Folks, Iam totally confused! I narrowed down on 3 cameras and wanted to buy one of them. Iam not able to decide which is the right choice for me. If you guys can answer the set of questions i have it will be great.
The camcoders i chose are
- Canon VIXIA HF M31 (http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/camcorders/consumer_camcorders/vixia_hf_m31#Specifications)
- Sony HDR-CX350V (http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921666073295#features)
1)I need optical image stabilization, HD and good zoom!
I see all models have the first 2. Optical zoom of 25x is present in Panasonic model against others. Also Panasonic says it provides 3 cmos sensors and i read that multiple cmos sensors have better quality! Is it true?
I see panasonic have lower Mega Pixel value compared to the other two but with higher zoom. Whats the concept? Does a little less pixel value matter? Or can zoom be compromised?
2)Only Canon model seem to have input audio jack for external mics. I always thought that its very important to have that to get better audio? Did i get it wrong? Can this feature be over looked?
3)Canon and Sony are flash based. Is it possible to add bigger flash cards when we run out of space? The Panasonic is HD based! Iam not sure if hard disk based systems are good idea. It also says we can have additional flash cards. Is that true in case of panasonic?
Can someone be patient enough to answer all these questions? Iam very desperate. I have to buy this in a week and not yet decided. Please help.
1. Generally, the three sensors of the Panasonic would be an advantage, but from reviews and experience, I'd say the Canon will produce a better image. Forget the megapixel values of the sensors; full HD video is only 2MP, and those numbers are basically useless except for stills. The stills from these cameras will be lousy regardless. Megapixels have nothing to do with zoom.
2. If you want good audio, especially for interviews, you need an external mic. This is important.
3. The Sony and Canon have 32GB of internal flash memory while the Panny has 120GB of hard drive space. However, all three allow you to use SDHC cards for extra storage. I'm not a big fan of the hard drive cameras for reliability concerns.
Conclusion: all three cameras are very similar so don't stress out about the choice. I have a strong preference for the Canon since it has a mic jack and the VIXIAs generally have great image quality. None of the three are anything approaching a good quality pro camera, but they're great for the price.
This response purposely only addresses one of the three cameras you list. I only looked at the Canon, since you said it has audio inputs and the other do not.
Most of the reviews of the HF M31 say that is really has nothing different from the previous models (HF20 & HF200). So obviously because they are not the current model they will be cheaper. The HF20 has 32GB internally and it doesn't look as though you can replace or add more. The HF200 comes with 0 memory, but you can get whatever you want and can expand more as you need.
So, from the information that you provided, I would choose the Canon HF200.