Canon HF10 vs Sanyo VPC-FH1 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 24th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #1
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Canon HF10 vs Sanyo VPC-FH1

Hello

I own a Sony TRV27 and want to upgrade to a tapeless HD camcorder. I've been looking at the Canon HF10 and just recently into the Sanyo VPC-HF1 esp at that pricepoint. The Sanyo is awfully tempting. I'm a Canon fan though.

I'll be using the cam mostly for guerilla style music videos and for shooting bands/singer songwriters in low light situations in clubs and such. Also some talking head style interviews for my web site and Youtube. And maybe once in a while my own produced low budget music videos. ;-)

The things that are "issues" for me are the editing requirements. I have a MacBook Pro with 2.5Ghz CoreDuo and my wife is about to pick up a 2.8 Ghz MBP. I know the Sanyo files are MP4.

Any thoughts on which formats are easier to edit? Do I need Neoscene's Cineform?

I also can get Adobe Premiere Pro's Production product for a great deal since I'm at an academic inst. Up to now I've been in FCE. But Adobe After Effects in hard to pass up.

Just as a footnote, I loved the footage of the HV20 and if it wasn't for the fact that it was tape, I'd be all over it.

Looked at Sanyo footage on Vimeo. Not much to not like. Though HF10 seems slightly crisper. I like my color saturated ;-) Any idea if the Sanyo ghosts much?

Anyone here shoot music video type stuff in low light with the HF10? Any thoughts there?

Any recommendations as to which cam to go with and why? I'd like to stay under $500-600.

Thanks

Charles
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Old July 25th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #2
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Hf10

The fh1 may be cheap and have full manual control but the hf10 has much better quality for me. The fh1 has horrible rolling shutter, a 2.2 aperture vs the 1.8 of the canon, and the canon has a mic input where as the fh1 does not. The hv20/30/40 for 500-900 bucks (depending on which model) camera are even better because they have have a real manual focus ring and their bit rate of 25mbps vs the hf10's 17mpbs make it alot sharper. Also the hv20/30/40 have the shallowest depth of field, zebras, and color peaking whereas the hf10 does not. I used to have an hv30 but returned it for the hfs100 because the hfs100 does 24mpbs tapeless, has manual gain control where as none of the canon or any of the other consumer hd cameras have in that price range, plus it has a much larger focus wheel than the hv20/30/40. So the hfs100 is the best but is about 900-1000 bucks. BTW what are you editing on and the canon consumer hd cams are a little bit overkill for youtube no offense. I have a mac pro with final cut pro and you do not need any cineform product if you are editing on the mac whether it be imovie/final cut express/final cut pro. In fce and imovie you lose quality with codec and in final cut pro the codec is losless. Remeber always to get an external mic for these cameras, the internals suck (which automatically rules out the fh1 because there is no mic input or audio control).
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Old July 26th, 2009, 04:27 PM   #3
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Thanks Mayer. It is a hard decision. I'd go with the HV20, but it's not tapeless and I know for me, if I had to wait for tape to transfer, I'd not use the footage.

I'm on a Mac MBP 2.5 Ghz CoreDuo machine. Editing mostly with FCE - though I think I may go to Adobe Premiere.

Thanks for your input.

Charles
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Old July 29th, 2009, 08:51 PM   #4
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Is tapeless that important

The only tapeless can I could really recommend is the hfs100/10 camera and some of the sony and panasonic 900+ ones. Unless you have an 8 core mac pro (like me YAY) On a mbp 2.5 with fce importing avchd will not only loose some quality (fce uses apple intermediate codec = lossy fcp uses apple pro res = losless and premier pro and vegas edit avchd natively) and import times will be above realtime in fce on the computer. If you get premier pro and get a card reader you can get much much faster import times but your rendering times will be horrendous. Not only is the hv20 a better camera than the fh1 but it has a better codec. the hfs100/10 has slightly more control (better focus wheel, manual gain) is tapeless, and its codec is matchable if not better than hdv. With hdv you get realtime capturing on your machine.
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Old September 20th, 2009, 03:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Alexander View Post
I own a Sony TRV27 and want to upgrade to a tapeless HD camcorder. I've been looking at the Canon HF10 and just recently into the Sanyo VPC-HF1 esp at that pricepoint. The Sanyo is awfully tempting. I'm a Canon fan though.
I just bought an FH1.. and it's damn fine. This was intended to replace my "C" camera, a Hitachi BD70A... a Blu-Ray camcorder. Blu-Ray wasn't bad... at an hour per disc, this fixed the major flaw in DVD-based recording. But the AVCHD CODEC did suffer from being from an earlier stage of evolution (by most accounts, AVCHD only hit its stride this year in comparison to HDV, even given the higher resolution of most AVCHD camcorders). And, despite the fairly large single CMOS sensor, the BD70A had pretty evil low-light performance, at least compared to my Sony HVR-A1 and Canon HV10 (same sensor as in the more well known HV20 and HV30).

So, the Sanyo FH1... like the BD70A and the Sony, it has only digital image stabilization. I prefer a tripod, and use them for most things, so it's not a huge issue. As well, you won't get into vibrational situations (back of a pickup truck offroad, for example) that freak out the clever mechanical systems in an optical stabilizer. But for regular shooting without support, optical definitely wins.

I also didn't worry too much about the lack of audio jack (though, as it's in the similar HD2000, it's kind of a shame they left it, and the hot-shoe, off this one.. but then again, I only paid $420). If I'm doing a multi-camera shoot, I have audio on the Sony, on a Tascam DR-1, and possibly other field recorders. For "pocket camera" video, there's no room for the external mic anyway.. and this thing is freakishly small... it's like one lens tube with a screen attached.

But to the good stuff.. the video output of this totally rocks. I think it compares very well to the Sony and the Canon, even in low light. In fact, it might be slightly better... true, both my others have f1.8 lenses, this one is f2.0 at 5.95mm (full wide), not the f2.2 someone else quoted. The 1/2.5" sensor is one of the most sensitive in any consumer model... Sanyo does their own CMOS sensors. At 59.5mm, it's at f2.8... this isn't all that far off from the HF-S10, which is f1.8 at 6.5mm, f3.0 at 64mm.

Now, I'd bet the HF-S10 is a bit better quality... it would be disturbing if it weren't, since you can buy like three of the Sanyos for the price of that hot new Canon. On the other hand, you can't do 1080/60p on the Canon, or any of those high-speed modes (not that they're necessarily all that useful... but it's another tool in the box). The Sanyo won't do 24p, which is a nice option for non-action or film-look destined for BD or DVD (also helps with the low-light issues).

As for the older HF10, I wouldn't be surprised if the Sanyo had the edge. The HF10 is using a smaller CMOS sensor (1/3.2") than the HF-S10 or HV20, not mention the FH1.

There's a comparison here of the nearly identical (other the mic input and form-factor) Sanyo VPC-HD2000 versus the HF20:
Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000 Camcorder Review - Sanyo

Consider that this year, Canon basically split.. the HF-S10 was an upgrade to the HF10, the HF20 was something of a downgrade... its low-light performance dropped a little bit. The next page in that review goes against the HD-S10/100.. they still give the HD2000 an edge in low-light performance over the HF-S100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Alexander View Post
I'll be using the cam mostly for guerilla style music videos and for shooting bands/singer songwriters in low light situations in clubs and such. Also some talking head style interviews for my web site and Youtube. And maybe once in a while my own produced low budget music videos. ;-)
The Sanyo is certainly on the short list of consumer camcorders doing low-light well. So is the Canon HF-S10, and the Panasonic TM300. What's amazing about the Sanyo is what you get for the price. If price were no object, I'd go for the Panasonic.. I like viewfinders and lens rings.

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Originally Posted by Charles Alexander View Post
The things that are "issues" for me are the editing requirements. I have a MacBook Pro with 2.5Ghz CoreDuo and my wife is about to pick up a 2.8 Ghz MBP. I know the Sanyo files are MP4.

Any thoughts on which formats are easier to edit? Do I need Neoscene's Cineform?
AVCHD MP4 is the worst format for editing, sure. I have edited AVCHD files on my 2.4GHz Core2 HP laptop, and it works, but there's waiting. For any serious editing, I would transcode to CineForm or high-bitrate MPEG-2. On a Mac, you probably have access to Apple's intermediate CODEC, too, for free.. that's probably good enough.

Of particular issue are 1080/60p files. Without GPU acceleration, it takes a multithreaded player 65-75% of my desktop system (Q9550) to play back Sanyo 1080/60p on my 1200p monitors. My video editor (Sony Vegas) is not doing multithreaded or GPU accelerated rendering on edits year (for renders, it's all four cores plus network rendering if I want to use other machines here). So if your Mac tools do better in this regard, you may be ok. If not.. expect to transcode or do some waiting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Alexander View Post
I also can get Adobe Premiere Pro's Production product for a great deal since I'm at an academic inst. Up to now I've been in FCE. But Adobe After Effects in hard to pass up.
After Effects certainly has much to offer.. though you might consider Boris Red, which can plug-in to FCP (don't know about FCE), just as it can with Vegas.

Premiere... I started digital video in an ancient version of Premiere. It had clearly been written for a day that had come and gone.. very primitive ideas about what a PC can do with video, second or third class audio, strict limits on video tracks, and many stupid ideas on how to do things. There is evidence this was fixed in Premiere Pro (and the "Pro" designation was needed to give them license to change their evil ideas, but how much change, I dunno). I would not jump into a whole Premiere Pro suite just to get AE.

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Originally Posted by Charles Alexander View Post
Just as a footnote, I loved the footage of the HV20 and if it wasn't for the fact that it was tape, I'd be all over it.
The HV20 looks just like my HV10, other than the lack of a 24p mode on the HV10. It's very good. The HV20 was Canon's top-of-the-line model when it came out, for consumer video. The thing today is that the FH1 can certainly rival that quality, and do stuff the Canon's can't... as the Canon can to it (including the HV30 and HV40, to be current). I wasn't leaving tape to get into flash, but Blu-Ray ;-)... so I didn't actually need the Sanyo to be better than the Canon or Sony, just the Hitachi, and then, only in low light. The fact it does better sports video than my others is just gravy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Alexander View Post
Looked at Sanyo footage on Vimeo. Not much to not like. Though HF10 seems slightly crisper. I like my color saturated ;-) Any idea if the Sanyo ghosts much?
The HV10 is more saturated than the Sony... a little oversaturation is typical on consumer cameras. The FH1 is in the same ballpark as the HV10.. maybe a bit more, but it's pretty close. Ghost images... not sure what you're looking for. There's a bit of flare in the lens, sure... you're going to have that on these complex zoom designs (12 elements). A lens hood would help.. I always have that on the Sony.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Alexander View Post
Any recommendations as to which cam to go with and why? I'd like to stay under $500-600.
You can find refurbished HF100s for under $500 (HF10 without the internal flash), but new, these typically run higher.. the list price is about a grand. You'll have to shop around, the HF10/11/100 were replaced by the HF-S10 and HF20 seried. The HF-S100 runs $1000 new, the HF200 about $600, new, from a reputable dealer.

I got my FH1 for $423, including postage. Again, I'm not its feature rich enough for me to use it as an "A" camera. But it seems be the big value right now, if you can live with the limitations.

My least favorite issue... when it gets to 4GB in a video file, it "hiccups"... it writes out the old file, starts a new one, and for a bit there's no recording in the gap. Now, sure, you have to stop to change tape or disc with other camcorders, but it does present an issue (particularly because you hit the 4GB point at 20min when shooting 1080/60p).
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Old February 24th, 2010, 08:09 PM   #6
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My least favorite issue... when it gets to 4GB in a video file, it "hiccups"... it writes out the old file, starts a new one, and for a bit there's no recording in the gap. Now, sure, you have to stop to change tape or disc with other camcorders, but it does present an issue (particularly because you hit the 4GB point at 20min when shooting 1080/60p).
Which version of the FH1 do you have? Is it the FH1A?

Thanks!

B
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Old April 29th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #7
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I found a Sanyo VPC-FH1 on sale, but after testing it for 2 weeks, returned and replaced it with a Canon HF100.

The only acceptable quality setting for smooth motion on the sanyo was the 1080p 60fps 24Mbit/s setting.
the motion seemed noticeably choppy if set to 1080p 30fps.

I found the color saturation to be excessive, but that's not a deal breaker, as you can fix that in post processing.

The deal breaker for me, was very poor motion capturing, in every single quality setting. It was the least apparant in the highest quality setting (1080p, 60fps), but still very poor.
Recording something as simple as someone doing jumping jacks, the movement was very pixely, and distorted. Capturing an object rotating at 200 rpm was terrible, a large blocky mess.

The second reason I returned the cam, is a max shutter speed of only 1/500s, where you can go as high as 1/2000s on the canon's, which has several benefits.

I found for capturing a scene with very little movement, the camera was good quality, and while not capturing as much detail as the canon, was very close, and decently sharp. Close up shots (or macro) looked excellent, possibly better than the canons.

I own 2 Canon HD cams (HV30, and HF100), and on both, I can take any frame and use it as a high quality still image, something I could never do on the Sanyo.

It's a shame really, because with the shortcut system Sanyo implements, it's hands down the easiest camera to operate out of the 3 mentioned, but doesn't cut it as a "moving picture" camera, as it just can't cope with significant movement to capture. (Most likely due the the codec, or bitrate)

On a side note, I've owned an HV30 for 2 years, and thought an AVCHD cam would blow it away.
The HF10 (same as HF100) were used to film parts of Crank 2, so it is definitely up there as far as AVCHD cams go, and the low light is pretty good, on par with the HV30 and VPC-FH1, but I was suprised to see that the picture quality of the HV30 is better than the HF100, and would still be my first choice for capturing important events.

I guess I got lucky when I purchased the HV30 as my first HD cam, but the HF100 makes a nice secondary cam, and is reasonably close in picture quality and motion sensitivity to the HV30, and it's advantages are no tape drive noise, and easier file transfers to my computers.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 10:21 AM   #8
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Sure enough...

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Originally Posted by James Cousins View Post
I found a Sanyo VPC-FH1 on sale, but after testing it for 2 weeks, returned and replaced it with a Canon HF100.

The only acceptable quality setting for smooth motion on the sanyo was the 1080p 60fps 24Mbit/s setting.
the motion seemed noticeably choppy if set to 1080p 30fps.
This may come as a shock, but 30fps IS choppy.. on any camera. At least compared to 60p.

I'm a little more concerned with 60i mode on the Sanyo... I've had mixed experiences, and can't quite pin it down. I have shot some video that looks very good, but other video that's just a bit off. I can't say I'm shocked.. I believe this is primarily a progressive camera that, oh-by-the-way, offers the one interlaced mode that everyone still uses.

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Originally Posted by James Cousins View Post
I found the color saturation to be excessive, but that's not a deal breaker, as you can fix that in post processing.
Yeah, that's an unfortunate aspect of many modern consumer cameras. I blame the 35mm film industry... all those "better than real life" film emulsions of the 80s and 90s seems to have fixed this in the consumer mind. And of course, you can't just edit a shooting profile for lower saturation/contrast like you can on a pro camera. Yeah, "fix it in post", but you're better off without it. Of course, if you're a regular consumer, and not trying to match your Sanyo video to that of your 6x more expensive Sony, you might not notice this as much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Cousins View Post
Recording something as simple as someone doing jumping jacks, the movement was very pixely, and distorted. Capturing an object rotating at 200 rpm was terrible, a large blocky mess.
You're not going to have great success with 200rpm rotation and any MPEG-based camcorder. Sure, some handle it better than others. But the simple fact is that these are all interframe-compression cameras, and they have to do magic tricks once video is moving too fast. I was recently commenting on this in another Panasonic TM700 blog... one guy was complaining about fast panning breaking down with the TM700. Yup. It'll break down with any MPEG camera. I'll bet, if there's more processing power available, that alone will give one camera options the other doesn't have, in this regard. But no matter, it's never going to be as clean as DV.

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Originally Posted by James Cousins View Post
The second reason I returned the cam, is a max shutter speed of only 1/500s, where you can go as high as 1/2000s on the canon's, which has several benefits.
It does 1/1000th, at least in manual mode. I can do 1/8000th on my Panasonic TM700, or 1/10,000th on my Sony.. but they're both clearly in a different league.

I still think the FH1 is a very nice $400 camera... I was certain when I bought it that I wasn't really much of a $400 camera guy. Thing is, I beat up a $1000 Canon HV10 by carrying it on backpacking trips and other "you really shouldn't bring that camcorder" activities. The FH1 is great for this... and it does a fairly acceptable still photo, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Cousins View Post
It's a shame really, because with the shortcut system Sanyo implements, it's hands down the easiest camera to operate out of the 3 mentioned, but doesn't cut it as a "moving picture" camera, as it just can't cope with significant movement to capture. (Most likely due the the codec, or bitrate)
Well, somewhat. With a higher bitrate, you have more options... but motion is simply a bad idea for any long GOP format. On Blu-Ray and DVD, you don't notice it quite as much, but that's because, for commerical releases, an encoding engineers spends time tweaking every fast motion scene, applying selective low pass filtering (eg, blurring) to fast motion bits that just can't be compressed well, etc. So you don't notice as much. And of course, on Blu-Ray, you have like 40Mb/s to work with.

The problem is interframe compression. You compress one full frame, then the next 14 are based off that first one. The additional frames (P-Frames and B-Frames, though not all cameras produce B-Frames) including motion vectors and "residual" video. Basically, you take the first frame and the current one, and figure out (via a process called motion estimation) where each thing in the first frame is in the current frame. Then apply those motion vectors to the reference frame, subtract the current frame, and you get your residual data. For slow moving stuff, this is very small, and so on playback, things look really good. Move too much, though, and the whole process breaks down... you either get huge amounts of residual data, or you have to insert hypercompressed I-Frames... everything still has to stay within that 24Mb/s or whatever.

Now, sure, there are many choices to make, better or worse motion estimation, etc... that's where a better video DSP, proprietary algorithms, and higher bitrates all come to play. An unfortunate limitation of the Sanyo, too, is that you can't independently switch bitrate and video mode like you can on higher-end cameras.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Cousins View Post
On a side note, I've owned an HV30 for 2 years, and thought an AVCHD cam would blow it away.
The HF10 (same as HF100) were used to film parts of Crank 2, so it is definitely up there as far as AVCHD cams go, and the low light is pretty good, on par with the HV30 and VPC-FH1, but I was suprised to see that the picture quality of the HV30 is better than the HF100, and would still be my first choice for capturing important events.
AVCHD has been an evolving thing for years, I think last year was the first time it generally did better than HDV at most things. HDV has the same issues as AVCHD in terms of long GOP, but HDV was pretty much a done deal long ago... AVC itself is still being improved.

I bought my first AVCHD camcorder nearly three years ago... a good deal on a Hitachi Blu-Ray camera. Like the Sanyo, I bough it to mess around with, learn the practical use of the format, etc. In ideal situations, it was really good. But in just about every real world situation, it was horrible. And despite a fairly large single sensor, the camera was just plain evil in the dark... nothing in the class of the HV30, TM700, or FH1. I eventually sold it on eBay. I kind of liked the Blu-Ray recording, though, but the small BDs are only 7.5GB, not really large enough for a full hour's worth at modern bitrates.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 10:29 AM   #9
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Fh1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Madison View Post
Which version of the FH1 do you have? Is it the FH1A?

Thanks!

B
I have the original FH1, with 1.3 Firmware. I don't believe this has been fixed on newer models, but maybe. It has been an issue with the Sanyo models in general. And once you know about it, it's not a dealbreaker in most uses, but it is important to understand.

Most flash-based camcorders record continuously from file to file. Technically, you may have to catenate the files together to not drop a couple of frames (they may not break files at GOP boundaries, but at exact 4GB boundaries... why, I cannot say), but it's far worse on Sanyo.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 10:55 AM   #10
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Hey, lookie... mistakes...

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Originally Posted by Mayer Chalom View Post
The fh1 may be cheap and have full manual control but the hf10 has much better quality for me. The fh1 has horrible rolling shutter, a 2.2 aperture vs the 1.8 of the canon, and the canon has a mic input where as the fh1 does not.
All CMOS camcorders have rolling shutters, including the HF10 and the HV40 et al.

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Originally Posted by Mayer Chalom View Post
The hv20/30/40 for 500-900 bucks (depending on which model) camera are even better because they have have a real manual focus ring and their bit rate of 25mbps vs the hf10's 17mpbs make it alot sharper.
Yes and no. Yes.. focus/zoom ring, a real viewfinder, etc. are very good reasons to choose a camera other than the FH1... the FH1 is the one you pack in your backpack or your coat pocket.

As for bitrate.. you're comparing mangos and kumquats here. The HV20/30/40 record in MPEG-2 HDV, which yeas, is 25Mb/s. The HF10 is recording in AVCHD, which has about twice the coding efficiency of HDV... in short, if you do a very good job of encoding 1440x1080/60i video in AVC, it'll look just as good at 12.5Mb/s as HDV video looks at 25Mb/s, all things being equal.

Of course, they're not equal. AVCHD is recorded at 1920x1080/60i, so right off, it needs a higher bitrate for the increased amount of data. AVC is extremely complex to encode, too, so there's no guarantee that a camcorder will, say, do as well as when I render production quality AVC on my quad core PC. So upping the bitrate here helps some, too. And there's always "because we can". HDV has a fixed bitrate. Tapeless models let you chose your bitrate.

You'll also find that this year's AVCHD camera models are a bit better than last year, and last year's quite a bit better than 2008's, in terms of video quality. With HDV, not so much... they have evolved the camera as a whole for years, but the encoders themselves, not really.. MPEG-2 encoding was a totally mature technology when HDV models first shipped. I'd put 2009 as the year in which better AVCHD models really started to outperform HDV. It wasn't just me, either... Panasonic decided AVCHD was ready for the pro/prosumer markert about then, too.

Oh.. and that lens on the FH1 is f2.0, not f2.2. That's 1/3 stop less light than the lens on your Canon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayer Chalom View Post
Also the hv20/30/40 have the shallowest depth of field, zebras, and color peaking whereas the hf10 does not. I used to have an hv30 but returned it for the hfs100 because the hfs100 does 24mpbs tapeless, has manual gain control where as none of the canon or any of the other consumer hd cameras have in that price range, plus it has a much larger focus wheel than the hv20/30/40.
Aside from the fairly oddball FH1's still-camera-like manual controls, pretty much every Panasonic high-def camcorder has always had manual gain and shutter speed controls. Canons and Sonys, not always, but they are improving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayer Chalom View Post
BTW what are you editing on and the canon consumer hd cams are a little bit overkill for youtube no offense. I have a mac pro with final cut pro and you do not need any cineform product if you are editing on the mac whether it be imovie/final cut express/final cut pro. In fce and imovie you lose quality with codec and in final cut pro the codec is losless. Remeber always to get an external mic for these cameras, the internals suck (which automatically rules out the fh1 because there is no mic input or audio control).
Well, you know, you can put 1080p video on YouTube these days... and folks put everything on YouTube, even if it's also headed to DVD or Blu-Ray or something else.

Editing on a Mac, you usually do use some kind of intermediate CODEC, so there's a guarantee of some quality loss. Apple's ProRes CODEC is not lossless either... it's just very low loss, much as Cineform is. On most PC video editors these days, you can edit directly in AVCHD or AVC/MP4... it's really your choice if you need the extra speed of converting to Cineform or (if you don't want to drop the cash), Avid DNxHD or MXF/MPEG-2 are also reasonable intermediate CODEC options, each have their performance vs. storage vs. loss trade-offs.

External mics are a must, when you can use an external mic. I have two cameras with XLR modules and professional mics that cost more (each) than the FH1. I also use a Tascam digtial field recorder, and maybe a couple of MiniDisc recorders, if I'd doing a serious video shoot. So I actually don't care what mic is on any extra cameras I might use, since I'm only using that audio for sync. Of course, if you have just one camera, you're definitely better off with a decent external Mic. Something like the Rode VideoMic is a good basic choice, but cheaping out on it too much, you're not better off.

However, there are plenty of times with an external mic isn't possible. Backpacking, cycling, helmet-cam, etc. The pocket camera... the FH1 travels nearly as well as a "Flip", but the video is dramatically better, even if the lens isn't a match for the better Sony, Panasonic, or Canon lenses. Anyone planning to "do video" with just one camera isn't serious about video (and I'm not just saying this because there are six HD camcorders here in my house..). There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Also, a caution on the newer FH1a... this camera starts in default in this new Apple-imposed sub-HD mode, called iFrame. That produces an 960x540/30p video format, which is probably all most folks care about for YouTube, and apparently, something Apple things that iMovie is capable of editing without conversion. I think it would be a better for Apple to get their video editors working with AVC as well as everyone else's (and hey, while they're at it, how about Blu-Ray authoring... we've had that on the PC for 2.5 years already), rather than invent new formats they can handle, but will eventually get users angry as they realize they're not really in HD. Everyone's using the same hardware these days.. there's no good reason Apple can't edit AVC just as well as Sony, Adobe, Avid, or Grass Valley. Well, maybe not Grass Valley...
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Old April 30th, 2010, 01:40 PM   #11
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If you got tripod shot on a sunny day, the picture is very good, but most of cheap camcorder can do that.
if you go to shoot with hand in a dark room, you just get a poor picture.
I use 2 of them for 3D shots, and i am very happy of the result as long as i stay in the range of what this little marvel can do. Out of that range, i do not even think to switch it on.
I say that because my previous camera was a sony VX2000 (the best low light camera ever made), then currently a FX1 , an EX1 and a t2i.
you could try to find a canon HV20 or HV30 for cheap, i think it is a way better camera, but it was another price too.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 12:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dave Haynie View Post
This may come as a shock, but 30fps IS choppy.. on any camera. At least compared to 60p.
How is this a shock? I wasn't talking about cameras in general, I was strictly comparing, as the thread stated, the Sanyo to the Canon. Read the thread subject. The Canon is smoother at 30p than the Sanyo.

Among the other strengths that the HF10 has over the Sanyo, I personally wouldn't use the Sanyo to capture important events, unless I had no other choice, which I do! (HF100, or HV30).

Last edited by James Cousins; May 1st, 2010 at 06:37 PM.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 11:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by James Cousins View Post
How is this a shock? I wasn't talking about cameras in general, I was strictly comparing, as the thread stated, the Sanyo to the Canon. The Canon is smoother at 30p than the Sanyo.
Not really trying to be a dick here, honestly.

I haven't used the Sanyo at 30p, and haven't used the Canon. But I have used the Sanyo quite a bit over the last year, though it's recently been surplanted for most "extra camera" purposes by my new TM700.

I have noticed that sometimes, the video, even in 60i mode, is not smooth. At other times, it's been pretty much on par with my HVR-A1, if not necessarily matching the overall quality of my HMC40.

I recently figured out at least one issue here: the Sanyo doesn't have any lockout on slow shutter speeds, far as I can tell. With more camcorders, you have to explicitly enable the use of less than 1/60th for 60i and 30p modes, and less than 1/48th for 24p modes. The Sanyo, obviously built with lots of digital still camera DNA, doesn't seem to have any issue about slower shutter speeds. In particular, if you set the gain (ISO) manually, but keep the camera on programmed, you probably get a lower speed, with no obvious warning about it.

So I'd keep it in shutter priority or manual mode, to avoid this. And far as I can tell, there's no indication of shutter speed in programmed mode, so you can't even check on what the camera's setting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Cousins View Post
Among the other strengths that the HF10 has over the Sanyo, I personally wouldn't use the Sanyo to capture important events, unless I had no other choice, which I do! (HF100, or HV30).
I ran into this issue last March, using the Sanyo as a "B" camera. Which was probably a bad idea, but hey, I figure, it's better than no "B" camera, and being on this tapeless kick, I didn't bring the Sony instead. The Sanyo was definitely using a lower-than-expected shutter speed, not something I'd notice in the viewfinder. And while it shouldn't have been an issue, if you have a B camera set up, you just automatically rely on it. It wasn't the end of the world, and it's video I probably can't use anyway (an Al Stewart concert, shot with special permission... largely because my sister was the pianist), but you do live and learn. Every camera has quirks, but you should expect more with something like Sanyo... they've always been a bit off the mainstream, camcorder-wise.

The continuing use for this camera will be for places I won't take a "good" camcorder. It's replaced my ailing Canon HV10 as my backpacking camera, and it really does offer a decent mix of photo and video quality, with fewer tears if I drop it or otherwise abuse it than my others. I've found, when you don't have one of those, you eventually wind up doing something stupid with a far more valuable camera.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 08:54 PM   #14
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I just thought I'd point out that the FH1A costs $329 at both B&H and Amazon. That's a freaking steal if you ask me.
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