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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old July 24th, 2008, 07:44 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
A freshly formatted Class 4 SDHC card should be able to keep up with 24mbps, but it is cutting things close. Kingston 32GB Class 4 cards are being sold now.
The Sony Z7 users are having problems finding cards that REALLY meet specs. Sony's answer is to use Sony cards. Sorry. it was the Sony card that was so expensive for 16GB.

Still -- getting a VF seems to me to be the real issue. With the SR11 in Las Vegas sun there were far too many times when upon playback I could hear myself muttering "can't see a damn thing!"

Are they both really $1300?
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Old July 24th, 2008, 09:03 PM   #32
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Wow! I was at Canon's product launch for the HF10 and HF100 down here in Australia in APRIL! And they're already announcing replacements. I've been very impressed with the HF10 as it is - so the better codec should make a good thing even better.

I think speed and ease of use is the big deal with these cameras (there's so much less fussing about than there was with tape based ones) and the fact that they're the same size as a beer can means you feel far more inclined to actually carry them around with you.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 07:30 AM   #33
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... and the fact that they're the same size as a beer...
Beg pardon, Mark... not sure what size beer you're used to, mate, but I'd call that one a stubby!
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Old July 25th, 2008, 09:47 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
The Sony Z7 users are having problems finding cards that REALLY meet specs. Sony's answer is to use Sony cards. Sorry. it was the Sony card that was so expensive for 16GB.

Still -- getting a VF seems to me to be the real issue. With the SR11 in Las Vegas sun there were far too many times when upon playback I could hear myself muttering "can't see a damn thing!"

Are they both really $1300?
Personally, I wouldn't try using a Class-4 SDHC card to record at 24mbps. It would probably work, if the card were freshly formatted, but that is cutting things close enough to be flirting with trouble. Class-6 SDHC cards *should* be fine (unless they get very fragmented, like using a hard drive that is very fragmented will result in dropped frames when capturing from tape).

The Z7 records to Compact Flash cards, which are rated for performance differently than SDHC. I'm not an expert on flash memory, but I believe the ratings on CF cards are primarily based on reading speed (rather than writing speed) and the ratings are not consistent from one manufacturer to another. In a nutshell, looking at the speed rating on the label of a CF card isn't a reliable way to judge how the card will perform (especially for writing speeds. which is what matters for shooting live video reliably).

That said, among the lower priced CF cards, Transcend's 133X (or higher) CFs *should* work okay with a Z7.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 10:44 AM   #35
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Any idea when/if we will see 60p and a high frame rate for slow motion in a consumer camcorder such as the HF10/11? Also, although less of an interest, how about GPS and night-mode?
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Old July 25th, 2008, 03:48 PM   #36
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when/if 60p : when the competition heats up. Right now, this is oligarchic market, you have two maybe three real competitors who are able to "negotiate" price, technical specs etc by simply observing what the other company is doing. This is no real competency, people... and we = customers, are paying hefty premiums! For example, take SR11 and SR12 with the ONLY difference being bigger HDD in the latter. Real price difference between those camcorders is close to $200 !!! And now, will you be so kind and tell me what is the price delta between 2.5" 60GB HDD and 2.5" 120GB HDD? !!!!! OH YES, IT IS LESS THAN FIVE DOLLARS, DEFINITELY NOT CLOSE TO $200 IN MY BOOK !!!!! See what I want to show you?

You want 1080p/60fps or higher for some affordable price? The answer will be Red Scarlet next year. I don't see Panasonic/Sony/Canon willing to sell you 3072x1728 resolution, 120fps [180fps burstable] PROGRESSIVE, 2/3" chip with excellent dynamic range [!!! big thing !!!] including F2.4/T2.8 8x zoom lens, up to 100MB/s RAW format and you know the rest of Scarlet specs for $3000 next year. Sorry, I don't. Something like that would cost $30k...

next thing : fragmentation and write speeds on CF/SD cards. Fragmentation is irrelevant at all, because those cards have almost 0ms access speeds. So even if that storage has to "seek", there are no delays at all. Next thing is that there are almost no seeks at all, if you have ten files located on that card and you are trying to record eleventh one, what kind of "seeking" and fragmentation can we talk about? This is completely different storage from NTFS Windows filesystems with dozen thousands files that are small [tiny small compared to video files produced by camcorders] and overwritten dozen times daily. Camcorder storage is totally different...

recently bought class2 or class4 cards are able to sustain approx. 6MB/s and 8MB/s write speeds, that translates into 48Mbit/s and 64MBit/s so my guess is that all current class4 cards must be able to keep up with 24Mbps easily, absolutely easily. Piece of cake. Hell, even my EIGHT years old compactflash cards with integrated controller [that's what CF is all about] are able to write more than 2MB/s = 16Mbps... I think there will be no problems at all writing 24Mbps on current 4GB, 8GB and bigger SD cards.

enjoy!
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Old July 25th, 2008, 10:26 PM   #37
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While flash memory may have no physically moving parts, file fragmentation does indeed degrade flash memory performance.

The specification for Class-2 SDHC calls for a minimum write speed of 2MB/s (not 6MB/s) when the card is essentially empty. For Class-4 SDHC it's 4MB/s (not 8MB/s) when the card is essentially empty. There are no "Class-2 (4 or 6)" designations for CF.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 08:59 AM   #38
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Meaning, is there going to be a 24mbps version of the HF100 (identical to the HF10 but card slot only, no built-in flash memory). Good question. I have no idea what their road map looks like. It's been a year since the HG10, so I kind of expected the updated HG21, but the HF11 is a bit of a surprise since the HF series was just introduced earlier this year at CES. They've only been shipping for just a few months.
This is surprising Chris! This is one of the shortest life spans I've seen for a camcorder! I'll be very interested in seeing these new guys and what the increased bitrate does for PQ. I'm also hoping that Canon has corrected what I felt was a color issue with the HF10/HF100.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 09:01 AM   #39
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The Canon at 24Mbps is very likely to match the $4,200 Panasonic simple because a 2.8MP Bayer filter is approx equal to 3 960x540 chips. Bayer down-samples by a factor of ALMOST 4 so one can think of it as 3 700,000 pixel sensors. Which isn't that far from the native 520,000 of the Panasonic, which is up-sampled.
I hope you're right Steve. If this cam turns out like this, I'll be back on the Canon bandwagon. I still think the SR12 is the best out there now for overall PQ, but I'm always looking for improvement.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 01:03 PM   #40
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...I have the feeling that Canon will mate this codec to a XH-A1/XL-H1 succesor that will put it back on top.
Canon could pull the rug right out from underneath Panasonic and the HMC150 with that (an A1 like AVCHD camera, priced close to the original A1), especially since Panasonic seems stuck on 960x540 chips.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 03:59 PM   #41
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> I still think the SR12 is the best out there now for overall PQ, but I'm always looking for improvement.


Ken, rest assured there will be VERY noticeable difference in PQ as the step up from 17Mbps to 24Mbps is HUGE. You might remember the difference between 13Mbps 2nd gen and current 3rd gen 17Mbps camcorders...

Robert, I know that class2, class4 and class6 are specifications for SD and not for CF ; what I wanted to point out is that SD cards with class4 specs outclass that spec heavily. One thing is norm dictating to have 4MB/s transfer rates, another thing is reality and much higher speeds.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 06:51 PM   #42
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Canon could pull the rug right out from underneath Panasonic and the HMC150 with that (an A1 like AVCHD camera, priced close to the original A1), especially since Panasonic seems stuck on 960x540 chips.
I hadn't thought of an "A1" version using the faster codec. It would be much lighter which is important to me.

Right now the SR12 is tops.

Of course, Sony could be reserving 24Mbps for a V1 replacement using 3ClearVid chips which would compete with an "A1" Canon.

Could be an interesting next 6 months.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 07:51 AM   #43
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> I still think the SR12 is the best out there now for overall PQ, but I'm always looking for improvement.


Ken, rest assured there will be VERY noticeable difference in PQ as the step up from 17Mbps to 24Mbps is HUGE. You might remember the difference between 13Mbps 2nd gen and current 3rd gen 17Mbps camcorders...
We can hope so, but let's face it, it remains to be seen. I think it's logical to assume that as we continue to progress up the 'mbps' scale, there will be a diminishing 'return on value'. I'm not sure what that is or how noticeable it will be, but most of the issues surrounding the original low bitrates have been solved. Rarely do people complain about macroblocking or issues with panning with the latest gen of Sony & Canon AVCHD units. Those were caused by the low bitrates and bumping them up to 16 & 17 mbps, seems to have solved those.

So we'll have to wait and see what the new bitrates bring to the table in terms of perceived picture quality. It sure can't hurt, but let's see what kind of an increase in PQ we actually get.

My biggest concerns will center around color fidelity and dynamic range since I found these less than ideal in the HF10/HF100. IMO it would be ashame if Canon did nothing in these areas with the new models. We shall see.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 02:27 PM   #44
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Is there a reason one would pay twice as much for one of the models you listed, or is it just brand recognition?
It's not just brand *recognition,* it's brand *reliance.* If you check out Transcend's ratings on NewEgg, they're definitely not the highest. Same for PNY and other low-cost brands. I prefer Kingston and SanDisk simply because they get very good customer feedback relative to the dirt cheap cards.

I wouldn't look at it in terms of paying more for the card -- I'd consider the value of my images. I just don't trust irreplaceable data to cheap cards. And the better brands are not all that expensive anymore... good quality flash memory doesn't really cost a lot right now. I remember paying $40 for a 64MB card just a few years ago. Good flash is inexpensive. Cheap flash is a risk.
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