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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 September 13th, 2006, 10:52 AM   #1
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I just picked up mine at B&H first thing this morning...they didn't even know they had them in stock yet...but they definitely do.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 11:05 AM   #2
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Well that's excellent Joe... perhaps you can give us a report and tell us about your first impressions. If you're willing to upload some video, I've got some server space and bandwidth which you're welcome to use. Just shoot me an email for that account info.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 11:12 AM   #3
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Awesome, Joe!

Can't wait to hear your first impressions.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 05:51 PM   #4
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Joe, if you need storage to upload and stream video samples of your camera, just let me know. Also, once you start fiddling with it, can you check if the camera has some sort of an exposure compensation control within the pre-programmed exposure modes (aside from the full manual exposure mode I know it features)...

I am hoping it is possible to set the camera at a few F/stops higher and lower within an automatic setting for continuing bracketed shotting...

Thanks and congrats on the new machine!!! :)
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Old September 13th, 2006, 06:27 PM   #5
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Check the manual link... for the still camera mode, it has both a continuous(and hi-speed)-shot (3-5/sec), and a AEB bracket-exposure ( 1/2 EV stops dark/light) drive modes.

It has manual exposure adjustment during still & video, not sure if you can tweak a "permanent" adjustment... has multiple light-metering setting choices as well (eval, ctr-weight, spot)...
not clear from doc how that works w/ the flash or the AEB drive.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 10:12 PM   #6
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i had a long day at work and no time to mess with the camera until just now.

But the camera is exactly what I wanted...very portable (I have the jvc hd100 for high end work)....very nice picture...and I think I can work around the auto features to get a more controlled picture.

The real issue is finding out how to limit the gain, which first means figuring out when gain is being added (other than really noisy picture).

I will record a few samples and post as soon as I can...looks to be a great investment though.

Oh yah...I really like the video light too....could actually be useful in a pinch.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 10:31 PM   #7
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I expect the gain is limited in the fireworks mode and maybe spotlight too. That is the case with some of the Sony Handicams( I think mine are limited to 9db in spotlight mode ). Try shooting with the presets and then looking at the data code afterwords.

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Old September 13th, 2006, 11:05 PM   #8
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ok, so it seems to me that shutter priority is a good way to go for full manual control...doing some tests...i think you can determine whether gain is applied and how much so...but not what the aperature would be.

an example...point the camera at a dark place inside...let it auto expose...now lock the exposure...it reads 0...but if i try to go up (it should be +/-11) in exposure it wont let me, that means its the most gained up and open at f1.8....

so the question is where does it stop gain...0?

supposedly there are 10 stops....but that wouldn't translate to -11 if the aperature is open at 0 (thats an extra 11 stops...making 12 stops). so, I will try to do some tests to figure out where gain starts and stops and if you can determine the actual aperature setting from the +11/-11 exposure adjustment....it seems to be a sliding scale (say out of 40 numbers)...at least at first glance...making it a little tricky.

regardless, if you can go up to +11 it means its probably not using any gain at 0...and thats good to know.

...this is all assuming you are in shutter priority mode (locked at 1/60)


2 other things to note...the top where the mic is gets pretty hot after just a little bit of use (10-15 mins).

and with the gain all the way up you can see some gross vertical banding...not that you should ever use that much gain anyway.

also - the lcd doesnt have a latch to hold it shut...a little disconcerting...but ok for now.

and from doing tests on my 23" cinema display...it appears the lcds default brightness is a liiittle tooo bright....dropping it down by 25% in the options seems to be much closer to the actual gamma.

there is also some prety noticable vignetting that occurs in the last 20% of the zoom (Tele)
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Old September 14th, 2006, 01:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Russ
there is also some prety noticable vignetting that occurs in the last 20% of the zoom (Tele)

Thanks for the update !!!

You think any vignetting would happen at the other end of a cameras zoom, that is, when it is fully wide - not zoomed in (have I got this right ?).

A short full-res test video of a few seconds would be fantastic and we would all love you forever !!!
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Old September 14th, 2006, 08:05 AM   #10
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Split out from another thread -- this really needed to stand on its own.

Thanks Joe! Shoot me an email if we can host any video clips for you.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 01:39 PM   #11
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I am at work right now and haven't had a chance to get any footage captured for upload...but I did a little more testing last night and have more to report.

apparantly you can get reeeeeally close macro shots, on the wide end, at least. ill post video or at least stills later tonight if theres any time.

Also, I found that you can record/display the f stop and shutter on playback and i started trying to figure out how the 23 point sliding scale coresponds to the f stops in shutter priority mode. I can definitely figure out how to avoid using gain but figuring out exactly what the aperature is set to using the exposure adjust thing is gonna be difficult...maybe some one more clever than myself will figure it out.

the problem is that there are several adjustments for each f stop (at least 5 or 6 for f5.6)....so the total amount of adjustments with f stops and gain might be like 50...but the most you can ever adjust on the +/- thing is 23 (thats -11 -> 0 -> +11).

tricky stuff on canons part...but its still tiny and makes a great picture...avoid the gain if you can though, its really ugly on my camera at least..and manual focus is pretty nice, expanded focus works as expected.
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Old September 15th, 2006, 11:09 AM   #12
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Hi Joe, any thoughts on the "Instant Auto Focus" feature? I think a lot of potential A1/G1 purchasers are also interested to see how well it works.

Oh yes, thanks for the updates. Always exciting to get reports from the first users on highy anticipated cams!

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Old September 15th, 2006, 11:48 AM   #13
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I got to play with one at Best Buy last night ( while mine is on a UPS truck somewhere coming from B & H ) - the auto focus seems to work really fast and quite well. This cam is just what I've been waiting for. When mine arrives next week I'll shoot some video and play it back on my 720p video projector* and tell you what it looks like on a 100" diagonal screen - that's where the true test will be.







* crap - now I need a 1080p projector !!!
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Old September 15th, 2006, 12:42 PM   #14
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Mine's arriving Monday from B&H, will take for a testdrive to seaplane fly-in following weekend, so can give some sample reports how well it works on focussing & tracking/OIS with distant small objects in motion :) plus w/ bright wave reflections, changing lighting etc.
From the Canon manual, it says it has an auto "infinity" focus (hold down manual focus button 2secs), so that should REALLY help w/ the distant flying shots.

If people have request for specific test shots, will try to accomodate and upload, might have to check w/ ChrisH how to upload samples :)

Plus I'll take some video around the house :) (good test to compare indoor-lighting noise vs my Optura Pi, both in HDV and DV modes) and some still pics of kids for grandparents.
I'm excited that the still shots seem very good quality with comprehensive controls and settings, acc. to the manual; it may replace my Canon Powershot for stills! same megapixels, but 10x zoom instead of 3x :)


one note: I tried playing with some of the sample .m2t shots available from websites listed here, they all looked great, but editing them in Ulead MSPro8 I didn't get some of the DV features like timestamp display and split-by-scene (also timestamp based)... not sure if due to different tool capture, or re-rendering, or not, but from some web articles seems the HDV M2T steam *should* have timestamp data in it... and Canon manual says the "DataCode" button should display timestamp info on the LCD ... we'll see.
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Old September 15th, 2006, 01:10 PM   #15
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Footage of skin tone (people that is) under hot lights, sunlight, dim light, skin tone anywhere basically.
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