Where I Was: I have had cameras and camcorders before, but around 2014-15 I started outfitting myself for 3D. So I needed a pair of matched camcorders. I chose a pair of Canon R40's. At the time I bought them, the R40's had a firmware upgrade bringing a new 1080p 30 fps file format. Without the upgrade the camcorder would record either 1080p 60 fps or 1080i 60 fps (which captures at 30 frames per second but saves the image it interleave pairs of 60 FIELDs per second. A "field" is essentially 1/2 of a frame, by taking alternating lines, so to get the full "1080" line image requires collecting the 2 FIELDs and recombining them into a single FRAME. At that time, some people were having difficulty working with this "interlaced" data format. Today it is not really that much of a problem. So in that regard, it is difficult to say whether there was any significant change in the camera at all. I recall another firmware upgrade around that time that had to do with WiFi, so perhaps that was a "real" upgrade. At about that time, Sony's competing camcorder was the CX240, but shortly after that, Sony replaced the CX240 with the CX405. This was much bigger upgrade, but since that upgrade, going forward, Sony has not made a further upgrade in that price bracket since. There were two big changes in upgrading from the CX240 to the CX405. First, the new CX405 gained optical image stabilization (sensor shifting) where the CX240 had only digital stabilization. On top of that, the CX405 gained a new recording mode: XAVC-S 1080p 30 fps @ 50 mbps. Until then, Canon's R40 and its predecessor had better image quality than the Sony -- for example, at 1080p 60 Frames per second the Sony stored around 24 mbps where the Canon stored around 34 fps. This superiority was at every video recording format, and if you made comparison videos the Canon generally looked better. The only exception was when light dropped down low and the Sony "back-illuminated" sensor would be better, until lighting was so bad that even the Sony would need supplemental lighting. But with XAVC-S, Sony claimed superior image quality, which should surpass Canon. The problem with this claim is that Sony defined XAVC-S as a set of limits. And there was no guarantee that to top end of the potential specs were implemented in any particular camera. Moreover, in some cases, particularly for the CX405, Sony has not stated what the limits of its version of XAVC-S actually are. For example, XAVC-S "can" be 10-bit colour. But it can also be 8-bit colour which is no better than standard "common" AVC video. Similarly, it can have YUV 422 chroma sub-sampling. But it might only have "common" YUV 420 chroma sub-sampling. This non-manditory nature of the spec means in effect that Sony could simply change the file package from its AVC type output and then call it "XAVC-S" with no improvement at all. Making some test files, I did confirm that the output is actually around 50 mbps, so at least it probably had more detail. Personally, I was hoping for 10-bit colour and YUV 422. The 10-bit colour probably won't help me much, but the YUV 422 chroma sub-sampling is a major improvement for me. However, when I recorded test clips I was left with doubts. When played back using VLC, its data reports an ordinary AVC1 compressed stream with a YUV 420 decode format. Windows 8.1 does confirm a video bitrate near 50 kbps. The audio is disappointing PCM. But emphatically, so far I have no confirmation of either 10-bit colour or YUV 422 chroma sub-sampling. VLC: Stream 0 Codec: H264 - MPEG-4 AVC(part 10)(avc1) Resolution 1920x1090 Frame rate: 29.970029 Decode format Planar 4:2:0 YUV [This correct?] Stream 1 Type Audio Codec PCM S16 BE (twos) Channels Stereo Sample rate 48000 Hz Bits per sample 16 Win 8.1 Properties Created Aug 29, 2018 16:53:43 Size 731,100,731 bytes Length 01:53 Frame width 1920 Frame height 1080 Data rate 49,528 kbps Total bitrate 51,059 kbps Audio Bid rate 1530 kbps Channels 2 (stereo) Audio sample rate 48 khz Unfortunately, I do not have a properly set up pair of recordings of the same subject matter. I can only upload a pair of "nice" captures that confirm that both camcorders can do a "good job". Hopefully, I will eventually do a proper test recording of the same subject matter by both camcorders. If anyone has seen a reliable report of what parameters are used for the CX405's version of XAVC-S, I would appreciate such information. "01-0005-19h26m22s863-C1.jpg" - a captured from from a 1080p Canon R70 video clip recorded using "standard" H.264 compression at 24 mbps. The PNG version was 2,459,668 bytes. "01-C0002-14h33m07s657-C2.jpg" - a captured frame from a 1080p Sony CX405 video clip recorded using its version of "XAVC-S" at 50 mbps. The PNG version was 3,383,721 bytes. NOTE: When I compressed the Sony frame to a C1 level JPEG the output file was too big to upload "here". Instead, I have uploaded a C2 level compressed version. So if you look at the files, keep in mind that the original captured frame was even slightly better than this. The JPEG "C1" compressed file was actually 2,116,429 bytes.