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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old April 15th, 2008, 12:40 PM   #106
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As a sidenote, it's kind of weird there seems to be no way to delete a post.
You might try deleting all of the contents during editing, maybe it will then delete the post. Seems I remember a system a long time ago that worked that way, but it's just a guess - YMMV
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Old April 15th, 2008, 12:44 PM   #107
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That's a nice price on the HF, but I'll bet you'll end up with the Sony <wink>.
Actually, $1150.00 is also a really good price for an SR12 (assuming it's really an SR12 and not an SR11). I hope it's a reputable store.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 02:51 PM   #108
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Yes, Dave, it is reputable and I have my camera in hand. They don't do phone or internet sales, though.

I am really disappointed in my findings and may have determined that HD is not where I want it to be to justify the investment. I have used stills and point and shoot video up to now for convenience. With that in mind, is there an SD camcorder/s you guys can recommend. I know its off topic and I won't post anything about your suggestions, but I may be leaning towards returning everything and going SD. The fact that the canon has such bad colors really disappointed me because the price difference was large. I simply can justify $1000 for a product that is not producing what I consider incredible results. I could deal with low light noise, but bad colors, no way! Especially since I just can dump a file that is immediately playable on my computer. The idea was to post video on youtube to let everyone know how my vacation was going. Now that seems impossible on my 2.5 year old lap top.

If I cant get outstanding results I don't want to pay over $500 and certainly don't want to sacrifice easy viewing. Only the results I have got from the SR12 would be worth the hassel but not the cost.

If you choose not to give any suggestions because the off-topic nature of my request, please point me to a forum where I can make this inquiry. Again thanks! and I am not off the band wagon just yet, so I may be back full force.

Kind Regards,
Mario
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Old April 15th, 2008, 03:12 PM   #109
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Mario, I can understand your frustrations with the Canon, been there done that. The colors are just not reliable and can really look whacky at times.

It's too bad the Sony's price isn't more in your range.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 08:52 PM   #110
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I scored a deal on my SR11, and it would be in your price range - maybe take a look at that model instead, there's $200 difference for the same cam with smaller HDD... you get the quality you want at a better price, IF you can get one from your dealer.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 11:15 PM   #111
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I will check on the SR11 but it is still $300 or 50% more than the canon and I did not like its low light performance so much, though I have not tried reducing the gain. The day performance of the sony was only lacking in image stablization. It did seem to jump more than the canon. I cannot believe that canon will put out a unit with that kind of color. Its unfortunate that Ken reports that the HV20/30 has the same problem. I hope the 40D I am going to buy won't do the same, though that may be easier to correct in photoshop.

Now that I brought up the HV20/30, is that also a computer intensive video to download and perhaps watch on my computer? It really sucks that I can't work with this on my lap top. That is another reason why I am thinking of going with SD.

On another note, I wish the TG1 was out. Its small size and better price point may have been the fit for me. Is there another Sony that is around the price of the HF100 that works well enough? I know the retailer has the cx7 and the sr10 but I believe those are older AVCHD coms that have some of the artifacts you all spoke of.

Again, thanks for your help.

Last edited by Mario Salazar; April 15th, 2008 at 11:16 PM. Reason: general stupidity and fried brain from finals
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Old April 16th, 2008, 03:30 AM   #112
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Well, I only paid about $150 more for my SR than you mentioned for your HF... but it was a very lucky deal, the camera is a fast seller, so is sort of hard to come by, you probably will be seeing higher quotes...

Pull back the exposure, that's what I use the control knob for - rein in the automatic functions a bit. Might do the trick. Because "low light" is such a big point of critique, I think they try hard to pull evey last bit out of info our, and something has to give.

Depending on your laptop specs, an HDV cam might be easier to work with - you could downconvert over firewire to SD and have the HD tape for later. AVCHD the only way to downconvert is capture via the composite (yelllow RCA) output...sort of clunky.

I also wasn't thrilled with the HV20 IS, among other things, and went with the HC7 and also have used the HC9 - might be worth a look if you go HDV.

I also have the CX7, and personally haven't had any artifact problems with it, I found it smoother than the 7 series HDV cams... but you're back with the AVCHD processing issue. Incredible (and underrated) little cam if you ask me.

SR 10 is curent generation, but not sure which sensor it uses offhand - it's the "baby bro" to the SR11/12, and I "think" it has EXMOR/Bionz... sometimes these "baby" versions (HC5 was a good example, seen them on eBay for $450!) don't sell as well, so maybe you can get a deal while everyone is snapping up the SR11/12?

Trying to coax a 2.5 yeap old laptop to process HD video of any type is probably pushing it unless you're patient. Thus, perhaps HV20/30 or HC7/9 and downconvert from the cam might be your best shot, then do HD editing when you get back. Best of both worlds as it were - SD for the road, HD for later!
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Old April 16th, 2008, 04:57 AM   #113
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Thanks Dave! Thats great. I think that may be the route for me. I can probably get a deal on the HC-9. Is HDV the only format that will allow me to down convert to SD so I can upload easily to youtube and watch on my computer screen, I did some reading and I think the AVCHD units do it also. The SR10 has the same 1/5 sensor the TG1 is going to have. I wonder what the smaller sensor does to affect picture quality. Cant be good. The HC9 has a 2.9 inch sensor and the CX7 a 3". However, s the CX7 not last years technology that is prone to artifacts? I don't know what the opinion on the SR10 is...

Last edited by Mario Salazar; April 16th, 2008 at 05:22 AM. Reason: tired....
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Old April 16th, 2008, 06:15 AM   #114
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I will check on the SR11 but it is still $300 or 50% more than the canon and I did not like its low light performance so much, though I have not tried reducing the gain. The day performance of the sony was only lacking in image stablization. It did seem to jump more than the canon. I cannot believe that canon will put out a unit with that kind of color. Its unfortunate that Ken reports that the HV20/30 has the same problem.
Mario, actually the color on the HV20 is better than that of the HF10. If the color on the HV20 was as bad, I probably would never have kept the HV20. I haven't played with the HV30, so I can't comment on its color.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 06:19 AM   #115
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SR 10 is curent generation, but not sure which sensor it uses offhand - it's the "baby bro" to the SR11/12, and I "think" it has EXMOR/Bionz... sometimes these "baby" versions (HC5 was a good example, seen them on eBay for $450!) don't sell as well, so maybe you can get a deal while everyone is snapping up the SR11/12?
Dave and Mario, the SR10 uses a 1/5" chip, but the clips I've seen from it are very impressive. In fact, in good light, I don't think it gives up much, if anything to the SR11/12. I haven't played with one myself, but the one area you might take a hit is low light considering the smaller chip.

If the new TX1 performs anything like the SR10, that might be an incredible achievement given its size.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 07:07 AM   #116
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I agree with the comments on low light automatic exposure on the Sony's. This is true for my HC96 DV, SR11 and the SR7. They all need to be pulled back several "clicks" on the manual control to give exposure more like the real picture. This for the SR11 means pulling back from wide open 18db of gain to potentially 12db of gain and the difference is grain being present in the image at 18db and very little grain at 12db and a much nicer image. For the SR7 and HC96 full open and 18db is an unusable picture. I don't know why they do this as it does nothing for the reputation of the camera at all. This doesn't happen in my PC10 DV but just starts to be this way for the TRV50 and TRV740. So over time of 8 years or so Sony has gradually introduced this characteristic. However on all these cameras its is easy to correct. Just don't use automatic when its dark!!!

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Old April 16th, 2008, 12:36 PM   #117
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Just don't use automatic when its dark!!!
This is the best advice with *all* cameras. The only exception might be some cams that have a scene mode that handles dark scenes better automatically, like apparently some of the Canons.

I was also playing around in the store with the Panasonic SD9, which is sort of the "black sheep" on this forum because of low light performance (too much NR, basically), and found even with that camera, I can get much better results by using manual exposure in low light. It lets you readily control gain and shutter independently, and I found that I could force it into 1/24 shutter sooner than it normally likes to do, and then cut the gain down by 5-6dB or so to where the scene looks more like it did in real life. At the lower gain, the camera then applies less NR for a nicer image, in addition to being more realistic.

Automatic modes have gotten so good over the last 20 years that we tend to forget that there are still some times when manual works better.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #118
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I forgot to report that you all are right. Pulling down the gain really improves the image right on par, or maybe better than the HF10. I have also found out from sony that all of sonys AVCHD cameras WILL NOT down convert. However, the software CAN convert it!!!

I am going to do a little more research and report my findings. Dave, can you tell me where you got the SR11 or is that not allowed here?
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Old April 16th, 2008, 01:40 PM   #119
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Dave and Mario, the SR10 uses a 1/5" chip, but the clips I've seen from it are very impressive. In fact, in good light, I don't think it gives up much, if anything to the SR11/12. I haven't played with one myself, but the one area you might take a hit is low light considering the smaller chip.
Is the SR10 a new camera? I checked out the specs at B&H and Sony - it has a 1/5" sensor (as you mention), 15x optical zoom, no mic or headphone jack (similar to SD9 in that respect), no camera control dial and very little manual control, but it still weighs 1.2 pounds and costs $999. Despite the 15X optical zoom and relatively small $100 price difference, I'm having trouble seeing why anyone would want to buy this camera over an SR11. I'd be surprised if the 1/5" sensor is much better in low light than Panasonic's three 1/6" sensors, at least not without heavy noise reduction.

The SR11 should have much better performance for not much more money, and the SD9 is smaller, lighter, $350 cheaper, has better manual controls, and may well have similar low light performance due to the sensor sizes.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 02:53 PM   #120
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Dave, from what I've seen from comments, the prime reason for people buying the SR10 is price. But don't underestimate the video from this puppy. I've been very very impressed with the clips I've seen. I haven't see any low light clips though.

The SR10 came out at the same time as the SR11 & SR12. They all use the same Exmor & Bionz processing. The only differences are the chip sizes & HD sizes as well as the omission of some manual controls you mentioned.
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