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Old December 6th, 2009, 07:52 AM   #76
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All my projects(theatre) are multicam and a lot are by myself. I use FX1, XR500 and SR11. I have found a good setup for me is to set the XR500 up on full stage view AE shift at -4, spot focus on the centre stage. Set the SR11 to one side or the other closer in shot, spot focus and on manual exposure set for main lighting( the reason is it definitely shows grain if left in AE shift). I then track action with FX1 on full manual. All cameras are on tripods with LANC controllers.
I look forward to the new NXCAM so that I can go total tapeless and not worry about tape changing for long events.
IF I can get an audio feed I connect through Studio One box to the XR500, use a Rode mic on the FX1 and use SR11 audio as needed.

Ron Evans
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Old December 6th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #77
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What are the stage light conditions like? I'm not sure I understand why you're using that much automatic exposure shift and would like to know in case I can do the same sometime... Thanks / Tom
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Old December 6th, 2009, 10:32 AM   #78
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I use -4 for most bright stage lights( I would actually like it to go more but -4 is the limit on the XR500 and SR11), if the play is dark all the time I use -3. It is easy to brighten just a little if too dark and by making the camera stay darker it avoids too much auto gain. For the XR500 with the stage going to black it shows less grain than the FX1 in full manual at 9db!!!! Sony tend to have scene too bright anyway so even for normal use I think AE-1 or -2 is more natural. For any stage lighting I prefer it a little darker to focus on where the lighting person wants the action to be . The XR500 still retains all the shadow detail so can be brightened easily in Edius YUV filter to taste. You need to experiment to find the look that you need for the camera you use and fits the editing style.

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Old December 6th, 2009, 12:05 PM   #79
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Got it, thanks. The stage lighting is very uneven then as the lights are focused on different targets. Dave Blackhurst had recommended a -1 AE shift in bright light outdoors as well. The Exmor-R seems to be doing its job of letting in more light than the Exmor chip and maybe the Sony AE algorithms need a bit of adjusting as a result.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 02:16 PM   #80
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The type of performance is important. Even lighting can use a AE of-2 or-3, dark sets with spotlight areas will need AE -3 or -4 to counter the auto exposure from opening up too much due to the dark average reading. Its in editing I then lighten a little for the few times there is even lighting in such an event.

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Old December 6th, 2009, 04:03 PM   #81
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I've got the Sony -520, and I like it alot.
Looked at the Canon, and reserved the last one the store had, and when I got there, only then did I realize there was no viewfinder! = No sale!
I shoot mostly airshows, which means a lot of zoom (optical only), and manual focus to infinity. And a viewfinder is an absolute necessity. I also like to use a wide angle adaptor lens at airshows, so I got the small, clip-on one that Sony makes. Well, it did not focus AT ALL at anywhere near max zoom, so it went back, and I got the larger screw-in one, again from Sony. This one also has the same problem. At max optical zoom with the wide angle lens on, I have to manually focus to what the camera says is 25 meters to get sharp focus on things such as a ridgeline 20 MILES away! And this is with the camera set for the wide angle lens. (There is such a setting on it) Bummer!
The stability system is pretty good, but you try videoing a 15 minute aerobatic display, looking up, straining your neck muscles, while trying to be as steady as possible, and then do it again and again throughout the day, and you'll see the need for buffed-out deltoid muscles! The XRs stability is light-years ahead of the HDR-SR1 sony that I previously used.
My next camera will definitely be flash drive--BUT ONLY IF IT HAS A VIEWFINDER!!! (are you listening, sony and canon?)
The capacity of the -520 is amazing, it will hold 29 hours of high-def video at the highest quality setting
I'm a hobbyist with video, and I'm happy with the Sony.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 05:00 PM   #82
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Airshow filming: might be worth trying the "landscape" scene at some point to see if that helps with the distance focusing. Not sure it would help, but maybe....
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Old December 6th, 2009, 05:29 PM   #83
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A couple quick comments -

Using AE shift helps prevent blowouts in the highlights, which can SOMETIMES be a problem - Sony's algorithms tend to overexpose a bit, probably because it's preferable to losiong stuff in the shadows. The Exmor R seems to have better overall range from shadows to highlights (you get "more" of both), so it's significantly superior to earlier consumer level cameras, but (and this is where we stil hunt the Zebra) there is a danger of blowing the highs.

SO, the trick is to shift things down a bit as needed (easy with the button/wheel on these cams), instead of riding the exposure (also easy and sometimes more appropriate). AE shift from -2 to -4 seems to be a reliable "standard" for long time Sony users. You can still ride the exposure too if needed, but in multicam shoots, better to have any spare angles auto adjust to the "best" setting, then adjust further in post. Also a reason to set to ONE WB setting so the camera sticks to one preset, and less adjusting later.

Shawn - which Sony WA lenses are you using??? I've got the VCL-HG series (multiple flavors) and ALL are zoom through, the camera focuses fairly well with them. It sounds to me like you got some single element non-zoom through (the "clip on" for sure) inexpensive lenses?

You're shooting HD - cheap glass is DEATH to HD image quality, and that sounds like what you've got... Let's see what you've used (model #'s) and find a recommendation - I haven't tried he new HGA07 that they added this year, but I've got all the earlier HG offerings, plus some cheap stuff that "works" if you understand and accept the flaws... I'm a little unsure why you're mounting a WA and shooting full zoom... sort of counterintuitive? I don't usually use the WA when I have the option of moving back to frame.

Definitely share the opinion on having a VF, particularly for outdoor action shooting! And I use a belt pod to ease the pain of these type shoots!
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Old December 6th, 2009, 09:13 PM   #84
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third time I've tried this

This is the third time I will have tried to reply to this. Here goes...
Tom; thanks for the idea, I'll try it on "landscape" and see if that helps.
Dave; I've got the VCL-HGA-07, and that's the one that won't focus at infinity while at full (optical) zoom. (The viewfinder will show the infinity symbol, but the image is way out of focus, and sharpness is only achieved by focusing down to what the viewfinder says is 25-28 meters.)
Using a wide angle adaptor lens at max zoom at an airshow is not as goofy as it sounds.
I'm a novice at videoing, and us beginners tend to fill the frame with the plane as much as possible, which produces a lot of jiggle, and makes tracking difficult. the wide amgle lens reduces the zoom by a factor of .7, and that helps, but it also is neeed for the "bombburst" maneuvers by such teams as the 'Blues, the 'Birds, and the Collaborators, when they spread out. Also, the WA is needed for the "static" (parked aircraft) displays so you don't have to back up and wait for the crowd to clear out to get the whole plane.
What does a belt pod look like--can you tell where to see one on the 'net?
I made a monopod out of a piece of bamboo about 20 inches long, it is VERY light, lighter than aluminum, and it helps a bit with fatigue, but it can introduce a bit of jiggle if I'm not careful. It's a mixed blessing. Perhaps it should be attached around my waist somehow?
Thanks for your replies,
Shawn
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Old December 7th, 2009, 03:46 PM   #85
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Hi Shawn -
HMMMM, I don't have the HGA07, but it's SUPPOSED to be a zoom through lens, similar to it's predecessors in the HG series. Only thing I can think of is that perhaps the autofocus hunts, yet it sounds like you'reusing manual with strange results... ya got me on this one!

Right now it's getting ready to snow, but I'll try some things with the WA lenses I have and see if I can replicate once the sun shines again!

I understand where the WA can be handy - I always have one (usually the HG0737C, direct predecessor to the one you've got, the 0737Y is WAY too big and heavy!) in my bag, but try to avoid it wherever I can - it does come in handy though. I too like airshows, so I know the sorts of things you're trying to catch!

A belt pod is a variation of the monopod (just shorten it up!), you can either get dedicated belt pockets, use an existing pocket (those little watch posckets on some jeans are good), or I have a plastic molded thing called a BiGGLuGG 2 thats actually a tool holder from Home Depot, but it works really well as a socket for most of the monopods I've got - hooks over your pants or belt, makes a nice rest for the foot of the monopod. The advantage of a belt pod is you can turn and track a bit easier - going all the way to the ground with a monopod, I tend to get too much sway. If you're really into it, you could even cobble up a shoulder rig with handle(s), but you start to lose the advantages of a small camera!

Even with the excellent OIS of the XR/CX's, it's tough to track fast moving objects and get a usable image!
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Old December 10th, 2009, 03:29 PM   #86
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My replies disappear.

Seems I have trouble getting my replies to stick.
Dave, thanks for your interest and replies.
Anyway, here's the "small print"-- "When using the conversion lens at a telephoto position, the image may be out of focus. If this occurs, adjust the zoom towards the wide-angle position until the image is in focus" Why the hell would I do that?--I WANT THE ZOOM LEVEL I HAVE CHOSEN APPROPRIATE TO THE MOMENT,I DON'T WISH TO ZOOM TO THE LIMITATION OF THE LENS!!!--
What part of disclosing product limitations and capabilities does sony not understand?
Serious limitations in capability of a product should be disclosed in a manner that permits a potential buyer to make an informed decision!!
I chose this lens because of the statement made by a sony rep on the phone who said this lens would properly focus throughout the entire zoom range!! (the phone call was made in response to my puchase and subsequent return of a different sony WA adaptor that had an even more severe manifestation of the same nature)
Oh, well, time to go to the sony website and write another review for this lens, as I did for the first one. A negative review, of course.
Does anyone know if the Canon camera and WA adaptor have the same limitation?
Maybe I bought the wrong camera....
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Old December 20th, 2009, 08:07 PM   #87
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First gig using XR520 with Z5

OK guys, the gig's in the can and I've started post. I can say I'm very impressed with the XR520's results in low level stage/disco lighting and it matches up quite well with the footage from the Z5 (with a very little tweaking for contrast). The Panasonic HS100 that I borrowed as 3rd cam pretty much sucked at those low-light levels to the point that I doubt I'll end up using any of the footage (do we still talk about "footage" when we're using digital media?) from that one.

I've uploaded one clip of my 12 year old nephew Oliver playing Red House (with the impromptu help of a few friends). This was his first ever live gig in front of an audience and it didn't phase him in the slightest! You can see it on youtube

I'm going to upload the other tracks as I go (I'm compiling them one at a time before stringing them together for the final complete video). I must say also, that Pluraleyes is brilliant for syncing up the video tracks with the 4 channel audio from the Edirol R-44 - what a time saver! Definitely going to have to get the final released version once my trial runs out!
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Old December 20th, 2009, 09:56 PM   #88
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XR500 for underwater videography

I got the XR500 because I shoot a lot of underwater footage and the water is not the cleanest here. Light levels are very poor even at 3m. So the low light performace of the XR realy sold me. I'm just waiting for the new housing to arrive (stuck in cutoms, go figger) and when it arrives ans I test it out I'll let you know how well it works.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 09:27 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Renouf View Post
OK guys, the gig's in the can and I've started post. I can say I'm very impressed with the XR520's results in low level stage/disco lighting ...
I upgraded to a CX500V on the promise of low noise low light performance plus improved stabilization and a larger sensor than the CX12. It has exceeded my expectations and I now film in low light happily where I just didn't bother before. I've determined that I will gladly trade off some brightness to get low noise and better colors as the lighting levels drop.

I posted some YouTube room lighting clips a while back comparing full auto to low lux modes and a couple of twilight clips as well. Last night and tonight I posted two outdoor clips taken at night. One was during a snowstorm with quite a bit of light reflected off the falling snow and the sky. The next was full night after the storm with just some house lights and a streetlamp or two nearby. I started with full auto mode and the cam making all the exposure decisions, and then kicked in the Low Lux mode for comparison purposes.

I did two uploads because the first one included some dancing pale green lights that I thought were reflections off a clear filter I was using. The second night proved this to be correct. So I just uploaded a second clip without the dancing light. I don't like using the cam without the protective filter in place, but there have been a few times where it has caused an issue, like this time.

Here's the URL to the one just uploaded. The other one has the green light issue, but includes the snowstorm, which is kind of interesting to see.

YouTube - Snow on Two Nights 2 - CX500V Low Light Example - No filter so no dancing green light!
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 08:01 PM   #90
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Z5 & XR520 results

Well, the first few clips are now up on youtube

Shot using the Z5 and XR520 and Edirol R-44 for the audio.
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