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Heathc

Sony HDR-CX7

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Anybody have any advice for smooth MTS to MPEG workflows?



CineForm is supported for Sony Vegas and Adobe Premiere.
If you're using Sony Vegas, VASST has a product called GearShift that manages the MTS to M2T conversion very nicely.
::Disclaimer::GearShift is my brainchild, and therefore I personally benefit from any purchase of the software.::

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Wow that's pretty nice, looks like it came from point-n-shoot digital camera. On other non-skydiving sites I've read a lot of reviews saying this camera makes grainy video (compared to other HDV cams). I haven't gone HD yet and I was considering the CX7, but now I'm leaning more toward an HC5 because of all these reviews I'm reading. I really like the idea of solid state but I also don't want to deal with the extra editing work yet.
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Well, if you don't need a camera tomorrow, then I'd wait. AVCHD will eventually settle out. No application currently supports all flavors of AVCHD, Panasonic has their own flavor, while Sony and Canon have their own versions (that are compatible with each other).

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Thank you very much for your input, I appreciate it. I think I might just wait, I am not ready to start jumping one just yet, i was just hoping that I could get one, and start taking shots of landings, etc and start woring on editing and getting good at all of that before I start jumping a cam, but I guess i will just wait to see what the nexxt step will be. Thanks again
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"Once you find a job that you like, you never have to work another day in your life"

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Has anybody tested this camera in standard def mode? I'd like to go solid state but I do a lot of working video jumps and would prefer if I could shoot SD to avoid a conversion step (not to mention it should save disk space and use a lot less CPU horsepower during editing).

Also, does it have a tally light so I can build an old-skool photocell recording indicator?

Also also, is there anywhere I can grab a gig or two of AVCHD footage to see how my computer handles the load?

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Haven't shot in SD mode, can't see a single benefit to doing so. As far as your point about conversion, you'll likely be transferring to SD via analog cables, yes? If so, the composite out is always SD anyway. Composite can't carry an HD signal.
To answer the question that has come via PM at least 6 times....there is no firewire/ilink/1394 port on this camera or accompanying dock. You'll use it either via card transfer (most efficient) or composite transfer (least efficient). IMO, using this camera for analog transfer makes it a silly purchase for skydiving, because the benefit is the card, which translates to speed and no tape. If you're doing real-time transfers, I'd recommend you go cheap and buy a DV camcorder.

The CX7 has fades in it, and that's about it.

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Haven't shot in SD mode, can't see a single benefit to doing so. As far as your point about conversion, you'll likely be transferring to SD via analog cables, yes? If so, the composite out is always SD anyway. Composite can't carry an HD signal.
To answer the question that has come via PM at least 6 times....there is no firewire/ilink/1394 port on this camera or accompanying dock. You'll use it either via card transfer (most efficient) or composite transfer (least efficient). IMO, using this camera for analog transfer makes it a silly purchase for skydiving, because the benefit is the card, which translates to speed and no tape. If you're doing real-time transfers, I'd recommend you go cheap and buy a DV camcorder.

The CX7 has fades in it, and that's about it.



My current editing workflow is 100% digital (DV -> Vegas -> DVD), and I don't plan on changing. I'm just not sure if there's any advantage to shooting in HD, when there is a major disadvantage in that AVCHD will probably choke my laptop.

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OK, with some workflow definitions, either way you raise a valid concern, as you can't output DV from any AVCHD camcorder. Digital workflow for Vegas (and most NLE's)
~Transfer media from card to computer HDD (regardless of HD or SD)

~Place media on timeline

~Edit

~Render to MPEG 2

The render to MPEG2 is going to take longer than DV to MPEG, simply because of the transcode. The image will of course, be more accurate and won't suffer colorspace conversion like it does when going DV to MPEG.
In short, unless you have a very fast computer, the time you save in transfer from tape vs card, is negated when the time for transcode/render occurs.'
That said, at the time of this writing, no app in the world can render transcoded frames faster than Vegas 8.
Also bear in mind that if you're doing a longer project, you can use the VASST GearShift plugin for Sony Vegas to create DV proxies with color sample corrections applied.

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DSE,

So what I am getting from what you are saying is that the camera will do well for skydiving. But, if the HC3 or HC5 are still great choices as well. What the CX7 gives you is a faster transfer to your computer and no lanc.



Nice summation.;)

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DSE, thanks for your in-deep test of the CX7 and the AVCHD format. It's interesting how HDV on tape still seems be better than solid state recording, due to the better support and fewer hardware requirements when editing non-linear.

As we do analogue cam-mixer-dvdrecorder for tandems at our dz (gets the job done in 10 minutes), the lack of lanc and the wind-affected mic still make me prefer the hdv on tape.

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CX7 is great if you don't mind missing LANC


I was recently recommended CX6EK ( which i think is the european version of CX7 ) and started researching this thing, read through most of the threads here.
It looks like there might be a LANC kind of port on this thing after all, see here:
http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=100933&page=2
http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=110755

I'll definitely keep an eye on this.

A small backgrounder story:
I wanted to start jumping camera with a solidstate small thingy last year, and bought a relatively cheap and compact JVC GZ-MC100. Very nice slim form factor for side-mount, made an L-bracket and mounted it on a random cheap helmet with DIY gear. The thing didnt work at all for jumping. Every time i got out of the plane, it stopped recording like 5 seconds into the jump and when i landed it invariably had some "recording error" prompt on LCD. Tried lots of fixes, condom, taping it up etc, still no luck. IOW Crap.
A few weeks later the thing died completely when i was travelling and trying to do some sightseeing shoots, the focus stopped working. Dunno what i will do with it, its good for a doorstop right now.

So i was thinking i need to still go with miniDV, but a guy in Empuriabrava last week recommended this Sony which looks promising. I'll probably pair it with Tonfly Fuego Converter Pro which has both side and top mount, should have enough flexibility for future. I got a chance to try it on and to me it felt like good helmet.

As to the LANC, im a electronics hobbyist myself as well, so i guess with a little hacking i ought to get it to work, especially if it already works with Sony HCC sports pack.

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The JVC GZ-MC100 isn't a flash-based camcorder, it is a microdrive camcorder, and no hard drive camcorder is going to last long when used for skydiving. Most won't work the second you leave the plane due to lack of air pressure.
JVC doesn't have LANC, they don't license.
If you're meaning it's gonna be easy to hack into the other remote...blessings and best wishes to you. It requires a processor chip and a lot of time working out protocol switching. The HCC underwater housing doesn't work the same as these do, but you could probably rip the guts out of the HCC and use them as a start/stop control.

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If you're meaning it's gonna be easy to hack into the other remote...blessings and best wishes to you. It requires a processor chip and a lot of time working out protocol switching.


Thats the general idea. Look at the dvinfo.net threads on this. Its apparently using a protocol similar to LANC, but the jack is different and there is apparently some extra circuitry to interface.
At least start/stop and recording indicator should be doable.

On the microdrive, i learned it the hard way. I initially _thought_ its solid state flash card, not doing proper research, as i had a quick opportunity to get the camera secondhand for cheap. These things never work out.

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Can the CX7 copy/send footage from a MiniDV camcorder such as the HC40 via FireWire?

Edit: I'll guess no since I just read that the CX7 doesn't have FireWire on it. Is there any other way to transfer from MiniDV to the CX7 without having a to use a computer?
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I'm aware of how it works, just pointing out it's not all that easy.
In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a mod and corporate sponsor on DVInfo.net;) Great group of folk over there.
Seriously, it'll be good if you can figure it out. Others have, and it's not been a cakewalk for any of them. Simple start/stop is one thing, but what about when you want to play it back immediately? Or want to access a menu function. Bear in mind that the remote protocol takes over all the camera functions and you lose local control unless you release it.

Yeah, sucks about the microdrive.[:/] We had a visiting guy bring one of the Sony SR units out, I warned him. He claimed he'd had dozens of jumps with it and it was fine.
They were all jumps from a 182, around 9K. His camera didn't die right there, but it did shut down, and at that point, he took it off his helmet. Dunno if it's still working or not.
If you got it cheap enough and you're a techhead, you should be able to replace the drive reasonably easily?

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If you got it cheap enough and you're a techhead, you should be able to replace the drive reasonably easily?


Its got a removable microdrive card, but its not the drive that died on mine. Focus system flaked out, camera still works but it wont focus. I suspect its completely unrelated to the fact that i jumped with it from 4km a couple of times, as it died weeks later. To me it just means stay away of that brand, if you want rugged.

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LOL, yeah...stay away from JVC consumer if you want rugged. It's for that very reason that Sony has pretty much dominated the Xtreme sports world; these little cameras are tough. You'll see a couple new cams in a couple weeks ( non-Sony) that are impressive as well.

Stick that sucker on eBay for parts, you might make some of your $$ back.

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