Canon HF20/HF200 really that bad? - AVS Forum
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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After spending several hours browsing the web so I can make up my mind to either get the (discounted) Canon HF10 (about 620) or the Canon HF200 (new model, same price), I'm really at a loss.

As far as I can read from the reviews, the HF200 is definitely a better camera when it comes to layout, menu, features etc, but the smaller sensor has a very annoying side effect, which is supposedly "bad low light performance".

Now, when I spend this much money, I rather go for the 'best' option (read: newest model), but I want this to be an informed decision. So my main struggle is: what is "bad low light performance"? Does this mean I'm unable to get decent video when I film inside our house with the lights on? Or does this mean the video is pretty bad when filming in almost dark situations (like on street in the dark, or inside house with only candelight).

I'm very new to HD filming, so I really can't compare. I do like the HF200 design though and almost all reviews say it's definitely a better camera compared to the HF10/HF100, except for the bad low light performance.

So I need your advice. Thx in advance!
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:29 PM
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I've been struggling with the same decision, and ended up going with the HF200. It will be here the end of the week. I'll make sure to post my impressions and maybe some test vids.

\m/
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapino View Post

As far as I can read from the reviews, the HF200 is definitely a better camera when it comes to layout, menu, features etc, but the smaller sensor has a very annoying side effect, which is supposedly "bad low light performance".

It won't be of any consolation, but if you read the reviews for last year's Canon models, they also say low light performance is bad. I've downloaded tons of samples from the current models and last year's, and it really is a mixed bag with noisy low light.

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Old 05-12-2009, 04:00 PM
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No

dont trust so hard the camcorderinfo review

download original MTS files to see the real quality

in 24p the night videos looks great
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Old 05-12-2009, 04:26 PM
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I pulled the Trigger today on the HF200. My last camcorder was a Sony Trv-15. And to tell you the truth I never did use the still photo that much or the advanced controls. Maybe I went alil too much on features set on the last camcorder.

The HF200 is $663 right now at amazon in stock. I figured I can buy a big memory card, a sony S290 camera (which I also need), for less than the price of the HFS100.

I noticed the specs of the video megs of the HFS100 to the HF100 are alot higher. Does anyone know how this affects the HD performance? What does the cannon light attachment run for? Will this help the low light issues if there are any? I guess I'll see on Thursday when it arrives to test out for myself.


On a side note:

I still have a quite a few minidv tapes to transfer. Anyone have the quickest, fastest, cheapest way to transfer those to digital? I only have laptops at home and none of them have AV inputs to do a analog to digital conversion. Dont want to mess with editing right now for those, just straight mpeg2 transfer.

jr.
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Old 05-12-2009, 04:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgdigital View Post

I've been struggling with the same decision, and ended up going with the HF200. It will be here the end of the week. I'll make sure to post my impressions and maybe some test vids.

Nice. Keep us updated. [IMG]http://www.******************/storage/411.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathanR View Post

On a side note:

I still have a quite a few minidv tapes to transfer. Anyone have the quickest, fastest, cheapest way to transfer those to digital? I only have laptops at home and none of them have AV inputs to do a analog to digital conversion. Dont want to mess with editing right now for those, just straight mpeg2 transfer.

I assume your content is on 8mm video tapes from the TRV-15, not MiniDVs, correct? Because if you have content on MiniDV tapes, its already digital and all you need to do is to transfer it into your laptop via a Firewire connection using s/w like MovieMaker or WINDV.

But if its 8mm video from your analog TRV15, you will need to capture the analog video and store it on your laptop/PC. You can do it two ways...
1. get a video capture card for your computer
2. get a digital camcorder with video pass through function that will allow you to send the analog signal out from your Sony into the digital camcorder and either record it to MiniDV or send it directly to your laptop via firewire.

Either way its time and disk space consuming work. Even more so if you want to convert the captured video to an MPEG-2 file.

FWIW... Right now I am in the process of transferring many MiniDV tapes onto an external HDD. Its very time consuming as each tape needs to be played back in real time in order to transfer the data to my PC. And... each 1 hr long MiniDV tape consumes 13 GB of HDD space.
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:55 AM
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rw2003:


You know I must of been half dead, its been 3 years since I last transfered. Your right its not 8mm it mini dv and firewire the way I used to do it. But it was SLOW back then. I have a new sony vaio laptop curretly. If I remember right the sony camcorder can talk to a sony vaio and speed up the process of transfering, but not sure if its at real time or faster.

Is it easier to transfer/convert the mini dv once it on the hard drive to mpeg2 or mpeg4? Never thought that one mini tape would take up 13gigs. I do have a NAS drive at my house with 1 terabyte free currently. But Id definilty like to compress down and keep the original quality. Would mpeg4 be the solution? Especially if I want to stream via PS3 or others?

Jonathan

jr.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Can we please keep it on topic? I'm still trying to decide and this is not helping
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:26 AM
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I would probably go with the HF100, it is cheaper(even if its not much) and It have bether low light. HF100 was a big step forward, the HF200 are a smal step forward in sharpnes but also a step back in lowlight.

But how big is the diffrences in sharpnes? I do not think its that big when I am looking at samples.

What do you think for you self? Have you looked at the samples available on the web for the both camcorders?
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I sure have, but there seem very little samples showing (normal) indoor filming with the HF200. That's what I need to know, how it performs for normal indoor viewing (not in a room lit up with just one candle). I ask because I'll use it a lot for filming my daughter when playing inside the house, and possibly a baby later on.
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Old 05-14-2009, 11:43 AM
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DonĀ“t forget that the HF20 is the same camera as HF200 besides built in memory. It may be easier to find samples on the HF20.

I found those in a fast searth

http://vimeo.com/4009296
Yes not the best.

http://av.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/s...325_76262.html
Yes its not easy to read but there is alot of samples to download and watch.

There should be alot of samples for the HF10 or HF100, becourse its older.

Let me know what you think.

I bought my self the Sony TG3 but I am not sure about keeping it, maby it will be a HF100 instead (Need the indoor qulity if its really that good).
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:35 AM
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I have now got the possibility to try both the Sany HD2000 and the Canon HF200.

My first impresson is:

HF200 do not handel dark indoor vary well
HF200 extra light do not do much
HF200 have really grate sharpness and picture when sufficient lighting exists.
HF200 is a litte harder to learn
HF200 looks and fells grate, besides the strange placement of choosing video, photo or Video/Photo button.
HF200 Have bether menu system
HF200 is hard to connect, there is no dock so you will have to open and close alot of doors to connect.
HF200 handle zooming grate(no shaking)
HF200 handle focus grate

HD2000 Should handle dark indoor bether then the HF200, but it isn't? The picture become vary unsharp and some times it loses frames?
HD2000 Do feel grate to hold
HD2000 Have a grate stand where all the cables can be connected at the same time.
HD2000 Do not focus as fast as the HF200, its a big diffrence
HD2000 Do shake alot when using zoom(no optic stabilization)

The cameras have been tested in aout mode only.

Do you know where I can find WA to HF200? and is there more then 1 model?
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:12 AM
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If you run your HF200/HF20 in low light conditions, what settings are you using?
Dan Banici likes this.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Snowjim, have you tried the HF200 yourself? How do you find its performance indoors? Not in almost dark rooms, but just indoors with enough light. Is it ok then? Got samples?
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:32 AM
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Yes as I mentioned before, I have now tested the Sany HD2000 and HF200.

The HF200 do tend to be a little grainy in lowlight, but the HD2000 are worse in auto mode.

If there is enough light the picture is really nice.

I will see if I can get a sample.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:55 PM
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am I missing something? what's wrong with the HF20?
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quite simple what the problem is for somone that has a hard time taking decisions: Camcorderinfo reviews the HF20 as a very good camera outdoors (albeit with quite a bit of noise in the image) but trashes the camera for its supposedly very bad indoor performance. But Infosyncworld, another site, reviews the HF20 as a very good camera with outstandig performance indoor.

Kinda hard to make an informed decision now. Some HF20/200 owners say it's ok indoors, I've read HF100 owners that say the HF200 is a lot better even indoors, but as much HF100 owners that bought the HF20/200 say it sucks compared to their previous cameras.

So now what...
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:39 PM
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Hey!

Sorry, I have had much to do. But I will run some tests in the days to come and I will try to publish some pictures here.

It will be Sanyo HD2000 and Canon HF200.
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:13 PM
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thanks lapino. and the 20/200 are exactly the same except the 20 has 32GB built in.
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I know. I think I'll be getting the HF200 tomorrow, I do tend to film quite a bit indoor, but that's mostly indoor with a lot of lights, not in a candle-lit like situation. I just think the higher detail, the 24mbps, 15x zoom and pre-rec are features that could be pretty nice to me. I don't care for built-in memory.

Of course, I would with for the HF200 to have the same lowlight performance as the HF10 but since the two well-known reviews contradict each other, I might take a gamble here.
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:02 PM
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Im going to compare HF200 to Sanyo FH1.

Outdoor:
HF200 has much better colors that are not over saturated. FH1 has too much contrast and looses highlights and a bit of shadows. I think HF200 handles contrast way better. (i always film with Vivid setting in HF200) and its not nowhere close to the saturation of FH1. Focus in HF200 is pretty much instant and totally owns Sanyo. Like everyone states, picture is sharper on the Canon.

Sanyo wins in the regard that its 60p, so motion looks VERY GOOD.

Indoor.
FH1 has less noise and better color saturation. But focus isn't great. I would say its good, but it does take a while to focus, where canon is instant. Also FH1 goes out of focus sometimes, so its kinda hunting in focus, where Canons focus is pretty much always correct. There is def more noise in HF200, but its not that bad at all. In 24p, noise is pretty much the same but i do not like the motion of 24fps, a bit too jumpy.

Stabilization in Sanyo FH1 is just terrible, i had a very shaky picture and at 10x zoom the picture handheld isn't really usable. Had to use Deshaker to fix. On the other hand Canons Optical Stabilization picture is nice and steady. So way less work that has to be done to the video to make it usable.

Menu system is just as easy to use for me on Sanyo or Canon. But Sanyo does give you more control. Wish Canon gave as much control. But we can't have everything.

In conclusion. I think i would rate Canon HF200 9/10 for Outdoor use (-1 comes for less manual control and 60i intead of 60p) Sanyo FH1 I would rate 7/10 (-1 for oversaturation and overblown highlights + too much contrast. Another -2 for No good Stabilization)

Indoor Rating 8/10 for Canon HF200(-1 Noise, and -1 no manual controls like sanyo)
Indoor Rating 9/10 for Sanyo FH1 (-1 for not so good Focus)

In conclusion, I like my Canon HF200 not much better, but a bit better then Sanyo FH1. Hopefully my little comparision will help some of you decide on which camcorder to pick up.
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information. When I base my opinion I would think that the HF200 is unbelievably, incredibly, out of this world bad in low light situations, but from what I read from (most) owners, they do not feel it's actually that bad.

I have used a Sony DV camcorder for about 5yrs and when I look at indoor footage now (never been that much into specs/reviews before) I definitely see a lot of noise, but not up to a point that it bothers me. Maybe SD material is less sensitive to noise but I really would be surprised if a camcorder like the HF200 with all that new technology would do worse than the Sony I had.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:55 AM
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The FH1 is pretty much the same as the HD2000 if i get it right?

Then we simes to have the same view on the diffrences, besides the low light picture.

I have only tested HD2000 with auto control, and in normal indoor light it is worse then the canon, and in almost total darkness it is more or less the same.

But I have got some sugested settings to try on the Sanyo but even if the Sanyo do shine in darkness if will be wary hard to choose it over the HF200 because of the reasons that you mentioned.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:33 PM
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lapino I saw on the other forums that you had bought the HF200. I'm in the same dilemma as you were.. can you please post some indoor footage (also some raw footage if possible) to get an idea of how "bad" it is?

I'd appreciate it! The difference between the HF100 and HF200 is 50$ right now...
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SV- View Post

lapino I saw on the other forums that you had bought the HF200. I'm in the same dilemma as you were.. can you please post some indoor footage (also some raw footage if possible) to get an idea of how "bad" it is?

I'd appreciate it! The difference between the HF100 and HF200 is 50$ right now...

I wouldn't say its bad, i'd say a bit not as good (noise wise)
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll try to post some samples asap, probably tomorrow.
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:03 AM
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I will try the Sanyo HD2000 and Canon HF200 todoay I hope.

If I got it right all HD camcorders are bad in lowlight, the question is which one is the best. Sanyo HD2000 should be one of the bether in that pricerange but this far I am not impressed at all.
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I've uploaded a sample clip (25p cinema mode, converted to mov with iMovie). Might give an example how the HF200 performs indoors. I do have to admit I'm a little bit disappointed with low light performance when using auto mode/P-mode, but cinema mode makes it look a lot better. Now I need to find out how to get the most out of that, since I've read that Final Cut Express and iMovie09 don't really handle avchd well (converting to apple format = loss of quality).

Check it out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwLwmlMQmuI
(don't forget to click on hd)
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:49 AM
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I have now recorded some samples with Sanyo HD2000 and Canon HF200. I do think that the Canon HF200 are the bether camcorder.

Sanyo outdoor
Sanyo indoor

Canon outdoor
Canon indoor

I have only used auto mode, I tried to lock Exposiore and Focus on the Sanyo but I dident manage to get a bether pictures?
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