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Old March 24th, 2008, 02:37 AM   #1
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Decision Time: Sony SR12 or Canon HF10?

Hey guys,

My old Sony DV camera has finally given up the ghost (the firewire port has stopped working, which seems to be a common Sony problem), so I'm thinking about upgrading to a new-fangled HD camera.

I'm looking for something that I can use for home videos (we got a baby coming late April) and amateur filmmaking (so I'd like headphone and mic jacks).

At this stage I want to move away from the tape cameras, to either HDD or SD. I understand the issues with AVCHD editing, but I plan to upgrade my machine to cope in the next year or so. I edit on PC, using Sony Vegas.

I've been following the threads here, especially about the Canon HF10 and the Sony SR12, and I see the following pros and cons with the cameras:

Sony SR12
Pros:
120GB HDD
5.1 Sound
Headphone and Mic jacks
Clean Image
Sony Vegas support
Out now

Cons:
Memory Stick Duo (Yeech)
Extra cost (almost A$500 extra for the 120GB model)
No viewfinder

Canon HF10
Pros:
1080/25P
Headphone and Mic jacks
Cheaper
SD card storage (I have lots of SD cards for my still camera, laptop, etc)

Cons:
Some edge enhancement
No built in HDD, so limited to capacity of in-built memory and SD cards
No Vegas support yet?
No viewfinder
No out yet, but due 'April'

Questions:
- Do both cameras support 1080/25P (in PAL territories)?
- Are there high capacity batteries available for both cameras?
- Can you use an external mic with the Sony's 5.1? I have a Rode Videomic that I'd like to use: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oA3dd1L9fPY.
- Will the Rode mic mount properly on both of the cameras?
- Does Sony's Slow Smooth Shooting mode actually capture usable slow motion footage?
- Are there any dealbreakers that I've forgotten (FYI, I don't care about the 2GB limit, and I'm not going to take the camera above 10000ft!)?

Thanks,

Justin
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Old March 24th, 2008, 05:35 AM   #2
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If you update Vegas with the latest free updates, you will see that Canon AVCHD is supported as well. At least HG10 works fine after updating Vegas.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 06:26 AM   #3
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What about the HG10? It should be cheaper by now and has 40GB HDD. You'd pay a lot for 40GB worth of SD/memory sticks. The Rode Videomic should mount on the HF10, it mounts on my HG10 fine, though the windscreen (dead cat) hairs are visible on the top of the recorded image - you need to trim them a little, or buy a camera bracket and mount it on that.

Does the HF10 have adjustable mic input level? The HG10 doesn't. The Rode sounds good with the HG10 and can be brought down 10 or 20 dB if necessary, but the built-in preamp is weak and there's a fair amount of hiss with it down 20dB (or with my Azden wireless lavalier mic).
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Old March 24th, 2008, 06:36 AM   #4
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You need to remove 'no viewfinder' from your 'cons' list for the SR12, it does have a viewfinder. You might also add 'smaller size' for the HF10 as a 'pro' if you like that idea as many do. Remember too for video, you'll need SDHC cards, not the run-of-the-mill SD cards. They're still cheaper than Sony's card though.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 01:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leopold Hamulczyk View Post
The Rode Videomic should mount on the HF10, it mounts on my HG10 fine
It may or may not. I haven't personally seen an HF10, but from pictures it appears that the shoe is not standard - it looks stunted, with a small hot connector at the front. There may be adapters available at some point, or you could just use a bracket. the HG10, OTOH, has a full size standard shoe.

Quote:
Does the HF10 have adjustable mic input level?
Reviews have indicated that the HF10 does have manual mic level adjustment. Some people have posted that the HF10 manual is available online, which would be a good source of information on features.

Last edited by Dave Rosky; March 24th, 2008 at 05:29 PM.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 02:05 PM   #6
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To answer your questions, Sony SR12 don't have 25p (no progressive mode).
And as far as I know, the pictures from HF10 are slightly sharper than SD12, but not because of some edge-enhancement. However, in HF10 you can control if you want to add edge-enhancement, or smooth the picture.
Vegas can read 1080i files from Canon HF10, 1080p not yet (as far as I know, I may be wrong). Eugenia, can you confirm for 1080p files from HG10 ?
The accessory shoe on Canon HF10 is proprietary, contrary to HG10.
High-capacity batteries available for Canon HF10, and I guess for Sony SR12 as well.
To me, no HDD for HF10 sounds like a plus, since it requires less power, less probability to crash, ability to use the cam in extreme conditions, and 32gb cards will be available during april.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 04:37 PM   #7
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I see Canon has a dvd burner you can use to burn discs right from the camera,,,, cool. here is the link.

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...&modelid=16177
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Old March 24th, 2008, 07:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Lobel View Post
To answer your questions, Sony SR12 don't have 25p (no progressive mode).
And as far as I know, the pictures from HF10 are slightly sharper than SD12, but not because of some edge-enhancement.
Robin, how did you arrive at that conclusion? I haven't seen any A/B tests anywhere on these two cams.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 08:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Minor View Post
I see Canon has a dvd burner you can use to burn discs right from the camera,,,, cool. here is the link.

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...&modelid=16177
Sony has had a similar burner for quite some time - the MC5
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Old March 24th, 2008, 08:24 PM   #10
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I didn't know that, thanks for the info. Equally cool......
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Old March 25th, 2008, 04:16 AM   #11
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Ken, the only A/B I found so far is this one, which comes from here, itself comes from here and here. What a nice family...
So I'm really looking forward CCI test of SR11/12 to confirm this.

EDIT: In fact, SR11 does exhibit some edge-enhancement, contrary to HF10. Look at this x4 comparison. HF10 looks sharper on the writing; plus, you can almost see the square pattern around letters, while it is totally smoothed on SR11.

Last edited by Robin Lobel; March 25th, 2008 at 11:55 AM.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 01:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Lobel View Post
Ken, the only A/B I found so far is this one, which comes from here, itself comes from here and here. What a nice family...
So I'm really looking forward CCI test of SR11/12 to confirm this.

EDIT: In fact, SR11 does exhibit some edge-enhancement, contrary to HF10. Look at this x4 comparison. HF10 looks sharper on the writing; plus, you can almost see the square pattern around letters, while it is totally smoothed on SR11.
One thing that seems to show up in these comparison shots is that the Canon seems to consistently shift the sky a little towards magenta. Of course, at least that's fixable in post.

Also, one needs to be a little careful with these microscopic comparisons. Nobody is going to watch 1080 video at 400% zoom, at least not anytime in the next 10 years. Viewed at normal scaling, these differences would most likely go unnoticed. There are lots of other aspects of camera performance that can affect the quality of your video or ease of filming as much or more than small differences in resolution or EE, such as exposure accuracy, dynamic range, low light performance, behavior of the OIS, manual control, etc.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 01:24 PM   #13
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Robin, first off I wouldn't trust frame grabs as being indicative of video quality. You can never choose a cam from frame grabs. One of the enlargements points to the SR11 as having 'edge enhancement' but totally ignores the same edge enhancement on the HF10. Some people have motivations.

I also had to smile at one of your links since the guy you referenced has had a history of posting grabs from his SR11 that are deinterlaced in an extremely poor manner and then claiming this was indicative of the SR11's video quality. His errors were pointed out by many. This same guy had other issues than no other owner has had.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 01:49 PM   #14
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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 ;)
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Old March 25th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #15
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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 was today reading review of newly annouced JVC GZHD6, it seems it is not bad at all! I would be consider GZHD6 also!

Here is link: http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...view-34759.htm

Kaushik
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