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-   -   Decision Time: Sony SR12 or Canon HF10? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/avchd-format-discussion/117655-decision-time-sony-sr12-canon-hf10.html)

Justin Halliday March 24th, 2008 01:37 AM

Decision Time: Sony SR12 or Canon HF10?
 
Hey guys,

My old Sony DV camera has finally given up the ghost (the firewire port has stopped working, which seems to be a common Sony problem), so I'm thinking about upgrading to a new-fangled HD camera.

I'm looking for something that I can use for home videos (we got a baby coming late April) and amateur filmmaking (so I'd like headphone and mic jacks).

At this stage I want to move away from the tape cameras, to either HDD or SD. I understand the issues with AVCHD editing, but I plan to upgrade my machine to cope in the next year or so. I edit on PC, using Sony Vegas.

I've been following the threads here, especially about the Canon HF10 and the Sony SR12, and I see the following pros and cons with the cameras:

Sony SR12
Pros:
120GB HDD
5.1 Sound
Headphone and Mic jacks
Clean Image
Sony Vegas support
Out now

Cons:
Memory Stick Duo (Yeech)
Extra cost (almost A$500 extra for the 120GB model)
No viewfinder

Canon HF10
Pros:
1080/25P
Headphone and Mic jacks
Cheaper
SD card storage (I have lots of SD cards for my still camera, laptop, etc)

Cons:
Some edge enhancement
No built in HDD, so limited to capacity of in-built memory and SD cards
No Vegas support yet?
No viewfinder
No out yet, but due 'April'

Questions:
- Do both cameras support 1080/25P (in PAL territories)?
- Are there high capacity batteries available for both cameras?
- Can you use an external mic with the Sony's 5.1? I have a Rode Videomic that I'd like to use: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oA3dd1L9fPY.
- Will the Rode mic mount properly on both of the cameras?
- Does Sony's Slow Smooth Shooting mode actually capture usable slow motion footage?
- Are there any dealbreakers that I've forgotten (FYI, I don't care about the 2GB limit, and I'm not going to take the camera above 10000ft!)?

Thanks,

Justin

Eugenia Loli-Queru March 24th, 2008 04:35 AM

If you update Vegas with the latest free updates, you will see that Canon AVCHD is supported as well. At least HG10 works fine after updating Vegas.

Leopold Hamulczyk March 24th, 2008 05:26 AM

What about the HG10? It should be cheaper by now and has 40GB HDD. You'd pay a lot for 40GB worth of SD/memory sticks. The Rode Videomic should mount on the HF10, it mounts on my HG10 fine, though the windscreen (dead cat) hairs are visible on the top of the recorded image - you need to trim them a little, or buy a camera bracket and mount it on that.

Does the HF10 have adjustable mic input level? The HG10 doesn't. The Rode sounds good with the HG10 and can be brought down 10 or 20 dB if necessary, but the built-in preamp is weak and there's a fair amount of hiss with it down 20dB (or with my Azden wireless lavalier mic).

Ken Ross March 24th, 2008 05:36 AM

You need to remove 'no viewfinder' from your 'cons' list for the SR12, it does have a viewfinder. You might also add 'smaller size' for the HF10 as a 'pro' if you like that idea as many do. Remember too for video, you'll need SDHC cards, not the run-of-the-mill SD cards. They're still cheaper than Sony's card though.

Dave Rosky March 24th, 2008 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leopold Hamulczyk (Post 847462)
The Rode Videomic should mount on the HF10, it mounts on my HG10 fine

It may or may not. I haven't personally seen an HF10, but from pictures it appears that the shoe is not standard - it looks stunted, with a small hot connector at the front. There may be adapters available at some point, or you could just use a bracket. the HG10, OTOH, has a full size standard shoe.

Quote:

Does the HF10 have adjustable mic input level?
Reviews have indicated that the HF10 does have manual mic level adjustment. Some people have posted that the HF10 manual is available online, which would be a good source of information on features.

Robin Lobel March 24th, 2008 01:05 PM

To answer your questions, Sony SR12 don't have 25p (no progressive mode).
And as far as I know, the pictures from HF10 are slightly sharper than SD12, but not because of some edge-enhancement. However, in HF10 you can control if you want to add edge-enhancement, or smooth the picture.
Vegas can read 1080i files from Canon HF10, 1080p not yet (as far as I know, I may be wrong). Eugenia, can you confirm for 1080p files from HG10 ?
The accessory shoe on Canon HF10 is proprietary, contrary to HG10.
High-capacity batteries available for Canon HF10, and I guess for Sony SR12 as well.
To me, no HDD for HF10 sounds like a plus, since it requires less power, less probability to crash, ability to use the cam in extreme conditions, and 32gb cards will be available during april.

John Minor March 24th, 2008 03:37 PM

I see Canon has a dvd burner you can use to burn discs right from the camera,,,, cool. here is the link.

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...&modelid=16177

Ken Ross March 24th, 2008 06:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robin Lobel (Post 847667)
To answer your questions, Sony SR12 don't have 25p (no progressive mode).
And as far as I know, the pictures from HF10 are slightly sharper than SD12, but not because of some edge-enhancement.

Robin, how did you arrive at that conclusion? I haven't seen any A/B tests anywhere on these two cams.

Dave Blackhurst March 24th, 2008 07:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Minor (Post 847762)
I see Canon has a dvd burner you can use to burn discs right from the camera,,,, cool. here is the link.

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...&modelid=16177

Sony has had a similar burner for quite some time - the MC5

John Minor March 24th, 2008 07:24 PM

I didn't know that, thanks for the info. Equally cool......

Robin Lobel March 25th, 2008 03:16 AM

Ken, the only A/B I found so far is this one, which comes from here, itself comes from here and here. What a nice family...
So I'm really looking forward CCI test of SR11/12 to confirm this.

EDIT: In fact, SR11 does exhibit some edge-enhancement, contrary to HF10. Look at this x4 comparison. HF10 looks sharper on the writing; plus, you can almost see the square pattern around letters, while it is totally smoothed on SR11.

Dave Rosky March 25th, 2008 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robin Lobel (Post 847979)
Ken, the only A/B I found so far is this one, which comes from here, itself comes from here and here. What a nice family...
So I'm really looking forward CCI test of SR11/12 to confirm this.

EDIT: In fact, SR11 does exhibit some edge-enhancement, contrary to HF10. Look at this x4 comparison. HF10 looks sharper on the writing; plus, you can almost see the square pattern around letters, while it is totally smoothed on SR11.

One thing that seems to show up in these comparison shots is that the Canon seems to consistently shift the sky a little towards magenta. Of course, at least that's fixable in post.

Also, one needs to be a little careful with these microscopic comparisons. Nobody is going to watch 1080 video at 400% zoom, at least not anytime in the next 10 years. Viewed at normal scaling, these differences would most likely go unnoticed. There are lots of other aspects of camera performance that can affect the quality of your video or ease of filming as much or more than small differences in resolution or EE, such as exposure accuracy, dynamic range, low light performance, behavior of the OIS, manual control, etc.

Ken Ross March 25th, 2008 12:24 PM

Robin, first off I wouldn't trust frame grabs as being indicative of video quality. You can never choose a cam from frame grabs. One of the enlargements points to the SR11 as having 'edge enhancement' but totally ignores the same edge enhancement on the HF10. Some people have motivations.

I also had to smile at one of your links since the guy you referenced has had a history of posting grabs from his SR11 that are deinterlaced in an extremely poor manner and then claiming this was indicative of the SR11's video quality. His errors were pointed out by many. This same guy had other issues than no other owner has had.

Robin Lobel March 25th, 2008 12:49 PM

The x4 comparison I post comes directly from the japan website, which is supposed to show raw frame from the cam.. That's the only (and therefore better) A/B I can find on the net at this time.

Concerning edge-enhancement, you say HF10 has the same, but I cannot see him on the x4.. To me, EE is obvious when you see clear lines next to dark areas, as on SR11 shot. Cannot see the same artefacts on HF10 shot.

I agree with you Dave, but except for the OIS, Canon HF10 seems pretty good, as Canon HF10 has 3 different mode for automatic exposure+programmable shift, dynamic range can be expanded by cine-mode, low-light is pretty similar to SR11 (according to CCI review of JVC GZ-HD6), and said to have better manual control than SR11.

Ok, now I sound like a HF10 fanboy, but I know you're a SR11 fanboy too Ken ;)

Kaushik Parmar March 25th, 2008 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robin Lobel (Post 848215)
The x4 comparison I post comes directly from the japan website, which is supposed to show raw frame from the cam.. That's the only (and therefore better) A/B I can find on the net at this time.

Concerning edge-enhancement, you say HF10 has the same, but I cannot see him on the x4.. To me, EE is obvious when you see clear lines next to dark areas, as on SR11 shot. Cannot see the same artefacts on HF10 shot.

I agree with you Dave, but except for the OIS, Canon HF10 seems pretty good, as Canon HF10 has 3 different mode for automatic exposure+programmable shift, dynamic range can be expanded by cine-mode, low-light is pretty similar to SR11 (according to CCI review of JVC GZ-HD6), and said to have better manual control than SR11.

Ok, now I sound like a HF10 fanboy, but I know you're a SR11 fanboy too Ken ;)

I was today reading review of newly annouced JVC GZHD6, it seems it is not bad at all! I would be consider GZHD6 also!

Here is link: http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...view-34759.htm

Kaushik

Dave Rosky March 25th, 2008 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robin Lobel (Post 848215)
The x4 comparison I post comes directly from the japan website, which is supposed to show raw frame from the cam.. That's the only (and therefore better) A/B I can find on the net at this time.

Concerning edge-enhancement, you say HF10 has the same, but I cannot see him on the x4.. To me, EE is obvious when you see clear lines next to dark areas, as on SR11 shot. Cannot see the same artefacts on HF10 shot.

I agree with you Dave, but except for the OIS, Canon HF10 seems pretty good, as Canon HF10 has 3 different mode for automatic exposure+programmable shift, dynamic range can be expanded by cine-mode, low-light is pretty similar to SR11 (according to CCI review of JVC GZ-HD6), and said to have better manual control than SR11.

Ok, now I sound like a HF10 fanboy, but I know you're a SR11 fanboy too Ken ;)

I do agree that the HF10 looks good in many of these respects. Unfortunately, a really good OIS is important to me because I plan to use whatever camcorder I get on backcountry trips where I don't want to carry a 7 pound fluid-head video tripod, so this has complicated the decision a bit for me. I am planning to take a closer look at the HF100 once they are available in local stores to evaluate things like the OIS first hand.

Ken Ross March 25th, 2008 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robin Lobel (Post 848215)
The x4 comparison I post comes directly from the japan website, which is supposed to show raw frame from the cam.. That's the only (and therefore better) A/B I can find on the net at this time.

Concerning edge-enhancement, you say HF10 has the same, but I cannot see him on the x4.. To me, EE is obvious when you see clear lines next to dark areas, as on SR11 shot. Cannot see the same artefacts on HF10 shot.

I agree with you Dave, but except for the OIS, Canon HF10 seems pretty good, as Canon HF10 has 3 different mode for automatic exposure+programmable shift, dynamic range can be expanded by cine-mode, low-light is pretty similar to SR11 (according to CCI review of JVC GZ-HD6), and said to have better manual control than SR11.

Ok, now I sound like a HF10 fanboy, but I know you're a SR11 fanboy too Ken ;)

I've seen EE in all HF10 shots I've seen thus far and certainly more noise, I don't think even the most die-hard Canon fans can deny that. In reality I'm a fanboy of the cam that produces the best pix! By the way, in one of the shots on CCI, they admitted the SR12 did the best in low light on that shot. ;)

If the HF10 shows it can do better than the SR12, I'll become an HF10 fanboy just as I've been an HV20 fanboy. I have zero loyalty to any manufacturer.

Robin Lobel March 25th, 2008 04:53 PM

You may have seen HF10 shots with EE (still you don't link pictures with it), but the point is on HF10 you can chose wether you active it or not (sharpness control), whereas you're stuck with it on SR11.
Concerning noise, I prefer some noise with details (considering I can remove noise in post with tools such as Neat Video without kicking details), to an already postprocessed yet-smooth picture with no control over it.
For smoother pictures on HF10, I still have the option to lower sharpness.

What I like with HF10 is it's all about control: brightness/contrast/saturation/sharpness/cine-like gamma/60i-30p-24p
You can really chose how your picture will look... With SR11 you have none of theses controls.

Ken Ross March 25th, 2008 05:15 PM

Robin, you have obviously made up your mind without having seen an actual video of both cams in an A/B fashion. Unlike you, I am not biased and will wait until I am able to do an A/B in this manner. If the HF10 exhibts superior VIDEO (not a 10X enlargemet of a still), fantastic, I might buy it. As for pictures, I suggest you take a closer look at the pictures linked in this very thread and look at vertical lines in the enlarged pictures of the HF10. Take a look at the right side of the building in the HF10 and tell me you see no edge enhancement. I'd also invite you to take a closer look at the hotel name that's enlarged and tell me you don't see considerable 'garbage' above and below that name in the HF10 picture. If you can tell me that's clean, I think you're playing mind games with yourself.

You are also assuming that the superior noise levels of the SR12 come at the expense of detail. That too has yet to be proven. Professional cams emphasize a clean, noiseless picture and don't rely on 'post processing' to achieve it. In fact, one of the true hallmarks of a professional video is the lack of noise, not the presence of it. Ultimately, I will tell you it is a terrible way to assess a cam's video quality by enlarging a grab 10X or 100X. But I know people will continue to do this and I'll continue to assess a video camera by it's VIDEO. Now there's an amazing thought. :)

But I'll say this, you're the first person I've seen that likes some noise in their videos. Enjoy your cam! ;)

Tony Parenti March 26th, 2008 08:27 AM

Professional cams exhibit such low noise because of there increased sensor size.

Ken Ross March 26th, 2008 08:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tony Parenti (Post 848674)
Professional cams exhibit such low noise because of there increased sensor size.

That among other things Tony, but the point is that a noise free picture is a hallmark of the big boys.

Robin Lobel March 26th, 2008 11:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken Ross (Post 848379)
As for pictures, I suggest you take a closer look at the pictures linked in this very thread and look at vertical lines in the enlarged pictures of the HF10. Take a look at the right side of the building in the HF10 and tell me you see no edge enhancement. I'd also invite you to take a closer look at the hotel name that's enlarged and tell me you don't see considerable 'garbage' above and below that name in the HF10 picture. If you can tell me that's clean, I think you're playing mind games with yourself.

I never said it was "clean", I said it was EE-free. And I confirm with this picture: what you see on HF10 is not EE, but compression artifacts.

So, what's the difference between a frame grab, and a video ? 60 frame-grab per second. If the HF10 has some noise, it's likely to disappear at normal frame-rate, while EE on the SR11 will still (since the exact same process is applied each frame).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken Ross (Post 848379)
You are also assuming that the superior noise levels of the SR12 come at the expense of detail. That too has yet to be proven. Professional cams emphasize a clean, noiseless picture and don't rely on 'post processing' to achieve it..

As Tony said, professional cams have low noise because of large sensors: so they don't wash out details to have a clean picture (like SR11 seems to do, when you compare details you can see on HF10 and can't on SR11), it's just that the raw pictures are already noise-free. I owned a Panasonic SD9 for a few weeks, and they have a very heavy noise reduction system: even low-light pictures exhibit few noise, and that's something when you know the sensors are 1/6". But the downside is terrible waste of resolution, not a "professional" look in any way.

Dave Rosky March 26th, 2008 01:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robin Lobel (Post 848803)
So, what's the difference between a frame grab, and a video ? 60 frame-grab per second. If the HF10 has some noise, it's likely to disappear at normal frame-rate, while EE on the SR11 will still (since the exact same process is applied each frame)..

One concern that I've always had about frame grabs - and this is just a theory, so someone correct me if I'm wrong - is that the quality of the frame grab could vary depending on whether it came from a P frame, or from somewhere in the middle of a GOP. I would guess that the quality of a P frame might be better and have fewer accumulated artifacts than a mid-GOP frame, and there's no way of telling where the frame grab came from. Some video editors may be able to tell you which frames are P frames. Probably, however, if there was little motion in the scene, the quality of a P frame may not be significantly different than a mid-GOP frame.

Dave Rosky March 26th, 2008 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robin Lobel (Post 848803)
I owned a Panasonic SD9 for a few weeks, and they have a very heavy noise reduction system: even low-light pictures exhibit few noise, and that's something when you know the sensors are 1/6". But the downside is terrible waste of resolution, not a "professional" look in any way.

The SD9 is one of the cameras I'm still considering for a number of reasons. I have downloaded numerous video samples from the SD9, and in good light, the main issue with the image doesn't seem to be poor resolution, but rather too over-aggressive edge enhancement, which gives the image a certain "video-like" look. The measured resolution (according to CCI) is only slightly less than the HF10. I've been playing around with these clips and I think I'm converging on a workflow that can remove a lot of the over-aggressive EE and replace it with a small amount of kinder, gentler sharpening. The resulting images look much more similar to comparative HF10 clips and frame grabs (as much as I don't like frame grabs ;) ).

In low light, however, the SD9 does indeed give up detail for low noise. It's not the right camera for someone who does a lot of low light shooting.

Ken Ross March 26th, 2008 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robin Lobel (Post 848803)
If the HF10 has some noise, it's likely to disappear at normal frame-rate, while EE on the SR11 will still (since the exact same process is applied each frame).

As Tony said, professional cams have low noise because of large sensors: so they don't wash out details to have a clean picture (like SR11 seems to do, when you compare details you can see on HF10 and can't on SR11), it's just that the raw pictures are already noise-free. I owned a Panasonic SD9 for a few weeks, and they have a very heavy noise reduction system: even low-light pictures exhibit few noise, and that's something when you know the sensors are 1/6". But the downside is terrible waste of resolution, not a "professional" look in any way.

Robin, we shall agree to disagree. I come to my conclusions based on A/Bs with actual videos from actual videocameras, not what I read on the net or not from someone's predispositions or bias. I did many many A/Bs between my SR12 and my HV20. Now I think you'll admit (maybe you won't, who knows) that the HF10 at the best will have essentially the same picture quality as the HV20. I've already seen on my 1080p 60" plasma with actual video, not 100X still frame blowups, that the HV20 IS noisier. Now you can disagree until your head spins Robin, but I saw what I saw and I'm not the only one. It's nice to have a favorite cam, but man, there comes a time where you need to believe your eyes. Now, in the interest of fairness, is the HV20 noisy? No it's not. But if you have any degree of objectivity, you can see in moving video that the HV20 does exhibit more noise than the SR12 in an A/B. The fact is that both these cams are so good, the vast majority of times it will take an A/B to determine which cam is a bit better in which department. But on their own, most of the time it will be very very difficult to tell them apart.

Does the HV20 show more detail than the SR12? Not that I can see. To be perfectly honest there are times the SR12 seems to have the tiniest bit more detail and other times the HV20 seems to have a bit more detail. Again Robin, objective comments while conducting A/Bs...not looking at 100X enlargements of frame grabs, stills, whatever.

Now I've also reported an issue that I've recently noticed in bright clear sunlit skies with the SR12. It seems that there was a reduction in contrast, almost a bit of a haze relative to my HV20. In cloudy weather, partly cloudy weather and rainy weather I never saw the slightest evidence of that. I'm still trying to figure out what's going on there. I'm not sure if this is a dynamic range issue or what. But for those shots I definitely preferred the HV20.

So Robin, unlike you I am NOT a fanboy. I am seeking objective evidence of which cam produces the best VIDEO, not which produces the better 100X frame enlargement. Perhaps if I'm looking to use my video camera for that purpose, I'll concentrate on the issues you are focusing on. Some people will never understand this is not the proper way to evaluate a VIDEO camera.

Ken Ross March 26th, 2008 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave Rosky (Post 848874)
One concern that I've always had about frame grabs - and this is just a theory, so someone correct me if I'm wrong - is that the quality of the frame grab could vary depending on whether it came from a P frame, or from somewhere in the middle of a GOP. I would guess that the quality of a P frame might be better and have fewer accumulated artifacts than a mid-GOP frame, and there's no way of telling where the frame grab came from. Some video editors may be able to tell you which frames are P frames. Probably, however, if there was little motion in the scene, the quality of a P frame may not be significantly different than a mid-GOP frame.

Absolutely Dave. Just put your cam in freeze frame and advance frame by frame, some frames are distinctly clearer than others. I can make a cam look better or worse if I so choose or if I wanted to make a 'point'. The guy that Robin linked in her initial post on this was a guy that didn't have a clue about deinterlacing properly. So he posted horribly deinterlaced SR12 grabs on another site that looked like it had things growing out of it. This he proclaimed 'proved' that the SR12 was not as good as the Canon. There are times I just want to give up. Of course he was called on it by many. So many people just don't get it, this is NOT the proper way to evaluate a videocamera.

If you want to blow up your pix 100X, get a digital still camera and venture on to those enthusiast sites. At that point you'll actually be talking about a legitimate way to evaluate a still camera.

Ken Ross March 26th, 2008 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave Rosky (Post 848886)
In low light, however, the SD9 does indeed give up detail for low noise. It's not the right camera for someone who does a lot of low light shooting.

Dave, a word of caution here, if you get an SD9 make sure you can return it. The discussion here of the SR12 and 'alleged' detail obscuring for the sake of low noise is just a hint of what your in store for with the SD9. I could not believe how much detail was obliterated in low light shots with the SD9. I honestly felt it was no better than VHS quality under those conditions.

Dave Rosky March 26th, 2008 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken Ross (Post 848904)
Dave, a word of caution here, if you get an SD9 make sure you can return it. The discussion here of the SR12 and 'alleged' detail obscuring for the sake of low noise is just a hint of what your in store for with the SD9. I could not believe how much detail was obliterated in low light shots with the SD9. I honestly felt it was no better than VHS quality under those conditions.

Ken, yeah, I usually try to buy from reputable dealers that have reasonable return policies (Costco is one of the best for that if they have what you want, but they usually don't because their selection is so small).

I've finally downloaded enough clips that I do realize the SD9 is not a good choice for low light, and hence probably not a good general-purpose choice. It's looking more like if I get an SD9 it will be for a specific use (ultralight backcountry use), and if I really get into HD, I have a hunch I will eventually also get something else along the lines of an SR11 or HV30 for more general use. The clips I've downloaded that were taken outdoors combined with the fact I think I can reduce the occasionally over-aggressive EE, I think the SD9 should work fine as a special purpose cam for backcountry use. I do plan to go out as soon as I get a chance and check some of these cams out in person, but unfortunately I live 60 miles from the nearest large retailers so it might take me a while to get down there.

The price of the SD9 is low enough that I can probably get away with this if I wait a while between purchases (i.e., to get it past the financial boss ;-) )

Ken Ross March 26th, 2008 04:14 PM

Dave, why not look at the HF10 or HF100? If you're concerned about the hard drive, they should suit you fine.

Dave Blackhurst March 26th, 2008 04:41 PM

Dave,
From everything I've read from guys who know their stuff, the Panasonic is probably not the best plan... I've noticed they tend to "refresh" their models at a far more rapid pace, and I think there may be a reason for that... resale value may not be so good for that reason alone.

It may be a bit older, but the Sony CX7 is a stout little camera, about as small as you could ask for, and doesn't do badly in low light or any other challenging condition I've shot in - look around for stuff shot with it, and see what you think. I think many early "issues" were due to problems with AVCHD handling by software, not seeing any problems here with Vegas 8.

Yeah, it's only 1440, yeah, it's "last years model", but until Sony announces a replacement that blows it away, it's a pretty decent choice in my book.

The nice thing is you can probably pick one up around the same price as the Panasonic, get some MS Duos that will go in the SR11 or whatever, the batteries and other accessories should swap betwen the two cams, and the CX7 actually should hold it's value fairly well. I've heard rumour that Costco (?) is going to have them...

FWIW, as long as you're looking at options.

Robin Lobel March 26th, 2008 04:48 PM

I agree that we'll never agree ;)

One thing anyway: why do you say stills are not good for an A/B ? Videos are just 60 stills per second, and CCI performance scores are 90% based on stills. The colors, resolution, low-light performances are all based on stills processed through Imatest. So I'm not sure frame grabs are useless...

Dave Rosky March 26th, 2008 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken Ross (Post 848988)
Dave, why not look at the HF10 or HF100? If you're concerned about the hard drive, they should suit your fine.

Ken, Actually, I am planning to look at both of them (the SD and HF). Since my need isn't extremely urgent, I may even wait a month or so to see if a CX9 materializes if I can't get comfortable with one of these two.

Currently, the advantages I see for the SD9 for backcountry use are that the OIS appears to be significantly better (I say "appears" because this information is still mainly just from reviews), and it is a bit lighter and more compact. The 5.1 microphone is a nice icing on the cake, especially for capturing outdoor ambiance.

However, I hate making decisions based just on reviews and downloaded clips, so I am planning to check them out. OIS is high on my list of importance because I don't want to whittle the camera weight down to a pound or so and then have to carry a 7 or 8 pound video tripod into the wilderness to get steady footage. I'd even like to avoid the extra 2 pounds or so of a monopod.

So, I'm staying open minded until I try everything - even though the HF100's OIS is not as good, if it's good enough when I try it out, that may make swing the decision in that direction.

Ken Ross March 26th, 2008 05:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robin Lobel (Post 849008)
I agree that we'll never agree ;)

One thing anyway: why do you say stills are not good for an A/B ? Videos are just 60 stills per second, and CCI performance scores are 90% based on stills. The colors, resolution, low-light performances are all based on stills processed through Imatest. So I'm not sure frame grabs are useless...

Where do you get the idea that CCI bases their performance ratings 90% on stills? Can you show me that in writing? Since they do not assign a 'weighting' to any category, I'm very curious how you came to this number. Their overall evaluation is a subjective one and takes in to account crazy things like how the actual video looks.

By the way, since your so high on these 'stills', why don't you take a look at some of the highly esteemed camcorders such as the HV30 and those infamous 'stills' depicting resolution. Please take a look at the HV30 resolution test contained within the HF10 review and tell me how 'wonderful' that still looks! You will see that frame laden with noise. Do you really think the actual video from an HF30 has that amount of noise? Of course not. Why? Because these stills are NOT indicative of video quality.

Now, although there are '60 stills per second' as you say, extracting one of them in the same quality as seeing the '60 stills' in motion, are two different things. I will never convince of you that, I understand that and I'm done trying. Robin, just get your HF10 and be happy as I'm sure you will. I'm sure it's a great cam. In the interim I'll actually test both cams and see which really looks best on my own HDTV with honest to goodness video. What a nutty idea huh? :)

You and I wll get nowhere, on that we can agree. You may have the last word, but I'm pretty much done responding to this subject.

Ken Ross March 26th, 2008 06:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave Rosky (Post 849009)
However, I hate making decisions based just on reviews and downloaded clips, so I am planning to check them out.

And you are a very smart guy for doing so. Even posted clips that we download could have been from cams that were improperly adjusted. Many of these clips are from video newbies, not the best source to make a determination.

As I've said and you agree, there is nothing like actually testing these cams yourself with real world material. It sure beats 'knowing' which is best without even seeing it! :)

Robin Lobel March 27th, 2008 04:21 AM

"feeling" is not something you can evaluate mathematically.
How can you say a captured color is better than another, a resolution better than another, or low-light performance without running mathematical tests on it ?

That's why CCI use Imatest, as stated in the low-light paragraph of HF10:

"The second part of the low light test involves shooting an X-Rite Color Checker chart at an even 60 lux, then exporting frames to Imatest imaging software for analysis on color accuracy, noise, and saturation."

And you can be pretty sure they used Imatest for "video resolution" and "video performance" as well, since they use color/resolution charts from Imatest. How do you think they can make notations like "21.94" ?? (HF10 resolution score). BTW, from the very beginning that's the only thing I said: HF10 seems to have better resolution than SR11. Dot. I never told about color accuracy, and low-light performance, other than the latter looks pretty similar so far. I don't have thoses charts for both HF10 and SR11. But I can judge on video resolution when I see to 2 pictures, with details on A I can't see on B.

Remember, it all started on post #6 when I said "And as far as I know, the pictures from HF10 are slightly sharper than SD12" and you asked (#8) "Robin, how did you arrive at that conclusion?".
So that's how I arrived at that conclusion.

Now, I agree that the ultimate test for a video camera would be to take an average of 5 frames (with a non-moving camcorder) before processing the picture through Imatest: this way it would simulate persistence of vision, which you can evaluate around 1/12sec, and would therefore give a scientific way to estimate noise response, that you could rate with 2 decimals. But it would not change video resolution score.

BTW, another HF10/SR12 comparison has been published on the internet:
http://plusd.itmedia.co.jp/lifestyle...news078_4.html
http://plusd.itmedia.co.jp/lifestyle...news007_3.html
Now I see what you mean with the "haze" feeling on SR12.

Ken Ross March 27th, 2008 05:19 AM

Robin, if you can't understand the concept of a subjective evaluation then this simply proves that you and I are miles apart. Robin, evaluating a camera isn't just about numbers, it's about the entire VIDEO that you see on screen. It's about how the image strikes you. Is it natural, does it look processed, etc. etc. Your means of determining which camera is best is cold and impersonal and does not reflect if the 'sum of the parts is greater than the whole'. It does not reflect how the overall picture looks. Yes, certain aspects of camera performance can lend itself to numbers, but the entire picture is not something that can be put into a simple quantifiable score. And you still haven't proved your 90% rationale. I know you 'think' you did, but you didn't.

I am well aware of CCI's 'methodical' procedures for certain aspects of testing, but in the end it's how does the VIDEO look? Do you see any numbers for exposure latitude that indicates a methodical evaluation of this area? Do you see any numbers for noise that reflects a methodical evaluation for this? Do you see any numbers for color accurcy in different lighting conditions (indoor incadescent, flourescent, cloudy day, sunny day etc.) that reflect a methodical evaluation? I could go on Robin, but I think you see my point...then again I seriously doubt you do.

Robin, what also amazes me is that you so conveniently ignore that I've done hands-on testing with the SR12 vs the HV20. I've done many many many A/Bs with both cameras on a real, honest to goodness HDTV! These A/Bs were done side by side, same weather, same focal length. My goodness, what a crazy loony idea...right Robin? You just throw that out. Yes my friend you and I will never agree on how cameras should be evaluated.

Hey kiddo, you stick with your cold numbers and I'll stick with how the video looks on an actual HDTV. Oh and by the way, using my procedure I might actually find out down the road I prefer the HF10...but it will be as the result of watching moving video on my HDTV, not still frame blowups. It will be done in a TRUE A/B fashion, with both cams side by side, at the same time of day, under the same weather conditions at the same focal length.

Just as a final note Robin, your "A/Bs" are not at all true A/Bs. Do you understand how to do a true A/B? These pictures were shot on different days, under very obviously different weather conditions with no attempt by the tester to shoot at the same focal length. The shots using the SR12 WERE shot on an obviously hazy day. And no Robin, that is NOT what I mean by 'hazy' with the issue I've seen on the SR12. If it were, the camera would be gone by now. You are totally unobjective on this subject. Your third "A/B" is almost hysterical. Do you REALLY think those shots show anything as to how these two cams perform relative to each other? About the only thing I can tell from these wonderful A/Bs is that Canon still hasn't solved the 'magenta sky' issue. As much as I love my HV20, I'll never understand why Canon can't produce a consistently blue sky. In some of those shots the magenta issue is really bad. The other thing I note is that in some shots the contrast on the HF10 is really hyped. Hopefully the video doesn't look that way because if so, shadow detail will suffer badly. But whatever floats your boat. Yes you and I will never agree on how to compare cameras.

I think we've beaten this to death and to go on further is just pointless and must be boring to other readers here. I think this is now a waste of Chris's bandwidth. Sorry Chris.

Tony Parenti March 27th, 2008 06:45 AM

Those HF10/SR12 shots should not be used for comparison. There's so much more contrast in the HF10 shots.

Ken Ross March 27th, 2008 07:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tony Parenti (Post 849259)
Those HF10/SR12 shots should not be used for comparison. There's so much more contrast in the HF10 shots.

You're right Tony and I hope that it's not indicative of the HF10's video. Tony what's interesting is, if you look at the last series of "A/B's" (I hate to use that phrase since these are NOT A/Bs), you'll actually see MORE detail in the Sony shot. I believe what's happening here is the Canon shot has so much contrast it's actually obliterating detail. If you look immediately to the left of the red part of the Pagoda, you'll a gray vertical metal piece of the roof that appears to have 'dimples'. On the Canon shot it's very tough to make out any detail, yet with the SR12 you can. It's either due to the extreme contrast or the obviously different time of day it was shot. I also dislike the Canon's color in this shot, but again I doubt you'll see this issue to this extreme in actual video. The third shot is really amusing in that the gold emblem is totally in the shadow in the SR12 and in bright sunlight in the HF10. This is an A/B? C'mon guys.

In my own testing between the SR12 and HV20 I've found shots where I could see a bit more detail with the SR12 and others where I could see a bit more with the HV20. But if anyone thinks that these linked shots reflect the difference you'll see with the actual video, they're very very mistaken.

But again, to profess these are "A/B's" is disingenuous at best. ;)

Tony Parenti March 27th, 2008 08:52 AM

What is the point in linking to Japanese comparisons... who the heck here can read Japanese?? It's completely useless.

Robin Lobel March 27th, 2008 08:57 AM

I admit you can't make a straightforward A/B comparison on this one, therefore I removed the links. But while being shot under different weather condition at different time, it shows anyhow that HF10 and SR12 don't have the same render. I personally prefer HF10's contrasted cine-look, while SR12 exhibit a more neutral video-look. But I won't compare technical details anymore here as we both know how it will ends...

Tony: the point is to compare how thoses camcorder renders; as said, even under different weather condition you still feel how one and the other goes. Don't you ?
Click the first link, then the second. Common, even different weather conditions don't make such a contrast on every picture. The average of all clearly shows more contrasted and warm colors on HF10 (like it or not).


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