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AVCHD Format Discussion
Inexpensive High Definition H.264 encoding to DVD, Hard Disc or SD Card.


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Old May 19th, 2009, 02:22 PM   #46
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HF100 or HF-S100

Just so I understand correctly, is the Canon in this comparison an HF100, i.e. not an HF-S100?
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Old May 19th, 2009, 05:10 PM   #47
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I procrastinated for ages over the HFS10 and the Sony Sr12 but waited too long as the Sony XR500/20 came out before i could make up my mind.

I am upgraded from the Sony201e that I bought some 5 years ago. Due to a little salt water issue it finally gave up it’s last legs. It was sad to see it go but now it was time to get updated and move on.

I have to say the video samples uploaded to vimeo of comparing HFS10 and XR500 is quite impressive. In fact it almost swayed me to purchase the canon simply because of the great clear image quality that I was seeing.

But once I took my rose coloured glasses off and thought about it more I remembered how all the critical negative reviews were around the Sony dvd201e and yet I found it to be a fantastic cam. I had none of the so called daylight issues that you see in all reviews about Sony cams.

In fact 99% of my video is outdoors and a lot on boats on the water where the sunlight is exceptional brighter with water reflections.

Perhaps I am just looking at things differently. As an end user who is interested in shooting from the hip but at the same time producing great quality video imaging I found Sony accommodating to this. With very good automated features It was easy for me to create content very quickly so that I spent more time filming rather than tweaking knobs and dials.

While the canon guy is still tweaking his knobs and dial settings the Sony guy has already shot 3 films and seeking out his 4th.(that was a joke:))

The other thing that appealed to me was the large hard drive. I tend to like to film in highest setting and then convert down for other application like YouTube ect... That way I always have one good copy to work from.

It is difficult to decide if the huge hard drive is of benefit or not since a lot of people are mobile with laptops and external drive like myself.

I guess the only advantage is you don’t have to hurry to get off the cam onto your PC/Laptop to make more room.

So at the end of the day I chose Sony XR520 which is due to arrive today :)

Last edited by Russell Bailey; May 19th, 2009 at 05:30 PM. Reason: spell
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Old May 19th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #48
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Good luck Russell, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Let us know how you like it!
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Old May 19th, 2009, 06:21 PM   #49
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Hi Ken, i will :). I forgot to add i am not a videophile type person (probably already guess that), and do not look too closely if there is a pixel missing at upper left corner or if there is a slight shading issue when viewed under a microscope. I still watch B&W movies because they lack special effects but have great content :)

So please only take my view point from a general end user perspective. I video anything any time :).

Last edited by Russell Bailey; May 19th, 2009 at 06:21 PM. Reason: spell
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Old May 19th, 2009, 08:15 PM   #50
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Hey Russell, you don't have to be a videophile to enjoy these cams! :)
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Old May 19th, 2009, 11:36 PM   #51
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You'll find the XR to be a nice camera - very good for the "shoot anything/anytime" approach - it adds enough range in low light to make for more shooting opportunities that other cameras would miss or get so-so results. It's not for a "serious" film-maker, I think we've beat that horse dead, but as a "get the shot" camera, that you'll have with you because it's compact and easy to carry about, I think it's hard to beat.

Ultimately all the controls in the world won't matter if the camera botches the shot while trying to auto adjust or the operator is twiddling knobs. I think I'm actually resigned to sacrificing some of the "manual control" to the AI circuitry if it means getting more usable footage... Doesn't mean a slightly larger manual model with the auto features as well wouldn't get me excited, but that doesn't seem to fit the Sony marketing plan...

You probably couldn't make a "wrong" choice between the Canon and the Sony, just enjoy shooting with whatever you've chosen!
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Old May 20th, 2009, 03:25 AM   #52
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<Just so I understand correctly, is the Canon in this comparison an HF100, i.e. not an HF-S100?>

Yes, HF100 not HF-S100.....
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Old May 20th, 2009, 08:10 AM   #53
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I think an important point to consider, is that even though the Canon gives you more control over the image, it could never be considered a serious film-maker's camera nor does it mean that additional controls will produce a better picture. I think we confuse that issue at times and think that although the Sony is better at 'running & gunning', the Canon is for the 'pros'. It aint so.

I found that regardless of the controls the HS-10 offered me, I could not get an overall image, in both bright & dim conditions, that matched in quality the overall image the XR500 produced.

Most anyone serious about 'film-making' is not going to use any of these small consumer cams as their sole camera. I for one would never ever go to a paying client with either the small Canon or the Sony. This despite the fact that many of these small cams can actually give a sharper, more detailed picture than their big brothers. However when you compare their image to their big brothers, you see that the big boys still have better color and a better dynamic range to capture both highlights and lowlights.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 07:36 PM   #54
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2 gig file size limit?

just wondering do Sony AVCHD cam like the Sony HDR-XR520 or HDR-CX100

has the 2 gig file size limit problem? can the sony cams join the files seamlessly?
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Old May 20th, 2009, 08:14 PM   #55
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Most if not all the AVCHD cameras format the storage in FAT 32 which has the file size limit. Sony supplies Sony Motion Browser software ( I think it is just PC) that joins these files together seamlessly on transfer to the PC. They show of course in the camera and in the Motion Browser software as one big file defined by the start and stop of the camera recording and once transfered to the PC are one big file certainly in my NTFS formatted hard drives on my PC. I use my SR11 and XR500 to record theatre shows and regularly record for over 1 hour and 40 mins. This file shows as one in the camera and one file when transfered to the PC with the Sony Software. This can be brought into Vegas as one native file for editing or I usually convert to Canopus HQ and edit in Edius.

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Old May 22nd, 2009, 02:26 PM   #56
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i looked at Wolfgangs's Sony and Canon clips with VLC player, and i think i see Sony produces a visibly better DR, i mean look at the clip with a woman picking flowers at the street florist's. The white flowers in the foreground are almost completely washed out in Canon, but in Sony's clip there's definite texture and more than a hint of yellow. And even more obvious Sony has better shadow detail. But then again that may be configurable in Canon, maybe one can dial something down/up and get a better DR with Canon's as well.

Actually i think HV40 beats then both, XR500 and HF100, but that's just how my eyes see it.

Last edited by Mike Sakovski; May 22nd, 2009 at 11:05 PM.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 03:25 PM   #57
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Yikes

Great.. I know Wolfgang is a Sony fan boy.. I don't mean that negatively ( i know it sounds it). You purchase equipment and you like to stand behind it I understand. I'm just glad I met Chris H before I stumbled onto this post.. I don't think it's very objective or accurate.. Which is too bad, because that was one of the things I enjoyed about this site 4-5 years ago..Anyway I'll stick to asking my network of professionals.. I guess that's the pro/con about the internet in general.. Lot's of info you just need to know how to sift through the garbage..
Cheers. and no offense.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 06:02 PM   #58
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Yup, and it's pretty obvious we have our share of Canon 'fan boys' too. ;)

But objectively, there was definitely more shadow detail in the Sony image. You may prefer the Canon, but more detail in shadow is more detail in shadow. The low light pictures were truly a blow away in favor of the Sony. That would be hard for anyone to refute. Each cam has its pluses and minuses.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 11:53 PM   #59
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I'm not sure where anyone would get the idea that what is being said about these cameras is not "very objective or accurate".

If you like your Canon, good for you, but I've seen enough footage from both cameras to be quite confident in the image quality of the Sony under the sort of shooting conditions I want the camera for. The other commentary here comes from other guys who also contemplate similar uses - and I GUARANTEE you we'd all jump brands in a heartbeat if there was a compelling reason... but for the moment the XR meets or exceeds our expectations.
I also will stand by the commentary on low light performance, OIS, the nice addition of having a VF, and the bigger LCD. Please point to any inaccurate or less than objective aspect of any of those...

We are comparing two cams in a general price class (or generally the "top of the consumer line"), both have plusses and minuses for various uses. I'm not going to criticize someone's choice to go with the HF-S (or maybe even the TM300... though that one isn't living up to it's "specs" IMO). I am thinking of trying out the HF-S for specific uses once the price inevitably drops (Canon resale prices make them attractive in the used market... and their retail/new price always seems to reallly plummet once they become readily available). But I also see things in the images from the cam that I didn't like, and this thread has confirmed them, so I'd make an educated decision if I try it.

Once one learns to work with the Sony XR, it's a darn fine camera under a lot of conditions where I feel quite certain the Canon WON'T hold up. It also beats earlier SONY cameras under those same conditions. If it didn't work for you, enjoy the Canon, but don't toss flame bait around. Given the mixed value of the "review" sites out there, I think the discussions here represent a good "professional" real world evaluation of the relative merits of the cameras.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:44 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Given the mixed value of the "review" sites out there, I think the discussions here represent a good "professional" real world evaluation of the relative merits of the cameras.
I couldn't agree more.
I find the manufacturer's sites and review articles useful for obtaining specs and a general notion about a particular camera, but the extensive dialog available on this forum, the wealth of personal experiences & observations, really gives me a feel for what to expect from a particular product.
I usually have a specific set of personal objectives I am looking to fulfill when I purchase a camera, as opposed to finding the "best" camera- if there even is such a thing. All of these detailed posts allow me to gain some scrutiny of the particular issues that are most important to me, and really help me make an informed decision.
I have seldom been disappointed or caught by surprise when I finally get the item in my hands.
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