Canon HF11 vs. Canon HG21 vs. Sony HDR-SR12 - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 347 Old 12-26-2008, 11:48 PM
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Ken (and others...I'm not going to keep anyone from giving their opinion),

So it basically comes down to this question. It appears that the HG21 is the better camcorder. That being said, the question is this. I am within my time frame to return the SR12 to Amazon. Does the HG21 give enough reason/performance/whatever to warrant returning the SR12 and purchasing the HG21?

One other question regarding format processing. I read you saying that AVCHD is processor intensive, but where the Mac is concerned....Is this not a moot point as it's all converted to AIC (Apple Intermediary Codec) when you bring in footage to either IMovie or Final Cut? I understand it taking a bit longer to get the footage into the system, but once it's there isn't editing AIC a breeze on the mac?

Thanks in advance (to all)
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post #92 of 347 Old 12-27-2008, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by TRaymond View Post

Ken (and others...I'm not going to keep anyone from giving their opinion),

So it basically comes down to this question. It appears that the HG21 is the better camcorder. That being said, the question is this. I am within my time frame to return the SR12 to Amazon. Does the HG21 give enough reason/performance/whatever to warrant returning the SR12 and purchasing the HG21?

One other question regarding format processing. I read you saying that AVCHD is processor intensive, but where the Mac is concerned....Is this not a moot point as it's all converted to AIC (Apple Intermediary Codec) when you bring in footage to either IMovie or Final Cut? I understand it taking a bit longer to get the footage into the system, but once it's there isn't editing AIC a breeze on the mac?

Thanks in advance (to all)

I am in the exact same boat as you - I have both cameras (SR11 though) arriving on Monday from Amazon. My main concerns are:

SR11/12 - pluses - LCD quality, still image quality (!), build quality, 5.1 sound, cheaper batteries, wider angle lens out of the box
HG21 - pluses - manual controls, more future proof with 24Mbps bitrate

So far, having not seen them LIVE, it sounds to me like SR11/12 is a better deal overall - looking at this from a total package point of view. I am picky when it comes to build quality (LCD being one of them) because I sometimes end up spending more time shooting the scene than watching it myself + I need the still image capability so I dont have to lug around one too many cams on my upcoming trip.

I am convinced from the forum posts that the HG21 will be better than the SR11 in terms of PQ - but unless the Canon BLOWS the SR11 out of the water, I might side towards the SR11 myself... we'll see.
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post #93 of 347 Old 12-27-2008, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

You're obviously a Sony fan and that's fine, but your post is totally, 100% inaccurate. Where to begin? First, the posted numbers on review sites show that without a shadow of a doubt the HG20/HG21/HF11/HF10 have more resolution (675 lines) than the Sony. From CamcorderInfo Review: "The Canon HG20 produced a horizontal resolution of 675 lw/ph and a vertical resolution of 650 lw/ph.". Now for the Sony SR12, also from CamcorderInfo Review: "The Sony HDR-SR12 produced a horizontal resolution of 625 line widths. The vertical resolution measured 600 line widths." They went on to say further: "Comparatively, the Sony HDR-SR12 produced a similar color performance, but the sharpness of the fine details was not as good as the Canon HF11. The SR12 just looked fuzzier." They went on further: "We shot a DSC Labs Chroma DuMonde chart at an even 3000 lux. Under this light, Canon once again proves that it can dominate the performance category. The picture is just amazingly crisp and vivid. It's better than any AVCHD camcorder to date, and is more or less indiscernible from the tape-based Canon HV20." By the way, the test they were referring to test color accuracy under varying light levels.

So as you can clearly see, the resolution of the Canon was significantly greater and the color performance was exemplary. Now I've had both the SR12 and the HG21 and I can totally concur. My A/B tests clearly show more discernible detail in small objects with the HG21 and an unquestionably sharper picture. My tests also showed more accurate and more neutral colors with less of a red bias shown on the SR12.

A German review site that goes into far more detail than any site I've seen in the U.S., also tested both cams and came to precisely the same conclusion. They called the resolution of the SR12 'very good' and that of the HG21 "excellent". So there is no doubt that the HG21/HG20/HF11/HF10 outclasses the SR11/SR12 in this area. I find it amusing that the very reviews you linked to totally refute your claims about resolution. But whatever.

So let's be accurate when we state the 'facts'. Anyone that's interested in that German review site, here's the link and it enables you to do side by side comparisons of many many camcorders. Unfortunately it's in German and you'll need something like the Google translator to get it to English. But most will understand the ratings and words such as 'gut' 'sehr gut' and 'excellent'.

http://www.camcorder-test.com/

The autofocus of the Canons is unquestionably better and anyone that's used both knows that to be true. Canon uses an external sensor in addition to the through the lens sensor for quick and accurate focusing in all kinds of light, including low light where the Sony hunts and never locks on. My tests also confirm this. So again, you are less than accurate in your description. I've never read any review anywhere that claimed the Sony autofocus was more accurate. It's just not true.



There is no difference IMO between the noises of either camera. Both cams can make very slightly audible noises in a very quiet room when the zoom is activated. By the way, Sony's touch screen does nothing to quiet the zoom motor. Opinions on touch screens vary, some like it some don't. I for one was always cleaning fingerprints off of my SR12...a negative. In bright sunlight, LCD screens are tough to see and that includes the Canon LCD screens. But after using both cams, I prefer not to have a touch screen. However this is purely a subjective matter and is something the user needs to determine which is best for him/her. Resolution and color accuracy are not subjective. Yes, some people may still prefer a cam whose color is not as accurate as another camera, so even there, color performance can be subjective.

The Canon offers more adjustments for picture tweakers and the Sony offers a bias control that allows you to deviate + or - from what the camera's auto exposure system wants to do. Each has their advantages.

Yes, the Sony offers face detection for those that like that. I for one never used it since I didn't like how it adjusted color. The tilting viewfinder is a nicety that the Canon lacks as is the surround sound which I did like.

Ken you have never purchased a new cam without then going on about how much better it is than the last one,you said the sr12 you had was better than the hv20 and vastly better than the hg10 or 11 sorry i cant remember which,regarding the canon supported camcorderinfo.com say no more,i do not doubt the hg 21 has a little sharper picture but color is a thing of personal preference and no two people may like the same cams color look.Sony certainly win on build quality the hc1 i have still puts these tiny cams in the shade,i am glad you are happy with your hg21 but to now hear you degrading the sr12 which you gave so much praise to when purchased is irritating ,please dont take this the wrong way as our talks are always friendly if only sony would bring out a fx1000 half its size i would go back to tape altogether.Happy new year
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post #94 of 347 Old 12-27-2008, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by TRaymond View Post

Ken (and others...I'm not going to keep anyone from giving their opinion),

So it basically comes down to this question. It appears that the HG21 is the better camcorder. That being said, the question is this. I am within my time frame to return the SR12 to Amazon. Does the HG21 give enough reason/performance/whatever to warrant returning the SR12 and purchasing the HG21?

One other question regarding format processing. I read you saying that AVCHD is processor intensive, but where the Mac is concerned....Is this not a moot point as it's all converted to AIC (Apple Intermediary Codec) when you bring in footage to either IMovie or Final Cut? I understand it taking a bit longer to get the footage into the system, but once it's there isn't editing AIC a breeze on the mac?

Thanks in advance (to all)

Hi TRaymond,

Well yes, IMO and the others who saw my A/B (wife and a videophile buddy), they both had exactly the same reaction I did. I knew my videophile buddy (who still has the SR12) would see the difference. He was frankly surprised at the magnitude of the difference. He jokingly said at one point when the SR12 scene came on right after the HG21 "Is this VHS"? He was obviously exaggerating, but the difference in many scenes can be striking.

The more surprising reaction was that of my wife who generally could care less about my A/Bs. Her usual reaction is 'they both look good, I don't know'. This was not the case when I showed her the A/Bs of the HG21 vs the SR12. When the HG21 came on she said "WOW". Just to make sure I asked her what she meant by 'WOW' and she commented how much clearer and more neutral the colors were.

Now if you never saw the HG21 footage, you could forever be happy with the SR12 just as I was. I frankly thought it couldn't get any better than the SR12. The SR12 is still a fantastic machine and my best advice to you is to try the HG21 in-store while you shoot the same scenes with your SR12.

I did my A/Bs in my house with normal room lighting, in shopping malls, outdoors on sunny & cloudy days and I consistently got a sharper, more color-neutral image from the HG21.

As for the Mac, I'm really not sure since I don't use Macs. The editing program I use (Edius Pro) is only for the PC, so I wouldn't cross over. Your best bet is to get some reaction from Mac users. But I seem to recall some Mac users complaining about getting Sony footage on to their computer. I'm not sure if this was OE (operator error) or something else. Frankly I don't see any reason why Sony clips would be handled any differently than Canon clips. The one thing I've heard (I could be wrong) regarding the Mac, and for me it would be an issue, is that I believe it won't export in full 1920X1080 AVCHD. So if that's the case, you'll have to decide if you're OK with a loss of resolution.
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post #95 of 347 Old 12-27-2008, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by flintyplus View Post

Ken you have never purchased a new cam without then going on about how much better it is than the last one,you said the sr12 you had was better than the hv20 and vastly better than the hg10 or 11 sorry i cant remember which,regarding the canon supported camcorderinfo.com say no more,i do not doubt the hg 21 has a little sharper picture but color is a thing of personal preference and no two people may like the same cams color look.Sony certainly win on build quality the hc1 i have still puts these tiny cams in the shade,i am glad you are happy with your hg21 but to now hear you degrading the sr12 which you gave so much praise to when purchased is irritating ,please dont take this the wrong way as our talks are always friendly if only sony would bring out a fx1000 half its size i would go back to tape altogether.Happy new year

Sorry Flinty, I really didn't mean to 'demean' the SR12, I've tried to say that it still is a great camcorder (maybe I didn't do such a good job there). I can't deny your reaction to my posts since I do tend to 'go on' about my current cam. The reason is I will only buy & keep a new cam if IMO it is significantly better. The exception might have been going from the HV20 to the SR12. The HV20 is a terrific camcorder and I found it much more difficult to pick a winner between the SR12 and the HV20 in terms of picture quality. But I did gave a slight edge to the SR12 and normally I probably wouldn't have made the move had it not been an AVCHD camcorder. I liked the idea of instant access vs tape and the SR12 gave me the rationale since I felt its picture was also slightly better. I wouldn't have taken a step backward in PQ just to switch formats.

This is why I didn't swap the SR12 for the HF10 that I tried. For whatever reason the footage didn't look nearly as good as the HG21. I frankly don't know why this should be since the two cams aren't that different. I don't believe the 24mbps datarate can explain the differences I'm seeing. Is it possible I got a sub-par HF10 when I was testing? I suppose so, but I doubt it.

But really, the SR12 still presents an extremely clean picture with the typical warm, saturated colors that most Sonys have. If I had never seen the HG21 Flinty, I would still be ecstatic...I really would. The HG21 doesn't make the SR12's picture worse, it just tends to show the improvements that have occurred. Let's face it Flinty, technology marches on and these things really do improve!

As for color, this is a more difficult issue to discuss. Yes, I truly feel the Canon is more accurate and that's pretty easy to determine as you shoot in and around your house looking at things you know the color of and seeing which cam comes closer to what you actually see. What makes it more difficult is that some people will not always choose the more accurate image, they may choose the more colorful image with the more saturated colors...even if it's a bit less accurate. It's why some people prefer TV display A over display B even though "B" is more accurate. That doesn't make anyone right or wrong, it's just your preference. But on the subject of 'accuracy' that really isn't so subjective. It's why when most reviewers test cameras, they shoot colorful objects (or standard color bars) to determine which camera comes closest.

But in the end, when my wife is surprised, that says something. I was just reading a very detailed German camcorder review site and I called up both the SR12 and the HG21 to compare the two (this is a great site, but I wish it were in English!). But they described the SR12's resolution and sharpness as "very good", but the HG21 was described as "excellent".

So it's not just me, it's CamcorderInfo, the German site, my A/Bs, my video buddy and most importantly, my wife!
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post #96 of 347 Old 12-27-2008, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Sorry Flinty, I really didn't mean to 'demean' the SR12, I've tried to say that it still is a great camcorder (maybe I didn't do such a good job there). I can't deny your reaction to my posts since I do tend to 'go on' about my current cam. The reason is I will only buy & keep a new cam if IMO it is significantly better. The exception might have been going from the HV20 to the SR12. The HV20 is a terrific camcorder and I found it much more difficult to pick a winner between the SR12 and the HV20 in terms of picture quality. But I did gave a slight edge to the SR12 and normally I probably wouldn't have made the move had it not been an AVCHD camcorder. I liked the idea of instant access vs tape and the SR12 gave me the rationale since I felt its picture was also slightly better. I wouldn't have taken a step backward in PQ just to switch formats.

This is why I didn't swap the SR12 for the HF10 that I tried. For whatever reason the footage didn't look nearly as good as the HG21. I frankly don't know why this should be since the two cams aren't that different. I don't believe the 24mbps datarate can explain the differences I'm seeing. Is it possible I got a sub-par HF10 when I was testing? I suppose so, but I doubt it.

But really, the SR12 still presents an extremely clean picture with the typical warm, saturated colors that most Sonys have. If I had never seen the HG21 Flinty, I would still be ecstatic...I really would. The HG21 doesn't make the SR12's picture worse, it just tends to show the improvements that have occurred. Let's face it Flinty, technology marches on and these things really do improve!

As for color, this is a more difficult issue to discuss. Yes, I truly feel the Canon is more accurate and that's pretty easy to determine as you shoot in and around your house looking at things you know the color of and seeing which cam comes closer to what you actually see. What makes it more difficult is that some people will not always choose the more accurate image, they may choose the more colorful image with the more saturated colors...even if it's a bit less accurate. It's why some people prefer TV display A over display B even though "B" is more accurate. That doesn't make anyone right or wrong, it's just your preference. But on the subject of 'accuracy' that really isn't so subjective. It's why when most reviewers test cameras, they shoot colorful objects (or standard color bars) to determine which camera comes closest.

But in the end, when my wife is surprised, that says something. I was just reading a very detailed German camcorder review site and I called up both the SR12 and the HG21 to compare the two (this is a great site, but I wish it were in English!). But they described the SR12's resolution and sharpness as "very good", but the HG21 was described as "excellent".

So it's not just me, it's CamcorderInfo, the German site, my A/Bs, my video buddy and most importantly, my wife!

Ken,

Back when you were singing the praises of the SR12, and I sent you info about the specs of the soon to be released HF11, with its higher data rate, you put it down, saying the Sony color was superior to the Canon color and you mentioned operation benefits of the SR12, like its direct viewfinder and its audio input.

Is your switch to Canon only based on the added resolution of the higher data rate? If so, would you prefer a 24 mbps Sony like the SR12 over a Canon at 24 mbps with the other features being the same?
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post #97 of 347 Old 12-27-2008, 09:13 AM
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Ken,

Back when you were singing the praises of the SR12, and I sent you info about the specs of the soon to be released HF11, with its higher data rate, you put it down, saying the Sony color was superior to the Canon color and you mentioned operation benefits of the SR12, like its direct viewfinder and its audio input.

Is your switch to Canon only based on the added resolution of the higher data rate? If so, would you prefer a 24 mbps Sony like the SR12 over a Canon at 24 mbps with the other features being the same?

Good points rbouch and when I looked at the HF10, I had no reason to believe the HF11/HG21 with their higher bitrates would impact anything but fine detail while panning. To be honest, I still don't know how much of a role the higher bitrate is playing!

The color on the HG21 (and I assume the HF11) is better than what I saw on the HF10, which I felt was too blue in a variety of shooting situations. The HG21 displays a very nice, neutral color palette. The Sony's colors are certainly very pleasing, but when you do a direct comparison to the HG21, it becomes very apparent there is too much red in the Sony image. Both my wife and my friend have brown hair and, by comparison, the Sony appeared to have a reddish tinge to it compared to the same shots shot at the same time with the HG21. You might not ever notice it if you didn't see the Canon image and the very neutral browns it produces.

I don't believe this is a function of 24mbps since the same color is evident at 17mbps with the same camera. I've found over the years that even the same camcorder manufacturer will change the color balance from one model to the next, so there are no guarantees from any of these companies as to what the color will look like with their next model regardless of bitrate.

An example was going from my Sony VX2000 to the Sony VX2100 (both prosumer mini-DV cams). You'd think they'd have basically the same color right? You'd be wrong as was I. The VX2100 has a much cooler palette which at first I didn't like. But now that I've used it for some time, I look back at my VX2000 (which I still own) and it looks too warm. In fact the colors of the 2100 are more accurate.

As to the viewfinder, keep in mind the HG21 does indeed have a viewfinder, but its LCD is not as nice as the SR12's. Since I really don't like using the LCD (I wear reading glasses), this wasn't much of a sacrifice for me. For others it may well be a consideration.

So to answer your question, both the HG21 and our next 'SR13' with the highest 24mbps datarate would have the same features, viewfinder and LCD. My switch was based on both improved sharpness, resolution and color. Keep in mind that any given camera might 'appear sharper' but might not have any additional resolution. Sometimes manufacturers just add 'in-camera sharpening' to some models to make the unit look sharper when in fact it might actually have less resolution than another unit that doesn't appear as sharp. The HG21 both appears sharper and does have more resolution. So that was my rationale for the switch.

It's hard to predict what the color of the next Sony will be, I've given up with any of these manufacturers in trying to predict that. So no, I don't think I'd switch to a Sony @24mbps just based on the datarate. Might the color be better than the HG21? Anything is possible and I wouldn't call the HG21's color 'perfect'. What I would like to see and what could sway me to a Sony is if the dynamic range was significantly improved. Unfortunately I don't see that happening unless they went to a larger chip or 3-chips...neither one a likely occurrence. I think the limited dynamic range (and of course the features) are what differentiates the prosumer models from these units.
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Some snapshots of each.
http://camcorder-test.slashcam.com/c...vergleich.html
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This reminds me that I was actually in error quoting this site when I stated they said the SR12 had a resolution of 'very good' to the HG21's 'excellent'. In actuality the SR12 rating was 'good' and the HG21 was 'excellent'.

To be honest, I think there are some errors on this site that I've just been noticing. I'm also shopping for a prosumer HDV camera and have been looking at the new Sony FX1000 and the Canon A1 and A1S. Now in reality the Canon A1 and A1S are almost the same camera (the A1S is newer), but when you compare the two on this site and look at the pictures, you'd think the A1 was markedly better! This is simply not the case.

The same holds true with the much older Sony FX1 vs the new Sony FX1000. The FX1000 has a far better low light rating and yet the FX1 looks much better in low light than the FX1000. I think I know why this may be happening, but I won't bore anyone with the details.

So you need to navigate this site with some care and hopefully armed with some knowledge about the cams you're comparing so that if their results look whacky, you'll know something may be wrong.

By the way, the shots you see on the site are actually frame grabs from moving video. They aren't still frame shots.

On the DVInfo site, we've begun to take note of these errors just today.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

As to the viewfinder, keep in mind the HG21 does indeed have a viewfinder, but its LCD is not as nice as the SR12's. Since I really don't like using the LCD (I wear reading glasses), this wasn't much of a sacrifice for me. For others it may well be a consideration.

So to answer your question, both the HG21 and our next 'SR13' with the highest 24mbps datarate would have the same features, viewfinder and LCD. My switch was based on both improved sharpness, resolution and color. Keep in mind that any given camera might 'appear sharper' but might not have any additional resolution. Sometimes manufacturers just add 'in-camera sharpening' to some models to make the unit look sharper when in fact it might actually have less resolution than another unit that doesn't appear as sharp. The HG21 both appears sharper and does have more resolution. So that was my rationale for the switch.

I'm guessing at least one of the new Canon consumer AVCHD, flash memory camcorders is going to be loaded with features like a viewfinder, manual focus, (other than joystick), etc. to lure recent buyers of the miniDV HV20/30 to make a second purchase in a short period of time.
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post #101 of 347 Old 12-27-2008, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by CaspianM View Post

Some snapshots of each.
http://camcorder-test.slashcam.com/c...vergleich.html

Well... I don't know how others view these shots but it appears to me that the SR12 in both cases is better.

The SR12 appears to be a shade darker but the white balance is much cleaner. The HG21 shot seems to be a bit too yellow.
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post #102 of 347 Old 12-27-2008, 05:03 PM
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This reminds me that I was actually in error quoting this site when I stated they said the SR12 had a resolution of 'very good' to the HG21's 'excellent'. In actuality the SR12 rating was 'good' and the HG21 was 'excellent'.

To be honest, I think there are some errors on this site that I've just been noticing. I'm also shopping for a prosumer HDV camera and have been looking at the new Sony FX1000 and the Canon A1 and A1S. Now in reality the Canon A1 and A1S are almost the same camera (the A1S is newer), but when you compare the two on this site and look at the pictures, you'd think the A1 was markedly better! This is simply not the case.

The same holds true with the much older Sony FX1 vs the new Sony FX1000. The FX1000 has a far better low light rating and yet the FX1 looks much better in low light than the FX1000. I think I know why this may be happening, but I won't bore anyone with the details.

So you need to navigate this site with some care and hopefully armed with some knowledge about the cams you're comparing so that if their results look whacky, you'll know something may be wrong.

By the way, the shots you see on the site are actually frame grabs from moving video. They aren't still frame shots.

On the DVInfo site, we've begun to take note of these errors just today.

Ken,

Have you had a look at the Panasonic AG-HMC150? It is AVCHD at 24mbps. They are intending it as a "pro-sumer" HDV replacement. It has the same form factor as the Panasonic AG-HVX200A.
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post #103 of 347 Old 12-27-2008, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by xfws View Post

I'm guessing at least one of the new Canon consumer AVCHD, flash memory camcorders is going to be loaded with features like a viewfinder, manual focus, (other than joystick), etc. to lure recent buyers of the miniDV HV20/30 to make a second purchase in a short period of time.

That would make sense. Makers of a flash based, viewfinder equipped AVCHD camcorder will capture many buyers that would have steered away due to the lack of a viewfinder.
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post #104 of 347 Old 12-27-2008, 07:06 PM
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Well... I don't know how others view these shots but it appears to me that the SR12 in both cases is better.

The SR12 appears to be a shade darker but the white balance is much cleaner. The HG21 shot seems to be a bit too yellow.

Much depends on how your monitor is calibrated, but on mine the Sony makes the doll's face a bit too red. The Canon seems to give it a more natural tone. The disadvantage we all have is not knowing what any of these colors really looked like. This is why a standard fruit bowl is often used in these tests since everyone can 'calibrate' against a banana, orange, apple etc. There really isn't anything in that picture that I really know for sure what its actual color is.

However, there is no question that Canon looks sharper and has more resolution. Simply look at the strainer hanging on the wall and even though the Sony wide shot is not as wide as the Canon (the Sony appears more zoomed), you can still see more holes in the strainer on the Canon. Looking at the white feathery thing in the upper right (I have no idea what that thing is), you can also see finer detail on the Canon despite the fact that it appears somewhat further away. The same is true of the colored ornaments hanging on the walls...more detail on the Canon.
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post #105 of 347 Old 12-27-2008, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rbouch8828 View Post

Ken,

Have you had a look at the Panasonic AG-HMC150? It is AVCHD at 24mbps. They are intending it as a "pro-sumer" HDV replacement. It has the same form factor as the Panasonic AG-HVX200A.

Yeah, actually I have rbouch and I've heard good things about it. I've never seen it myself. My major issue with it is it doesn't shoot SD which is something I absolutely need. The bulk of my work is really SD and that's why an HDV cam is still the best bet for me. I can shoot in 4:3 or 16:9 SD or HD. The other plus for me is that I don't have to transcode to get any of the footage from a Sony or Canon HDV unit into my Edius editing program. With the Panny (even I was shooting exclusively HD), I'd need to transcode everything.

For those that don't need SD, the Panny could be a good choice since it does shoot to regular cheap memory media as opposed to some other units that use very expensive memory.
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post #106 of 347 Old 12-28-2008, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by CaspianM View Post

Some snapshots of each.
http://camcorder-test.slashcam.com/c...vergleich.html

This confirms what i have always thought about my SR12 its low light is not bad at all,mine is better than my FX 7 a 3 chip prosumer cam.
After more study i can see no resolution difference in the pictures and prefer the sony color,why does the sony win the 12 lux low light because it does for me sorry.
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Your assesments of resolution is correct. It cannt be substantiated in these shots.
The background is slightly different due to different field of view and lower depth of field in Sony shot. Sharpness of both shots appear to be same in foreground.
Low light shot. ..dosen't take a rocket scientist to pick the better one.

Sony uses a larger and more denser sensor and that is why it has a better still photo and reported lower rez most likely has to do with noise reduction process. Sony shot is also cleaner in both photo's.
Sony has done a better job with grayscale/white balancing as well. In Canon shot I can clearly see a tad of green cast due to white balance error..Overal Canon is using higher luminance gain than Sony and hence brighter at the price of color fidelity imo.

At any rate, these shots are clear indicative of while different there is no "superior" winner as posted by some users. Like you I prefer the Sony's look as well reported by aforementioned site.

It is all about quality...that is the picture

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post #108 of 347 Old 12-28-2008, 05:35 AM
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Good points rbouch and when I looked at the HF10, I had no reason to believe the HF11/HG21 with their higher bitrates would impact anything but fine detail while panning. To be honest, I still don't know how much of a role the higher bitrate is playing!

The color on the HG21 (and I assume the HF11) is better than what I saw on the HF10, which I felt was too blue in a variety of shooting situations. The HG21 displays a very nice, neutral color palette. The Sony's colors are certainly very pleasing, but when you do a direct comparison to the HG21, it becomes very apparent there is too much red in the Sony image. Both my wife and my friend have brown hair and, by comparison, the Sony appeared to have a reddish tinge to it compared to the same shots shot at the same time with the HG21. You might not ever notice it if you didn't see the Canon image and the very neutral browns it produces.

I don't believe this is a function of 24mbps since the same color is evident at 17mbps with the same camera. I've found over the years that even the same camcorder manufacturer will change the color balance from one model to the next, so there are no guarantees from any of these companies as to what the color will look like with their next model regardless of bitrate.

An example was going from my Sony VX2000 to the Sony VX2100 (both prosumer mini-DV cams). You'd think they'd have basically the same color right? You'd be wrong as was I. The VX2100 has a much cooler palette which at first I didn't like. But now that I've used it for some time, I look back at my VX2000 (which I still own) and it looks too warm. In fact the colors of the 2100 are more accurate.

As to the viewfinder, keep in mind the HG21 does indeed have a viewfinder, but its LCD is not as nice as the SR12's. Since I really don't like using the LCD (I wear reading glasses), this wasn't much of a sacrifice for me. For others it may well be a consideration.

So to answer your question, both the HG21 and our next 'SR13' with the highest 24mbps datarate would have the same features, viewfinder and LCD. My switch was based on both improved sharpness, resolution and color. Keep in mind that any given camera might 'appear sharper' but might not have any additional resolution. Sometimes manufacturers just add 'in-camera sharpening' to some models to make the unit look sharper when in fact it might actually have less resolution than another unit that doesn't appear as sharp. The HG21 both appears sharper and does have more resolution. So that was my rationale for the switch.

It's hard to predict what the color of the next Sony will be, I've given up with any of these manufacturers in trying to predict that. So no, I don't think I'd switch to a Sony @24mbps just based on the datarate. Might the color be better than the HG21? Anything is possible and I wouldn't call the HG21's color 'perfect'. What I would like to see and what could sway me to a Sony is if the dynamic range was significantly improved. Unfortunately I don't see that happening unless they went to a larger chip or 3-chips...neither one a likely occurrence. I think the limited dynamic range (and of course the features) are what differentiates the prosumer models from these units.

Ken,

I guess my idea camera would be a combination of the Sony PMWEX3 with Panasonic's datacard and their AVC-Intra (I Frame only MPEG-4) format. Maybe Panasonic will update the 200 with more of the PMWEX3 features.

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/cat-bro...roduct-PMWEX3/
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Much depends on how your monitor is calibrated, but on mine the Sony makes the doll's face a bit too red.

What???

Both shots are on the same monitor so the monitor calibration becomes both relative and moot.

Not withstanding, I have a very expensive quad-monitor system.

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However, there is no question that Canon looks sharper and has more resolution.

I disagree.

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the Canon (the Sony appears more zoomed), you can still see more holes in the strainer on the Canon.

This is not a sharpness issue. It's an exposure issue. The Sony (as I noted above) is simply shooting a bit darker. The Canon on the other hand clearly has a white balance issue. The gray on the wall appears much more natural with the Sony, while the Canon appears as if it was shot incorrectly under incandescent lighting.
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Originally Posted by rbouch8828 View Post

Ken,

I guess my idea camera would be a combination of the Sony PMWEX3 with Panasonic's datacard and their AVC-Intra (I Frame only MPEG-4) format. Maybe Panasonic will update the 200 with more of the PMWEX3 features.

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/cat-bro...roduct-PMWEX3/

That would be nice!!! Want to make one?
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What???

Both shots are on the same monitor so the monitor calibration becomes both relative and moot.

Barney, all I can tell you is that the many A/B tests I did with my SR12 and the HG21, the color was more neutral and the sharpness and resolution was better. I didn't need any posted pictures of objects whose color I really didn't know. I was shooting objects right in front of me. Pretty easy to tell which cam was more accurate with that right? Results were displayed on a professionally ISF calibrated 60" Pioneer Kuro. And by the way, the color adjustment of the monitor is NOT moot since if it's adjusted too cool or too warm, you will get an erroneous indication as to which camera appears more color accurate. This is why we have calibration standards.

As I said, even someone that is not fussy about video, my wife, clearly saw this as did my friend who does video professionally. The resolution charts and graphs on the German site clearly show a more resolute picture from the Canon. It's actually not even close when they give the Sony a "Good" rating for resolution and an "Excellent" rating for the HG21. That's two ratings above the Sony. The CCI site also clearly shows both a sharpness and resolution advantage to the Canon. They go on to call the Canon the best AVCHD camcorder around.

Honestly, I really could care less what anyone buys here. I'm not out to sell Sonys or Canons, I've got both. I always thought that AVS was a site to exchange ideas and opinions...especially when the thread title is inviting that!!! You like the Sony, you think it's better...that's all that counts. There can certainly be disagreements and preferences for one camera's color vs another, but there can be no disagreements about which picture is sharper and more resolute. Some posts here are in denial about something as easy to prove as resolution and posted resolution charts and graphs from two different review sites. What can anyone say about that?

So be it. As I've always said, these are two great cams, enjoy both.

For those that are interested in more thorough camcorder discussions without people getting insulted when factual cases are presented, DVInfo is a great site.

Enjoy all!
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Barney, all I can tell you is that the many A/B tests I did with my SR12 and the HG21, the color was more neutral and the sharpness and resolution was better. I didn't need any posted pictures of objects whose color I really didn't know. I was shooting objects right in front of me. Pretty easy to tell which cam was more accurate with that right? Results were displayed on a professionally ISF calibrated 60" Pioneer Kuro. And by the way, the color adjustment of the monitor is NOT moot since if it's adjusted too cool or too warm, you will get an erroneous indication as to which camera appears more color accurate. This is why we have calibration standards.

As I said, even someone that is not fussy about video, my wife, clearly saw this as did my friend who does video professionally. The resolution charts and graphs on the German site clearly show a more resolute picture from the Sony. It's actually not even close when they give the Sony a "Good" rating for resolution and an "Excellent" rating for the HG21. That's two ratings above the Sony. The CCI site also clearly shows both a sharpness and resolution advantage to the Canon. They go on to call the Canon the best AVCHD camcorder around.

Honestly, I really could care less what anyone buys here. I'm not out to sell Sonys or Canons, I've got both. I always thought that AVS was a site to exchange ideas and opinions...especially when the thread title is inviting that!!! You like the Sony, you think it's better...that's all that counts. There can certainly be disagreements and preferences for one camera's color vs another, but there can be no disagreements about which picture is sharper and more resolute. Some posts here are in denial about something as easy to prove as resolution and posted resolution charts and graphs from two different review sites. What can anyone say about that?

So be it. As I've always said, these are two great cams, enjoy both.

For those that are interested in more thorough camcorder discussions without people getting insulted when factual cases are presented, DVInfo is a great site.

Enjoy all!

Does anyone know if there is a way to access the gama controls on these cameras? With the prosumer and pro cameras you can adjust the gama of one camera to match another. At live events (football, baseball, etc.) they often have cameras from different manufacturers, but by adjusting the gama they can color match them.
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Originally Posted by flintyplus View Post

This confirms what i have always thought about my SR12 its low light is not bad at all,mine is better than my FX 7 a 3 chip prosumer cam.
After more study i can see no resolution difference in the pictures and prefer the sony color,why does the sony win the 12 lux low light because it does for me sorry.

Flinty it's not too surprising the SR12 beats the FX7 in low light. The FX7 has small, 1/4" chips. I had the FX7 too and it wasn't great in low light. But keep in mind that no consumer HD cam is good in low light. Not until you get to the prosumer level with bigger chips, 3-chips and bigger lenses do you get better results

But I and others have become very skeptical of the German site and some of their posted pictures. All one has to do is look at the Canon A1 and Canon A1S and you get two radically different pictures even though the cameras perform nearly identically. The A1S looks terrible in low light and the A1 looks pretty good according to their pictures. Both cams are, in actuality, identical and so the results are a bit whacky.

On another site some are thinking that their testing methods may have been suspect with older cams. Judging from what I've seen with some of their tests of older cams, I agree. Their tests on the Sony FX1 also look a bit bizarre if you know the camera.
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post #114 of 347 Old 12-28-2008, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Barney, all I can tell you is that the many A/B tests I did with my SR12 and the HG21, the color was more neutral and the sharpness and resolution was better. I didn't need any posted pictures of objects whose color I really didn't know. I was shooting objects right in front of me. Pretty easy to tell which cam was more accurate with that right? Results were displayed on a professionally ISF calibrated 60" Pioneer Kuro. And by the way, the color adjustment of the monitor is NOT moot since if it's adjusted too cool or too warm, you will get an erroneous indication as to which camera appears more color accurate. This is why we have calibration standards.

Well... according to the above screen grabs.... you're wrong..... and I'm not talking about any A/B tests that you may or may not have done and I furthermore have never seen. I'm speaking of the above posted screen shots

And yes... the calibration is moot. If the shots are placed side by side on the same monitor then any calibration error is picked up and shared by BOTH shots.

But as I said before, calibration is not an issue for me and the above screen shots are not figments of the imagination. The white balance is CLEARLY out on the canon shot.

Now are you saying that the above screen shots are inaccurate and that the white balance in the canon shot is correct?
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post #115 of 347 Old 12-28-2008, 10:33 AM
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As I said, if you're in denial about resolution there is nothing that I can add. That site rates the Canon 'excellent' and the Sony 'good'. That's TWO rating notches below. Do you think you know something they don't? Did you even look at the resolution charts?

CCI comes up with the same info. The Canon was rated at 675 horizontal lines and 650 vertical. The Sony was 625 horizontal and 600 vertical. Are they too involved in some conspiracy? As for color, I have no idea what any of those colors are supposed to be in those frame grabs since I don't own any of those objects, I've never seen those objects before and I don't know what the doll or any other object is supposed to look like. If they had a bowl of fruit than that would have been better, they didn't. Do you know how the cameras were white balanced? Do you know what the colors were supposed to be? Do you know if your monitor is accurate? No, I'm sorry, color is much harder to judge from tests like this than resolution since there are too many errors that can be introduced along the chain.

We shall surely agree to disagree about monitor calibration. If you believe you can make accurate assessments on an uncalibrated monitor so be it. Yes, you can still see differences, but it will certainly not tell you which cam is more accurate.

As to your inference that I may NOT have conducted these A/Bs, for that I will tell you 'bye bye'. You are not worth my time. I've been on AVS a long time and have an excellent reputation for helping people and I truly don't care for the insinuation that I might be lying. You on the other hand are not looking for the truth. You are looking for a rationale that you made the right choice. I've already said these are two great cams, I've owned both.

Bye bye.
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post #116 of 347 Old 12-28-2008, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Flinty it's not too surprising the SR12 beats the FX7 in low light. The FX7 has small, 1/4" chips. I had the FX7 too and it wasn't great in low light. But keep in mind that no consumer HD cam is good in low light. Not until you get to the prosumer level with bigger chips, 3-chips and bigger lenses do you get better results

But I and others have become very skeptical of the German site and some of their posted pictures. All one has to do is look at the Canon A1 and Canon A1S and you get two radically different pictures even though the cameras perform nearly identically. The A1S looks terrible in low light and the A1 looks pretty good according to their pictures. Both cams are, in actuality, identical and so the results are a bit whacky.

On another site some are thinking that their testing methods may have been suspect with older cams. Judging from what I've seen with some of their tests of older cams, I agree. Their tests on the Sony FX1 also look a bit bizarre if you know the camera.

The FX 7 is classed as prosumer and is still used by some for weddings and has all the on cam control i wish for,3 1/4 chips work out to more than either the SR12 or HG 21 have and one thing this cam has is a great lens,i slightly prefer my SRs picture but an experienced friend prefers the FX7 its just preference.
I see camcorderinfo gave the FX7 624.9 horizontal rez and 619.1 vertical rez which was more than the canon A1 AND H1s.
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post #117 of 347 Old 12-28-2008, 12:21 PM
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As to your inference that I may NOT have conducted these A/Bs, for that I will tell you 'bye bye'.

Bye bye.


Sorry you feel this way... although I think you misunderstood. My meaning is simple... your A/B tests don't do me much good. Your eyes are not mine (and visa versa) Like you, I believe what I see. I can't see your A/B tests.... but I can see the above screen shots. Sorry if you take offense to this. It was not meant as a shot in your direction.... just a simple fact. If you have your A/B tests on file then please by all means post them so I and others can have a look.
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Originally Posted by flintyplus View Post

The FX 7 is classed as prosumer and is still used by some for weddings and has all the on cam control i wish for,3 1/4 chips work out to more than either the SR12 or HG 21 have and one thing this cam has is a great lens,i slightly prefer my SRs picture but an experienced friend prefers the FX7 its just preference.
I see camcorderinfo gave the FX7 624.9 horizontal rez and 619.1 vertical rez which was more than the canon A1 AND H1s.

Flinty, I enjoyed the FX7 and bought it after the FX1. I found its picture to be much sharper than the FX1 but its low light wasn't quite as good. But if I had to choose between the two, I'd still take the FX7 for its sharp picture. The FX1 just lacked some punch which the FX7 has.

I don't have the FX7 anymore, but somehow I'd think the picture looked sharper than my SR12, but if I had to choose I'd still take the SR12. The SR12's picture is just more noise-free IMO than the FX7.

What do you think?
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post #119 of 347 Old 12-28-2008, 12:58 PM
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Sorry you feel this way... although I think you misunderstood. My meaning is simple... your A/B tests don't do me much good.

he didn't misunderstand anything, your exact words were "I'm not talking about any A/B tests that you may or may not have done"

you effectively called him a liar, as he stated.
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post #120 of 347 Old 12-28-2008, 02:25 PM
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he didn't misunderstand anything, your exact words were "I'm not talking about any A/B tests that you may or may not have done"

you effectively called him a liar, as he stated.

I see... so you're now speaking for other people?
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