First Sony XR520V Canon HF S10 comparsion is online! at DVinfo.net

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Old February 4th, 2009, 12:40 AM   #1
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First Sony XR520V Canon HF S10 comparsion is online!

Translated version of http://av.watch.impress.co.jp/docs//20090204/zooma397.htm

The two flagship models for this year, and the winner is the Sony!
+Better low light performance thanks to the new sensor.
+Better stabilization.
+Better diagraph.

Don't forget extra "gimmicks" on the Sony:
+GPS geotagging
+High resolution screen.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 05:56 AM   #2
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Peter,

I read the link you cited but do not see the conclusions you are referring to.

As far as I can tell the story begins by saying the Canon will be reviewed next week and this article is about the Sony camera.

Where do you find the better low light, better stabilization conclusions?

And what is a "diagraph"?

Thanks,

Larry
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Old February 4th, 2009, 06:51 AM   #3
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Larry,

pls download the video samples and judge for yourself. There are sample videos for both cameras for extreme low light and image stabilization (videos for both Canon and Sony) and sample pictures (for both Canon and Sony) of the effect of the diagraph.

Yes, this is my conlusion based on the downloaded samples!

Rgds,
Peter
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Old February 4th, 2009, 07:35 AM   #4
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Peter,

I downloaded the 4 sample videos and made my own comparison, and agree with your opinion.

The comparison is a bit odd in my opinion, since Canon's AVCHD camcorders now offer 24 Mbit/sec recording whereas this latest Sony model still only offers 16 Mbit/sec for its maximum quality.

Therefore, the competition between the two is really more complex than merely anti-shake and low light, since the image quality with more normal lighting and with motion may be entirely different.

I guess I would not declare "Sony is the winner" just yet!

Larry
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Old February 4th, 2009, 10:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
The comparison is a bit odd in my opinion, since Canon's AVCHD camcorders now offer 24 Mbit/sec recording whereas this latest Sony model still only offers 16 Mbit/sec for its maximum quality.
Sometimes higher bit rates just let you more accurately record the noise in the original image! :)
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Old February 4th, 2009, 11:12 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Peter Pacai View Post
The two flagship models for this year, and the winner is the Sony!
+Better low light performance thanks to the new sensor.
OTOH, Canon has 30p mode, which could make up the difference.

Quote:
+Better stabilization.
How about the AF? Will it be improved?

Quote:
Don't forget extra "gimmicks" on the Sony:
But does it have aperture and shutter speed priority mode?
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Old February 4th, 2009, 12:13 PM   #7
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But does it have aperture and shutter speed priority mode?
Hard to make out exactly, but this sentence: "Unfortunately for the consumer to Sony's machine is the lack of aperture priority mode" suggests no aperture priority mode.


I think diagraph = diaphragm

And those stills are interesting...
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Old February 11th, 2009, 04:14 PM   #8
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Downloaded the OIS and night samples, no comparison, the Sony won hands down on both counts (take a close look at the vehicle motion in the night clip...). Not really a big surprise as I've always felt the OIS of the Canons was not really all that impressive, but if the night performance of the Sony was accurate, it will certainly up the ante - perhaps putting the new offerings on par with the EX1 and EX3 for low light performance...

Now just do something to compete with the HMC150 with one big EXMOR-R or better yet three of 'em, and some manual controls... THAT would make for an interesting camera!

That's an initial evaluation, it's always hard to know exactly how things were tested (I liked that they did the double camera bracket simul shoot trick - I've found that's the best way to REALLY side by side evaluate two cameras...), but any interest I might have had in upgrading cameras suddenly shifted to the Sony and away from the Canon HF-S...

And why the heck Sony refuses to have a "expert mode" that would give shutter, gain and aperture control on even a rudimentary level is beyond me... sometimes that stuff comes in handy if you know how to use a camera, ya know?! Put a hidden, blacked out button somewhere to offset the "easy" button, OK?! Hide it under a hatch with a tiny screw for Pete's sake if you're worried that some soccer mom will botch her shot and start "hatin' on Sony" - Stop crippling these for no reason - give us the "new TRV900"!
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Old February 11th, 2009, 10:44 PM   #9
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Stop crippling these for no reason - give us the "new TRV900"!
The last time they made a camcorder with decent features was the A1u. Usually companies don’t want smaller prosumer camcorders competing with the bigger camcorders but with JVC releasing the HM100, they should at least realize that maybe it’s in their best interest to release a competitor. Same goes for Canon and Panasonic. If not, JVC will have no competition in that category.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 07:52 AM   #10
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In those samples the Canon actually has a better looking image than the Sony (Sony's image was softer). But the stabalization in the Sony was noticably better.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 01:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
Peter,

I downloaded the 4 sample videos and made my own comparison, and agree with your opinion.

The comparison is a bit odd in my opinion, since Canon's AVCHD camcorders now offer 24 Mbit/sec recording whereas this latest Sony model still only offers 16 Mbit/sec for its maximum quality.

Therefore, the competition between the two is really more complex than merely anti-shake and low light, since the image quality with more normal lighting and with motion may be entirely different.

I guess I would not declare "Sony is the winner" just yet!

Larry
I would agree the low-light and OIS looks better on the Sony, but the video of the girl walking looks sharper on the Canon. So I suspect the Canon remains the sharper cam.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 09:53 PM   #12
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My question is how do they test these cameras? Do they only use auto modes? It looks to me that very frequently auto modes are quite lame, but if the camera has a nice set of controls they will produce a fantastic image. JVC HD7 is a prime example, where it was dissed in almost every review, but in right hands it outperformed other cameras.
Marketing these cameras as "prosumer" is just a hype! They don't even have a viewfinder, and record 60i.
JVC moved in the right direction, but there has to be some first hand user opinions and some footage before I would spend the cash.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 01:19 PM   #13
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I'm sure they use primarily auto, after all they have a bit of pressure to get reviews out. And yes, if you get a bit more experience with any camera you learn the "tricks" to get better results.

I think one of the biggest improvements in this review was that the two cameras were mounted side by side and shot SIMULTANEOUSLY, which is a HUGE improvement in seeing what two cameras will do under IDENTICAL shooting conditions - it makes a difference, having tried it myself - even minor changes which can occur between "takes" can skew results.

My only comments are that there was so much noise in the Canon night scene that in comparison to the Sony "sharpness" wasn't even a consideration, and saying that the image where the Sony super OIS was making for a usable picture while the Canon was jiggling all over the place showed a "sharper" image for the Canon is almost laughable...

It doesn't matter how "sharp" an image is if it's noisy or jiggly... unusable footage is unusable footage... noise in low light (poor low light performance) as well as shaky images are probably THE two major flies in the ointment when shooting HD. Miniscule differences in image sharpness are far outweighed by a stable image and usability in "normal" conditions these consumer cams are used in, like "indoors", candle light, etc.

Now if Sony would just put these new EXMOR-R sensors in something with some basic manual control capabilty...

I've noticed that Canon tends to be "contrasty" (increasing percieved sharpness) vs. the preset Sony look - turning AE down 1-3 notches often helps this. When I tried the HV20, it looked "sharp" at first glance, because blacks were "blacker", but the comparable Sony had more real usable detail.

I'd also want to see how each cam handles color... Canon can vary a lot (with some inaccuracies that really stick out to me), and I haven't been thrilled with them in the past...
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 01:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
My only comments are that there was so much noise in the Canon night scene that in comparison to the Sony "sharpness" wasn't even a consideration, and saying that the image where the Sony super OIS was making for a usable picture while the Canon was jiggling all over the place showed a "sharper" image for the Canon is almost laughable...

It doesn't matter how "sharp" an image is if it's noisy or jiggly... unusable footage is unusable footage... noise in low light (poor low light performance) as well as shaky images are probably THE two major flies in the ointment when shooting HD. Miniscule differences in image sharpness are far outweighed by a stable image and usability in "normal" conditions these consumer cams are used in, like "indoors", candle light, etc.

Now if Sony would just put these new EXMOR-R sensors in something with some basic manual control capabilty...

I've noticed that Canon tends to be "contrasty" (increasing percieved sharpness) vs. the preset Sony look - turning AE down 1-3 notches often helps this. When I tried the HV20, it looked "sharp" at first glance, because blacks were "blacker", but the comparable Sony had more real usable detail.

I'd also want to see how each cam handles color... Canon can vary a lot (with some inaccuracies that really stick out to me), and I haven't been thrilled with them in the past...
Dave a couple of comments on your observations. I think Sony dropped the gain kick-in for the new camera. That may be part of the reason why it's less noisy BUT also darker. I'd bet you can achieve much better results in the Canon by cutting the gain or exposure.

As for the sharpness difference, we don't always take that type of video (while walking). However, the sharpness difference will always be there. I'll still take the sharper cam and figure out how to handle 'walking videos' so that every other video I take will be sharp. The fact is the Canons (consumer units) usually test out with more measured resolution. So this is not just a function of 'perceived' sharpness and contrast.

Now, on the other hand, I've recently purchased a Sony Z5 HDV cam and that puppy is both sharp as a tack and is easier to achieve a stable hand held image due to its size and weight. It's prosumer counterpart (the FX1000) was measured at an amazing 900 lines of horizontal resolution.

So Sony can certainly make a sharp camera if they so choose. I also don't understand why Sony is stuck on 16mbps bitrate. That's a bit old at this stage of AVCHD. But hey, may hat's off to their OIS and low-noise video.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 06:13 PM   #15
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I'm thinking that Canon has always seemed to have "blacker blacks" vs. Sony, so I'm not sure it's a gain issue - this was supposed to be the big boost of the "R" sensor, improved low light performance.

Presuming that the new sensor design ACTUALLY improves low light capability, the smoothness of the image was impressive, and I thought the Sony looked significantly better and more like you'd expect it to look in real life, without video noise.

It'll be interesting to see what CCinfo has to say - they must have these two either in hand or on the way, and while I don't always agree with their testing protocols, they should reveal at least some of the strengths or weaknesses of these cameras.

I'll admit the specs of the HF-S really looked great and I was thinking I'll have to try one (might still do it...), and I wasn't impressed at all with the GPS equipped Sonys... but specs and real life use are two different animals.

I downloaded and have run the videos side by side quite a few times, and based on those, I'd take the Sony, both for low light and for motion. The night scene looked more "real" to me, and far less noise, and the idea of a small camera that doesn't HAVE to be on a rig to be stable sure resonates for me - having tried to shoot while moving with a Canon (HV20), it was not worth a darn. The sharpness may or may not be enough of a factor to matter - IOW "sharp" images that are blurry due to motion are just junk.

In my mind if you can shoot in lower light and while moving, it means more opportunities to capture a moment, meaning the camera is more useful in a practical sense, lines of resolution be darned. Yeah, still looking for a "perfect" camera, but those two improvements look like they are more than just marketing...

OH, and yes that Z5/FX1000 looks pretty sweet <wink>!

And I'd second the 16Mbps - that's just strange given the 24Mbps rate everyone else is at, but maybe the perceived "improvements" just weren't all the specs would imply?
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