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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old April 9th, 2007, 07:01 AM   #91
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It's pleasing to know to that some of these "issues" could be addressed through a firmware update.

I shot my fish tank last night using a tripod and exposure compensation on -5 and what a difference it made. Using the flourescent white balance option (due to the bulb in the tank) rendered near perfect color temp. This little cam keeps amazing me everytime I use it.
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Old April 9th, 2007, 08:42 AM   #92
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It's pleasing to know to that some of these "issues" could be addressed through a firmware update.
...
Can this be done in a camcorder? How? How often has Canon posted firmware updates for their camcorders? Is the firmware shareware (some network routers are for example)? Are there any custom mods out there?
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Old April 9th, 2007, 10:10 AM   #93
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Hi Chris

After using the cam for short while I can confirm that the exposure compensation works great! It's easy to access and seems to have enough latitude.

Menu access is MUCH better than my Sony.

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Old April 9th, 2007, 10:37 AM   #94
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Hi Chris

After using the cam for short while I can confirm that the exposure compensation works great! It's easy to access and seems to have enough latitude.

Menu access is MUCH better than my Sony.

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John:

I assume you are referring to the Sony cams that have on screen menu access, with touch screen. Of course there is nothing like buttons, dials and rings on the bigger cameras.

Still, the more I use this camera, the more amazed I am at what it does.

I tooks some video yesterday at a family Easter out door gathering. The sun was a bit filtered by light haze but still bright, and I while shooting with the camera in TV mode 24p, the auto exposure did great job of keeping everything in the viewfinder in range, and not blowing things out very often.

While the temptation with us "experts" is to fiddle with adjustments, sometime just letting the camera go once you know its idiosychrosies is a good idea.

I am amazed at how nice instant auto focus (AIF) is. I think once you know where its sweet spot is, you can pan to the subject you want to have critical focus on, let it snap in, then push the off button and be locked in on focus. And using your knowledge of that sweet spot, you can also to a damn good job of follow focus by leaving it on--- bettter than I am capable of doing in most situation using my FX1....
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Old April 9th, 2007, 11:24 AM   #95
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John:

I assume you are referring to the Sony cams that have on screen menu access, with touch screen. Of course there is nothing like buttons, dials and rings on the bigger cameras.

snip
....
Hi Chris

Yes, I was referring to the Sony 'on-screen' menu system. First off, the button access menu on the Canon is MUCH-MUCH faster. Plus, I'm not smudging up the LCD display like I do on the Sony. :-(

Thanks for the tip on the IF. I haven't used it too much.

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Old April 9th, 2007, 12:49 PM   #96
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I shot my fish tank last night using a tripod and exposure compensation on -5 and what a difference it made. Using the flourescent white balance option (due to the bulb in the tank) rendered near perfect color temp.
Hook us up with some images, brother!
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Old April 10th, 2007, 10:46 AM   #97
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Well, I've had the camera for almost a week now, and the initial fooling around is over, and its time to get to work and make some serious images. I think I will use the camera with the upcoming DV Challenge, and see if I can come up with anything. My impressions after week one are:

1. Great thing in a small package. Images in regular daylight shooting are spectacular, even in auto mode.

2. Instant autofocus is a great tool. Learn to use it, and the need for manual focus may be reduced greatly--- and that is good because the focus wheel is pretty poor.

3. Not great in low light. The grain gets horrible fast. Needs light in common in home low light situations, or the grain will kill you. Better get a camera light on it if you are going to use it that way.

4. Adjustments to exposure are a lot more extensive than others have indicated. To me, if you explore the menus closely, you will find the ability to adjust things, approaching the point that you can with a full prosumer camera.

5. 24p. Hmmmm. I thought I could live with out it. But dang me if it isn't a neat feeling. I haven't even messed with pull down, and all of that yet, or any extensive editing with it yet, but I understand better all the hoopla over it. It definitely takes some rethinking on your pans and general camera movement. But the end result will add to the "filmic" quality we all seem to want to impart to our video productions..

6. 35mm adapter. I am starting to do some shots with the Letus 35a, just received. It is going to be interesting, trying to get the best image. I can screw the Letus35a on with the included 72mm achromat, and fill the frame, avoiding vignetting and getting a decent focus, but there isn't a lot of room to spare. I am wondering if adding a spacer might help, and I will be doing some experimenting on that basis. We shall see.

7. I will post some Letus results later this week.

8. By the way, thanks to Robert Ducon who offered to post some footage. We'll see if I can overcome my ineptness to get something posted there from the the Letus.
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Last edited by Chris Barcellos; April 10th, 2007 at 11:03 AM. Reason: Premature post
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Old April 10th, 2007, 10:39 PM   #98
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First Letus35a Footage from HV20

Okay, here is my first serious attempt at Letus35a and HV20 combo. Bought one of those "handyman" specials from Quyen, and thought I had it cleaned up pretty good. but saw I had an issue when I put it up on the bigger screen at the computer. Very small screen on camera makes it imperative that you have a good field monitor to see that sort of thing, as well as to focus. But I think that is true of any 35mm adapter set up.

This is a windows media file. Two different lenses used: First was a 50mm F1.4 Nikon, and the second was a Canon FD 24 mm F2.8. Both lenses were at about F 5.6. Rendered with compression from about a 300 megabytes to 40 plus, but still look decent. I uploaded a Megauploads:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=4UCEHLIF
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Old April 10th, 2007, 11:44 PM   #99
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Looks good except the dirt on the bottom right hand area. Good stuff.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 12:45 AM   #100
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Looks good except the dirt on the bottom right hand area.
This is what scares me a bit about the Letus. I know Chris says this was one of the "handyman" specials from Quyen but I've read more than one post about dirt or stuff on the GGlass, many posts about having to take apart the letus to clean it up. There's a big leap, cost wise, between the Letus35a and the Brevis35, but I have nightmares about going out on a shoot and coming back with a chunk of something on the image.

On the other hand, it's interesting to me to hear that these were shot with an f-5.6. I've not been able to quite nail down how far you can stop down a lens with any of these adapters and still get a good image. All in all, the footage looks good (although I kept waiting for the water-spout to come into focus on that last shot. The back two bracing pieces of bamboo are really clear, but the spout is a bit off)
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Old May 1st, 2007, 10:07 AM   #101
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One Month- A few Issues to Resolve

After having started this thread a month ago, I wasn't sure where it was going. But after about of month of use, while there are a few gripes about the camera, overall, I think it is a super value. For anyone wanting to get into HDV, ameteur film making, or just producing nice looking film, this camera has a lot to offer in its little package. The following are issues I will be working on in the next month take it even further:

1. 24p: I have been shooting mostly 24p in the last 3 weeks. Two issues arise. First is editor related, ie., how to remove pulldown. I have been simply editing in 60i, which preserves the effect, but I am told it is not there yet. I am told we need to have an editor that does automatic pull down, and Premiere and Vegas don't do that yet. There are processes recommended out there that are time consuming, and I will be messing with those a bit.

2. 24p or OIS issue: The other 24p issue is knowing when not to use it. It is a fun thing to have on board, but it is also clear it can create issues. I was filming in a lush pioneer grave yard setting in a grove of trees and had a headstone in foreground. I did a slow pan to a marker in the background, but even doing that as slow as I could, the foreground marker seems to jump around a bit when I view the shot on my HDV monitor. Problem with this analysis is that I may have also had OIS on inadvertantly, so it could be the stabilization that was at issue, too, or a combination of both. More testing required here.

3. Use with Letus35a. Married with the Letus35a or the Brevis, this camera provides an inexpensive and compact platform to shoot in more film like footage. For about $2K, you can outfit a system which includes the camera, the adapter and several lenses. The results will be astounding. The simple adapter I built to flip the camera in order to avoid image flip in post works very nice. And I have gotten more used to shooting with an upside down image in viewfinder.

One question I have of people using the Letus, and perhaps the Brevis, is use of OIS. I have been using OIS, because it seems to help resolve loss of sharpness due to the vibrations from the adapters. Does any one have any thoughts there ?
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Last edited by Chris Barcellos; May 1st, 2007 at 10:26 AM. Reason: Premature post.
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Old June 25th, 2007, 01:42 AM   #102
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Chris,
Thanks for all the info about the HV20.

I have a Sony FX1 and am seriously considering selling it. In your opinion, how does the image from the HV20 compare to the FX1, as far as detail goes? I realize there are subtle differences, but the FX1 is the only HD image I've seen from a camcorder.

I also own a Canon GL2 and I really think I prefer the image on the Canon's I've owned to the Sony's I've owned. It's just a personal preference based on how beautiful I thought the GL2's shots were. I've never owned any other 3 chip Sony besides the FX1, so I'm not putting Sony down. The FX1 does take some incredible video.

How do you feel the image on the HV20 compares to the FX1 as far as picking up details? I guess I'm asking if someone comparing images from each camera would feel like the Canon is a step down as far as image quality.

Thanks again,
- John
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Old June 25th, 2007, 02:12 AM   #103
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John:

I've been "hooked" on the HV20 lately, learning to use 24p effectively, as well as process it. We used the HV20 with a Letus adapter to shoot a 48 Hour film this weekend, set up like this:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/attachmen...4&d=1182318059

We posted a low rez version at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s3hDShqe18

HV20 is definitely capable of a fantastic image. Control the camera is more difficult, but you can still do full manual. I've been emersed in the camera for about 3 months, and love what it can do, and the image in many situations is as good or can be better in certain situations, than FX1. But this is definitely a consumer camera. My advice is try to keep both. If you can't, then it would be a hard decision for me to give up the FX1. 24p is really the only thing the HV20 has on the FX1- something that could be rendered to in post, in some commercially available programs.

Incidentally, I shot the FX1 for about six months before I realized that when I was shooting in full manual, that the camera still automatically adds gain- unless you set it up right..... My next few shoots will be going back to the FX1 with the Letus to see what differences are...
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Old June 25th, 2007, 02:50 AM   #104
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Wow! That is a great short film and it's incredibly well shot! The shots are very tasteful and fit the scenes, too!

There are a few reasons I am probably going to sell my FX1. The main ones are money and because I think I would like to own another Canon. I really love my GL2.

Again, I have had good luck with Sony's so it's nothing against the brand. There is something, though, that I really like about Canon's picture...even on still cameras. It's probably something that someone with your background could easily identify, but I'm still learning - slowly. It seems like the Canon's have a softer image, but I'm not sure.

Also, I have a wide angle lense that I bought for the GL2. I need to investigate to see if it would fit the HV20, possibly with a step up ring.

One other thing... I took my FX1 on vacation recently and got stares everywhere I went. It was funny because it really stands out. We were at Universal Studios in Florida and even one of the guys who was about to perform as one of the "Blues Brothers" made a comment to me privately that it was a really nice camera. The video of Universal and SeaWorld turned out amazing. Some shots are like looking through a window.

Sorry to digress. It's late. :)
- John
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Old June 25th, 2007, 02:55 AM   #105
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Oh, I meant to ask one other thing if you don't mind.

I only have a few tapes that I've shot with the FX1, but would like to be able to edit them in the future. Do you know, at this point, if the HV20 will play back tapes shot from the FX1?

Thanks!
- John
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