Mic jack: Tied (both have a 1/8" stereo mic jack for external microphone connectivity.
Manual Audio control: Advantage HV30 (SR11 has only "normal" and "low" mic ref level).
Slow motion recording: Advantage SR11 (SmoothSlowRecord 3 second burst for 12 second playback).
Zero light video capture: Advantage SR11 (NightShot & SuperNightShot mode - SR11 has a built-in infrared emitter. Captured video is monochromatic).
MiniDV tape vs hard drive video archive process: Advantage HV30 (the tape is the archive.
DV & HDV vs AVCHD: Advantage HV30 (HDV is much less compressed).
24p and 30p: Advantage HV30. (Sony's digitally contrived "Cineframe" is not so good).
Accessory shoe: HV30. (The HV30's is standard sized; the SR11 is a much smaller, Sony proprietary "Active Interface Shoe" (AIS) for Sony-proprietary mics and lights).
Lenses: Tied. The built-in lenses and tele- and wide angle lens availability and use - screw mount, unless you get a 35mm bayonet adapter - are the same.
Computer connectivity and process flow: Depends on your computer.
MiniDV tape requires a firewire port on your computer if you are editing. Digital video is imported. If your computer does not have a firewire port, hopefully it has an available expansion slot so you can add one. PCI and PCMCIA cards are cheap. ExpressCards not so cheap.
Hard disc drive (and flash memory) uses USB to copy the video files to the computer. Immediate next step is to copy/archive the files (another hard drive or burn data optical discs - DVDs that are computer readable only)...
DV/HDV is usable by most current video editors. I easily import and edit to a 3 year old Mac. AVCHD files can be a challenge - fast CPU and lots of RAM (and available hard drive space required - under both)...
Using the finished video product:
Rendering high definition or standard definition data files for computer playback: Tied. Depends on the video editor used.
Rendering standard definition or high definition video to a "regular" or BluRay DVD for playback in a regular DVD player: Tied. Depends on the DVD authoring program used.
Rendering back to the camcorder to use the camcorder as the playback deck on a HDTV: Advantage HV30. While it can be done with both, on the HV30, export to tape and take the tape out... with the SR11, after watching, delete the file from the camcorder - if you want to watch again in a year...
Drop/break the camcorder: Advantage HV30. Take the tape out, use another camcorder that does HDV. (With the SR11, you may need to send the camcorder out to DriveSavers or other data recovery service).
Vibration: Advantage HV30. MiniDV tape based camcorders do not have the known vibration issues associated with HDD camcorders. (HDD camcorders specify in their manuals that they will stop recording video to the hard drive under high vibration conditions. Some posters here have reported prolonged loud crowd cheering or race-car engine noise was enough to trigger the sensor to park the hard drive heads resulting in "buffer overflow" error messages and now captured video.)
Altitude: Advantage HV30. MiniDV tape based camcorders do not have the high altitude issue associated with HDD camcorders. (HDD camcorders specify in their manuals that they will stop recording video to the hard drive at high altitude - over about 9,800 feet - due to lack of air pressure required for the hard drives to operate properly.
Flash memory camcorders (like the Canon FS10, FS11, FS100, HF10, HF11, HF100, Sony HDR-CX12) also do not have the vibration and altitude issues associated with HDD camcorders.
To be fair, you should be comparing the HV30 with the Sony HDR-HC9... but the short answer is that the HV30 still wins...
Hi, I'm wondering which is the best choice between the SONY HDR-SR11 and the CANON VIXIA HV30. I love the manual focus stuff i've seen people do with the hv30 and the picture quility in gereral. I don't know nearly as much about the sony, but let me know your thoughts...