Spent a few days in the Land of Castles, Northumberland UK on the coast of the North Sea.
Walked around with the NX30 some of the time, audio block off. Shot all stills and video with it. No post production treatment. Pure unpressured point and shoot. Yeah, the full telephoto stills aren’t the greatest, but then I’m not sending them to National Geographic and who wants to lug around a big DLSR on vacation?
The song ‘Highwayman’ is the favourite of the man in the video, thus the choice of music for a bit of fun.
Its interesting. I spoke to a fellow over in Sony Professional Video support, in part to get a detailed breakdown of the differences between the stabilization in the NX30 and the X70. He went and got both camcorders and called me back. The NX30 lens is indeed gyro-mounted, which as we know is one of the secret weapons of the camcorder. The lens on the X70 is not. It’s stabilization is achieved exclusively in the camera’s on-board software, so to speak. So there might be a bit of catch-up lag from time to time as it does it’s impersonation of a steady cam. I’ve never been a big fan of microscopic image jumps/lurches, HOWEVER if you don’t really see it, and it does a splendid job of stabilizing the image, then all the additional bells and whistles make the X70 the way to go.
I enjoyed your Range/Land Rover references. A few years back I owned a Honda Prelude with four wheel steering. When you made a turn it was freakishly smooth. Almost as if the car lowered a pole into a hidden slot in the road, rotated into the desired position, and retracted the pole as you sped on. Passengers in the back seat were always a bit taken aback by the unfamiliar smoothness of it’s turns.
Maybe that’s what I’m looking for in my next camcorder. And based on everything I read, the NX30 fits the bill. Its just that the feature set of the X70 is almost too good not to act on.
Thanks for that bit of info from Sony on the stabilisation differences between the NX30 and X70. Makes sense–the NX70 lens is much bigger. Sorry for my lag on getting an X70 review up. I’ve now scheduled the shooting for 17 Nov, so it should be up within a few days of that. Since I have both cameras, I’m going to do some direct comparisons between the two, i.e., shoot the same shot with both cameras for some of the key points of interest for potential buyers.
Thank you again Joe.
I just spent a nice block of time reading what’s out there about the X70 and couldn’t find anything about the stabilizer – so I will be patiently awaiting your observations…
Some folks have already assembled a variety of complaints about the X70 (whoopsie) – what can you do.
I suppose one of the complaints is that importing XAVC files into FCPX is a bit of a trick right now. But that will be sorted in time. I’ll start testing it tomorrow on taking advantage of a still photo shoot I’m doing. I’ll be using it in AVCHD mode, which is no problem. It’s the Sony XAVC format that’s the trick right now for FCPX and that’s the format that show cases the camera’s potential. I ordered some Sandisk XCSD cards that won’t be here before the shoot, so went out and bought a PNY XCSD card locally. That didn’t work with the available workarounds for FCPX import. At this point I don’t know if it’s because of the PNY card or what. But i’m not particularly fussed by that or by the career complainers.
Its October 24, 2014. I’m in the market for a nice HD camcorder in the $2000 range. Given everything that’s available (Canon AX 20, etc.) would you still recommend going for the N30? Thanks in advance for your time…..Marc
Hi Marc, understand that I never tested the AX20, so best I can say is see if you can find any good video reviews that show the camera in action and compare it to the ones I did on the NX30
That said, I just bought the Sony PXW X70 yesterday. A bit more than $2000, but at a glance, it seems to be the next generation of the NX30 but with a 1″ sensor and ‘4K ready’ (future update). I haven’t tested it yet but when I just walked around the room to check its stabilisation I was absolutely stunned, yet I was the guy who raved about the NX30’s active stabilisation mode. Plus it seems to have all the other features I loved about the NX30 (intelligent auto, small size, low light sensitivity) and then some. It will be 2-3 weeks before I get a review up on it, but it might be worth waiting for it unless budget rules it out. Besides the above link, there are quite a few other articles on this blog about the camera. I think there’s a category over on the right side on the NX30 that will round them all up for you.
Lot’s of people have bought it because of my review and many of them have written me to tell me how much they love it, so you really can’t go wrong. I’ve never heard anything negative about it. Great camera for the price for many reasons.
Thanks for the super fast reply. I was close to settling in on the NX30 because of it’s feature set, cost and of course it’s gyroscopic flotation device lens. That’s when I dug deeper and discovered your review 🙂 I plan to use this (or whatever I get) to shoot faux/funny mini docs and short narratives. Therefore I was hopeful to obtain something that had some versatile flexibility. It looks as though the PXW-X70 is about 6-700.00 more dollars which might make it difficult to snag – but who knows. One question – I take it that it doesn’t have the same system of stabilization as the NX30, correct?
Thanks again – nice to chat.
First, it will suit you perfectly for what you want to do. You won’t be disappointed.
The X70 stabilisation is an interesting question. I bought it blind by deducing that it had a similar system but obviously using different technology. The reason I made the deduction was that both cameras were described in write-ups as having ‘active stabilisation’ and also both cameras were described as having ‘shift’ lenses (whatever that is) though it was apparent that the X70 didn’t have a gyro-stabilised (or ‘floating’) lens. So I assumed the sX70 stabilisation was as good or better than the NX30 since Sony tends to innovate and improve on user-friendly features. As mentioned, on first glance that indeed seems to be the case.
I’m not kidding. I was floored when I walked around the room with it. In fact, to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, I just picked it up and did it again. Even the NX30 doesn’t totally hide the typical slight up and down movement caused by walking though it smooths it out considerably. The X70 is even more like a steadicam. I wouldn’t have even thought that was possible! And with that large sensor, the image is even better, not to mention that with a large sensor you’ll get that nice shallow depth of field at low apertures which is always nice for interview shots. Anyway, more on all this later!