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Old March 25th, 2008, 01:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Lobel View Post
The x4 comparison I post comes directly from the japan website, which is supposed to show raw frame from the cam.. That's the only (and therefore better) A/B I can find on the net at this time.

Concerning edge-enhancement, you say HF10 has the same, but I cannot see him on the x4.. To me, EE is obvious when you see clear lines next to dark areas, as on SR11 shot. Cannot see the same artefacts on HF10 shot.

I agree with you Dave, but except for the OIS, Canon HF10 seems pretty good, as Canon HF10 has 3 different mode for automatic exposure+programmable shift, dynamic range can be expanded by cine-mode, low-light is pretty similar to SR11 (according to CCI review of JVC GZ-HD6), and said to have better manual control than SR11.

Ok, now I sound like a HF10 fanboy, but I know you're a SR11 fanboy too Ken ;)
I do agree that the HF10 looks good in many of these respects. Unfortunately, a really good OIS is important to me because I plan to use whatever camcorder I get on backcountry trips where I don't want to carry a 7 pound fluid-head video tripod, so this has complicated the decision a bit for me. I am planning to take a closer look at the HF100 once they are available in local stores to evaluate things like the OIS first hand.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 02:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Lobel View Post
The x4 comparison I post comes directly from the japan website, which is supposed to show raw frame from the cam.. That's the only (and therefore better) A/B I can find on the net at this time.

Concerning edge-enhancement, you say HF10 has the same, but I cannot see him on the x4.. To me, EE is obvious when you see clear lines next to dark areas, as on SR11 shot. Cannot see the same artefacts on HF10 shot.

I agree with you Dave, but except for the OIS, Canon HF10 seems pretty good, as Canon HF10 has 3 different mode for automatic exposure+programmable shift, dynamic range can be expanded by cine-mode, low-light is pretty similar to SR11 (according to CCI review of JVC GZ-HD6), and said to have better manual control than SR11.

Ok, now I sound like a HF10 fanboy, but I know you're a SR11 fanboy too Ken ;)
I've seen EE in all HF10 shots I've seen thus far and certainly more noise, I don't think even the most die-hard Canon fans can deny that. In reality I'm a fanboy of the cam that produces the best pix! By the way, in one of the shots on CCI, they admitted the SR12 did the best in low light on that shot. ;)

If the HF10 shows it can do better than the SR12, I'll become an HF10 fanboy just as I've been an HV20 fanboy. I have zero loyalty to any manufacturer.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 05:53 PM   #18
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You may have seen HF10 shots with EE (still you don't link pictures with it), but the point is on HF10 you can chose wether you active it or not (sharpness control), whereas you're stuck with it on SR11.
Concerning noise, I prefer some noise with details (considering I can remove noise in post with tools such as Neat Video without kicking details), to an already postprocessed yet-smooth picture with no control over it.
For smoother pictures on HF10, I still have the option to lower sharpness.

What I like with HF10 is it's all about control: brightness/contrast/saturation/sharpness/cine-like gamma/60i-30p-24p
You can really chose how your picture will look... With SR11 you have none of theses controls.

Last edited by Robin Lobel; March 25th, 2008 at 06:28 PM.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 06:15 PM   #19
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Robin, you have obviously made up your mind without having seen an actual video of both cams in an A/B fashion. Unlike you, I am not biased and will wait until I am able to do an A/B in this manner. If the HF10 exhibts superior VIDEO (not a 10X enlargemet of a still), fantastic, I might buy it. As for pictures, I suggest you take a closer look at the pictures linked in this very thread and look at vertical lines in the enlarged pictures of the HF10. Take a look at the right side of the building in the HF10 and tell me you see no edge enhancement. I'd also invite you to take a closer look at the hotel name that's enlarged and tell me you don't see considerable 'garbage' above and below that name in the HF10 picture. If you can tell me that's clean, I think you're playing mind games with yourself.

You are also assuming that the superior noise levels of the SR12 come at the expense of detail. That too has yet to be proven. Professional cams emphasize a clean, noiseless picture and don't rely on 'post processing' to achieve it. In fact, one of the true hallmarks of a professional video is the lack of noise, not the presence of it. Ultimately, I will tell you it is a terrible way to assess a cam's video quality by enlarging a grab 10X or 100X. But I know people will continue to do this and I'll continue to assess a video camera by it's VIDEO. Now there's an amazing thought. :)

But I'll say this, you're the first person I've seen that likes some noise in their videos. Enjoy your cam! ;)
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Old March 26th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #20
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Professional cams exhibit such low noise because of there increased sensor size.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 09:33 AM   #21
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Professional cams exhibit such low noise because of there increased sensor size.
That among other things Tony, but the point is that a noise free picture is a hallmark of the big boys.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 12:26 PM   #22
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As for pictures, I suggest you take a closer look at the pictures linked in this very thread and look at vertical lines in the enlarged pictures of the HF10. Take a look at the right side of the building in the HF10 and tell me you see no edge enhancement. I'd also invite you to take a closer look at the hotel name that's enlarged and tell me you don't see considerable 'garbage' above and below that name in the HF10 picture. If you can tell me that's clean, I think you're playing mind games with yourself.
I never said it was "clean", I said it was EE-free. And I confirm with this picture: what you see on HF10 is not EE, but compression artifacts.

So, what's the difference between a frame grab, and a video ? 60 frame-grab per second. If the HF10 has some noise, it's likely to disappear at normal frame-rate, while EE on the SR11 will still (since the exact same process is applied each frame).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
You are also assuming that the superior noise levels of the SR12 come at the expense of detail. That too has yet to be proven. Professional cams emphasize a clean, noiseless picture and don't rely on 'post processing' to achieve it..
As Tony said, professional cams have low noise because of large sensors: so they don't wash out details to have a clean picture (like SR11 seems to do, when you compare details you can see on HF10 and can't on SR11), it's just that the raw pictures are already noise-free. I owned a Panasonic SD9 for a few weeks, and they have a very heavy noise reduction system: even low-light pictures exhibit few noise, and that's something when you know the sensors are 1/6". But the downside is terrible waste of resolution, not a "professional" look in any way.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 02:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Lobel View Post
So, what's the difference between a frame grab, and a video ? 60 frame-grab per second. If the HF10 has some noise, it's likely to disappear at normal frame-rate, while EE on the SR11 will still (since the exact same process is applied each frame)..
One concern that I've always had about frame grabs - and this is just a theory, so someone correct me if I'm wrong - is that the quality of the frame grab could vary depending on whether it came from a P frame, or from somewhere in the middle of a GOP. I would guess that the quality of a P frame might be better and have fewer accumulated artifacts than a mid-GOP frame, and there's no way of telling where the frame grab came from. Some video editors may be able to tell you which frames are P frames. Probably, however, if there was little motion in the scene, the quality of a P frame may not be significantly different than a mid-GOP frame.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 02:40 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Lobel View Post
I owned a Panasonic SD9 for a few weeks, and they have a very heavy noise reduction system: even low-light pictures exhibit few noise, and that's something when you know the sensors are 1/6". But the downside is terrible waste of resolution, not a "professional" look in any way.
The SD9 is one of the cameras I'm still considering for a number of reasons. I have downloaded numerous video samples from the SD9, and in good light, the main issue with the image doesn't seem to be poor resolution, but rather too over-aggressive edge enhancement, which gives the image a certain "video-like" look. The measured resolution (according to CCI) is only slightly less than the HF10. I've been playing around with these clips and I think I'm converging on a workflow that can remove a lot of the over-aggressive EE and replace it with a small amount of kinder, gentler sharpening. The resulting images look much more similar to comparative HF10 clips and frame grabs (as much as I don't like frame grabs ;) ).

In low light, however, the SD9 does indeed give up detail for low noise. It's not the right camera for someone who does a lot of low light shooting.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 02:58 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Robin Lobel View Post
If the HF10 has some noise, it's likely to disappear at normal frame-rate, while EE on the SR11 will still (since the exact same process is applied each frame).

As Tony said, professional cams have low noise because of large sensors: so they don't wash out details to have a clean picture (like SR11 seems to do, when you compare details you can see on HF10 and can't on SR11), it's just that the raw pictures are already noise-free. I owned a Panasonic SD9 for a few weeks, and they have a very heavy noise reduction system: even low-light pictures exhibit few noise, and that's something when you know the sensors are 1/6". But the downside is terrible waste of resolution, not a "professional" look in any way.
Robin, we shall agree to disagree. I come to my conclusions based on A/Bs with actual videos from actual videocameras, not what I read on the net or not from someone's predispositions or bias. I did many many A/Bs between my SR12 and my HV20. Now I think you'll admit (maybe you won't, who knows) that the HF10 at the best will have essentially the same picture quality as the HV20. I've already seen on my 1080p 60" plasma with actual video, not 100X still frame blowups, that the HV20 IS noisier. Now you can disagree until your head spins Robin, but I saw what I saw and I'm not the only one. It's nice to have a favorite cam, but man, there comes a time where you need to believe your eyes. Now, in the interest of fairness, is the HV20 noisy? No it's not. But if you have any degree of objectivity, you can see in moving video that the HV20 does exhibit more noise than the SR12 in an A/B. The fact is that both these cams are so good, the vast majority of times it will take an A/B to determine which cam is a bit better in which department. But on their own, most of the time it will be very very difficult to tell them apart.

Does the HV20 show more detail than the SR12? Not that I can see. To be perfectly honest there are times the SR12 seems to have the tiniest bit more detail and other times the HV20 seems to have a bit more detail. Again Robin, objective comments while conducting A/Bs...not looking at 100X enlargements of frame grabs, stills, whatever.

Now I've also reported an issue that I've recently noticed in bright clear sunlit skies with the SR12. It seems that there was a reduction in contrast, almost a bit of a haze relative to my HV20. In cloudy weather, partly cloudy weather and rainy weather I never saw the slightest evidence of that. I'm still trying to figure out what's going on there. I'm not sure if this is a dynamic range issue or what. But for those shots I definitely preferred the HV20.

So Robin, unlike you I am NOT a fanboy. I am seeking objective evidence of which cam produces the best VIDEO, not which produces the better 100X frame enlargement. Perhaps if I'm looking to use my video camera for that purpose, I'll concentrate on the issues you are focusing on. Some people will never understand this is not the proper way to evaluate a VIDEO camera.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 03:02 PM   #26
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One concern that I've always had about frame grabs - and this is just a theory, so someone correct me if I'm wrong - is that the quality of the frame grab could vary depending on whether it came from a P frame, or from somewhere in the middle of a GOP. I would guess that the quality of a P frame might be better and have fewer accumulated artifacts than a mid-GOP frame, and there's no way of telling where the frame grab came from. Some video editors may be able to tell you which frames are P frames. Probably, however, if there was little motion in the scene, the quality of a P frame may not be significantly different than a mid-GOP frame.
Absolutely Dave. Just put your cam in freeze frame and advance frame by frame, some frames are distinctly clearer than others. I can make a cam look better or worse if I so choose or if I wanted to make a 'point'. The guy that Robin linked in her initial post on this was a guy that didn't have a clue about deinterlacing properly. So he posted horribly deinterlaced SR12 grabs on another site that looked like it had things growing out of it. This he proclaimed 'proved' that the SR12 was not as good as the Canon. There are times I just want to give up. Of course he was called on it by many. So many people just don't get it, this is NOT the proper way to evaluate a videocamera.

If you want to blow up your pix 100X, get a digital still camera and venture on to those enthusiast sites. At that point you'll actually be talking about a legitimate way to evaluate a still camera.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 03:04 PM   #27
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In low light, however, the SD9 does indeed give up detail for low noise. It's not the right camera for someone who does a lot of low light shooting.
Dave, a word of caution here, if you get an SD9 make sure you can return it. The discussion here of the SR12 and 'alleged' detail obscuring for the sake of low noise is just a hint of what your in store for with the SD9. I could not believe how much detail was obliterated in low light shots with the SD9. I honestly felt it was no better than VHS quality under those conditions.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 04:38 PM   #28
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Dave, a word of caution here, if you get an SD9 make sure you can return it. The discussion here of the SR12 and 'alleged' detail obscuring for the sake of low noise is just a hint of what your in store for with the SD9. I could not believe how much detail was obliterated in low light shots with the SD9. I honestly felt it was no better than VHS quality under those conditions.
Ken, yeah, I usually try to buy from reputable dealers that have reasonable return policies (Costco is one of the best for that if they have what you want, but they usually don't because their selection is so small).

I've finally downloaded enough clips that I do realize the SD9 is not a good choice for low light, and hence probably not a good general-purpose choice. It's looking more like if I get an SD9 it will be for a specific use (ultralight backcountry use), and if I really get into HD, I have a hunch I will eventually also get something else along the lines of an SR11 or HV30 for more general use. The clips I've downloaded that were taken outdoors combined with the fact I think I can reduce the occasionally over-aggressive EE, I think the SD9 should work fine as a special purpose cam for backcountry use. I do plan to go out as soon as I get a chance and check some of these cams out in person, but unfortunately I live 60 miles from the nearest large retailers so it might take me a while to get down there.

The price of the SD9 is low enough that I can probably get away with this if I wait a while between purchases (i.e., to get it past the financial boss ;-) )
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Old March 26th, 2008, 05:14 PM   #29
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Dave, why not look at the HF10 or HF100? If you're concerned about the hard drive, they should suit you fine.

Last edited by Ken Ross; March 26th, 2008 at 06:41 PM.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 05:41 PM   #30
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Dave,
From everything I've read from guys who know their stuff, the Panasonic is probably not the best plan... I've noticed they tend to "refresh" their models at a far more rapid pace, and I think there may be a reason for that... resale value may not be so good for that reason alone.

It may be a bit older, but the Sony CX7 is a stout little camera, about as small as you could ask for, and doesn't do badly in low light or any other challenging condition I've shot in - look around for stuff shot with it, and see what you think. I think many early "issues" were due to problems with AVCHD handling by software, not seeing any problems here with Vegas 8.

Yeah, it's only 1440, yeah, it's "last years model", but until Sony announces a replacement that blows it away, it's a pretty decent choice in my book.

The nice thing is you can probably pick one up around the same price as the Panasonic, get some MS Duos that will go in the SR11 or whatever, the batteries and other accessories should swap betwen the two cams, and the CX7 actually should hold it's value fairly well. I've heard rumour that Costco (?) is going to have them...

FWIW, as long as you're looking at options.
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