Finally Got the Sony HX9V. Wanted to put my hands on this camera since it was out and test if this modestly priced tool can be a legitimate alternative for serving as a "B" camera In case of a need especially when on assignment away form home.
On paper the little Sony though being (almost) fully automated while in video mode captured my eyes because of its high resolution (1080), progressive frame rate (50p for PAL countries and 60p for NTSC), and I won't deny, the price was right.
Jeen shot a beautiful short piece demonstrating the power of this camera in professorial hands. (dslrnewsshooter.com/2011/06/15/little-sony-hx9v-compact-punches-above-its-weight-test-video-by-documentary-shooter-jeen-de-vos/)
His demo was shot from a tripod and proved that in certain conditions this camera can deliver surprising results.
My aim was to test the following: Hand held shooting, the optical stabilizer, the "follow focus" function and "how nice the slow motion is".
First I had to find a solution to "how to view the LCD during day light". It was almost an instinct to take the Zacuto Z-finder and see if it fits the little Sony. So it does, sort of....the VF will seat a bit higher then the camera and a 1mm away from the screen. It was fine for that test.
I could now have a better camera stability by holding the VF against my eye while griping the camera and shoot.
Luckily, Today in Vienna it was the "Rainbow parade". It gave me the opportunity to check all I wanted.
Unfortunately the day was very gray and the parade started late afternoon so it became darker earlier. The consequence was that this automatic camera boosted the ISO/noise, affecting the overall picture quality. Later it started to rain...that was the time to end the test since the camera is not weather/dust protected.
So how is it to film with this little camera?. It is a mixture of fun and frustration...Fun because it is so small and together with the Z finder it is almost like the "ultimate run&gun" ENG style camera (sure I am exaggerating but look at the footage and see those amazing smooth steady shots). Also the zoom lens works like a treat. Frustrating because there is "no control on anything" but the "exposer starting point". The possibility is to assign the "custom button" on top of the camera to adjust the image brightness (+) or darkness (-). If only there was a way to lock exposure and lock focus this camera would have been a real jewel but I hear you saying, what do you expect from.....
So here we go. A 6:30 minutes long rainbow parade made with the little Sony. Some of the scenes are a bit longer then I would normally edit. The reason is to show how focusing holds.
Footage (1080/50p) was converted with "Cineform" and dropped into Adobe Premiere CS2 1080/25p timeline for "slow motion" editing. No color correction was done so you are able to see what came out of the camera.
Photo on the right taken by Nino Leitner