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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 May 5th, 2009, 02:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Sal View Post
I have used both formats quite a bit and until now have not seen a domestic AVCHD camera that outshines HDV. All the cams I have used have shown more compression artifacts than HDV on fast motion.
This has not been my experience using cameras in a simillar price range. I've been using HDV for corporate and medical shoots for the past two years, and recently switched to AVCHD a few months ago.

Initially I bought the Canon HG21 to see how it would compare with the HV20/30 that I had used for small budget shoots where I have to be a one-man-army. I was quite nervous about using the camera until I brought the video into the editor, and was happily surprised at the increase in quality. Overall color balance was better. No more macro-blocking on fast moving subjects, or dimly lit subjects. Better quality audio, provided you were feeding a strong audio signal from a good pre-amp / mic combo. ( I use a Sound-Devices MixPre powering AudioTechnica 4053a hypercardiod mics, Sennhseiser G2 UHF systems using Sanken Cos-11x lavs or Tram-50 lavs if the environment is noisy )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Sal View Post
If you looked at that link you would see that it is demonstrating AVCCAM.
Yes, I realize this. The main issue of macro-blocking is readily apparent when you examine video shoot with any HDV camera, and their comparison still holds up when comparing the better consumer ACVHD cams ( like the Canon HG21 ) shooting the same situation.

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Originally Posted by Tony Sal View Post
AVCCAM is a different version of AVCHD that your Canon records.
Yes, Panasonic prosumer cameras have better optics and imager than what you will find with any consumer camera. ( I own a Panasonic DVX100B that I use for any higher end interview work, and will replace this with a HMC150 camera in the next couple of months.)

...But the MPEG4 compression that the AVCCAM and AVCHD cameras use to store video images are essentially the same.

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Originally Posted by Tony Sal View Post
To be honest, I have been shooting with my Z1 for 4 years now and can say I have never had a tape issue. I only use cheap Sony Premium DV Tapes and not one drop out in the hundreds of tapes I have shot.
I've shot about 300+ DV tapes over the past three years. Mostly of this has been Fuji tapes, and Panasonic Professional DV tapes for serious work. Overall I've had very few drop-outs, but they definitely pop-up from time to time. I am also not crazy about the fragility of tape, as I've had some tapes show problems from playing them back about a dozen times or less.

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Originally Posted by Tony Sal View Post
I would not hand over my rushes to the client unless a was out as a freelance cameraman for the day with my Z1 or 570. For all other jobs that I shoot and edit in house I only give the client a tape or disc of the final product. Clients cannot be trusted storing footage/projects.
Some clients want to handle the editing themselves, so yes I am happy to hand over tapes, and now I can hand over a hard-drive copy of the original video. The clients are much happier with the hard-drive copy, as they know that they start working on things right away, eliminating the hassle of transfering from tapes to hard-drive.

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Originally Posted by Tony Sal View Post
I am not trying to rubbish your workflow but just raising issues that a new user may not think about. Professionally, there is a reason that the Sony Z1 is still used in most run gun style TV shoots.
I never said that tape was unusable, but the world is rapidly going all-digital, and from my own experience this is a very good thing. I will still shoot tape if the client asks for it, but for any future projects I will try to avoid tape when ever possible.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 02:43 PM   #17
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I also switched from the HV20 to the HG20, but when it comes to your original question: "Is there any reason not to buy the HV30 for a MiniDV tape solution," I have to say "no." The main difference between the HV20 and HV30 is that the HV30 has 30p mode.

I had two HV20s and if it wasn't for problems with tape dropouts, I would swear by that camera - problems that are just simply part and parcel of the MiniDV format.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 05:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Brian Boyko View Post
I had two HV20s and if it wasn't for problems with tape dropouts, I would swear by that camera - problems that are just simply part and parcel of the MiniDV format.
Problem is, that is subjective. I have rarely had actual tape drop out issues after quite a few years of shooting mini-dv, including the HV20 for almost two years now. Canon has always had spotty quality and depending on if the planets were aligned correctly or not when a camera was made seems to impact issues more than the tape format. I had the crappiest XL-1S the world ever saw, which ended up in the shop with dropouts 7 times the first year I owned it, while my GL1, which I owned for over 6 years, never had a single problem.

We have three JVC 250's and all have recorded without incident.

I guess everyone's mileage varies.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 12:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Guy McLoughlin View Post
...But the MPEG4 compression that the AVCCAM and AVCHD cameras use to store video images are essentially the same.
Thats like me saying that HDV and XDCAMHD are both essentially the same as they are both MPEG2. The biggest factor in blocking is compression ratio or data rate. The fact that AVCCAM has a higher data rate will lead to less blocking. This lack of blocking will not be the same as AVCHD which has more blocking.

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Originally Posted by Guy McLoughlin View Post
I never said that tape was unusable, but the world is rapidly going all-digital, and from my own experience this is a very good thing. I will still shoot tape if the client asks for it, but for any future projects I will try to avoid tape when ever possible.
HDV is digital, so its not as if you are getting left behind in the analog days???!

Ultimately, I think if you look higher up the professional tree you will find that most productions are shot on tape. HDCAM, Digibeta, DVCAM and HDV being the most popular formats. If tape really had as many issues as you are leading us to beleive, I think the top end of the market is where you would see a change to solid state as the work at that level is more critical but this has not happened. Tape is still a safe bet, is robust, archives well, has easier workflows and will be with us for many many years. I don't think you need to worry about the world moving off tape and being left with nothing to play your HDV or DV tapes on as one user suggested. VHS has been dead for many years and yet I can still get DV decks with VHS recorder built in and DVD recorders with VHS recorders built in. HDV is not going to just dissapear.

I think if you are only going to have one camera for your 'professional' production that HDV (tape) is the best way to go at this point in time (at the lower budget/domestic end). You can shoot HD (HDV) or SD (DV) and it just gives you more options to source income. I work in many TV Studios in the UK and most of them have the facility to play HDV or DV. If I was given a DVD with AVCHD or another disc based format, I would reject it as it is too difficult to work with.

Last edited by Tony Sal; May 6th, 2009 at 07:48 AM.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 11:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Sal View Post
Thats like me saying that HDV and XDCAMHD are both essentially the same as they are both MPEG2.
The artifacting that we are discussing is mainly due to compression. It's not imager noise. It's not rolling shutter tearing. It's compression, and both AVCCAM and AVCHD are essentially using the same form of .h264/mpeg-4 compression to store their video streams.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Sal View Post
The fact that AVCCAM has a higher data rate will lead to less blocking. This lack of blocking will not be the same as AVCHD which has more blocking.
The cameras that I was referring to ( the prosumer Panasonic HMC150 and the consumer Canon HG21 ), have the SAME data rate maxium data rate of 24 mbps. Same data rate, same degree of .h264/mpeg-4 compression.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Sal View Post
Ultimately, I think if you look higher up the professional tree you will find that most productions are shot on tape. HDCAM, Digibeta, DVCAM and HDV being the most popular formats. If tape really had as many issues as you are leading us to beleive, I think the top end of the market is where you would see a change to solid state as the work at that level is more critical but this has not happened.
Actually it is happening. It's becoming more common to see solid state and hard-drive recorders for high end broadcast and Hollywood productions, especially if the shoot involves complex FX work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Sal View Post
Tape is still a safe bet, is robust, archives well, has easier workflows and will be with us for many many years. I don't think you need to worry about the world moving off tape and being left with nothing to play your HDV or DV tapes on as one user suggested.
I disagree. I really think that all consumer tape based video cameras will be gone from the market in as little as 5 years. Just take a look at what's being offered right now in most of the camera and big box stores, it's mostly solid-state or HD based camcorders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Sal View Post
I think if you are only going to have one camera for your 'professional' production that HDV (tape) is the best way to go at this point in time (at the lower budget/domestic end). You can shoot HD (HDV) or SD (DV) and it just gives you more options to source income.
I agree that HDV tapes are going to have greater acceptance, but the world is rapidly going solid-state. I see a lot of the local TV stations here in Toronto using either the Panasonic HPX170/HPX500/HVX200 or the Sony EX-1/EX-3 for location field work.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 09:58 PM   #21
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Coming in a bit late here. But I, too, am not fully ready to declare the uselessness of tape and its demise. We have had our butts saved because of file corruption on our Focus DTE (the Firestore Hard Drive specific to the JVC GY-HD). Although we use the Focus DTE as our primary capture medium, the tape provides both a backup and our primary archive medium.

To those who may consider AVCHD format of the Vixia HG cameras somehow better, that's still debatable, but "handing over a file" to an editor is not the quick and dirty method some may suspect it is. The AVCHD transcoding when going to a NLE platform, I've found is often slower than real time meaning it's slower than transferring tape. Regardless, you must consider this in your workflow before deciding to go with AVCHD cameras.

Still, I use an HG21 and am impressed with its image for Web based delivery. I still haven't optimized for use for DVD delivery. I suspect that for DVD, I should be shooting exclusively in 24P regardless of the "look" I'm pursuing. I keep hearing I will get less stuttering. Tests continue.

Final word: Consider all the aspects of workflow from capture to edit to archive before praising or poo-pooing a capture medium.

Dave
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