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I had done extensive research similar to what you’re doing right now and Idecided onthe Sony NX5U to replace my venerable XL-1.
It meets all of your criteria plus has a few added bells and whistles.
Like you,Iconsidered the reaction a client has when they see your gear.Clientsdrooled overmy big XL-1 while the little (high end consumer) Canon Vixia HF-S200 sitting next to it kicked it in the chips -picture-wise at least.
While I will honestly admit to being one of those Canon snobs – I actually made the Sony my first choice not because of size butdue to it having three chips over the single chipin the Canon xf100. I find a lot of professional jobs adhere to theold three chip requirement and choosing a single chip no matter how good might have lost me work.
The Sony also has an HD-SDI output which increases the variety of jobs you might have access to such as live events. (Itcan also do 4:2:2 through the SDI.)
And of course I must admit the picture on the NX5U is really top notch. Better maybe, I think, than the xf100.
I ultimately couldn’t afford the NX5U and so I can’t tell you how it might have worked out for me with a lot of professional work.
But I am confident it would have been worth every penny spent on it.
Good luck with your choice. I hope the info on the NX5U is helpful in your decision making process.