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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 April 25th, 2010, 09:19 AM   #1
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How do you find the lack of a viewfinder?

Hi All,

I work with an XH-A1 (tape) and Macbook Pro and am thinking of getting a decent 2nd, cheaper cam and have been looking at all these tapeless AVCHD models (HF S10 etc). They look good in many ways but I have two questions:

1) Do any have viewfinders? I do most of my shooting outdoors and an LCD screen is often unusable in bright weather. What do you do if you have no viewfinder (I know they are often not very good but better than nothing!)?
2) Will my MBP running FCP (2.6 GHz, core 2 duo) be good enough for editing AVCHD?

Thanks

Geoff
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Old April 25th, 2010, 10:39 AM   #2
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Hi Geoffrey,
I've found that the LCD screen on my Canon HFS100 is fine in sunlight - you can set the brightness level to maximum.
I also use a Hoodman screen hood with it as well, so no problems.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 09:46 PM   #3
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Hi Geoffrey, I found the LCD screen on my HFS10 almost totally useless in bright sunlight, even when turned up to full brightness. However, I added a DIY black card hood and I've gotten almost used to not having a vf.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 10:53 PM   #4
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I also Have an HF-S10 but do miss the viewfinder. However, there is a little beauty about to be released the Panasonic HDC-HS700-K which I am seriously considering, as it is a 3 Cmos job with good low light properties with its 1/4 " sensors. - Worth looking at.

RonC.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 02:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for advice guys.

Ron - been looking at the Panasonic TM-700 (flash card only version of the HS700 - want it to be as quiet as possible) which has a viewfinder and does look excellent especially the manual controls and at a decent price.

Just need to determine how much of a hassle AVCHD is going to be - almost certainly will have to convert it for my MBP... otherwise it looks like the Canon HV40 is the way to go.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 05:35 PM   #6
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I considered buying a HDC-TM700, but three things stopped me: reports of fan noise, the fact that the lowest shutter speed you can get is 1/30 sec, and the lack of a 30p mode. I downloaded some 60p test clips and found that Sony Vegas Platinum 9 crashes when I try to import them. If the file is converted to MTS, no problem, but if it's in MP4, forget it.

However, I did like the TM-700, and found that its viewfinder and LCD display weren't bad in spite of their relatively low resolution. I really liked the manual control ring it sports, especially for racking focus.

I've been trying to get hold of a Canon HF-S21, but virtually every retailer in my area says it's on backorder, and they can't give me a firm date on when some will actually be in stock. One retailer, a very large and well-established place that specializes in pro & consumer equipment, will not be getting any until May 29!

Way to go Canon, make all of us poor Canucks wait until *after* the Victoria Day holiday weekend for our HF-S21's! :)

Kinda makes me wonder if high demand is causing the problem, or there's a production or distribution bottleneck somewhere. I'm thinking the latter, because the HF-S21 isn't exactly an inexpensive camcorder.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 04:37 PM   #7
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Sorry to desert the cause but I've decided to go for the HV-40. The AVCHD cameras look great and yes some have viewfinders. But the huge hassle with transcoding the footage for FCP on my MBP makes it all seem a bit silly and a backwards step - I love logging and capturing footage on the fly, only taking the good stuff etc. Non tape recording will have to wait a few years in my case.
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