Stills quality of the HF-S100? 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 July 7th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #1
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Stills quality of the HF-S100?

I have everything on automatic while taking photos, selecting the highest resolution. Of course I don't expect good quality in dark condition. However, of all my daylight pics, I'd about 20% are good and above, the rest show a lot of grain on my monitor. I was hoping I could use this machine as a dual purpose camera-camcorder and leave my Olympus CZ8080 at home. But now I'll have to get a DSLR, good reason for upgrade I guess.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 03:38 PM   #2
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While the pics from the HF S10(0) are markedly better than the previous generations of VIXIA camcorders, they are still no match for a DSLR of any kind.

In fact, pictures from my Canon G10 are leagues better than from the camcorders.

They are mainly video cameras ... I think what you get out of them are quite acceptable.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 04:04 PM   #3
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Yeah, I've accepted that the video quality is extremely good, stills not so good. But that's OK. I was expecting too much.

Thanks,
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Old July 7th, 2009, 08:51 PM   #4
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It's the same for Sony dual use cameras - I did a short test a couple weeks ago, the XR500V vs. the HX1, which shoots 1080 30P video...

The bottom line is the stills from the HX1 at 9 Mpixel (approximately the same as the XR500v interpolated resolution) looked "better" (sharper and better overall exposure/color)than the stills from the XR500V, and conversely the video from the XR500V was better looking than the video from the HX1 (smoother with 60i, sharper, better exposure)...

That said, both were "good" in their "alternate mode", and probably more than adequate for many uses, with a little tweaking in post. If you're really picky, you probably will see the shortcomings, but it is nice to have a dual purpose camera with adequate performance for casual use.

It does appear that for whatever reasons, there are compromises made in the dual mode cameras so their "primary" mode is the better mode.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 10:34 PM   #5
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I recently upgraded my DSLR to one with HD video mode. I sold my Canon XSi (450D) for a tad over half the B&H price of the Canon T1i (500D) so the upgrade was "half" painless.

As a video camera it offers some advantages (large lens selection for one) and some serious disadvantages (no manual control in video mode except for a 4 f stop exposure bias). No continuous autofocus, mono audio only and no external mic jack either.

Yet using it with an adapter ring and an old 50mm f1.8 Nikkor AI-s lens the shallow DOF and extreme selective focus achieved in daylight is nothing short of amazing. The camera cannot control the lens aperture at all so setting the aperture at 1.8 or 2 or 2.8, or whatever gets you the DOF control consumer video cams just can't deliver.

And for low light performance f1.8 delivers performance with less gain (and grain) than I see with our video cams.

While there is single autofocus with Canon autofocus lenses manual focus is really handier once I got used to it again. And for any scene where stereo audio is wanted double system sound becomes a necessary workaround.

In video work I'll use this as an adjunct to my Canon HF100's, the video quality while not up to the full frame Canon 5D MkII is still full and rich in color and tonal rendition. And while carrying it as a still camera, I'll still have video capability with me.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 12:53 AM   #6
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It will be in time

Norris,

That's the way it is at this point in time. In fact, the stills of videocams today are much better than years gone by. I expect in 2 years, we'll have very good stills capabilities as the convergence matures.

Also, if you look at stills cameras with video, from that side of the fence, you can see that video is catching up as well. The Canon SX-1 or G10, or the Panny LX3 shows you a glimpse of the improvements in video if you get a stills camera. Conversely, videocams are also getting better, thoug we may have to wait a year or two for the two to be good all around.

Perhaps, the best example of a good stills and video is that of the GH1. Yes, it is the first of its kind and the price may not be to the liking of many at this time. But looking at the GH1 from the standpoint of what is possible, then expect it to be the guide of what we should be expecting from the stills dept without compromising video.

Of course, understand also that a lot of the improvements is not just from the no of pixels we can squeeze out of the stills. It also has to do with the sensor size. The larger they are, the better in low light. Add to that the improvements in sensor design, and DSP, expect to get good light performance even with smaller chips. But match your expectations accordingly because if we are to get the lower priced video/stills camera, the sensor sizes will still be in the 1/2.5" to maybe 1/1.8" range. This is a far cry from aps-c or 4/3 sized sensors of dslr or the G1/GH1.

Regardless, I predict better stills in the future. Expect better AF also in contrast detect. For now, just enjoy what is in the pipeline. Otherwise, wait for the next batches of cameras, or go with the GH1 now w/c, to my mind, is the only one at this time w/c is very good in both video and stills, not just from an image standpoint, but actually in using the camera as a true video camera or stills camera.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 02:03 PM   #7
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I agree, the hybrids are getting better. Here is a little video -photo thing shot with the Panasonic lx3:
Happy Birthday Jen on Vimeo
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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:22 PM   #8
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Actually, the video looked better than the pix in that short production <wink>. Tweaking in post can often adjust for camera shortcomings.


I was disappointed with the pictures from earlier Sony videocameras, but got some good shots anyway, I can see using the HX1 in a pinch for video even though I know it isn't quite as good as the XR500...

I think one has to look at the state of the tools and be amazed - sure, they have their flaws, but it's pretty amazing what you CAN get out of them.

I'd like to see Sony make a video capable Alpha series, but so far nothing from them. The Canon 5D MkII looks awesome, and I'd probably go for it over some of the "video" cameras out there if I wanted to spend the money.

I joke about taking the "R" sensor out of the XR500 and trying to shoehorn it into the HX1, and if I had a cleaner shop, and the engineering info, I'd probably be tempted to really try it!

I think one has to sometimes realize the tools are "pretty good", and enjoy using them for what they CAN do. Being able to get high definition good quality video AND usable stills of decent resolution out of a pocket sized device woulda been unthinkable just a few years ago... I think back not so far to my 2.1M pixel still camera (only recently sold!) and my digital 8 SD Handycam... the current cameras I have are quantum leaps over those, and at comparable or cheaper prices!
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Old July 9th, 2009, 09:46 PM   #9
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Red

I think it was in June that the photo shoot of Megan Fox for Esquire (I think) mag was done using pure video footage from the RED camera.. the stills were taken directly from video frames and they were good enough to be used for the mag. They were 4K video tho.. but because it shoots up to 120fps of 3K (or 2K) as images and not compressed/combined video they are that as good as still shot DSLR images. At least from what I saw and read about it. I am sure some still DSLRs will shoot better images.. although honestly I don't know how much better than can get over what the 4K RED Raw footage looked like. Look it up on google.. i'ts quite impressive.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norris Combs View Post
I have everything on automatic while taking photos, selecting the highest resolution. Of course I don't expect good quality in dark condition. However, of all my daylight pics, I'd about 20% are good and above, the rest show a lot of grain on my monitor. I was hoping I could use this machine as a dual purpose camera-camcorder and leave my Olympus CZ8080 at home. But now I'll have to get a DSLR, good reason for upgrade I guess.
I have a HF-S100 and I've noticed if you are recording video and snap a picture the quality is lower than if you are not rolling. I'm guessing here but it seems like the camera just offloads a frame when you are rolling and in that mode the entire sensor is not used. Only a portion is being used. When the camera is not recording your still utilizes the entire sensor. Like I said I'm guessing but I did test this when I first got the camera and saw a marked increase in quality of the same subject when I was not recording video.

After checking, the website says the still mode uses 8 megapixels and Simultaneous Photo Recording uses 6 megapixels.

Canon VIXIA HF S100 Dual Flash Memory High Definition Camcorder
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Old October 31st, 2009, 12:10 AM   #11
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I posted this one IMG_0103

It *still* seems to be the only HFS10/100/11 pic on all of flickr....
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 11:53 AM   #12
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Kevin, that doesn't look like a full frame still from an HF-S11/10/100, the aspect ratio is incorrect. That's what you get when you take a still in video mode, in still mode the images are more 4:3 in shape.

I've got some here: Chester Zoo Fountain Lawns Redevelopment, October 2009 - Stuart Robinson's Photos- powered by SmugMug

That's actually a good example of the use of the Legria/Vixia cameras, the shoot was video but I wanted some stills too, and while they're not earth-shattering they're good enough. Most of those were taken with the WD-H58 lens on the front.

It seems the key is to stop down a little and use a slow shutter speed to avoid as much of the in-camera gain as possible.
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