After collecting my Sony HDR-SR8 (100GB High Definition Hard Drive Handycam Camcorder) from the Sony service centre, I stopped to test the new Sony HDR-SR12 (10 Megapixel 120GB High Definition Hard Drive Handycam Camcorder) and the Sony HDR-CX12 (High Definition Memory Stick PRO Duo Handycam Camcorder)
I only had a few minutes of free time, so I tested these features I wanted to know:
- How long do I have to wait between snapping photos?
- How long do I have to wait for the photo flash to recharge?
- How many photos can I take during video recording and will there be flash?
How long do I have to wait between snapping photos?
I have bad experiences with slow consumer still cameras. You miss a lot of good candid moments if the camera does not react as quick as your eyes. I hesitate to buy a family still camera because of this. The Sony HDR-SR12 and CX12 seem to do fine, instant, though you need to get used to the half click focusing first.
There is no multi-shot mode. :( … So what is the delay between snapping one photo to the next? I had no timer with me, but I can say the delay was like slightly less than one second. Quite satisfactory, but with multi-shot, it will be better.
How Long do I have to wait for the photo flash to recharge?
Last week I used a friend’s consumer Canon still camera to snap an event. I was disappointed with the built-in flash. It takes like more than 5 seconds to recharge. I call this another rubbish consumer still camera.
Good to say that the built-in flash of a “video camcorder” did better than that. With the Sony HDR-SR12 and CX12, the recharge time of the built-in flash was as quick as no charge time at all. I could achieve the same timing as the first test I did, but this time with flash all the way.
How many photos can I take during video recording and will there be flash?
Hoping that the new models can be better than my Sony HDR-SR8, I tested this feature and was disappointed again. I can only snap up to 3 photos during video recording (I used this feature when I was filming the London Bridge opening).
Then I did another test by setting the Sony HDR-SR12 to store photos on memory card and videos on HDD. Same result.
Flash does not work for Photography during video recording.
Hybrids of Hybrids
Being an Event Videographer, I know I can take great photos while filming the video. That’s because I already got the frame right. Also being a Videographer by profession, I will not buy a family still camera that can take video, but will buy a video camcorder that can take photos.
Sony is doing a great job in merging this in the HDR-SR12 and CX12 with 10 Megapixel picture quality. That’s good enough for any photography purpose.
So, “What camcorder should I buy?”
Many people ask me this question.
The asnswer is, go for High Definition “Memory Card” camcorders like the Sony HDR-CX12. Even professional video camcorders are going this direction. Forget about tape, HDD and even DVD camcorders.
To your success!