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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 August 4th, 2008, 01:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mircea Voinea View Post
For some certain points I agree with you. But ,,commercial releases" are shooting mainly/only in controled environments; they know not to make fast panning, use insuficient light and so on. That's why I can't compare my SR11 even with the lowest quality 720p trailer (even in quicktime)... the quality difference is dramatic.
I was very pleased to shoot many close-up to sea in motion, water flowing from a pipe, etc, and found not a single compression artifact from motion!
Of course, my main grip with SR11 is the sharpness. I don't know if it's noise reduction to blame or the focus, or my HDTV...

My Canon HF100 may not be quite as good in this regard as your SR11 but I do see some motion artifacts, occasionally, and most often in horizontal pans. It is not dramatic, but visibly more noticeable on my camcorder clips than I see in commercial encodings.

The fact that commercial encodings are not encoded in a hurry while the video is being captured helps a lot. They can take as many hours as they need to get the software encodeer to make the very best looking AVC /h.264. The camcorder designer faces a different problem.....the need to do real-time encoding, running off a small battery and small computer. This is why I think this area is likely to get some attention in future designs.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 01:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Brian Boyko View Post
How does the sharpness of the HF11/HG11 in MXP mode compare to an HV20?
I own both the HV20 and the HF100, and they are very similar in sharpness. The new HF11 may be a tad sharper than the HV20 but we are taling about pretty small differences.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 06:02 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Mircea Voinea View Post
Of course, my main grip with SR11 is the sharpness. I don't know if it's noise reduction to blame or the focus, or my HDTV...
Can't say I see any issue with sharpness on my 60" 1080p Kuro plasma. So perhaps it's your HDTV if you sense that focus is not an issue. If you're accustomed to lots of edge enhancement in camcorders, you won't find it in the SR11/12. That could also account for you feeling it's lacking 'sharpness'.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 12:27 AM   #19
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No Ken, I don't really think it's my TV fault (Philips 42PFL9632), because like Larry I compare with HD trailers and it's a long way to clarity/sharpness. I will look to HF11 and report, for me HF100 appears to have the same lack of sharpness as SR11.
Or maybe I want too much from a prosumer camcorder.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 02:25 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
I own both the HV20 and the HF100, and they are very similar in sharpness. The new HF11 may be a tad sharper than the HV20 but we are taling about pretty small differences.
that would actually be perfect - finally an undeniable replacement for tapes.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 04:04 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Mircea Voinea View Post
No Ken, I don't really think it's my TV fault (Philips 42PFL9632), because like Larry I compare with HD trailers and it's a long way to clarity/sharpness. I will look to HF11 and report, for me HF100 appears to have the same lack of sharpness as SR11.
Or maybe I want too much from a prosumer camcorder.

It's not your monitor nor your eyes. You CANNOT get HDCAM visual detail from ANY (pro-) consumer camcorder. Which is why I did not keep the V1 Sony sent me. As one zoomed wide -- fine detail just went away!

Same with the HD7 and SR12. The only solution is to very slightly increase mid-frequency response -- which is NOT inherently adding edge enhancement -- by using the Sharpness control. (See BBC tests of Sony camcorders.) Not possible with the Sony.

All consumer camcorders that either UNDER sample (3-chip) or use a Bayer filter look soft compared to the HDCAM video you see on HDTV. The Bayer filter cuts rez in half in each direction, so to get 2MP you need an 8MP chip.

The EX1 captures (three 2MP chips) and records 1000 TVLph while CineAlta HDCAM captures and records over 1100 TVLph. (A must better lens offers higher MTF so more rez with less chip pixels.)

All consumer camcorders -- except the Canon pro-HDV units -- capture and record around 650-TVLph. This is not opinion, it is measured. And, as you have found is very visible.

The SR12 will look very slightly softer -- and measures confirm this -- than the Canon because it uses an 8-cell Bayer filter rather than the traditional 4-cell Bayer filter. (The more pixels in a cell, the less precisely defined will be each interpolated luma.)

Moreover, Sony only supports 8x8 macroblocks (BASE profile) while the Canon uses the more powerful HIGH profile that can switch to 4x4 macroblocks on fine details. (BD uses HIGH.)

There are only 2 solutions: buy an EX1 or wait for the 24Mbps Canon or Pana. Why?

The lower the recorded data-rate -- the more fine detail must be filtered-out to avoid wasting compression on noise. When the data-increases -- the less noise (and the less detail) that must be filtered-out.

PS1: Sanyo is using a 3D noise filter that is equivilent to increasing the data-rate by 10-15%. Very clever, since 3D filters nicely eliminate RANDOM noise but not detail. Which points-out that the PRE-FILTERING circuit is as critical as the encoder.

PS2: the cheaper the camera, the lower its MTF. So that is another reason why cheap offers less. And, why the Pana will offer better rez than the Canon. It should, as it has an MSRP of $4000!
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Old August 5th, 2008, 05:29 AM   #22
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Thank you very much Steve, I really enjoy your critical and technical approach and I can't agree more. However, the more I look at my SR11 clips I think that AF is one problem, even in good light; I will try to shoot at widest settings with manual focus (set at infinite)/AF and see if there is an improvement (for now I don't trust very much AF metering, especially in HD).
To be ontopic, I look at the HF11clip ezsm021.mts. It definitely looks sharper than my SR11, but vertical panning was very bad. I change refresh rate on my HTPC, 24/25/30/50/60Hz to minimize judder, but even without judder I don't like the loss in detail.
I don't have a PS3 (as a hardware player), could someone tell me at what refresh is this file?
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Old August 5th, 2008, 05:42 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Mircea Voinea View Post
Thank you very much Steve, I really enjoy your critical and technical approach and I can't agree more. However, the more I look at my SR11 clips I think that AF is one problem, even in good light; I will try to shoot at widest settings with manual focus (set at infinite)/AF and see if there is an improvement (for now I don't trust very much AF metering, especially in HD).
I shot many hours with my sample V1 and often thought it must be a focus problem. But, eventually I decide it only happened at WIDE of shots with tiny details like leaves.

I'm not dissing the consumer camcorders -- I think for $1000 they offer as good an image as the V1 which costs about $4000. I'm only explaining WHY we don't get video that looks like Discovery. And, why IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY the EX1 will give you these images. But, the HD7 and SR12 are far more comefortable to shoot with. At my age I would not try to balance the off-balance EX1.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 09:08 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mircea Voinea View Post
No Ken, I don't really think it's my TV fault (Philips 42PFL9632), because like Larry I compare with HD trailers and it's a long way to clarity/sharpness. I will look to HF11 and report, for me HF100 appears to have the same lack of sharpness as SR11.
Or maybe I want too much from a prosumer camcorder.
Mircea, if I'm correct, your Phillips is a 768p (usually referred to as 720p) plasma. You'll see more sharpness/detail (the two are different) with a 1080p plasma and either the SR11/12 or the Canon HF10/100. But you are probably correct in that if you are expecting to see the level of detail you see in pro cameras, you won't.

However, to be honest, I don't think you'll see the jump in sharpness you are hoping for with the HF11. It might be a bit better, but it still won't approach the level of detail a pro camera will.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 10:11 AM   #25
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Ken, my Philips is a 42" 1080p LCD. Of course it's not near Kuro plasma as black level, but as processing is in the upper league (except from some damn bugs). I can correct with sharpness in TV but edges doesn't look very good (especially looking at grass). Heck, I must buy a PS3 to be sure it's not my HTPC...

I already post my impression about the HF11 clip, could you please comment about vertical scroll? For me it's not good at all.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 06:16 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Mircea Voinea View Post
I already post my impression about the HF11 clip, could you please comment about vertical scroll? For me it's not good at all.
Mircea, on my computer the vertical pan is very smooth.
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