more, then it's not that bad. Another video issue is that low light image quality looks worse than competition despite having CMOS sensor. I also saw Youtube examples on this, and it's really dark and fuzzy compared to Canon, Panasonic super-zooms. Video auto-focus seems to struggle under dark condition too. If CMOS sensor is that great for still photos, why is it performing so poorly for video in low light? And its stereo mic is often criticized too for its poorer sensitivity and panasonic. I don't know how good, bad it is, but it doesn't help me in favor of HX5V either.

At this point, I am leaning to ZS7 (sorry to say this in this forum) mainly due to video performance. But this is still based on reviews of others, and I don't know how it would perform in real life with me. Maybe those dark video condition was too extreme, so no one wants to take video there anyway.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 8:39 pm 
Hello jinwons !

I think that you are requesting too much quality in low lights conditions for compact camera. Trust me, only top cameras (very expensive) can make nice job in poor lights conditions, and its not easy.
I am impressive with perfermance and quality of HX5 if compared with others expensive ones. Its nice product !

Carlos


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 4:20 am 
I understand that there are not so much that P&S can do for low light. I was mainly talking about it's less than stellar HD video performance. I know that many people are just happy with it and don't have much complain on it.
But some camera gurus like mikemultimedia here and another guy on amazon.com in ZS7 review did extensive HD video comparison of two cameras, and they don't seem to feel so impressive with much touted 1080i video from HX5V. The cons in video recording of HX5V I mentioned are pointed out by many reviewers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 3:03 am 
jinwons, I agree with all your views regarding Hx5v low light video shortcomings. Video is as important to me as still photography. I have been helping friends and families shooting wedding/birthday videos (not for profit) for the last 6 years.

I bought my Hx5 for its ultimate portability in shooting 1080 video. I saw all the incredible comparative episodes documented by mikemultimedia but I settled for Hx5v for the following reasons (may not apply to everybody)

1) I need a camera very quickly and can't wait.. I am going for my trip... sadly, I don't have the luxury of time to wait for the launch of a more "perfect" P & S by Sony, Panasonic or Canon. Some folks may have the opportunity to wait for Sony to improve the video performance of the next version of Hx5v or Panasonic to bump up its Tz10 video performance to 1080 and using CMOS to get rid of the nasty light streaks in its video

2) Granted that current Hx5v low light video performance is disappointing and not up to my standard, I did ask myself how often do I take video in low light and if my Hx5v produced unsatisfactory low light video, I will be able to crank up the brightness and contrasts in most cases by using 5 keystokes in Vegas Software during post production. On the other hand, if I purchase another P & S with CCD, it will be much more difficult to remove light streaks from the video footage. I had an old Sony mini-DV CCD and the light streaks in the video footage while shooting against bright lights (concert) had killed many of my precious video capture.

3) Hx5v video performance in lighted conditions is stunning. I am using Hx5v as a complementary camcorder to my Sony mini-DV camcorder

4) HHT low light stills photography (without flash) is still the best in its class.

5) Panoramic shots are exceptional

6) Hence, I used my points system in my previous post to rank my purchase and made the best decision under my circumstances


My 2 cents


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 4:42 am 
Hi Ric01,

Glad that you are happy with HX5V for your needs. I just wanted HX5V to work excellent video under any lighting condition due to its much touted CMOS sensor.

I agree with you that HHT mode probably makes the best low light still shots among P&S cameras. But I'm not sure if HHT mode is useful for real life situation and will be used regularly. I wonder if HX5V also takes superior low light still shots even in the regular modes like iAuto, Program. Some people seem to think so, but some others seem to feel the opposite. What's your take on it? If it really works better for low light with regular modes, that would be significant advantage of HX5V over the other P&S cameras.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 5:39 am 
jinwons, personally, I do not feel that Hx5v is ahead of its P & S peers in taking superior low light still shots using just regular iAuto or Program modes (if without the help of HHT technology). Though I could not really notice in real life still shots, there are tests done that indicated that Hx5v still shots are too soft and some minute details are lost. Though a disappointment to me, it still does not bother me that much as I can still take reasonable good still photos... albeit with some over saturation in reds though.. but that reds over saturation will sometime help to provide warmth to the photo. I can use photo software to compensate to a certain extent.

I find the Hx5v highly portable, strapped unconspicuously on my belt and I can whipped out to take excellent 1080 videos anytime, anywhere and if the video came out too dark due to insufficient lighting, I will use my video software to compensate. I do not have to content with video light streaks if shooting video under bright sun or artificial spot lights because Hx5v uses CMOS sensor and will not fall victim to bright lights like CCD does. Also, 1080 video means I can enjoy all the stunning 1080 details when the hx5v video is played on a big screen 1080 TV. playing a 720 video on a 1080 big screen TV will make a difference. I bought Hx5v 1080 to future proof my purchase.

In a dimmed room, I can snap clear HHT candid photos of friends and families without flash. Party People and kids normally let down their hair in a darker room, thinking that no camera can ever take photos of them without using flash in a dimmly lighted room - and they are in for a surprise!. Hx5V can take HHT pictures in a dimmed room that no Other P & S in the same category can achieve. Other P & S needs flash in a dimly lighted room and human nature will kick in, people will tense up the moment they saw camera flash and act artificially.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 4:00 am 
Got this camera the other day. a bit disappointed in the quality of pictures it takes in dark places.
also I cannot figure out of the way to have the date and time imprinted on the pictures. I can see the date and time on the LCD screen but when the pictures are loaded to my laptop - there's no date on them mentioned.
Am I missing something? Please do help.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 8:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
smartin, you can check the date and time just by highlighting the file in Windows Explorer, or by right clicking it and checking the properties.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 9:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:52 pm
Posts: 2177
Location: The Netherlands
And, smartin, a P&S is not really great in low light;)

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Ruben

Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 1:44 pm 
smartin, regarding your not-so-great pictures taken in dark places, did you take the photos using the HHT mode or the regular iAUTO or P mode? I presume when you said pictures, you mean still pictures and not video shots


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 5:51 pm 
in Auto mode, still pictures. please guide me how to make better shots


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 5:52 pm 
what is P&S?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 828
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
P&S is 'point and shoot', meaning basic compact cameras from ultrazooms to ultra compact pocketables. As opposed to DSLRs, or 'digital single lens reflex' cameras, which are much larger, have much larger sensors, and take interchangeable lenses...these are much better in low light conditions.

However, you do have the ability to use the HHT mode with your camera to get much better results in poor light...as long as your subject isn't fast moving. As noted, no P&S camera does all that well in low light - in fact, none really do any better than the one you have, except possibly the Canon S90 and Panasonic LX3, both of which are more expensive with a lot less lens range. And even then, by engaging HHT mode, you can actually shoot at higher ISOs and in lower light with better results than ANY other compact camera. HHT is 'handheld twilight' mode - it's one of the scene modes on your dial. Use this mode whenever the light is low, you don't have a lot of movement in the shot, and the camera is trying to use a high ISO setting. Engage the mode, stand nice and steady, and gently press the shutter button...and HOLD STILL! The camera will actually take 6 photos instead of 1 - it only takes a second or two, but if you press the shutter and immediately move the camera away while it's still finishing the last shots...it won't work. The camera will need a few seconds processing time to give you the final result, but it can be significantly better than any other compact camera.

In general, just keep your expectations reasonable...it's a compact camera with a tiny sensor. You aren't going to get better low light results from any other compact camera with a tiny sensor - I promise! And avoid looking at your photos all zoomed in huge on your LCD screen - unless you intend to make 6-foot by 4-foot prints, you don't need to worry about how it looks that blown up. View it at normal screen size, or make a print and see what it looks like.

And of course, as you learn more about photography, you can start to use other low light techniques, like using a tripod and a low ISO, and letting the camera choose a long shutter speed for nice night landscapes and scenics.

Of course, if in doubt or unsure, feel free to ask around on the boards here!

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


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