Compare Video Quality of a Canon HF S21 side-by-side a Sony HXR-NX5

This is a quick post to demonstrate the video quality of two different cameras. This is not meant to be a side-by-side review and there is no assumption on my part that these two cameras are in the same class, because they are not. What this shows is why you might want to consider an upgrade form a high end consumer class video camera to a low end professional class video camera. The two cameras I compare are the Canon HF S21 and the Sony HXR-NX5U.

I decided to upgrade myself for a number of reasons…

  • More dynamic colour range
  • Less noise in lower light conditions
  • Better optics, specifically optical zoom for close-up work
  • Pro audio connectivity and capability
  • I purchased the NX5 camera at a good price at just £1,400

The outcome is pretty self evident as you will see in the video. I have made no changes to the two clips, each is a native AVCHD import directly from the SD card into Final Cut Pro X, I made no changes to the video but FCPX did have to transcode because the two camera’s shoot at different frame rates.

The quality of the HD video I am able to produce now should be much better, it will be good to see how improved the detailing is when I am zoomed into those small surface mount components…

Thanks for watching, see you next time.

This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


  1. Dear Gerry,
    Thanks so much for your video(s) about the 5680A rubidium frequency standard. I’ve just purchased one through ebay. The version I purchased has a very convenient SMA connector already mounted on it for the 10 MHz signal output. My used standard seems to work, but I really liked the small, yellow LED you added to indicate “lock.” I would like to do the same, so that I would know for sure when the rubidium standard is warmed up and truly goes into “lock” mode. My 5680A needs only 15 VDC to operate. (Apparently my 5680 gets the needed 5 VDC from inside the unit.) So I assume that I will power my “lock” LED off of the same 15 Volt power source. So here’s my question—
    What value of resistor did you use in series with your led so that current would be limited and no damage would be inflicted on the rubidium standard?

    Thanks for taking a minute to answer my question.

    Kind regards,

    Sid Anderson (WA4MBS)
    Virginia, USA

    1. I presume you are going to wire 15v –> resistor –> LED –> Lock Pin (the lock pin is an open collector/active low signal). So to work out the resistor value needed, I would aim to get about 10mA of current, so assuming the voltage drop across the LED is about 2.2v (dependant on colour you choose), you would take 15v – 2.2v = 12.8v, so a simple ohms law calculation I = V * R would give you 1280R, so a 1.2K resistor should give you what you need.

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