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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 20th, 2009, 07:33 PM   #1
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GH1 vs. S10?

I'm seriously torn between these two cameras.

On the one hand the 4/3rds format offers great new possibilities, the removable lens is another plus. But, at the same time, the audio facility on the GH1 seems to leave much to be desired, especially compared to the Vixia HF S10.

DOF is another issue. With the absence of an adapter like the Jag35, the GH1 offers an incredible depth of field.

Does the S10 record 1080/24p at a higher bit rate than the GH1?

How useful are the video controls on the GH1 for a videography?
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Old May 21st, 2009, 07:27 AM   #2
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Well I'm not familiar with the GH1, so I can't comment on that. I can say that the Hfs10 is a heck of camera and contrary to popular belief outperforms the competition (yes even the xr500). I'm not going to yatter on like alot of people do around here. However I suggest that you go to Vimeo.com and download the original files, Don't watch it on your PC. Stream it or output it to your HD TV...That is where the competition falls to the way side. While a wide variety of opinions is great, they are not always accurate. I had to pickup the Sony XR500 and redo all my original tests to make sure that I didn't miss anything.. and I didn't. When you test the HFs10 limit the AGC to 6 and then dial it down to eliminate it whenever possible.. Gives you a clean ZERO noise picture in any condition.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 07:52 AM   #3
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Darrin, I too bought both the XR500 and the S10 and found that limiting gain on the S10 gave a noise-free image like the Sony in low light, but an almost totally unusable picture. When limited to the same noise levels as the Sony via the Canon's gain control, the Canon produces a very dark image that's almost devoid of details. The same image on the Sony was much brighter, sharper and much richer in colors.

I found the disparity under conditions that were less than ideal was much greater than the sharpness disparity between these same two cams in good light. I also found out that because the Sony uses so little in-camera sharpening relative to the Canon, I was able to boost the sharpness on my plasma and recapture virtually all of the sharpness difference in good light that existed between the two cams. You can really up the sharpness on the Sony without seeing any edge enhancement or ringing.

That coupled with the stabilizer, nicer sound etc. it was an easy decision for me. That wasn't the case when I traded my SR12 for the HG21 which I felt produced a better picture. It seems every year I jump from one company to the other based on that year's performance. It surely does vary. I don't believe there's any 'popular belief', since there's always been the Sony camp and the Canon camp. Each camp has its ardent followers. I don't belong to either as I switch around from year to year.

But in the end they're both great cams and it really depends on which image looks more 'life-like' to you.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:32 AM   #4
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I've looked at a comparison video between the Sony and the Canon. The Sony, by the way, does not have 24p or cinegama - two of my favorite features in consumer cameras.

The comparison shows a softer daylight image from the Sony and a sharper one from Canon. Like the GH1, the codec on the Sony seems to break up when shooting fast moving objects. While the Sony encodes at 17 mbps, the Canon goes all the way up to 24 mbps.

When it comes to low light capability, the Sony does better than the Canon.

Now, so far, I've been able to watch a few sample clips from the GH1. Yes, it does have a nice DOF, it does show great detail and does the best (of the three) in low light, but the codec is a risk I'm not sure I'm prepared to take. The image quality, the DOF and low light capability balance the lack of a good audio recording facility. If only the Canon had the GH1's sensor and lens.

Nonetheless, since the GH1 has yet to make it into the US in mass quantities, I'm going to wait. I'd like to hear more from GH1 owners in the coming weeks and make a final decision then.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 09:25 AM   #5
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It shows you how we all have different needs. I've never found 24p attractive at all. The stuttering motion, which is almost unavoidable in so many cases, is a deal-breaker for me in terms of using 24p. I also don't see any resemblence to film at all when using these modes.

The other interesting thing is that some of these 'cinema' modes on the Canon actually soften the picture quite a bit so that any advantage you felt you had in sharpness in the Canon, is destroyed...and then some. Under those conditions the Sony would be significantly sharper.

But the most important point for me as I've recently found, is that any sharpness advantage the Canon had in good light, can be easily compensated on any HDTV by simply raising the sharpness. The very conservative 'in-camera sharpening' used in the Sony allows you to do that on the monitor side.

The absence of a viewfinder is the other really pertinent deal-killer. When I bought both units, I felt that if the Canon had such a performance gap over the Sony, I'd somehow learn to deal with the lack of a viewfinder. But upon finding that I actually preferred the Sony image under virtually all conditions (and the killer low-light capabilities), the issue became moot. But it did emphasize to me as I was testing, that at least for my enjoyment in video-making, I really need a viewfinder. I just can't enjoy taking videos holding the cam in front of me and shooting...but that's me.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 09:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Palomer View Post
I'm seriously torn between these two cameras.
I'm not.

Looks like I'm gonna have to have both. I have a pair of HF100's now and like them quite well but will likely part with them to raise funds for the HF S100.

But after seeing Philip Blooms "Joshua Tree" video and other video footage shot with the GH1, I have to have one of those. No way around it.

But one needs some kind of "backup" if involved in semi serious projects so "one of each" is not out of line.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 05:04 AM   #7
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Bruce - we're obviously two of a kind! My thoughts exactly.
You always need a camera for those quick grab occasions, whereas for more controlled film-making, the GH1 makes a lot of sense (until the next manufacturer comes along with an improved version.)
I wish they'd just forget about convergence and produce a proper video camera with the right form factor. They've already proved it can be done.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 04:37 AM   #8
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In 24p mode, does the Canon S10 still allow for manual gain control (or at least max gain limit)?

Or does it revert to AGC in 24p?
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Old June 10th, 2009, 09:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Palomer View Post
In 24p mode, does the Canon S10 still allow for manual gain control (or at least max gain limit)?

Or does it revert to AGC in 24p?
full manual control in 60i, 30p and 24p
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