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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old June 18th, 2008, 01:57 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Tom Roper View Post
If one relies purely on simplistic techniques like putting the hump into the center of the histogram, one guarantees that all whites and blacks will come out looking gray.
In my books I've tried to explain how to use a histogram -- and it is really really hard to explain. Somehow the brain has to look at the curve which is a function of the light level AND contrast AND what the iris is set to AND what you WANT the scene to look like.

It reminds me of the attempts to get computers to read X-rays. Very Hard. Yet, people with practice can just "do it." As you said, with practice is critical.

Which is we all cringe when see a post from some who buys a new camcorder and heads off to the jungle a day later. :) That's why I try to allow a month for a review.

Things I hated about the Sony last week I'm now finding ways to overcome this week. I'm sure the same thing will be true of an FX.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 04:15 AM   #107
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AHHHH... you are catching on grasshopper <wink>!

We are at an interesting time technologically speaking where with sufficient computing horsepower and proper algorithms/firm/software you can begin to at least in theory replicate the decision making process of the human brain in order to achive a desired outcome. In an attempt to stay on thread, Sony and Canon have different teams of people working on their "desired outcomes", thus there are different end results...

THAT's what we are all seeing with the face recognition and the automatic functions and all that "good" stuff. With enough CPU processing per second and sufficiently tuned software, you SHOULD be able to optimize a device far above the "average" capability of a carbon based organism (human) of "average" inteligence and skill.

The net result, at least in theory, is the average soccer mom or dad who wouldn't know a shutter from a doorknob has a teeny tiny little "expert" to compensate for any lack of knowledge or experience, and this of course should also result in an even better result for someone who has a "dangerous" amount of knowledge or better...

BUT (and this is why even the most advanced aircraft STILL require a human in SOME capacity...) there are situations and circumstances which simply fall outside the expected boundaries of the "programming", and we as humans who have taken the time to learn the art of correcting for those moments simply would feel more comfortable having manual override capability.

Sorry for sounding like a bad sci-fi-kung-fu movie here, but maybe it will help as we all struggle with progress and try to make sense of it all!
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Old June 18th, 2008, 06:18 AM   #108
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Tom, I quoted exactly Dave's comment that I agreed with. I went on further to express how I felt about zebras in general. I didn't mean to imply that Dave had said that too.

Further, I'm not claiming that anyone should be a slave to zebras or histograms, but I do not agree that a typical consumer camcorder's LCD is as accurate as zebras. LCDs in general have extremely limited contrast ratios and can't be accurately used to determine exposure in all situations. I don't go around with zebras constantly on, but when the subject happens to be predominantly white, the zebras are both useful and, IMO, more accurate than a consumer camcorder's LCD. Ultimately it is always the camera operator that determines when to abide by what the zebras are telling you. I think most people with any degree of experience are aware of that.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 01:55 PM   #109
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What camera are you talking about when you say this: "When I'm outdoors in bright sun, however, I can't reliably view the LCD for highlight detail and clipping, even with a hood, so I do use that mode, and it has helped me correct numerous bad exposures." WHAT MODE IS THAT? On any camera, except the Canon, you would use the VF so why are you talking about using the LCD in bright light? The only camera that you can't switch to the VF is the Canon and it doesn't offer zebra.
My post was probably confusing, sorry about that. I was referring to my digital SLR. I don't have a camcorder without a VF, so I was using the DSLR as an example of a case where exposure needs to be judged on an LCD screen, since DSLR's don't have electronic viewfinders. In this one aspect, that is, having only an LCD to judge exposure, the DSLR is similar to the HF100.

The mode I was referring to is an image review mode on the DSLR that indicates overexposure by causing the overexposed areas to alternately blink black and white -- not exactly the same as zebra stripes, but similar in intent. I was pointing out that I only use that mode in bright sun, where it is too hard to see the LCD well enough to judge the exposure from the image itself. Indoors and in dimmer lighting, I do not use the overexposure highlight mode because the blinking tends to make it hard to see the remaining detail, and I can evaluate the exposure better by just using the LCD by itself. I also bracket exposure much more when I'm outdoors for the same reason - difficulty in evaluating the exposure on the LCD.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 10:22 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Dave Rosky View Post
My post was probably confusing, sorry about that. I was referring to my digital SLR. I don't have a camcorder without a VF, so I was using the DSLR as an example of a case where exposure needs to be judged on an LCD screen, since DSLR's don't have electronic viewfinders. In this one aspect, that is, having only an LCD to judge exposure, the DSLR is similar to the HF100.

The mode I was referring to is an image review mode on the DSLR that indicates overexposure by causing the overexposed areas to alternately blink black and white -- not exactly the same as zebra stripes, but similar in intent. I was pointing out that I only use that mode in bright sun, where it is too hard to see the LCD well enough to judge the exposure from the image itself. Indoors and in dimmer lighting, I do not use the overexposure highlight mode because the blinking tends to make it hard to see the remaining detail, and I can evaluate the exposure better by just using the LCD by itself. I also bracket exposure much more when I'm outdoors for the same reason - difficulty in evaluating the exposure on the LCD.

Dave that sounds familiar. My DSLR, a Canon 5D blinks alternately black and white in the overexposed areas. I shoot RAW but still bracket my exposures, and that actually carries over into my video habits, I bracket those as well, although I very seldom get them wrong. I don't just leave the camera rolling.

On my 5D Canon DSLR, the preview screen is only available *after* you take the shot, the other times you are viewing through the lens with the optical viewfinder. Perhaps you have one of the newer DSLRs that lets you preview the shot on the LCD like a point and shoot. I haven't used the 5D in a while, but my recollection is that I can toggle the LCD preview screen to view the image without the blinking, but I could be wrong.

It has the histogram as well, and yes I do know how to use it, on the 5D and also the EX1. My Canon XH-A1 does not have a histogram. But I'll say this, with practice it's possible for anyone to recognize the cues for proper exposure without zebras or histograms, although if you have them, you should use them. And I do. The most important information comes from just looking at the LCD or viewfinder itself. On the Canon XH-A1, it's a very decent viewfinder that with practice is very easy to associate with what you will get on the larger monitor or HDTV. On the EX1 the viewfinder kind of sucks, but the LCD screen is excellent. No problem drawing parallels between that image and what I would expect on the big screen. But even on the ubiquitous HV10, which has zebras by the way, the LCD screen (with practice) is possible to "see" what it's going to look like.

I'm not against features and automation. I embrace technology. But I also embrace art, which permits breaking the rules of convention. The exposure tools are not a panacea for director's intent, which is in the eye. The cliche is that if you only use a hammer, everything will start looking like a nail.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 02:33 PM   #111
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On my 5D Canon DSLR, the preview screen is only available *after* you take the shot, the other times you are viewing through the lens with the optical viewfinder. Perhaps you have one of the newer DSLRs that lets you preview the shot on the LCD like a point and shoot. I haven't used the 5D in a while, but my recollection is that I can toggle the LCD preview screen to view the image without the blinking, but I could be wrong.
Yes, the preview screen I was referring to (with the blinking black-and-white areas) is indeed after the shot. My camera (Olympus E510) does have the new live preview feature, but it's clumsy and I almost never use it - also, it would have the same problems in bright sunlight.

The main point I was trying to make wasn't really to compare DSLR's with video cameras, but that that even if the LCD is good enough to judge exposure in some conditions, zebra stripes still have a use in camcorders without a VF due to the fact that it can be difficult to judge the exposure on the LCD in outdoor lighting conditions. In other words, they are useful now even though the *reason* for the usefulness has changed since the days of CRT VF's. In that sense, I don't think they are just a "feel good" feature to make consumers feel like they have a pro camera.

Aside: I have actually found one nice use for the live preview feature on the E510 -- that is to tweak white balance in indoor settings to achieve certain moods. The instant visual feedback as you dial the color temperature is really nice. Of course, this can also be done in post on the raw file (or even on the JPEG), but there are already so many things to do in post that I prefer to do as much as I can in the camera.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 06:10 PM   #112
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The EnCinema 35mm Adapter for the Canon HF10 and HF100, exclusively!
http://www.vid-atlantic.com/EnCinema35.html
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Old July 16th, 2008, 03:13 AM   #113
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The EnCinema 35mm Adapter for the Canon HF10 and HF100, exclusively!
http://www.vid-atlantic.com/EnCinema35.html


Ordered one. Very curious about it! Will arrive this week I hope.
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Old August 30th, 2008, 09:11 PM   #114
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Ordered one. Very curious about it! Will arrive this week I hope.
It's been a couple months, is there any word on this?
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Old September 26th, 2008, 03:35 AM   #115
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Hi guys,

just arrived hf100 and i suspect there is something wrong in the cmos or maybe a dead pixel...i don't know...pls look at this little clip below:

00004.MTS

tnks
ciao
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 11:45 PM   #116
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SDHC cards

Hi,
I'm thinking of buying the HF10, and was wondering about the importance of brand names for the flash card? Was intending of getting an Adata through ebay. Ok, or should I rather stick with the 5x more expensive ones from the shops ( SanDisk)?

Also, Stefan mentioned the wide angle isn't that wide? Any way of getting around that?

Thanks,
Petra
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Old October 4th, 2008, 02:09 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Lorenzo Asso View Post
Hi guys,

just arrived hf100 and i suspect there is something wrong in the cmos or maybe a dead pixel...i don't know...pls look at this little clip below:

00004.MTS

tnks
ciao
I am afraid which dead pixel you are talking? Your video is absolutely fine, and you should shoot some outdoor with natural light, hope you will do some shooting and will post here.

If your camera has really some problem then do write here so then other can understand.

Kaushik
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Old October 4th, 2008, 02:13 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Petra Alsbach View Post
Hi,
I'm thinking of buying the HF10, and was wondering about the importance of brand names for the flash card? Was intending of getting an Adata through ebay. Ok, or should I rather stick with the 5x more expensive ones from the shops ( SanDisk)?

Also, Stefan mentioned the wide angle isn't that wide? Any way of getting around that?

Thanks,
Petra

Petra,

Yes, it is as simple, pay more and get more. You will get better and trusted products. I always go for higher prices tag verses lower!

And also I advice others/ friends to do same!

Kaushik
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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:21 PM   #119
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brands?

Ok, does anyone have experience with the following brands of SDHC cards:

Adata
Apacer
Kingston
San Disk

and how would you rate them regarding reliability?

Also, been trying to find some data on recording times, the only info I've found so far states +2 hrs but not whether that's at the lowest or highest setting :-(
Any comments appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:47 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by Petra Alsbach View Post
Also, been trying to find some data on recording times...
Hi Petra, see my Canon VIXIA HF Series Recording Times chart about halfway
down the page at Canon VIXIA HF11 Overview by Chris Hurd and Austin Meyers
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