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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 March 8th, 2008, 02:21 PM   #1
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HF10 First Look

I've had a few days to play with the HF10 and here are my thoughts.

It's very compact, yet also dense and has a nice solid feel in the hands. Anecdotally it feels like the OIS is more forgiving, but it might be that it just fits the hand better vs the hv20 and hg10.

Controls:

There is no focus wheel or dial, focusing is now handled by the joystick just like mic and exposure.

The joystick is out on the lcd like the hg10, and I found it much easier to use than that hg10's but I prefer the hv20's joystick because you can operate most of the camera with just one hand.

Closing the lcd puts the cam in standby mode for a preset time (10, 20, or 30 min) meaning it will wait that long before fully powering down.

it's a different smaller battery than the hv/hg series

It has a 12x (as opposed to 10x) zoom which makes an appreciable difference.

i was able to throw in some cheapo 4GB SDHC cards ($35ea) i had laying around and they worked great (you can squeeze about 50min of high quality mode on one of those)

the audio input via mic or onboard is adjustable

no zebras, focus assist comes on when you flip into manual focus mode and start to adjust it (only in standby mode)

the tripod mount lacks a registration pin, and it located very far forward (about 1.5" from the front of the camera)

Image Quality:

As far as image quality goes it's really close to the hg10 and not quite as sharp IMO as the hv20 and the h264 compression is evident on busy and fast moving stuff about the same as the hg10.

in a couple places i noticed a slight amount of ghosting, it appeared to by tied more to red moving objects than any other color

Ghosting example here:
http://file.meyersproduction.com/hf1...om%20ghost.png

I shot a little set up that highlights the differences between the hv20 hg10 and hf10. take note of the checks on the hat, as well as the center logo and the compression artifacting in the shadow. all 3 cams had the exact same settings and the clips were shot at the same time.

Comparison image sequence:
http://file.meyersproduction.com/hf10/compare.zip

I've thrown up some other random stuff in varying flavors for general viewing.

I've also uploaded a disk image of the camera that you can download mount and it should operate like you've got the camera plugged in (you can also pull the MTS's out of it as well)

http://file.meyersproduction.com/hf10/HF10.dmg.zip

There are also some audio tests I uploaded testing the new DM-100 in it's 3 modes and some random footage I shot over the past few days.

I'll be putting up some more screen shots etc as I get around to it.

http://file.meyersproduction.com/hf10/

Any questions?
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Old March 8th, 2008, 02:53 PM   #2
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Thanks Austin, interesting stuff. I'm in possession of a Sony SR12 and am very impressed with the picture quality thus far. I'm actually finding the SR12's picture more detailed and a bit cleaner than my HV20.

I've also found low light to be in the same ballpark as the HV20...not too bad. It really looks like the noise reduction that Sony touted for their new cams actually works. The combo of Exmor and Bionz technology actually appears to be more than just new Sony acronyms. It's also nice to see a real viewfinder as opposed to just an LCD flip out.

Other than cams such as the FX7, I've been favoring the recent Canon cams over the comparable Sonys when it comes to small HD units. But the SR12 may have actually changed my mind, especially in light of your mixed review on the HF10.

Almost forgot, damned if the 5.1 surround mike doesn't actually work!
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Old March 8th, 2008, 10:58 PM   #3
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don't get me wrong I really like the hf10 and wouldn't mind owning one. The ability to shoot on normal sd cards and swap in a new one at any time is to me the best of both worlds, the convienence of tape and non linear access of hdd.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 03:56 AM   #4
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Does the Canon automatically split the file at the 2GB limit though and continues recording? That's the big question with flash cards.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 07:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Meyers View Post
don't get me wrong I really like the hf10 and wouldn't mind owning one. The ability to shoot on normal sd cards and swap in a new one at any time is to me the best of both worlds, the convienence of tape and non linear access of hdd.
No, I understand what you're saying Austin, but for me in the end it still comes down to the best picture quality. I too love the idea of non-linear access, but I wouldn't sacrifice picture quality to get it.

Thus far, at least to my eyes, the Sony is showing me the best of both worlds, improved picture quality and the storage on both HDD (14+ hours at the best PQ) and memory stick. Memory stick prices have come down to the same ballpark as SDHC cards at this point. However, in reality, with a huge drive like the SR12 there's little need for a bunch of memory cards.

With that said I'd still like to see the HF10, but my biggest concern aside from PQ is the lack of a real viewfinder. It's give and take, size vs convenience. What else is new? ;)
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Old March 9th, 2008, 07:27 AM   #6
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Austin, I have two questions for you if you could:

First, the clip of the skyline and construction equipment appears to be in some format other than native. ULead Studio 11+ couldn't recognize it as I tried to transfer it to DVD for viewing on my plasma. I also couldn't get it to play on media player classic. Is there any way for you to post the native clip? Quality clips always look so much better to my eyes on a large screen HDTV.

Second, in making your assessments, can you tell us what you were viewing the material on? Thanks!
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Old March 9th, 2008, 01:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugenia Loli-Queru View Post
Does the Canon automatically split the file at the 2GB limit though and continues recording? That's the big question with flash cards.
Exactly! Do we still have this stupid 2GB file limit, and if so, does the accompanying software correctly reassemble the clips into one contiguous .m2ts file upon transfer to computer?
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Old March 10th, 2008, 12:45 AM   #8
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not sure about the 2gb limit ... Didnt know that was an issue.

The disk image has native files in it, see if those work in ulead.

I'll be posting up some mts files and more screen caps when I can (I'm shooting sxsw this week and won't even see my comp til thurs)
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Old March 10th, 2008, 08:02 AM   #9
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The disk image has native files in it, see if those work in ulead.
Austin, no luck, ULead doesn't understand a .dmg file. I've never seen one of those either in video. I tried changing the extension to .mts and .m2t, but neither of those worked in the PC environment either.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 08:12 AM   #10
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.DMG is a Mac disc image. Windows folks will need a .DMG to .ISO converter:

See http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search

Austin has now handed off the HF10 to a Windows guy in the area, so expect more to follow this week.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 08:53 AM   #11
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Thanks Chris, I'll give that converter a shot.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 10:44 AM   #12
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Chris, I was able to convert the file to an ISO file, but that's not a file that ULead can use for AVCHD output to DVD-R. For getting this to play on a BR player, the BR player needs to see an AVCHD compatible file. Otherwise I'm at a loss on how to play this ISO image on an HDTV.

Any ideas?
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Old March 10th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #13
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not sure about the 2gb limit ... Didnt know that was an issue.
It looks more and more to be an issue with every AVCHD cam. I emailed the AVCHD consortium and of course received no response regarding whether or not the spec is imposing a 2GB limit on files.

At least Sony's software correctly reassembles the footage files back into the original contiguous clip. Canon has left everyone hanging with the HG10. I expect the same with the HF cam's. Not sure what Panasonic has done - really wish someone with a Panny would chime in here.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #14
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For whatever resaon, it appears that the 2G file size is a part of the spec - absolutely incredibly unbelieveably moronic, but since all the AVCHD cams live by the rule, it's just up to those who need long clips to figure out what works!
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Old March 10th, 2008, 07:10 PM   #15
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I am thinking HF10/100 can record single 4GB files using FAT32, which cover approximately 30 minutes FXP footage. Certainly, it needs to be approved.

Ken:

I think the ISO file needs to be mounted in a virtural driver, like DAEMON or Alcohol 120%, then you can use it as a image file. Other wise you can open it with WinRAR or WinISO.
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