Video Cameras forum

General discussion

Sony DCR-SR200 vs Panasonic SDR-H100

by koolmitch / April 2, 2007 1:32 AM PDT

Am comparing hard-drive camcorders and have narrowed it down to Sony DCR-SR200 and Panasonic SDR-H100. Highest priority is image quality, and and wondering if 1/6 inch 3CCD with optical image stabilization is better than 1/3 CMOS-clearvid with electronic image stabilization. I have had it suggested to me that the Panasonic Dicomar lenses are better than the Sony. Is this true? Also want good low light performance. Sony comes with light while Panasonic does not, though I have been told that these are are fairly useless anyway. Sony seems to have more features, but I doubt whether I will use many of these features, anyway. Camera will be used primarily for basic home videos, using the fully automated functions. So, If you wanted best image quality, which would you choose?

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If "highest priority is image quality",
by boya84 / April 2, 2007 2:14 AM PDT

I would be looking at miniDV tape based machines...

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If willing to give up some image quality to get hard drive..
by koolmitch / April 2, 2007 2:20 AM PDT

I understand that hard drives and DVD recording cams reduce quality, but also want the simplicity of hard edrive to avoid media purchase, extend video time, and simplify video transfer. I should correct earlier question suggesteing than sony had light and panasonic did not. I had it reversed.

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You are correct...
by whizkid454 / April 2, 2007 2:33 AM PDT

A full hard disk drive (HDD) of about 8 hours of video will take about 30-40 minutes to transfer to the computer. HDD uses USB to transfer video. I'm sure you already have USB ports on your computer.

On the other hand, 60 minutes of miniDV tape footage will take 60 minutes to transfer to the computer. MiniDV uses Firewire to transfer video. Most computers do not include a Firewire port so you would have to go buy one and install it and buy a Firewire cable to transfer the footage.

I sure am glad I don't have to worry about not having tapes/discs while I'm shooting a game or a school play. I know that I have plenty of space left on my HDD so I can capture the whole event. I also know I won't have to stop and change tapes/discs every 20 or 60 minutes.

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A question then some answers...
by whizkid454 / April 2, 2007 2:25 AM PDT

I assume you mean SDR-S100 rather than SDR-H100?

Anyway, the S100 is a flash based camcorder which means you would need to buy expensive flash memory cards in order to store the videos on. The SR200 does have a built in hard drive that can store about 7-9 hours of highest quality video whereas the S100 with a 2GB flash memory card(included) will hold only about 25 minutes of footage.

Since the SR200 hasn't been tested as of yet, we can't be for sure which one will have the better quality. A 3CCD configuration usually results in clearer and more crisp video whereas a large single CCD configuration usually results in better low light video. By looking at the S100's review at camcorderinfo.com it looks pretty bad. The bright light video was "ok" but the low-light video is almost unusable. The SR200 will most likely beat the S100 out in the low-light category very easily.

Actually, Sony makes one of the better lenses. Most Sonys use a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar* lens which have gotten many nice comments. I wouldn't say that the Panasonic lenses were better than the Sonys but that's just my opinion.

Best Image Quality: Most likely the Sony SR200.

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Sony DCR-SR200 vs Panasonic SDR-H200
by koolmitch / April 2, 2007 3:31 AM PDT

Sorry folks. Another error in my info and this one was bigger. I meant the Panasonic SDR-H200, not the H100. Thanks for all the input so far, but I would still appreciate comparison between the sony DCR-SR200 and the Panasonic SDR-H200.

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Grrrr but that's okay...
by whizkid454 / April 2, 2007 3:57 AM PDT

As I said before, we can't make an assumption until we have seen reviews of both of them. Right now, it's not clear. Within the next couple months you can be peeking on camcorderinfo.com to see when they might have a review posted for either camcorder. When they do, read it for yourself, come back here, and we will help you from there on.

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Wha will you do about archiving.
by shahrokhan / April 3, 2007 8:06 PM PDT

MiniDV takes time to load onto a computer and you will have to change tapes every hour BUT if you get a HDD cam, then how will you archive your video for later use?

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Very simple.
by whizkid454 / April 4, 2007 12:53 AM PDT

Use DVDs. They work fine for me.

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U sure?
by shahrokhan / April 4, 2007 2:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Very simple.

what if the discs break or get lost or rot or get scratched?

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I'm sure.
by whizkid454 / April 4, 2007 3:04 AM PDT
In reply to: U sure?

I burn them, put them in their individual cases, store them in a cabinet, and store them until I need them again. Pretty simple I would say.

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Have Tested Both Cameras
by jnfsky / April 4, 2007 4:13 AM PDT
In reply to: I'm sure.

Actually have been comparing the both and feel the Sony DCR-SR200 is the better for me than the Panasonic SDR-H200.

Best place to compare is Circuit City where both should be on display, if the camera has no power attached and the refuse to help ask for a manager and they'll power it up so you can do an apples for apples.

Panasonic, the CCD definately is a more vibrant picture, the volume control is more accessible, the gripping of the camera is more friendly, the light only works as a constant on or off, as opposed to the Sony which is used as a flash for pictures. 3.1 mp for stills.

Sony, still great resolution, easier controls, touch screen, flash for the camera portion, switching between video and stills very fast, night vision and low light, but a clunkier hold. 4.0 mp for stills!

In my opinion the Sony is the better deal. Amazon lists the Sony for $710, Circuit City has the Panasonic for $759.

I would like to eventually like to see a hybrid of the two, great resolution for standard def, high MP for stills and resolution for video withou having to go HD. I'd also like to see a viewfinder, don't get why they're making viewfinder obsolete for LCD's on these new cameras.

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Editing
by shahrokhan / April 4, 2007 4:18 AM PDT

Is basic editing possible? eg clipping, titles etc. without significant quality loss.

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I'm pretty sure when using DVDs to
by boya84 / April 4, 2007 4:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Editing

archive, you want to store the video as a data file - not a DVD-player readable file... This is a bit of a problem with high definition files, but standard def should be just fine.

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Sony DCR-SR200 Impressions
by capkarl / April 10, 2007 5:10 AM PDT

I just bought the Sony 200 and used it over the weekend. The video quality is excellent when viewed on a 50" Rear Projection. The sound is amazing, it feels like you are there. It is a little awkward to hold until you get the hand strap just right (follow the manuals suggestion) I didn't know how to adjust the LCD brightness so it was difficult to see the screen in the sun. (I wish it had a viewfinder). The 1 step DVD burning is real convenient but I wish the included software was a bit more flexible. If you are not into making elaborate and fancy titles and such it is just fine. It has a night shot setting which allows you to film in total darkness. I didn't experiment with that a lot. I took video inside a Museum (sort of low light) which came out very nice. Except for the price this is a top camera. If I had small children I would not hesitate to buy this camera.
I also took several pictures (by mistake) they seemed pretty good, probably good enough to leave your inexpensive point and shoot at home.

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