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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Comparing the Canon HFG20, HFG30, XA10, XA20 and the Sony HDR-CX900, FDR-AX100, and the PXW-X70 cameras

Here is a chart comparing the following cameras: 
Canon HFG20
Canon HFG30
Canon XA10
Canon XA20
Sony HDR-CX900
Sony FDR-AX100
Sony PXW-X70
(click on picture to expand)

*waiting to get a response from Sony on the LUX rating of the new models.

Difference in Sensor Size

Full Frame & APS-C are the sensors that you would see in DSLRs.  For the cameras that we are comparing you can focus on the blue and the green that are highlighted above. The blue sensor size represents the Canon cameras and the green sensor size represents the Sony cameras. With the 1" sensor of the Sony cameras you will have more of a DSLR look to your footage because it allows you to get that shallow depth of field (foreground in focus and background out of focus) when used in combination with the built-in ND filters.

Benefits of 4K

Think of 4K as quadrants of 1080p. Four 1080p images make one 4K image. What does this mean to you? That basically means that the camera is able to pickup and store 4 times the amount of detail.

You don't have to have a 4K television or display to benefit from the sensor picking up more of that information. You will see the benefit in more realistic shadows and highlights, more dynamic range, and even better 1080.

For more benefits read our related blog here: The Benefits of 4K

Zoom Capabilities
Optical zoom means the lens is physically moving and produces no image loss at the end of the zoom. Canon's newer models the HFG30 and the XA20 offer a 20x optical zoom. To put that in perspective, if something is 200 yards out the camera can zoom it into 10 yards.

With standard digital zoom, pictures captured by the image sensor of the camera are enlarged using digital signal processing. Therefore, as the magnification level increases, signals to be estimated also increase and can reduce the image quality. *** We do not recommend using Digital zoom at all ***

When using Clear Image Zoom, however, zoomed images are captured close to the original quality when shooting a still picture. The camera first zooms to the maximum optical magnification, then uses Clear Image Zoom technology to enlarge the image an additional 2x, producing sharp clear images despite the increased zoom ratio. With this new technology the Sony cameras allow you to get a 24x zoom. That means if something is 200 yards out the camera can zoom it into about 8.3 yards.

Understanding ND Filters

Think of ND filters like sunglasses for your camera. For example, this will allow you to see the clouds on a sunny day.
ND filters give you the flexibility to set the aperture and shutter speed you want, rather than what the conditions dictate. By slowing your exposure time or increasing your aperture, you are able to control depth of field and convey movement more easily. The Sony cameras listed above do have variable ND filters built in which allows you to switch between different levels of ND filter.
Although the Canon cameras listed above do not have a built-in ND filter but they do have the ability to screw on filters to the front of the camera. So you have the possibility to add a filter with these cameras.

LANC vs AV Remotes:
The Canon's listed above have the ability to add a LANC remote that (depending on the remote) allows you to control: • Zoom
• Focus

• Start/Stop Record
• Data
• Review footage

The Sony RM-VPR1 Remote Control will only control:
• Start/Stop Record
• Zoom

Comparing the Canon HFG20, HFG30, XA10, XA20 and the Sony HDR-CX900, FDR-AX100, and the PXW-X70 cameras
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