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Old April 23rd, 2008, 05:56 AM   #136
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Ciao, actually I felt there was a big difference between the HV20 and the HF10. I felt the color of the HV20 was much better as well as how it handled contrast. The HV20 never really showed an artificially high contrast and never showed colors that looked wrong like the HF10.

I do think the SR11/12 are very close in quality to the HV20. I slightly prefer the SR12 for its slightly more natural color. I find almost no difference in sharpness or detail between the two and I see little to no artifacting in the SR12 as the result of AVCHD compression @ 16mbs variable bitrate.

My comparisons were conducted in high (outdoors sunny, outdoors cloudy), medium (good indoor lighting) and low light conditions. In these three cases the SR12 and the HV20 performed very closely. The HF10 again had contast that was too artifical, too hyped and with colors that were, at times, just strange. I think the autofocus on the HV20 and HF10 performed better under low light conditions but they were about equal in other conditions.

The HV20 displays a different kind of noise when the light gets very low. I actually think the noise under very low light conditions is more objectionable on the HV20 than the SR12. The SR12 noise tends to be a fine grain, almost monochromatic noise, that doesn't 'hit you in your face'. However the HV20 noise gets strange in that you begin to see vertical lines across the screen. It's almost as if you begin to see the structure of the sensor in the HV20. I'm actually not sure what those vertical lines are, but I also saw the same noise in my Canon HV10. The HF10 didn't seem to have quite the same low light noise as the HV10 & HV20, but again its colors were not as natural under low light condtions as the other cams.

The viewfinder on the SR12 is one of its nicest features and one that I don't feel any camcorder should be without. There are times that the sun simply prevents you from seeing the LCD clearly and this is where the viewfinder is so valuable. Of course if you are using the LCD flip out, the Sony's is better by a wide margin compared to the Canons. It is both larger and of higher resolution.

The SR11/12 have manual exposure controls, but no direct control over shutter speed or aperture as does the Canon. However the front mounted wheel of the Sony allows a very easy adjustment of either white balance, white balance 'bias', exposure for a given scene or exposure 'bias' which will always tell the cam to adjust a bit higher or lower from its automatic settings. The wheel is much easier to use than the toggle on the Canon.

If you choose, you can always shoot to a memory stick, 'disabling' the internal hard drive. However nobody seems to know if the hard drive is actually locked down and parked or still doing 'something' when you are recording to the memory media.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 06:07 AM   #137
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I really thank you Ken!
Perfectly clear!

So, if you have to buy a camcorder, there are more PRO to buy an SR11 instead of HV30 today beacuse the sony quality is surely not lower... And you have the big advantage to have already your clip to import immediately in a few minutes in your pc...

of course if you buy an avchd camera, you need a very powerful system...

ciao !!
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Old April 24th, 2008, 11:13 AM   #138
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Reporting back before I go on my trip. Cinemode seemed to fix some of the color problems. Also, using the white balance for daylight and cloudy conditions also helped. I decided to keep the camera (HF100) because for $832 with accidental damage insurance (you break it, we replace it) for 3 years was to good to pass up.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 04:44 AM   #139
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Hi Ken,

what about SR11/12 behaviour in panning, panoramic shoots and in general with many movements scenes?
since HV20 has a well known limits in these conditions and since i can see from this video http://www.vimeo.com/945037 (look at cars...) it is the same problem too for HF10...so i would like to understand better.
When i tried 3CCD pana SD1 i didn't have these kind of problem in these conditions.
Could be a CMOS limit?

thanks in advance.

ciao!
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Old April 29th, 2008, 05:37 AM   #140
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Lorenzo, the only issues I see in those posted videos are one of exposure in 60i and a stuttering in movement in both 60i and 30p. I'm not sure what's causing the stuttering in the cars at 60i, but it shouldn't be there. 60i movement is buttery smooth regardless of how fast the subject is moving. 30p and 24p will produce that kind of stutter and it's why I never used those modes.

In terms of the exposure, I think the SR12 does a better job than the Canon HF10/100 with exposure in general. Exposure & inconsistent color were the two reasons I sold my HF10.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 05:41 AM   #141
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exaclty, it is the shuttering the irritating problem i've seen...
...so, if you do a similar shoot with sr12, you have a completely fluid video?

thanks again ! :-)
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Old April 29th, 2008, 06:05 PM   #142
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Absolutely. I've never seen anything remotely like a stuttering fast moving object on my SR12 when displayed on my plasma.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #143
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For the HF10 videos where you are seeing issues are you evaluating the Vimeo movies based on the experience of playing the Vimeo transcoded file online, or are you downloading the original files to your system and basing your evaluation on playback of the original files?

I've seen all kinds of motion issues with Vimeo based online that weren't present in the original files when viewed, and I'd hate to see any manufacturer (Sony or Canon) get unfairly dinged for the acts of a third party transcoder...

Additionally, it seems like we're all using slightly different ways of generating our HD content for submission to Vimeo, so even the original source material is suspect.

Even worse, we all may have different hardware and software decoders on our systems so even evaluation of M2TS raw files is suspect.

So, any thoughts on how to do a truly objective evaluation of the AVCHD files coming off these cameras in terms of motion rendering?
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Old April 29th, 2008, 08:10 PM   #144
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As far as my experience is concerned, the stuttering video in 30p comes from hands-on experience with a Canon HF10. Recorded at 30p and played back directly on my Pioneer plasma, the results were stuttery with fast moving objects...not much different than 24p, just a bit better.

The bottom line is that there is no way to get the same smooth motion of 60i with such a reduced frame rate like 30 or 24p. It just won't happen.

I had zero problems with such motion in 60i on either the HF10 or my SR12.
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Old April 30th, 2008, 04:37 AM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
Absolutely. I've never seen anything remotely like a stuttering fast moving object on my SR12 when displayed on my plasma.
thank you Ken !

PS if you have a bit of time, when you want/can, pls upload me a little "raw" clip from your sony in some critical conditions (many movements scenes or similar). thanks!
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Old April 30th, 2008, 06:32 AM   #146
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SR11 field test report.

Hello all. Just got back from a "mini vacation" in Minnesota and Wisconsin. I took the SR11 with me to shoot the Mississippi River scenery and here is what I have to report.

1. It was cold; very cold for late April. Snow, wind, rain; great elements to test the SR11 in.
2. The footage shown on my 42" 720p plasma looks very, very good. Nice and accurate colors (even the green colors, where I could find them). There was some sunlight time, but not much, so most of the footage was with overcast. PQ was sharp, with good details and great contrast. The cam handled the mixed clouds and occasional sun very well. Sound was good, even with a makeshift wind screen on the camcorder. Most of the wind was eliminated (about 70%). The cam as a whole performed well.
3. I dropped the cam onto the cement. It fell off of my tripod (it was not locked on like I thought it was) and hit the cement from a height of about 4 feet. As it hit, the LCD panal flew open and the cam bounced once before coming to rest. I was panicked. I picked it up and immediately gave it a once over and then turned it on and tested it. Aside from a couple of minor scratches and the LCD panal being a tad loose (not hardly noticable), all was well. No problems with anything the rest of the trip. Nothing was lost on the hard drive, no performance problems, nothing was broken, nothing. Whew! Even though I have Best Buys protection program with "accident" insurance, my heart was still in my throat when it happened.

Sonys rock solid construction came through wonderfully. And believe me, I checked that camcorder completely.

So now that I am home (and warm again), I will completely inspect the cam again and make sure it is 100% OK.

My only complaint is a personal one, and that is, it is too lite of a camcorder for smooth operation on a tripod. I have a good fluid head, heavy duty tripod. Because of the lite weight of the cam, every time I touch it to zoom, or to move it, or to turn it off, the cam moves and is very noticable on the footage. Also, the wind really played havoc with its "liteweightness". My friend with his FX7 experienced much less trouble.

So there it is, my first "field test".

Respectfully,
Mike
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Old April 30th, 2008, 11:29 AM   #147
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Thanks for the field report Mike!

Glad to hear that your gravity testing went well 8-P

Out of curiousity, what did you end up with for a wind shield? I haven't had time to fiddle with one, but seems like a good thing to have at the ready.

I got a chance to take my SR11 out for a trip to the zoo/park/steam train kids ride, and was really impressed with the handling (and wouldn't have wanted to lug the FX7 around!). I've got a lanyard on the "D" clip for hanging the cam around my neck, used the "quick on" feature extensively, rediscovered the joys of a viewfinder (after using CX7 for a while), and that big screen was sure nice. The cam likes to focus on foreground objects (cages, not animals), but manual works well, shoulda tried the spot focus...

Only had a brief chance to review footage, but the stills looked great, and video looked great too, have to dump and edit, but have other shoots this week. Sorta nice to have a big storage device, even if I really don't like the HDD conceptually...

All in all, this camera is a joy to shoot with for the casual family outing, though I still like the ultra light/small CX7, the SR11 definitely has it's advantages with only a little weight/size difference.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 12:06 PM   #148
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Dave, my windscreen was an athletic wrist band. The first time I used it I applied it right side up, with the elastic band in the inside. It worked poorly as a windscreen. I then tried it with the band on the outside and it worked better; about 50-70% better. So it will have to do until I figure something else.

Mike
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 12:58 PM   #149
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Thanks Mike - that seems like the simple/easy approach, probably have to go by the sporting goods store myself!

Did a shoot of a school play last night, SR11 and CX7 side by side, pretty bad lighting. CX7 was good, but the SR11 is definitely lower noise and sharper detail in this "real life" situation.

Colors were better too, but I again noted that if you pass into digital zoom (and it appears to kick in when in the highest tele range of optical to my eye), your colors/saturation go "flat". I can't recreate this phemomenon in good light, but it was painfully obvious under the so-so school stage lighting. My best guess is the camera chooses to flatten the color to be able to keep digital noise reduction going strong? Definitely hitting a "processing horsepower wall" with all the processing this camera does - facial recognition probably would have been better turned off too, lessening the load some.

That said, this camera really is a bigger step up than I first thought - with more use it's turning out to be a better performer in "live" situations.

And the stills shooting simultaneously with the video worked surprisingly well - a little lag between shots, looked like it's buffering three and needs to clear the buffer before taking more, but the stills are quite usable, and in rough lighting conditions beat the CX7 hands down for still quality.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 04:33 PM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Burgess View Post
Hello all. Just got back from a "mini vacation" in Minnesota and Wisconsin. I took the SR11 with me to shoot the Mississippi River scenery and here is what I have to report.

1. It was cold; very cold for late April. Snow, wind, rain; great elements to test the SR11 in.
2. The footage shown on my 42" 720p plasma looks very, very good. Nice and accurate colors (even the green colors, where I could find them). There was some sunlight time, but not much, so most of the footage was with overcast. PQ was sharp, with good details and great contrast. The cam handled the mixed clouds and occasional sun very well. Sound was good, even with a makeshift wind screen on the camcorder. Most of the wind was eliminated (about 70%). The cam as a whole performed well.
3. I dropped the cam onto the cement. It fell off of my tripod (it was not locked on like I thought it was) and hit the cement from a height of about 4 feet. As it hit, the LCD panal flew open and the cam bounced once before coming to rest. I was panicked. I picked it up and immediately gave it a once over and then turned it on and tested it. Aside from a couple of minor scratches and the LCD panal being a tad loose (not hardly noticable), all was well. No problems with anything the rest of the trip. Nothing was lost on the hard drive, no performance problems, nothing was broken, nothing. Whew! Even though I have Best Buys protection program with "accident" insurance, my heart was still in my throat when it happened.

Sonys rock solid construction came through wonderfully. And believe me, I checked that camcorder completely.

So now that I am home (and warm again), I will completely inspect the cam again and make sure it is 100% OK.

My only complaint is a personal one, and that is, it is too lite of a camcorder for smooth operation on a tripod. I have a good fluid head, heavy duty tripod. Because of the lite weight of the cam, every time I touch it to zoom, or to move it, or to turn it off, the cam moves and is very noticable on the footage. Also, the wind really played havoc with its "liteweightness". My friend with his FX7 experienced much less trouble.

So there it is, my first "field test".

Respectfully,
Mike
Well, I have had time to really look over the cam, looking closely for any adverse affects do to my having dropped it. I can find nothing, other than the very minor scratches and very slightly loose LCD flipout screen, first noticed at the scene of the accident. All else seems just fine. I don't even notice the scratches or slightly loose LCD panal any more.
I have done some more shots of spring green and other shots of various subjects and have come to these conclusions:

1. Colors of spring green are very close; much better than my old Sony DV camcorder. Other colors are good as well (don't have a Sony TV with x.v.color).
2. Motion is handled very well. Footage shot of passing train cars that are moving by me at 45-65 MPH from a distance of 50-100 feet, has very little "smearing" or "blurring". There seems only an extremely slight loss of clarity due to the motion. This seems better than my friends FX7 and definately better than my old DV.
3. PQ is close to that of my friends FX7. From indirect comparisions (admittedly not real accurate), the FX7 seems to have a slightly sharper picture, showing a bit more detail; twigs on the end of branches on distant trees being more clear, individual blades of grass being clearer a further distance away from the cam. It just seems that the FX7 footage hits me as being more like "real" HD (like what I see from a BR player in the store) than the SR11 footage. Not that the SR11 is not HD, because it is and has a very, very good picture.
4. As to sound, the jury is still out. I cannot comment on the sound until I set up my new theater sound system.

Now to be fair, I am not using the same monitors when comparing the two cams, nor are the times of viewing the FX7 footage immediately close to those times when I view the SR11 scenes (which are different). So there are too many variables to make this a viable comparison. This is all my own nonscientific, personal, seat of the pants feeling, nothing more.

Am still hoping to get my friends FX7 and make a better A/B comparision using the same TV monitor.

Until then, hoping all of you have a great evening.

Respectfully,
Mike
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