Canon Vixia HF G20 vs Sony HDR-PJ650V - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-09-2013, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm in the process of upgrading my old camcorder, the Sony HDR-HC9. This was an HDV camcorder that shot great video and i really enjoyed everything it had to offer. My choices for upgrading were the Canon Vixia HF G20, Sony HDR-PJ650V and Panasonic HC-X920. When i looked at the video the Panasonic showed (at a local video store) i wasn't impressed and i was also a little worried about all the chatter regarding white balance issues so i dropped the Panasonic.

 

I am down to the Sony and Canon. I tried the Sony for a week and returned it. I recently picked up a Canon and we'll see how that goes. I can pick up the Sony for $950 through Dell and the Canon for $965. These are Canadian prices.

 

My first impression of the Sony was that the video looked as if there was a "fog in the room". It seemed like the colors weren't as sharp as my old camcorder. Now i don't know if this is a Codec issue or if 60p looks different than what i'm used to. The old Sony spit out video in 1440x1080i which is obviously "worse" but there is just a wierd look to the PJ650V.

 

The Canon gets great reviews but everyone harps about it only possessing 60i. Is this really that big of an issue? I have 2 little kids (1 yr old and 3 yrs old) and another on the way so i will be shooting a lot of home video. The low light capabilities of the Canon seems like a bonus but the Sony gets decent ratings in that as well. The other big thing i tend to use the camera for is shooting planes and trains as a hobby so there is some fast action shots there but not ridiculously fast and even then this will happen every 2-3 years when i travel to Europe. The main purpose of this camera will be home videos and family vacations.

 

I have also noticed that neither camera's 60p or 60i can be played on any of my TV's. They are all Sony's and are 1, 3 and 5 years old. It's painful to know that i'll have to downgrade the video to watch it on TV unless i'm missing something. Because of this reason as well, i don't know why 60i vs 60p would be that big of an issue for me. I will be doing very little editing and i don't know why i would ever require slow light capabilities.

 

Can someone please provide some thoughts on which camera is the better option for my situation? Thank-you.

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post #2 of 6 Old 10-09-2013, 10:49 PM
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* 1080p60 is the best format, but 60i is not the end of the world. You need to deinterlace it for YouTube.
* My TV is made in 2007 I believe and it accepts 1080p60 over HDMI. All flat-screen TVs accept at least 1080i60, it is the same format that the HC9 shoots in (HDMI does not care about HDV vs AVCHD, it goes over the wire uncompressed)
* The TV itself displays 60p as it is a progressive-scan flat panel (I assume you have either plasma or LCD).

Get the one which you like yourself. You can work around formats.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-10-2013, 04:18 AM
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Hi LO - Given your needs, my vote would be for the Sony. The PJ650V records at a maximum of 28 mbps and 1080/60p, which will certainly look better than 1080/60i on a computer monitor, if not on your TVs.

It also has a 12x zoom (as opposed to the HF G20's 10x zoom) - even though, as with most Sonys, you cannot control color or sharpness in the camera.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the features of the two cameras from German site slashcam (the HF G25 is the European designation for the HF G20): http://camcorder-test.slashcam.com/compare-139586f72a68b2f67a62fe82c3b875d5.html

Here is a new HDR-PJ650V on eBay Canada for a little over $900CDN.

Hope this is helpful!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-10-2013, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies to date guys. When i tried viewing the videos on any of my TV's (three Sony LCD's) using a WD TV Live media player is that the video may play for a few seconds and then crash/time out. When i tried viewing the videos on any of my TV's using my LG Blu-Ray player, it doesn't even recognize the files. To be clear, i copied the file from the SDHC card to a portable hard drive. I then connect the hard drive to the TV via the WD TV Live box or LG Blu-Ray player. Hooking up the hard drive to the TV doesn't work at all. One way that i could see the video on TV is by connecting my laptop to the TV and playing the files on the computer but the video ends up looking quite different, poor in terms of color anyways. The HDR-HC9 produces .mts files that are viewable on TV via the options i mentioned above so again i am perplexed by this.

 

Ungermann forgive my lack of knowledge but is 1080i60 in the TV world mean the same thing as saying 1080 60i in the camcorder world? As i mentioned above, the TV does seem to care but is that because i'm not directly connecting the camera to the TV? It seems like a waste to have to continually connect the camera to the TV to watch something on an SDHC card. Does the AVCHD 2.0 format have anything to do with the issues?

 

brunerww you mention max bitrate. How much of a factor is this in the grand scheme of video quality. My old Sony shot at 25 Mbps whereas the new Sony shoots at 28 Mbps and the Canon shoots at 24 Mbps. Is this factor as/more important than 60i vs 60p?

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post #5 of 6 Old 10-10-2013, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LO 044 View Post

Thanks for the replies to date guys. When i tried viewing the videos on any of my TV's (three Sony LCD's) using a WD TV Live media player is that the video may play for a few seconds and then crash/time out. When i tried viewing the videos on any of my TV's using my LG Blu-Ray player, it doesn't even recognize the files. To be clear, i copied the file from the SDHC card to a portable hard drive. I then connect the hard drive to the TV via the WD TV Live box or LG Blu-Ray player. Hooking up the hard drive to the TV doesn't work at all. One way that i could see the video on TV is by connecting my laptop to the TV and playing the files on the computer but the video ends up looking quite different, poor in terms of color anyways.
Viewing video on HDTV means sending it uncompressed over HDMI. Everything else is not TV's problem. 1080p60 is not BD-legal, although many modern players support it.
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Originally Posted by LO 044 View Post

The HDR-HC9 produces .mts files that are viewable on TV via the options i mentioned above so again i am perplexed by this.
The HDR-HC9 does not produce files. It records a stream on tape, and the MTS or M2T or M2TS files that you get is just an interpretation of a capture program, although indeed the stream on tape resembles MPEG-2 Transport Stream.
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Originally Posted by LO 044 View Post

Ungermann forgive my lack of knowledge but is 1080i60 in the TV world mean the same thing as saying 1080 60i in the camcorder world? As i mentioned above, the TV does seem to care but is that because i'm not directly connecting the camera to the TV? It seems like a waste to have to continually connect the camera to the TV to watch something on an SDHC card. Does the AVCHD 2.0 format have anything to do with the issues?
1080i60, 1080i30, 1080i29.97, 1080/60i, 1080/30i, 1080/29.97i -- different names for the same thing. As long as you connect over HDMI, AVCHD has nothing to do with it. You need a decent player that understands the files and can output them either as 60i (or 30i if you prefer frame-based notation) or 60p. WDTV Live reportedly has issues with 1080p60. Your LG player does not support it either. You either need to downcovert into either 1080i60 or into 720p60 in your editing program, or to buy equipment that is capable of recognizing the format and outputting it without hiccups.
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Originally Posted by LO 044 View Post

brunerww you mention max bitrate. How much of a factor is this in the grand scheme of video quality. My old Sony shot at 25 Mbps whereas the new Sony shoots at 28 Mbps and the Canon shoots at 24 Mbps. Is this factor as/more important than 60i vs 60p?
One is MPEG-2 Part 2, another is AVC/H.264. The latter is more efficient.

Ultimately, if you are not looking for 24p or better exposure controls, both of which are lacking on the HC9, I see no reason for upgrade for the sake of upgrade. Maybe you want to shift into big-sensor territory and consider a hybrid still/video camera instead.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-10-2013, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I guess i should have stated it differently but i am not really upgrading my camcorder. The HDR-HC9 is breaking down. The tape is stuttering so to speak so the video is looking choppy. Also, the touchscreen is broken so it is time to buy something new.

 

Hmm judging by your response, i should be able to connect the Sony or Canon directly to the TV and i should see a signal. I will have to try it. I just don't know how many people watch video this way. At least this will verify that i can get the video on the TV in its true fashion.

 

I definitely don't care for the hybrid cameras. I like having the comfort of the camcorder and some of the additional features camcorders offer. The main reason i go to the $1,000 range is a viewfinder. I shoot video with the viewfinder 90% of the time when outdoors. I do believe the picture quality is better when you get to the $1,000 range.Some of the bells and whistles are OK as well. What i don't care to do is edit video at nauseum. Splitting clips up or making a movie with several clips is OK but i don't care for anything else. I had purchased Vegas Movie Pro a while back and i tried using it. There is some learning curve to the program i must admit.

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