New HF11 review and video clip sample 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 August 2nd, 2008, 08:18 AM   #1
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New HF11 review and video clip sample

Check it out at:

http://www.google.com/translate?u=ht...F8&sl=ja&tl=en

Sample of 24 Mbit/sec file in .mts format direct from camcorder also provided at this URL as well as slower 17 Mbit/sec encoding for comparison to present HF10/100 performance.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 09:16 AM   #2
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I think it answers the question I posed earlier. 24Mbps AVCHD will not playback on BD players other than the red-laser DVD unit Canon sells.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 09:24 AM   #3
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Also of note, accessory-wise: "This new accessory also appeared in the video light VL-5. Release September, tentative price 9,000 yen."
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 11:08 AM   #4
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I authored a couple AVCHD disks with the 24 MB/sec HF11 content and was delighted to find that they played beautifully on the Sony PS3 as well as on my PC player software. The improvement in image quality was visible but not at all dramatic. In fact, slight sharpening of my 17 Mbit/sec clips with Vegas or several of the other AVCHD editing and authoring programs I have here produce the same edge enhanced detail, making HF100 video look indistinguishable. Not surprisingly, the HF100 video when slightly sharpened, has about the same bitrate as the new HF11 when played, roughly 21 to 24 MBit/sec VBR.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 11:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Also of note, accessory-wise: "This new accessory also appeared in the video light VL-5. Release September, tentative price 9,000 yen."
Here it is, powered by the accessory shoe:


There will also be a higher capacity battery option, BP-827, at 2670mAh:
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 03:25 PM   #6
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Having just purchased the current largest BP-819 battery, the new BP-827 sounds like another huge leap, essentially 50% more juice (2670 versus 1790 mA-hrs). Should run an HF100 for over 4 hours but I assume the newer HF11 will draw higher current with resulting time reduction.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 03:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
I authored a couple AVCHD disks with the 24 MB/sec HF11 content and was delighted to find that they played beautifully on the Sony PS3 as well as on my PC player software. The improvement in image quality was visible but not at all dramatic. In fact, slight sharpening of my 17 Mbit/sec clips with Vegas or several of the other AVCHD editing and authoring programs I have here produce the same edge enhanced detail, making HF100 video look indistinguishable. Not surprisingly, the HF100 video when slightly sharpened, has about the same bitrate as the new HF11 when played, roughly 21 to 24 MBit/sec VBR.
This is kind of what I thought might happen. We've probably reached the point of diminishing returns with bitrates in the current crop of AVCHD units. If you take the SR12 and play with the highest bitrate vs. the next lowest bitrate, you won't see as dramatic change in PQ as the bitrates might suggest.

We'd discern a much higher increase in PQ with larger sensors IMO.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 06:14 PM   #8
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I agree that sensor improvements could be the "next frontier" for additional IQ/PQ in the 24 MB/sec AVCHD camcorders.

I base this statement on the very easy experiments I performed using 8 megapixel super crisp still photographs taken with the best of my Nikon cameras and lenses, then rendered in all of the current AVCHD editing/authoring NLEs as slide shows. It is very easy to then take a crop of the original frame from the original 8 megapixel still photo and directly compare it to the rendered, cropped, captured still frame in the AVCHD disk, and shows just how well the renderer performs at various bitrates.

No doubt there is still further fine detail to be seen in future AVCHD camcorders, presumably when their sensors and optics begin to better approximate those in consumer still cameras. The visual improvements will, however, not likely be especially dramatic based on my own tests, since the ultimate 1080p frame is, after all, 'only' a 2 megapixel image, and present camcorders / sensors/ optics are already resolving detail to at least this level in today's better AVCHD camcorders. My 8 MP still photo results show visible gains in detail, but nothing I would call dramatic.

Having played with this AVCHD/mpeg4/h.264 quite a bit now, I would personally hope that the engineering emphasis will next come in the area of motion artifacts. Some combination of sensor lag, A/D conversion errors, h.264 encoder errors, and / or overwhelmed processing demands placed on the camcorder's encoder still make AVCHD look far too 'busy' during pans, especially horizontal pans. Such artifacts do not appear to be nearly as noticeable in commercial releases using AVC / h.264 codecs, so I can comfortably put the blame on the present prosumer AVCHD camcorders, which seem to be on the verge of not handling motion very well. This is something I would hope and expect to improve dramatically in the next cycle or 2 of product refinements.

Last edited by Larry Horwitz; August 3rd, 2008 at 12:22 PM.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 07:59 AM   #9
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Sample of 24 Mbit/sec file in .mts format direct from camcorder also provided at this URL as well as slower 17 Mbit/sec encoding for comparison.
Just wondering what y'all think of those sample clips... is there a better way to visually test the differences in bit rate? How would you have done this?
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 05:26 PM   #10
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Just wondering what y'all think of those sample clips... is there a better way to visually test the differences in bit rate? How would you have done this?
I think the clip is much too short to make any definitive conlcusions Chris. For some reason they always seem to shoot those clips on a cloudy day. A bright sunny day might have hinted at a difference in dynamic range as well as color quality. It might also have been nice to see a horizontal pan as well as a vertical one. As it shows now, the difference is a bit subtle.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 08:12 PM   #11
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Thanks for the feedback, Ken -- how long do you think a proper sample clip should be... one that's distributed over the web, but still in its native file format? Guess I'm asking what is the right balance between duration and file size, if compression is not to be altered.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 06:46 AM   #12
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Chris, I think the clip length & type that was shot and posted here with the HF10 when it first came out, was much better. I don't recall who shot it, but it began as a wide shot over some water showing a bit of a cityscape and then zoomed in to a construction site. I seem to recall the clip being about 30 seconds in length. Not sure if that helps at all.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 07:53 AM   #13
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Yes that's a great help, thanks Ken. That shooter was Austin Meyers, and the location was Austin, Texas. I remember that clip very well.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 10:01 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz View Post
Having played with this AVCHD/mpeg4/h.264 quite a bit now, I would personally hope that the engineering emphasis will next come in the area of motion artifacts. Some combination of sensor lag, A/D conversion errors, h.264 encoder errors, and / or overwhelmed processing demands placed on the camcorder's encoder still make AVCHD look far too 'busy' during pans, especially horizontal pans. Such artifacts do not appear to be nearly as noticeable in commercial releases using AVC / h.264 codecs, so I can comfortably put the blame on the present prosumer AVCHD camcorders, which seem to be on the verge of not handling motion very well. This is something I would hope and expect to improve dramatically in the next cycle or 2 of product refinements.
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...
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Old August 4th, 2008, 10:59 AM   #15
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How does the sharpness of the HF11/HG11 in MXP mode compare to an HV20?
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