I have my Canon HFS10 too - first impressions at DVinfo.net

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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old March 30th, 2009, 06:06 PM   #1
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I have my Canon HFS10 too - first impressions

So I was able to pick up this cam today and here are my initial impressions of it:

- It has a nice heft to it. It is roughly the same size as the HV30, but the shape is different, so ergonomics are a little different (most notably the feel of the zoom rocker with it being along the top center of the cam as opposed to the side on the HV30).

- The LCD has a glass top layer, just like Canon DSLRs. Though I like it, shooting outside in the sun is noticeably worse than the matte screen of the HV30. There is a lot more glare, making it that much harder to see. VERY UNFORTUNATE that there is no viewfinder.

- Camera looks really cool :)

- Menu and controls are very much Canon, so if you have experience with any VIXIA camera (especially the HG series), this will feel no different.

- The joystick allows for accessing many more options like exposure control, 1.7x tele, 3-sec prerecord buffer, mic level, face detection, video light, etc.. Although turning on some options turn off the ability to use others (like using the 3 sec pre-record doesn't allow you to use 1.7 tele).

- On the 1.7 tele, its not like adding on more zoom to your current 10x optical. When you activate it, you still have the 10x zoom range, it is just magnified by 1.7.

- The accessory shoe is more towards the front, so when I connected my Canon DM-100 microphone on it, it looked a little funny, cause it extends quite a bit in front of the camera and its base is towards the front near the lens. But functional, works just fine.

- Camera has kinda a cheap, plasticky feel, much more so than the HV30. Also, it is a very glossy plastic, so beware, every single fingerprint and smudge show. The lens barrel and outer rim though are metal.

But now on to image quality, I just shot a real quick shot at B&H and then we looked at in on an HD monitor and the image is very clean. I was pretty impressed. We also put it side by side to footage shot from the Panasonic HMC-150, and the HFS footage certainly was less noisy and sharper. Very interesting, considering the price differences between these cameras. This was also just from turning on the camera, so I'll spend the next day looking at the options and such and do some shooting to get a better assessment on the camera, but if this is any indication, I think this camera will be stellar.

That's it for now. Hope this helps those contemplating on purchasing this camera or a camera. If I have time over the next several days, I'll shoot some footage to post, and maybe do a side by side with my Canon XL H1S and HV30.
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Old March 30th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Galvan View Post
- On the 1.7 tele, its not like adding on more zoom to your current 10x optical. When you activate it, you still have the 10x zoom range, it is just magnified by 1.7.
I could have sworn that it uses a smaller area of the chip to achieve 1.7x since it has a lot of pixels to use and I spoke to a Canon rep about that at a show and he confirmed it, unless I'm reading what your saying incorrectly.
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Old March 30th, 2009, 06:25 PM   #3
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Michael, are you saying that the image produce by the Canon appear to be superior to the Pana HMC150?
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Old March 30th, 2009, 08:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira View Post
I could have sworn that it uses a smaller area of the chip to achieve 1.7x
That is correct, that's how it gets the 1.7x extension. There's no loss of resolution involved, since the smaller area is at least two megapixels, perhaps more. It's a pretty neat feature; it's like having a teleconverter built into the camera. Michael is right though, it's either on or off. When it's off, you have the normal zoom range. When it's on, the zoom range is times 1.7. Hope that makes sense,
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Old March 30th, 2009, 11:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira View Post
I could have sworn that it uses a smaller area of the chip to achieve 1.7x since it has a lot of pixels to use and I spoke to a Canon rep about that at a show and he confirmed it, unless I'm reading what your saying incorrectly.
What you are saying is correct, I'm just saying if you activate it, it extends the whole zoom range. It doesn't add it to the current 10x optical range.
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Old March 30th, 2009, 11:34 PM   #6
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Michael, are you saying that the image produce by the Canon appear to be superior to the Pana HMC150?
To what I saw yes, but I wouldn't say the HFS10 is a better camera (a lot more testing would have to be done). I was just surprised how much cleaner the Canon footage was (and sharper too).
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Old March 31st, 2009, 01:57 PM   #7
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Hi
Got my HFS100 today and the pictures and autofocus seems to work absolutely great.
But now I need to import the footage into my adobe premiere CS3 and it cannot. I bought CS4 sometime ago - will it convert the footage to a more standard format or do someone know of a conversion software ? I know that panasonic deliver a software for their AVCHD kameraes - but it only works with their footage...
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Old March 31st, 2009, 02:35 PM   #8
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So I took out my HFS10 today for some random shooting outside, since it's finally getting nice and warm in NYC :) :) :)

I really am beginning to enjoy the feel of the camera.

I've just uploaded the footage into Final Cut Pro, capturing to ProRes on the fly. And I've also done a reverse telecine to bring it to 24P.

Looking at the footage, I have to say ...

From my initial impression, I think this camera isn't as sharp as the HV30. Footage looks a little softer to me ... what a surprise this is. Comparing this footage to some of my stock HV30 footage, it looks softer. Also the red's seem to by more blocky too (is this really how AVCHD compresses reds?). I've read several reviews from online publications stating that this camera, despite the new sensor, actually measures lower resolution score than the previous year Canons'. Judging from what I am seeing, they may be right.

I have to do some actual testing though, but this is from my naked eye. I also feel like the auto focus, stabilization and CMOS shake feel a little worse too than the HV30. How strange ...

Don't take these comments too seriously yet, they are just initial impressions. I'll try to do some actual testing and side by side shooting. I'll try to shoot the cameras side by side tomorrow and see if I can post something.
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Old March 31st, 2009, 03:01 PM   #9
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Thank you Michael, cant wait to see your test. It seems that it will still be worth for me to stick to my XHA1 an HV30 for another year.
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Old March 31st, 2009, 07:29 PM   #10
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I have two HV-10's, HV-20 and a HV-30 and my HF S10 is the clear winner with a crisp and cystal clear picture. I adjusted the HF so as to limit the gain to 12db. The custom setting was also adjusted for better saturation as well as HDMI saturation via the main menu.

I agree the camera is difficult to control as it is very lightweight.
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Old March 31st, 2009, 09:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Galvan View Post
From my initial impression, I think this camera isn't as sharp as the HV30. Footage looks a little softer to me ... what a surprise this is. Comparing this footage to some of my stock HV30 footage, it looks softer. Also the red's seem to by more blocky too (is this really how AVCHD compresses reds?). I've read several reviews from online publications stating that this camera, despite the new sensor, actually measures lower resolution score than the previous year Canons'.
This is puzzling given that the HFS10 has a slightly larger, and a much higher resolution chip and is compressing the full 1920 x 1080 frame, while the HV30 is using a 1440 x 1080 frame. Not what you'd expect; but then I saw a review of the HF200 which suggests it's worse than the HF100, so maybe things are really topsy-turvy over at Canon development!

Just to check the obvious, you are recording at the highest quality, and you are transferring to a 1920 x 1080 timeline/project, and not to an HDV format project?
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Old April 1st, 2009, 02:34 PM   #12
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I retract my statements

Just shot some stuff between the HFS10 and the HV20 (which should be identical to the HV30).

All was shot in 24P CINEMODE, using the cloud preset white balance, and using various color settings including: off, vivid, neutral, and custom w/sharpening to +1.

Looking at the footage side by side on my 30" Apple monitor, it's pretty clear that the HFS10 resolves greater detail.

What's interesting though is that the HV20 seems to have warmer white balance than the HFS10, which is significantly more on the bluer side. I've also noticed that the HV20 white balance is more accurate, with the Auto White Balance being more so than the HFS10. I found the coloring to be more pleasing on the HV20.

Interesting ...
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Old April 1st, 2009, 05:37 PM   #13
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Reference HF-S10 impressions

I must agree the camera is very light compared to the HV-20, and of course slightly more difficult to control, it also does not have all of that metal hardware of the transport mechanism to add weight.
I'm hoping this will be improved when I add the wide angle lens. It does not seem to be as big and heavy as the HV-20 WD-43.
No fancy testing but, I projected the same subject matter thru HDMI unto a 56 inch Samsung DPL filmed with both the HF-S10 and the HV-20, and I have to agree the HF-S10 looked to me sharper, brighter, and with a lot more detail. Later I also discovered and remembered that the my HV-20 had a +1 setting of sharpness that I never had bother to reset. So even then the HF-S10 outdid the HV-20. Very curious is the fact that I cannot say the same thing when I look at the same clips in my Mac Cinema screen.........They look the same!!! Go figure.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 08:33 PM   #14
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So are you guys still happy you got the camera, or are you having second thoughts?
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Old April 1st, 2009, 10:10 PM   #15
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Reference HF-S10 impressions

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Originally Posted by Michael Murie View Post
So are you guys still happy you got the camera, or are you having second thoughts?
Good question but the answer is no. The future pretty soon will be Blue Ray and the ability to be able to display and distribute your video in all the splendor of BlueRay disc. That future is not too far away. The HVD (tape) format will come short when those demands are imposed and after spending a lot of time in the Tape world, I think the ACHVD format is the way to go. After many years following the Canon line of still digital cameras, I have seen the changes they do to their sensors. When they say they have gone from Digic II to DigicIII I believe them because I've seen the difference.

In spite of all the limitations with editing the new tapeless format (and these are getting less and less as we speak) I still think, now is a good time to make the jump.
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Luis
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