canon vixia hf m41 vs hf r32 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-09-2012, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I am looking into buying a new camcorder and have been out of the camcorder life since it was 8mm tape. I think I have narrowed it down to the following two after some research but am having trouble finalizing my purchase. The M41 records in MPEG4-AVC / H.264 while the R32 records in AVCHD/MPEG-4. This is what I am having the most confusion with. Can anyone explain this difference to me and help me make my choice? Any other input on these 2 models would be greatly appreciated. Here is a link to the Canon website specs for both. Thanks!

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/camcorders/consumer_camcorders/vixia_hf_m41#Specifications

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/camcorders/consumer_camcorders/vixia_hf_r32#Specifications
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-09-2012, 02:07 PM
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they both record in the exact same format i believe, not sure why canon is listing it that way. as far as i know they are both AVCHD.

the differences here really are the sensor and the zoom lens.

the M41 is a far better sensor with superior low light capability, the lens is only 10 X zoom, but that is to help keep the quality of the video higher.

imho, the M41 is the better choice for everything, unless you really need that extra zoom.
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-09-2012, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greekman14 View Post

I am looking into buying a new camcorder and have been out of the camcorder life since it was 8mm tape. I think I have narrowed it down to the following two after some research but am having trouble finalizing my purchase. The M41 records in MPEG4-AVC / H.264 while the R32 records in AVCHD/MPEG-4. This is what I am having the most confusion with. Can anyone explain this difference to me and help me make my choice? Any other input on these 2 models would be greatly appreciated. Here is a link to the Canon website specs for both. Thanks!
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/camcorders/consumer_camcorders/vixia_hf_m41#Specifications
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/camcorders/consumer_camcorders/vixia_hf_r32#Specifications

Greekman: no comparison, the HF M41 is superior.

Better low light shots/bigger sensor (it has an HD CMOS Pro sensor/same as what they put in their pro camcorders), dual card slots in addition to 32gb internal/you can relay record with any combination of those three drives.

Plus you get the viewfinder on the HF M41, which is extremely helpful for outdoor shots.

The R32 is from the low-line R series (the M series are mid-range). The R32 will have darker/noisier shots. Pass on that one.
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-10-2012, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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i agree with both of you that the M41 is far superior...and even the newer M52 would be even nicer to have. however, i am not a professional video guy by any means. this will simply be to get some video of our family life that we haven't got in over 10 years (when we had an 8mm). so that being said, is the R32 still adequate to have a good picture and to capture our family moments.

another thing to give you an idea, as much as i would love a SLR camera, i still don't have one of those because i don't see spending money on it when we don't use it that often (as this will be too im sure).
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-10-2012, 05:40 PM
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Why would get the R32 over the HF M41, though?

If it's price you can buy a refurbished HF M41 direct from Canon for $399.
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-10-2012, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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yea the price is a major factor of course. I would never buy refurbished, don't trust it no matter where it comes from. And I think paying an extra $200 cause I got the R32 for $450 is not worth the extra unneeded features.
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-10-2012, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greekman14 View Post

yea the price is a major factor of course. I would never buy refurbished, don't trust it no matter where it comes from. And I think paying an extra $200 cause I got the R32 for $450 is not worth the extra unneeded features.

Of course, it's up to you.

I have purchased refurbished directly from Canon a number of times and the units have always been like new.

Just fyi... a refurbished product typically goes through a more rigorous process than a new one. And if you buy just about any new electronics the warranty terms will state that, if you make a warranty claim on a new item, the company may send you back a refurbished unit.

I once purchased a brand new monitor and two months later it had a major problem. I shipped it back to the company and they sent me a refurbished unit, stripped of the branding. It worked fine, but I paid a new price for a refurbished unit. Canon might not necessarily work that way, but just letting you know.

If you can find a HF M41, it is definitely worth it over the R32. If you shoot indoors, it would be the difference between clear, noiseless video versus dark video with a bunch of noisy specs on the screen. The pro sensor on the HF M41 is a huge step up.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-10-2012, 10:09 PM
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I would have said to get the M400 which has the same chip as the M41 but cost less but it might be hard to get new since it's discontinued. Perhaps the new M500 for $525? The versions with that chip is in an entirely different class as the R32. The chip in the R32 is extremely tiny and personally I don't believe that camcorder should be any more than $250 for having a single chip that tiny. By far the M500 is a significantly better value if you can afford it. As for the M41, keep in mind that the extra price is also for the view finder. That helps you save the battery and see more clearly when your shooting in bright sunlight. I wish my Panasonic SD600 had a viewfinder. It can be a huge pain trying to get the picture to be exactly how I want it when it's very bright outside.
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-11-2012, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greekman14 View Post

i agree with both of you that the M41 is far superior...and even the newer M52 would be even nicer to have. however, i am not a professional video guy by any means. this will simply be to get some video of our family life that we haven't got in over 10 years (when we had an 8mm). so that being said, is the R32 still adequate to have a good picture and to capture our family moments.
another thing to give you an idea, as much as i would love a SLR camera, i still don't have one of those because i don't see spending money on it when we don't use it that often (as this will be too im sure).

The other thing I wanted to say that if you're just looking for something casual, like for family, but still want HD; you can also get a point-and-shoot that does HD.

For example, Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS $230.35 will shoot 1080p video:
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-ELPH-300-HS/dp/B004J3ZV62/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1347379784&sr=1-4&keywords=canon+1080p+powershot

Plus there are dozens of other choices from Panasonic, Sony, etc. that are cheaper, too. There are also ones that shoot HD 1280x720.
These camera take high megapixel photos/most camcorders don't.

The advantage of these versus a "camcorder" is the price, they are pocketable, small and light. You can get more spontaneous, candid shots.
A camcorder, something like the HF M40 has to be dragged out and is not as convenient.

The advantage of a camcorder is that you can buy extended batteries, shoot continuously for long periods of time without having to restart, the image quality and stabilization will be better.

If you're going to go with the R32 for price reasons, you might as well go lower and just get one of these cameras. If it's R32 versus HF M40 and you must have a camcorder - the HF M40 is the choice.

The point-and-shoots with HD video are something to consider. If you eventually get into videography, you can always get a more serious camcorder later.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-13-2012, 02:09 PM
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i have to agree with the point and shoot comment, if you cannot afford the m41/ m500/52 etc, you would be better off getting a good P&S with HD video.

i had a miniDv Sony since 2004 and was always unhappy with its video quality indoors ( i didnt know back then to go big sensor) i promised myself that when it failed i would get a new camcorder that did well in low light, regardless of any other features it had or didnt have. i am by no means a pro in any way,i simply did not like watching home videos on tv and having fuzz/grain in normal indoor lighting.

i went to buy a new M52 in April at BestBuy and stumbled upon a new unopened M41 in the bottom/back of the storage case, i grabbed and have been absolutely amazed and thrilled i have it now,it shoots indoor video even in lower lighting than what i would normally shoot at impressive clarity and brightness,colors remain true .

i also have a Sony HX9V , the Hd video on it is spectacular with enough light, i uses it when lighting is bright for short ( under 30 minute) recordings, it is awesome,unless the light drops to indoor lighting levels,
i feel the R32 would perform no better than my HX9V indoors.

for the money ($450 ish) i agree, get the M500 for $75 more.
or get a 180-250 dollar P&S.

just my 2 cents
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post #11 of 13 Old 09-13-2012, 03:04 PM
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My first camcorder was the R300 and i took it back cause the low light sensitivity was very bad . I was very disappointed . Bought a Sony HDR-XR260V and the CA was so bad i took it back and bought a canon HF M50 . Best decision i made for the pocket book limit . The M50 has a bigger sensor than the R300 which is basically the same as the R30, 32 . The bigger the sensor the better the LLS is .The VIXIA HF M50 camcorder's sophisticated shooting mode options offer superior creativity and functionality. 24p Cinema Mode gives your video a film-like feel, making it look as if it were shot at the same frame rate as movie film, with a frame capture rate of 24p recorded at 60i. The camcorder also gives you the option of recording in 30p Progressive Mode, which is ideal for clips you intend to post online. Alot of people think there is a big difference between 60p and 60i recording but when you read and understand Canons technology you'll find not any difference except when you get into the high quality high $$$ camcorders . Other than that 50% is how you shoot your clips and the other 50% is how you edit it for presentation . You can shoot good clips and make a bad show and it can be the other way around , some can take bad clips and make a great show . Depends your experience in editing . I admit , i'm not very good but i'm not pro and don't plan to be . Mine is just for fun with family , friends and special events . I like Canons technology and quality . I know there is alot of other good cameras out there and not knocking any except those i had experience with and that includes canon .
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 05:36 AM
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Question: We are looking for three cameras for a live streaming application. Does anyone know if the H-264 is output directly from the HF M41 via HDMI and/or the USB? We will then connect the cameras to a Network Encoder? We would like to upload H-264 to one of the usual live streaming CDN (YouTube, LiveStream, Ustream, etc)

Btw, I agree that that $399 is a steal for a refurb unit.

Mike Jabara
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 09:10 AM
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The video stream from the HDMI port for all cameras is *uncompressed* (not H264). It may also not be "clean" in the sense of having icons you see on the lcd coming through. And many HDMI ports do not output any audio. usb ports are typically (not always) only for transferring files, not for outputting video. A web cam is what you want if you want video streamed via usb cheaply and easily.
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