Poor quality video with Sony Cybershot DSC-HX20V - any solutions?


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Initial post: 20 Nov 2012 12:45:32 GMT
S. Miles says:
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V Super-Advanced High Zoom Camera (18.2MP, 20x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD
I've recently purchased the Sony HX20V and I'm having problems with the videos recorded on it. They are juddering and have tiny black lines on them. I've tried all 4 of the AVCHD movie formats and the MP4. I've tried with a couple of different class 6 SDHC cards, formatted for use in the camera. And I'm importing directly from the memory card using the Sony PlayMemories software that came on the camera. I was wondering if anyone else had experienced a similar problem?
And if anyone had any solutions? Do I need a faster class of memory card? Or any software / firmware upgrades anyone knows about?
Many thanks

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Nov 2012 02:34:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Nov 2012 02:53:56 GMT
Darren. says:
Hi there my friend! :)

It may be faulty? try using an "Extreme Class 10" card, that's what I'm using, my video runs smooth and crystal clear with "no" problems whatsoever!

Make sure you set the video stabilizer in the camera menu, look for "Movie Steadtshot" here you will find two options, one is "STD" this is suitable for use under moderate movement, then you have the second option "ACT" this one is suitable with stronger moment, Id leave it set on "ACT", that's the one I use when using the video.

Hope this helps you! :)

Good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Nov 2012 08:46:42 GMT
S. Miles says:
Thanks for the reply and helpful ideas.
I've just checked, it's already set on ACT.
So I've got a new Extreme class 10 SDHC card. I'll see how the videos are with that.
Fingers crossed! Susan

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Nov 2012 13:49:11 GMT
Darren. says:
Hi there!

You'll know when it's working correctly Susan, the stabilizer is "rock solid", and the picture quality is beyond words, you'd have a "very hard" time trying to make it go out of focus when walking with it, this I know for certain.

If the card doesn't sort out the problem, then it may be a faulty camera.

Hope it all works out for you, you'll love it when it get sorted, this I can promise you. :)

The auto focus is super fast.

Dean.

Posted on 9 Dec 2012 20:13:33 GMT
Anne M. Rees says:
Both my friend and I have recently bought this camera and we both seem to have the same problem. When using video in difficult light conditions the camera seems to take ages to focus. Once it has it takes excellent videos but the first part of the video is blurred until it has got used to the light conditions. Possibly we have it on the wrong settings for the conditions. Does anyone have any advise that could help us with this please.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jan 2013 22:02:10 GMT
Mince says:
@Anne - My HX20V will also struggle with focus in poor light. When shooting in difficult conditions I have sometimes used tracking focus; but simpler, and sometimes very effective, is to take a photo before starting the recording - the camera will focus correctly for the photo and use the same focus at the start of recording...

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2013 10:12:49 GMT
Anne M. Rees says:
Thank you very much for that piece of advice. I will try that out.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Apr 2013 21:44:03 BDT
m.arman says:
Hello Susan
I wonder if class 10 memory card has solved the problem. I would really like to hear the outcome as I am planning to buy this camera mainly for shooting videos
Thanks
Mehmet

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2013 11:21:57 BDT
Anne M. Rees says:
I have now found that if the focus is blurred when I start to take a video because of poor light conditions, if I quickly turn the camera off and then on again it resolves the problem completely. Also, the blurring seems to be more of a problem if you start taking a video with the zoom on. If seems to work much better if you start taking the video without the zoom and then slowly zoom in on your object. This camera does take very clear and good videos, it just needs a bit of TLC to get the best out of it.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2013 11:45:52 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Apr 2013 11:46:27 BDT
S. Miles says:
Hi Mehmet
Thanks for the post.
No, the class 10 memory card didn't solve the problem. The black lines remained in all videos.
In the end I sent it back to Sony for them to look at under the one year guarantee - they claimed there was nothing wrong with the camera but when they returned it to me the problem had gone away - rather strange, but as the problem has been resolved by whatever means I'm just going to be happy with that!
I suggest if you do buy this camera and experience a similar problem - assume it is a fault and get it looked at by Sony straight away.

Overall it is a very good camera.
The Auto mode seems sensible in deciding what settings are most appropriate for almost every shot, which is handy when you just want to whip out the camera and take a photo quickly (but there are a good range of settings to play with in Program mode, for example, if you do want to adjust things).
Colours are bright and appropriate (i.e. not washed out or, for example, pink when it should be red).
I find it both quick to focus and quick to recover in between shots in Auto mode - so I can take another picture quickly if needed (and there is a good continuous shooting setting of up to 10 shots for if you expect to be taking multiple shots).

It is less grainy and better to focus in low light settings (both photos and videos) than my previous Panasonic Lumix TZ10 (I believe the Superior Auto is supposed to improve that further, but I haven't found that to be the case with my photos - in my experience the Auto mode generally produces better shots under more 'difficult' light situations and when it can't cope, the Superior Auto can't either).
At full zoom in good lighting photos are very sharp - and having a 20x zoom has been very useful for my needs when I'm in the audience at an event taking photos of the stage. Photos can be grainy in low light settings at longer zooms, but I've found that with every digital compact camera I've had and the Sony is certainly no worse than any of them, so I wouldn't mark it down for that.
In low light situations it can take a little longer to focus when videoing, as noted by Anne M Rees, but I find it will focus itself without an unacceptable delay - And I agree with Anne, that if you start unzoomed and then use the zoom reasonably slowly to get closer to the object of your video it will have focused by the time you get there.
The noise of the zoom (commonly a problem with digital compact cameras due to the position of the microphone) isn't very loud when videoing - I barely notice it on playback unless I'm actively listening out for it. It is much quieter than another camera I tried out.

The macro photos are very good - I've got some great photos of flowers taken with the Auto mode adjusting to a macro setting. It generally recognises that it needs to change to the macro setting and focuses on the main object in the frame well, with appropriate blurring of the background in most cases. This was a particular issue with my old Panasonic and a feature I was looking to get a better performance on in my new camera - and the Sony takes macro photos very well.
Regarding a spare battery - The Sony battery has to be charged in the camera, which means you can't use it whilst it's charging - so a spare is useful to have. I purchased a generic spare battery and charger from Amazon, both very reasonably priced and the battery works fine with the camera. (Charger = Ex-Pro Sony NP-BG1, NP-FG1, BC-CFG Fast Travel-Pro Charger Sony Cybershot and Battery = Ex-Pro Sony NP-BG1, NPBG1, NPBG1.CE, NP-FG1, NPFG1, NPFG1.CE, High Power Plus+ Sony Cybershot Cyber-shot Replacement rechargable Lithium Li-on Camera Battery)
It's a good shape and size. It's not too heavy but doesn't feel `cheap and plastic.' It's possible to use one handed if the situation warrants. It has a textured grip on one side and a separate movie button for taking video footage quickly without wasting time changing settings. These features are important to me as I'm often playing with my young niece and she does something entertaining that I want to capture quickly whilst not interrupting what we're doing too much!

All in all, I'm happy 90% of the time with the camera's performance. And when I'm not it's generally because I'm asking it to perform in a tricky situation where I don't imagine another digital compact camera would do much, if any, better.

Good luck with your camera shopping!
Best wishes, Susan

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2013 12:51:25 BDT
m.arman says:
Susan hi,
Thank you very much indeed for the insightful reply. Glad to hear that your camera's problem has gone one way or the other. It seems this looks like my new video recorder :)

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2013 16:26:26 BDT
S. Miles says:
I hope you're happy with how it performs.
Enjoy!
BW Susan
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Initial post:  20 Nov 2012
Latest post:  22 Apr 2013

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V Super-Advanced High Zoom Camera (18.2MP, 20x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V Super-Advanced High Zoom Camera (18.2MP, 20x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD by Sony
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