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Sony HXR-NX30U Palm Size NXCAM HD Camcorder with Projector & 96GB HDD (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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- Sony Ultra-wide Angle 26.3mm G lens, Optical Steady Shot image stabilization with Active Mode. Balanced Optical Steady Shot w/FIXED SHOT mode
- Full HD, 1920x1080 progressive recording at 60P, 30P and 24P, Built-in projector, 96 GB Internal flash Memory, Direct data backup via USB from the camera to an external HDD without a PC.
- A detachable audio pod includes two balanced XLR audio inputs with phantom power and attenuation options, 3.5” touch-screen XtraFine LCD display, Infrared Night Shot (night vision) filming and photography, Built-in LED Light
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|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Included Components||AC Adapter, Rechargeable Battery Pack (NP-FV70), S|
|Item Dimensions||6 x 9.3 x 15 inches|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||2 Watt Hours|
|Lithium Battery Voltage||3.6 Volts|
|Lithium Battery Weight||3.5 ounces|
|Media Format Digital Video||SD|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Shipping Weight||4.55 pounds|
|Video Capture Format|
|Video Capture Resolution||1080p|
The new palm-size HXRNX30U NXCAM utilizes breakthrough Balanced Optical Steady Shot image stabilization technology to help eliminate camera shake and offers a built-in projector XLR audio. It records at up to 60p in full 1920 x 1080 HD resolution using a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens for superb optical quality.
From the Manufacturer
NXCAM Palm Size Camcorder
The new HXR-NX30U high-definition camcorder is a palm-size addition to the NXCAM line.
The NX30U utilizes breakthrough Balanced Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization technology to help eliminate camera shake and offers other convenient features such as a built-in projector, all combined in our smallest, lightest handheld professional camcorder. The HXR-NX30U records at full 1920 x 1080 HD resolution using a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens for superb optical quality. The camcorder's 1/2.88-inch image sensor uses Sony's Exmor R™ CMOS technology to significantly increase low-light performance, speeds image readout, reduces artifacting and enables a range of frame rates. The NX30U also features a detachable XLR unit and professional-quality audio. The HXR-NX30U is perfect for documentary makers, video journalists, schools or corporate users, for hand-held telephoto shooting.
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- Sony Ultra-wide Angle 26.3mm G lens
- Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode. Balanced Optical SteadyShot w/FIXED SHOT mode.
- Native 16:9, Back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS sensor provides exceptional low light and high signal no noise recordings.
- Full HD, 1920x1080 progressive recording at 60P, 30P and 24P.
- View-DR (visibility enhanced wide dynamic range)
- Built-in projector
- 96 GB Internal flash Memory.
- Direct data backup (clips or card images) via USB from the camera to an external HDD without a PC.
- A detachable audio pod includes two balanced XLR audio inputs with phantom power and attenuation options.
- 3.5” touch-screen XtraFine™ LCD display (921K)
- GPS Geo Tagging
- Infrared NightShot® (night vision) filming and photography
- Built-in LED Light
- Timecode/User Bit Recording and HDMI Embedded Timecode Output
Read about our customers' top-rated camcorders on our review page: Camcorders
Top Customer Reviews
I mounted the camera to the dash of my 4WD truck, which has extremely stiff suspension and drove around to see how the Active SteadyShot feature performs. I was amazed at how steady the video turned out. It looked as if the camera was floating in mid-air. In the video you can see the hood of the truck bounce up and down as the truck hits dips and bumps in the road, but the video stays as steady as a rock. What more can I say.
Specifically, I wanted a video camera that could be controlled remotely (hanging on the end of a crane) and also one that could take pictures while doing video at the same time. I shoot photography professionally and have been running video off my DSLR's (Nikon, mainly my D800 & 600). Hard to beat a great lens on a great DSLR, but at the end of the day there are things a videocamera does better (like record an entire wedding, for starters, not to mention superior autofocus)
To be fair to the camera, I have not read the manual all the way through, so I can't pretend to be an expert. Nonetheless, there are some FACTS:
1) Viewfinder is useless - that's fine, I didn't buy it to use that.
2) The hood does come off pretty easily. It doesn't just fall of when you are walking around, but any kind of bumping can have the thing falling off. Kind of strange since you do actually have to screw it on (in a really weird, inside-out fashion), but it can definitely pop off with some jostling (like inside of a bag).
3) You will need more power than what comes with the included battery - you'll run out of juice before you get anywhere close to eating up the generous internal memory. The Wasabi's are great, can get through a whole day of video with those 2 extra batteries (each of which has more capacity than the included Sony battery).
4) The microphone rig is nice, easy to control manually or put some or all functions in "auto" mode. Attaches easily and securely, definitely gives you a "compact professional" look - and delivers on this look.
5) The projector is useful. Don't think for a second that it is just a gimmick. End of the day review of shots in a hotel room with no connection to the TV, project it on a wall in a flash, focus with slider up top, forget that it is even a video camera. No one thinks of it as a toy when you suddenly have a crisp image projected up on a wall. And the "crisp image" is really what takes it out of the toy realm. Get the Sony pistol grip controller that folds out into a tripod (a must, in my opinion - more later), and you won't even have to worry about holding the thing while the videos play.
6) The touch screen is fine - adjust your brain to the fact it isn't an iPhone, and you'll be okay.
7) It does have a remote. Hard to find this in any of the online documentation, but it actually is in the box. My 18 month-old apparently threw mine away (I usually catch her doing this stuff, but she slid this one by me), so I had to order a new one. NOT EASY TO DO since there are no part numbers handy and stuff. I got one that looked close and hoped for the best, and it worked. It even had a "PHOTO" button, something missing from the included one.
8) Software stinks. It's just weird, and it is slow, and I feel like they could have done a much better job with that. Why have a great camera with bad software? But this seems to be a trend - Nikon has done that for a while now...
I think if you use it for any extended period of time that you really need the pistol grip controller. Makes it 1000% easier to use than the side handle, though in my opinion it could be a tad bigger (I have big hands). I mention this because your enjoyment of the camera could be hindered by hand cramps if all you use is the side handle. I had someone walk up to me and ask about it since he was dealing with the uncomfortableness of his camera with just a side grip and could see that the grip made life way easier.
Video quality is great, watching it on my 1080p HDTV it looked crystal clear and life-like. No issues here at all.
Camera adjusts well exposure-wise going from bright light outside to not-so-bright inside, pretty seamless automatic exposure change. I left this alone and chose to put focus at my fingertips for the one mode that can be adjusted manually (button can only be set to do one thing manually).
I give it 4 out of 5 not really because of things like no photo button on the remote, useless viewfinder and a hood that comes off too easily, but for non-intuituveness of some of the menus and bad software. I'm pretty good with stuff, but found myself a little lost at times trying to change some setting, or understanding exactly what the differences were for some things. You might think this was a result of not reading the manual through from cover to cover, but I feel like it really isn't the best menu system out there.
Trying to take photos while doing video isn't just as easy as pressing the PHOTO button while you are recording - you have to be in the right mode, or it just gives you an error which makes it look like you are trying to do something the camera won't do. I REALLY had to dig to find the one sentence that tells you this information as side note. I had someone else running it while I was shooting at a wedding, and somehow it got in a mode where it was snapping photos non-stop. Wasn't any easy way to stop it (like some "stop with the photos already!" button, but I changed it to a mode where it couldn't take pics and kept on moving.
If you select max quality/size for pics, it takes a while to process each image if you are simultaneously shooting video. In photo-only mode it is fine (couple seconds), but don't think you can take a quick succession of pics while doing a video.
This is the first Sony product I have had for a while (and the first photo-related Sony product I have owned), and I know every manufacturer has a different system and way of doing things, so I don't ding them TOO hard for their menu, but I really think a few things could have been less buried and more intuitive.
The software is a little unforgiveable because of the format of the files that come off of the camera. You can't just play them in any player, so you could be a bit dependent on the software for really knowing what you got when playing it on a computer. I am a Windows user as far as my computer, and Windows Media Player gives you a picture but no sound. I use VLC to get around this, but that doesn't really give you great video playback quality. The software is just really lacking, and slow to the point that you think it isn't doing anything sometimes and you start clicking other stuff to try and make it work. If it had some horsepower, it would probably be fine.
Despite any flaws, I think most of them can be overcome with practice or ingenuity, and I find this camera to be very smart and quick overall. Autofocus is great, exposure is great, video quality is great and at the end of the day, it can do what I need it to do. Because the projector is good, it increases the camera's value in other people's eyes -- "wow!" as opposed to "oh, that's cute(i.e.-lame). I definitely recommend this camera wholeheartedly and do not have any regrets on my purchase.
Its #1 feature is the floating lens. It's so freaky to look at the lens while moving the camera back and forth and see how it absorbs the shake more than any camcorder ever has that I know of, by far. Where the floating lens is most amazing is when you zoom long and you're trying to hold steady but your shaky hands can't quite get it still enough. They can now. It has a 17x zoom, so long is really long.
What I expected is it would provide a look like a Steadicam does. Unfortunately, it's not really that and it took me awhile to understand why. For one thing, it's so light that it's easy to rotate it right or left as you're walking or running with it and it's hanging down by the handle. A steadicam doesn't roll right or left easily because it has a long vertical axis. The floating lens doesn't prevent that. Also, since it's so light, it's easy to move it up and down, side to side, and the floating lens only partially helps that. It's the shake when zoomed in and you're holding it fairly still but the lens is so long that it normally would make it all shaky where it seriously smooths out the shake. In other words, actually moving it sideways is not where the floating lens helps so much; it's when you rotate it left and right quickly that it does.
Since the sensor is small, you don't get shallow depth of field like you do in a dSLR, but for run 'n gun chasing children, doing documentaries, shooting action, etc., when you want things in focus and sharp, it's seriously good at that. It's surprisingly good at low light but not like a Canon 5d MKII or MKIII. The sound is awesome. It's really simple to use and the white balance, auto exposure and auto focus are amazing. I can't understand how they made it so great with so small a unit.
The only annoyance for me is getting the video off the internal memory is a pain. I had to use that funky Sony cable that it comes with that I lost, and hook it to an external drive formated with a FAT file system. I finally figured it out, but I use a Mac and it was such a pain I ended up just using memory cards. I'm told you can import into Final Cut X, but I couldn't even get it to recognize my MacBook Pro Retina.
A feature that seemed like pure gimmick to me is the projector. You can project onto a wall or car or something what you just shot. Oh my gosh. My kids and friends are addicted to that. I would sometimes shoot amazing footage on a Disneyland ride because it smooths out the shakes so well, then entertain everyone in the line by projecting the footage.
A month after buying it and shooting nonstop for two straight weeks with it, I'm still in awe of how good it is. I'm usually a very tough critic of camcorders because this is the first one I've really loved after having owned and sold 8 of them.