Canon USA announces VIXIA HF S11 - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old August 19th, 2009, 06:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Ian Slessor View Post
Seems like that controller has a lot of functions on it.... Be nice to get a closeup of the details.
That particular controller is the Canon ZR-2000. It's been out for awhile now.

We've got a discussion about this controller in our Lens Controllers forum... stand by while I dig it up.

(edit) here it is: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/remote-le...-opinions.html
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Old August 19th, 2009, 06:42 PM   #17
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That particular controller is the Canon ZR-2000. It's been out for awhile now.
Ahhhh.

I understand now, Chris.

The adapter allows you to plug in a Canon controller.

Thanks for clarifying that.

sincerely,


ian
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Old August 19th, 2009, 08:30 PM   #18
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Emailed a query into one of my contacts at Canon USA and this is his reply:

"The RA-V1 will only be compatible with the VIXIA HF S11. It will not work with any of the previous models."
Chris -
How well placed is your contact? And in what position - marketing and front line support isn't usually too knowledgeable on this sort of detail. I know every time I've call Sony support I got bogus answers <wink>, sometimes these "esoteric" features aren't well documented or understood...

I'd think it would be at least worth a try before declaring it "incompatible". The hardware/wiring almost certainly was there in previous iterations of the HF-S, but it could be a firmware thing, meaning "not for public release"... OTOH, it would certainly create an instant market for the latest camera!

I'm most interested to see if that OIS upgrade is as good as it sounds on paper - the XR500V OIS is pretty tough to beat, but I'll bet it upped the ante a bit. Competition is GOOD!
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Old August 19th, 2009, 08:54 PM   #19
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How well placed is your contact? And in what position - marketing and front line support isn't usually too knowledgeable on this sort of detail.
Hi Dave, I'd say he's very well placed -- he's the manager of the video marketing division. I realize what some folks think of marketing, but the fact is that the marketing department designs the product and specifies exactly what it will be (engineering / manufacturing then builds it to marketing's specifications).

We all know that Canon USA doesn't make camcorders; they're just Canon Inc.'s biggest customer, but they have a quite a bit of input to product design. In my experience, CUSA's Long Island office is quite knowledgeable about their product line. That said, I'm also of the same mentality as you in that "I'll believe it when I see it." I agree that it's definitely worth testing, but based on the response I received today from CUSA, I would not expect any other result than what they say -- that the RA-V1 will be incompatible with anything other than the HF S11 (and HF21). Sure, we should test it ourselves; I'm all for that. But I would expect no other outcome than what they've already told us.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 09:09 PM   #20
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From the specs it looks like Canon just took the H10,32gb memory and added the H11 with
64gb memory...

This is probably in response to Sony getting ready to release the HDR-CX520V that also
has 64gb memory, but will be very interesting to see the low light capability with the
new Back-illuminated Exmor-R sensor... and it has 12mb still capability too...
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Old August 19th, 2009, 10:51 PM   #21
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Chris -
I'd still be interested in seeing the service manuals, and trying it, but I know sometimes manufacturers "hold out" on features in firmware (like the few "perks" sony added in the HC9 over the physically identical HC7 - peaking, center marker, etc.). It's quite possible the capability has been there all along, and is just now being "switched on" for competitive or other reasons.


Ray -
Good point about the CX500/520 coming out - I'm sure they are the same sensor block as the XR500/520, and if that's the case, the low light capability of the "R" sensor is not going to be easy to beat, but if Canon improved the OIS, that would no doubt be in response to Sony's improved OIS.

Canon will still beat the Sony for manual controls... I wish Sony would pick up the beat in that department, but they seem to be going towards an "intelligent auto" model - great for most users, but not so much for knowledgeable ones who would like some control!
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Old August 19th, 2009, 11:40 PM   #22
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For instance, now is a bad time to buy an Intel system, since the i7 and i5 processors will become available for a new socket within a month or so. The i7 920 processor remains a nice product for performance at a value, but it's a bit long in the tooth right now.
Uh, wrong, and OT.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 12:18 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Ian Slessor View Post
Seems like that controller has a lot of functions on it.

You've got the zoom rocker, a dial top center, numerous buttons and a "thumb" dial on the side.

Be nice to get a closeup of the details.
Like this?

Canon ZR-2000 Zoom Remote Control
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 12:29 AM   #24
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I would have greatly preferred that Canon had simply designed a standard LANC port into the camera.

My biggest criticism of the RA-V1 Remote Control Adapter is the fact that it occupies the
accessory shoe, so it ends up competing with lights and microphones for that
position - or am I missing something?

Last edited by Bill Koehler; August 22nd, 2009 at 12:34 AM. Reason: rephrasing
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 12:39 AM   #25
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I agree, it would have been better to just add a LANC jack.

I don't think tying up the shoe is that big of a deal, since most folks would only use the RA-V1 with a tripod, and they're not as likely to have a light or a mic in the shoe if they're on a tripod. Most likely they would use an XLR adapter in between the camcorder and the tripod head.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 02:18 AM   #26
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On these small cameras, real estate is at such a premium that adding ANY interface (power/control/button/external device) is a challenge. One of the reasons I think many of us would welcome something just a tad larger (like the old TRV900) with enough surface area to have a full complement of buttons/jacks/adjustments...

The obvious thing for the manufacturer constrained by the "pocket rocket" form factor is to utilize a "spare" pin/contact (like whatever contacts the LANC adapter uses) to provide added functionality - this leads to the end user frustration that the FEATURE is clearly programmed into the DSP/hardware, but unless the manufacturer decides to release a way to actually access/use the feature, it's "off limits".

Prime example is the LANC (and other interfaces) on the Sony A/V port (and the AiShoe as well) - it was there and undocumented for several generations of camera, with only a limited proprietary selection of accessories - NOT including until recently a LANC controller that could use the A/V jack facility/feature... anyone remember the short lived mic adapter for the HC3 because they didn't put a mic input on it (or the subsequent HC5, despite the facility being available to include it)?

I'm pretty sure the engineers throw the kitchen sink into the underlying DSP designs, but somewhere decisions are made for reasons of cost or marketing to restrict what actually escapes the laboratory...

You can't tell me that it's not possible to allow advanced users access to camera functions like gain/aperature/shutter speed, but I realize it's "better" marketing to put an EASY button that dumbs the device down so the average "Jaywalking" interviewee might almost be able to use the camera... maybe...

Oops, was I ranting?!

Anyhow, I guarantee you that the "new" LANC feature from Canon wasn't some huge re-engineering of the product - it could have been there hiding, or just needed to be switched on or connected... but dollars to doughnuts, the function was in there already.

Also, since the shoe is proprietary, not much else is going to fit there ANYWAY, so no real loss - I've had to use flash brackets or cold shoes mounted to my rigs for any lights, or if I added any standard mic. May as well find a PRACTICAL use for those proprietary shoes - they aren't good for anything unless the manufacturer graces us with something usable that fits there!
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 07:13 AM   #27
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The more likely reason the LANC wasn't on earlier models is a licensing fee to Sony.
As to space for the jacks etc Sony has a connector on the bottom of most of its cameras for the dock and this is also likely to have all the interfaces on it and thus a great place to plug in something with all the controls on it.
Sony has certainly dumbed down its single chip cameras. I had a Hi8 V801 that had all the controls on it way back in the 1990's just like the VX3. Line up and operation were just like my present FX1!!!! Dumbing started with the VX1000 which had less control than either the VX3 or the V801.

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Old August 22nd, 2009, 09:28 AM   #28
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The more likely reason the LANC wasn't on earlier models is a licensing fee to Sony.
Bingo.

My understanding is that the fee is payable to Sony on a per-unit basis. By making LANC available via the optional RA-V1, Canon manages to provide LANC for those who want it but has to pay Sony only for the limited number of RA-V1's made vs. the entire production run of the camcorder. It's a compromise in which Canon fulfills the demand for LANC in a way that is affordable to them.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 09:28 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
You can't tell me that it's not possible to allow advanced users access to camera functions like gain/aperature/shutter speed, but I realize it's "better" marketing to put an EASY button that dumbs the device down so the average "Jaywalking" interviewee might almost be able to use the camera... maybe...

Oops, was I ranting?!
And now, tell us what you really think, Dave ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Also, since the shoe is proprietary, not much else is going to fit there ANYWAY, so no real loss - I've had to use flash brackets or cold shoes mounted to my rigs for any lights, or if I added any standard mic. May as well find a PRACTICAL use for those proprietary shoes - they aren't good for anything unless the manufacturer graces us with something usable that fits there!
True, true, I have one of these adapters so my Rode Stereo Video Mic can be mounted on my Sony HDR-HC9.

Pearstone | Cold Shoe Adapter for Sony Camcorders | SSA-II | B&H

And in checking, it appears there is an equivalent for Canon here:

Pearstone | Cold Shoe Adapter for Canon Camcorders | CSA | B&H
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 01:30 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
The more likely reason the LANC wasn't on earlier models is a licensing fee to Sony.
As to space for the jacks etc Sony has a connector on the bottom of most of its cameras for the dock and this is also likely to have all the interfaces on it and thus a great place to plug in something with all the controls on it.
Sony has certainly dumbed down its single chip cameras. I had a Hi8 V801 that had all the controls on it way back in the 1990's just like the VX3. Line up and operation were just like my present FX1!!!! Dumbing started with the VX1000 which had less control than either the VX3 or the V801.

Ron Evans
I think you're correct about that dock port having most of the interfaces (not sure if the LANC had a connection there... that would be the only "control" interface, the rest is I/O), but the dock apparently has disappeared with the latest generation (FINALLY!), the XR and I presume the CX just hook up directly via a standard USB jack.

If you think about it, the cameras "AI" has to be able to control aperature/shutter/gain, so obviously the control CAPABILITY is there (Canon has always included the interface, points to them on that!), it's just shut out to the user - limited override for the experienced user, but better results for the "average" user, which probably makes for happier campers in the majority of the user base.

Point well taken on the LANC licensing fees, I thought of that, but it doesn't explain why SONY had a LANC interface in it's A/V jack for several generations of camera that was mysteriously inaccessable... they didn't offer any controllers in the lineup until the hack or rumours thereof was beginning to circulate - not like they would have been paying fees to themselves for it...

And it raises an interesting question - what exactly is patented about the LANC interface/control set? Because if it's been there in the hardware, just not activated or accessable, it's certainly an interesting "workaround" to paying fees.

I think more likely is that while the capability is there to offer more features, somewhere along the line (between lab and manufacture), someone with veto power says something like... "nobody uses this feature, and it costs us .50 x 10,000 units expected sales, cut it"...
and they probably are right about the majority of users, so economically it makes sense. The frustrated engineers then figure out a way to sneak it in on some obscure port <wink>!

Maybe it's time the manufacturers thought the way computer suppliers do, and offered "enthusiast" versions with "pro" instead of "easy" buttons! They make a hundred $$ or so more per unit, and at least some of those go to the "average" user that thinks paying more is better, while making the "pro" users happy too. It's just different firmware and maybe a few more buttons/wheels (in the case of Sony they'd be touchscreen probably anyway, so no extra "cost"!). I know I'd go for an XR500V with manual override capability, even if 99.9% of the time the AI would be faster and better...
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