HV20 or the new Panasonic HDC-SD5EG-K at DVinfo.net

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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
For VIXIA / LEGRIA Series (HF G, HF S, HF and HV) consumer camcorders.


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Old November 22nd, 2007, 08:34 PM   #1
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HV20 or the new Panasonic HDC-SD5EG-K

I'am really impressed with HV20 from what ive benn reading lately.
I dont ever used a HD camera.
I want the camera for family movies, and friends weddings (they are always asking me).
I was about the buy the HV20 (compared mostly with Sony HD options), but this new 3CCD Panasonic arrived.

I feel i got to starting point again.
Major differences are avchd versus hdv format. (i think avchd is better)
The support is in SD instead miniDv.

Now, should i expect a great improve because of 3CCD?

If the same price the choice should be always 3CCD?

Are there any reviews about the comparation of this 2 products?

Thanks

JP
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 09:16 PM   #2
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Ok.
I just read that the Canon HV20 as a 1/2.7" Cmos sensor and the Panasonic has a 3x1/6" sensor.
Can i compare this?
I also read that the Panasonic is Full HD, should i expect better performance because of this.

Sorry this basic questions.

JP
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 12:03 AM   #3
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Each sensor in the Panasonic's 3CCD design has less pixels than the HV20... They use a technique called "pixel shifting" to artificially increase perceived resolution. It's a hack.

Each pixel is also smaller than the HV20, since the sensors are so much smaller, which means the Panasonics are less sensitive to light.

Lenses have to be more complicated in a 3CCD design versus a 1 sensor design, since the back focal distance is longer in 3 sensor cameras. The result is that 1 sensor lenses are easier to correct for things like chromatic aberration.

Finally, so far HDV has far outperformed AVCHD in just about every test. HDV on tape is more of a pain, but the quality is higher.

It all comes down to this: if quality is more important (for example, if you're doing more filmmaking), the HV20 has an edge. If convenience is more important, AVCHD has the edge, since you don't have to deal with tapes...
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 11:28 AM   #4
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Storage of raw footage is another issue. Are you willing to dedicate single or multiple hard drives to storage of raw footage that is normally kept on tapes ?
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 11:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ben Syverson View Post
They use a technique called "pixel shifting" to artificially increase perceived resolution. It's a hack.
Pixel Shift does not "artificially increase perceived resolution" and it's definitely NOT a hack. Pixel Shift is real, it works, and most importantly, it's used in one form (H-axis) or another (H+V axis) in every single three-chip camera design ever made, with very few exceptions so rare as to be a notable cause of concern in which product marketing spins the difference (the JVC Pro HD line).

Pixel Shift is a perfectly valid and viable way to boost resolution by creating more sampling points per individual photosite, although it is no longer the only method available; for example Sony's ClearVid sensors use a different method to produce more sampling points per pixel; point being these are NOT hacks if you take the time to learn how it works.

That said, between 1-chip and 3-chip camcorders of the same price, generally speaking there will be no difference in color reproduction... the single-chip camcorder these days uses an RGB color filter and puts together color information the same way a three-chip camera does; using the primary color wavelengths (red, green and blue).

One large sensor with RGB can be nearly equal to, equal to, or slightly better than three smaller sensors.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 08:57 PM   #6
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btw, the HV20 has a full-resolution, progressive sensor. Not familiar with the Panny at all, but I can't imagine it actually resolving more information than the Canon. Traditionally, this has been true of almost every camera from these two manufacturers. (Panny a bit more natural looking, Canon a bit sharper.)

The big selling point of the HV20 is the true 24P mode in such a cheap camera. If that doesn't matter to you, then there are several other cameras to consider.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 12:23 AM   #7
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I have a 3 chip Panasonic PV GS500 which has been a very good SD camcorder for me. I have been hoping for Panasonic to put out an AVCHD 3 CCD cam with what I consider to be very useful alternatives.

When the SD5 appeared WITHOUT an external mic input I threw up my hands in disgust and ordered an HV20.

The HV20 has a viewfinder (which the SD5 does not), mic input, headphone jack (for monitoring audio, very important for anything serious), and manual override on exposure that is very easy to use.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 06:19 PM   #8
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Pixel Shift does not "artificially increase perceived resolution" and it's definitely NOT a hack.
I guess it depends on your definition of "hack." :) I consider Bayer a hack as well. Color TV is a hack -- the color signal rides on top of the old B&W signal...

Maybe I was being a little harsh when I said it artificially increases perceived resolution, but the fact is that pixel shifting only gets you a small increase in resolution. It's enough to justify doing it, but it can't compete with, for example, a Bayer sensor which is twice as big in both dimensions (4X the pixels). And like Bayer, it introduces color artifacts which must be controlled. If you valued the color fidelity of the smallest details, you would want a non-pixel shifted 3CCD image (or a Foveon sensor)...
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Old November 24th, 2007, 06:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ben Syverson View Post
...you would want a non-pixel shifted 3CCD image...
And yet, there is no such thing, with the sole exception of the JVC Pro HD line... currently *all* 3-chip camera systems (except Pro HD) use one form of Pixel Shift (H-axis) or another (H+V axis), or some type of resolution booster from some sort of spatial offset (such as Sony's ClearVid).

Nor is the Foveon sensor used in any camcorder as far as I know.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 08:11 PM   #10
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I know, I'm just saying... Regardless of whether or not it's available, a 3 sensor camera without pixel shift is what you'd want if you weren't willing to compromise color fidelity in fine details.
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Old November 25th, 2007, 02:05 PM   #11
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I know, I'm just saying... Regardless of whether or not it's available, a 3 sensor camera without pixel shift is what you'd want if you weren't willing to compromise color fidelity in fine details.
HDV loses those details anyway.
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Old November 25th, 2007, 02:45 PM   #12
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HDV loses those details anyway.
It's all academic, since as Chris mentioned, nearly all 3 chip cameras do pixel shift.

That said, I would still go with a Bayer sensor which has 4X the resolution of the individual chips in a 3 chip camera. I crunched some numbers, and it seems that a 2 megapixel CMOS sensor has about a 50% resolution advantage over three 500k chips with H&V pixelshift. Of course, that doesn't take into account the lens, antialias filter, raw conversion, compression, etc, all of which could easily obscure those numbers.

But given relatively equal AA filters and raw treatments, I would expect the HV20 to come out on top, based on its potentially simpler lens design and superior compression scheme (AVCHD seems to be much more destructive).
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