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Canon HF11 vs. Canon HG21 vs. Sony HDR-SR12 - Page 2

post #31 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Actually CCI said about the HF11 "It's better than any AVCHD camcorder to date". They also rated its video performance a bit higher than the HF10. To my eyes the difference is not subtle.

yes i remember reading that as well on many other sites to
post #32 of 347
ken...do you have any white balance issues with the hf11. I am demo-ing the hf10 and have issues with the white balance correctly changing in auto when you move from a sunlit room to a bulb lit room. To my knowledge, on the hf10, there is no way to change white balance manually without stopping the recording and hitting the func. button......
post #33 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jugdish69 View Post

ken...do you have any white balance issues with the hf11. I am demo-ing the hf10 and have issues with the white balance correctly changing in auto when you move from a sunlit room to a bulb lit room. To my knowledge, on the hf10, there is no way to change white balance manually without stopping the recording and hitting the func. button......

Jugdish, that was actually one of the issues I had with the HF10 when I tested it. I was not impressed with the color. There were situations where no matter what I did (auto WB, MWB, presets), the color just didn't look right and was not as good as my SR12. To be honest, and more to your point, I don't expect any cam to accurately change its WB when going from outside to inside with tungsten lighting. I wouldn't do that with my SR12 or my 3-chip Sony VX-2100. You should always turn the cam off and then back on if you intend to use the Auto WB. Otherwise you're better off pausing the recording and going into the Function menu to manually change the WB.

With that said, I have noticed the Auto WB on the HG21 is definitely more accurate than the HF10 and actually better than my SR12. One of the issues I noticed with the HF10 was that the auto WB would suddenly shift as you zoomed in and then back out. I haven't noticed that with the HG21. I still think Canon should design their cams so you don't have to pause recording to change WB if you so choose. It's possible that one of their design thoughts is that it would be jarring to see the WB suddenly change while you're recording. I can see the merit in pausing and restarting with the correct color.

I do recall one instance when I had the camera still on going from outside to inside and the color seemed OK. But as I said, I didn't examine it closely and simply turned off the cam and back on to get a better AWB.
post #34 of 347
KEN ROSS!!! IT's KEN ROSS!!!
This is very exciting...I have been waiting and waiting and trying to decide and it's crazy but I just held off for so long....I mean avchd isn't exactly screaming at me to jump into it as it seems like such a hassle for most. But I really want an HD camera and couldn't decide. I did NOT want the HV30 tape camera however because I am DONE with canon tape jams, and canon tape motor noise and do NOT want to use an external mic.

I don't remember where I saw the threads but quite some time back I was researching and I'm pretty sure Ken Ross and some others were A/B-ing the SR12 with some current Canons. The SR12 /SR11 came out better. This whole time though I haven't pulled the trigger because I really like the idea of having the alternate frame rates , 30p and 24p though I did like the Sony as a camera in the hand etc.

So finally now I see your post and wow, this is very exciting and I think it's the last part of the puzzle for me to hear you say you prefer the picture quality over the Sony!! And clearly, not just a subtle thing at least in your opinion.

And just before Christmas too!!

Only hurlde left is AVCHD editing on a mac but I guess there's no way around that!!

I do like Pinnacle for editing SD on PC so maybe I'll just upgrade a PC iinstead of my Mac (which is non - intel and $$$ to upgrade).

But Ken I just wanted to say you've made some awesome posts and made a LOT of sense in them with your tests, if I have it right you were the person without brand loyalties and biases and simply buy the best picture quality camera whichever it is.

Just for my info, what do you edit with?
post #35 of 347
Rob, glad to be of help. Yes, I don't really care what the brand name is on my camcorder, I just want the best performer out there for the size & price I"m aiming at. There's no point in being 'brand loyal' since it seems that year after year the PQ winner changes.

As for editing, I use Grass Valley's Edius Pro. This is not a program for novices and is priced beyond a 'hobbyist' budget. I really use it professionally for non-HD material and, to be honest, I don't really do much editing with my personal HD material. I tend to watch it direct from the camcorder.

Good luck and let us know what you wind up with and your opinions...oh, and welcome to AVS!
post #36 of 347
I just hope Sony updates the SR12 to a model that supports 24mbps.
post #37 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbouch8828 View Post

I just hope Sony updates the SR12 to a model that supports 24mbps.

I'm not sure that 24mbps is the rationale for great PQ. I think the HG21 does pretty much the same thing at 17mbps. The more I play with the unit the more I think lens quality is a major factor. Of course this is not to diminish the electronics or chip, but the lens is a biggie and frankly it's what I think could be improved on the Sonys.

Sony makes a big deal of their new 'G' lens on the new FX1000 and it's not a Zeiss lens. So maybe Sony is learning on their higher end cams.
post #38 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

I'm not sure that 24mbps is the rationale for great PQ. I think the HG21 does pretty much the same thing at 17mbps. The more I play with the unit the more I think lens quality is a major factor. Of course this is not to diminish the electronics or chip, but the lens is a biggie and frankly it's what I think could be improved on the Sonys.

Sony makes a big deal of their new 'G' lens on the new FX1000 and it's not a Zeiss lens. So maybe Sony is learning on their higher end cams.

24 mbps allows higher detail to be retained in any panning or moving shots. With only 17 mbps, detail is dropped during any motion.
post #39 of 347
Wow, good thread and great forum.

I'm a long time photographer (how I make my living) but sorely lacking in knowledge of camcorders.

I'd really like to get a good camcorder for my family and have been looking at the Canon HF11, HG21, and HF100 (in no particular order, but with trying to stay budget conscious...and originally wanting to stay under $600, until I did further study and my brain started rationalizing ways to expand the budget).

I'm finding myself more and more drawn toward the HG21, especially after reading this thread -- so thanks for providing such good reading material.

Now, all I have to do is check under the couch cushions for more spare change and see if I can "up" my original budget just a tad.
post #40 of 347
...so far, i've plunked down over $3,000 in the last week and a half ($1,900 for a new computer...i knew my old single core processor wouldn't cut it editing AVCHD video...and $1,200 for an HG 21, extended warranty, memory card, and software)...

...i'm still experimenting, of course, but i'd have to say there's a few things i liked better about my old Sony Mini DV recorder - the Sony is bigger and fits my hand better (less awkward to use)...also, the HG 21 records the click of the autofocus button (when you release it, i guess) - never noticed this problem with my Sony...and you seem to be able to hear the hum of the hard drive on the recording...

...not too thrilled with the viewfinder, either...i like my Sony's much better...but, i guess i can eventually adjust to these issues...

...but there's a bigger problem that i haven't found a solution for yet...and that's the size of the compressed .wmv files - my other hobby is radio controlled helicopters and airplanes - i post quite a few videos to the web - a 2 1/2 minute video only compresses down to around 150 MB with Adobe Premiere Elements 7 - does anybody have good compression software to recommend for the AVCHD format?...
post #41 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbouch8828 View Post

24 mbps allows higher detail to be retained in any panning or moving shots. With only 17 mbps, detail is dropped during any motion.

Agreed, but I still think the overall PQ is retained on the Canon @17mbps. The detail that's 'dropped', tends to be very fine detail. I think most people wouldn't notice the difference. But as I said, I always use the highest quality setting in any cam I own.
post #42 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCPlains View Post

....but there's a bigger problem that i haven't found a solution for yet...and that's the size of the compressed .wmv files - my other hobby is radio controlled helicopters and airplanes - i post quite a few videos to the web - a 2 1/2 minute video only compresses down to around 150 MB with Adobe Premiere Elements 7 - does anybody have good compression software to recommend for the AVCHD format?...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVCHD under Software and Editing. Voltaic seems to work, or one can import into iMovie 08 and export as other formats. If you insist on screwy WMV files, well, there's nothing to be helped.
post #43 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Agreed, but I still think the overall PQ is retained on the Canon @17mbps. The detail that's 'dropped', tends to be very fine detail. I think most people wouldn't notice the difference. But as I said, I always use the highest quality setting in any cam I own.

For me, the whole point of shooting HD is to be able to see the fine detail. I am always annoyed when I watch a game on cable and as the camera pans the resolution goes because the cable company is cranking in more compression than the network feed has.

I am used to DVCPRO HD 100, where every frame is an I frame and they are all compressed at the same rate. Unfortunately, I can't afford a pro camera for home use.

With AVCHD, there is an I frame every 12, or so, frames and the rest only carry difference information. If you pan, or the subject moves in the shot, those "difference" frames can't update all the info that is needed, so they crank in more I frames, but at lower res.
post #44 of 347
avchd carries far more picture information than the mpeg2 that hdv uses, tho.
post #45 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by osv View Post

avchd carries far more picture information than the mpeg2 that hdv uses, tho.

AVCHD uses MPEG4 which has a much better compression algorithm than MPEG2.
post #46 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbouch8828 View Post

AVCHD uses MPEG4 which has a much better compression algorithm than MPEG2.

yes, avchd uses h.264, which is an mpeg4 variant.

i think that there is a version of h.264/mpeg4 for video cameras that is all i-frames, like that dvcprohd??
post #47 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbouch8828 View Post

AVCHD uses MPEG4 which has a much better compression algorithm than MPEG2.

The bottom line is that the newer HG21 @24mbps, when compared to my HV20 (tape based HDV), shows every bit as much fine detail as the HDV unit.
post #48 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by osv View Post

avchd carries far more picture information than the mpeg2 that hdv uses, tho.

That might be theoretically but still implementation of AVCHD is in infancy and still HDV delievers better PQ now but it will change by time.
post #49 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by osv View Post

yes, avchd uses h.264, which is an mpeg4 variant.

i think that there is a version of h.264/mpeg4 for video cameras that is all i-frames, like that dvcprohd??

Yes, it is called AVC Intra.
post #50 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaspianM View Post

That might be theoretically but still implementation of AVCHD is in infancy and still HDV delievers better PQ now but it will change by time.

AVCHD PQ is superior to HDV at a given data rate. When you compare HDV at a higher data rate to AVCHD at a lower data rate, you are comparing apples and oranges. They need to be compared at the same data rate to see the superiority of AVCHD.
post #51 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

The bottom line is that the newer HG21 @24mbps, when compared to my HV20 (tape based HDV), shows every bit as much fine detail as the HDV unit.

and it does it without the stair-stepping artifacts that oversharpened hdv has.

camcorderinfo tested the hf11(same as hg20), and found that it has higher resolution than the hv30... that's not all because of the codec of course, but there are some interesting frame grabs from the test on their site.
post #52 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaspianM View Post

That might be theoretically but still implementation of AVCHD is in infancy and still HDV delievers better PQ now but it will change by time.

Not true. I have the Sony SR12 (which I just sold), the Canon HV20 (HDV) and the Canon HG21 (AVCHD). The HG21 takes the best videos. It has the greatest detail of any of them. I've done A/Bs with the SR12 & HG21 and the HG21 was superior in the AVCHD class. Today I just happened to compare my HV20 with my HG21 and the HG21 was unquestionably sharper & more detailed. So some of the newer AVCHD cams have caught up and surpassed HDV units in this price class.

Of course HDV units such as the Sony FX-1000 and Canon A1/A1S may still be better, but these are in a different price class.
post #53 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by osv View Post

and it does it without the stair-stepping artifacts that oversharpened hdv has.

camcorderinfo tested the hf11(same as hg20), and found that it has higher resolution than the hv30... that's not all because of the codec of course, but there are some interesting frame grabs from the test on their site.

I think you meant the HF11 is the same as the HG21. Yes, there is no question (as I saw clearly today) that the HG21 simply outshines what was the best of the HDV consumer units.
post #54 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

I think you meant the HF11 is the same as the HG21. Yes, there is no question (as I saw clearly today) that the HG21 simply outshines what was the best of the HDV consumer units.

i agree, no question that hdv is obsolete, these hf/hg camcorders all use the latest canon video processor and avchd high bitrate codec.

hf11=hg20=hg21, they all take the exact same picture, the resolution tests are the same: "The Canon HG20 produced a horizontal resolution of 675 lw/ph and a vertical resolution of 650 lw/ph... Comparatively, the Canon HF11 looked identical, which comes as no surprise, considering they have identical imaging systems."
http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...rformance.htm#

i think that somebody mentioned seeing some performance differences between the hg20 and the hg21?? which is a bit disconcerting, because it means that there are issues with quality control.
post #55 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

I think you meant the HF11 is the same as the HG21. Yes, there is no question (as I saw clearly today) that the HG21 simply outshines what was the best of the HDV consumer units.


Hey Ken,

I see you are still upgrading your HD cams when needed.

Based on your shootout, how much better is the HG21 than the HDV HV20?

Can you give us a percentage number? And is it noticeable at first glance while doing your comparison? Come on Brother, looking for some details.
post #56 of 347
avchd is unquestionably better with resolution (1080 vs. 1440) but with acvhd they need to take care of mpeg artifact (mostly with motion video). I would expect it would get better with new generations.
post #57 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blasst View Post

Hey Ken,

I see you are still upgrading your HD cams when needed.

Based on your shootout, how much better is the HG21 than the HDV HV20?

Can you give us a percentage number? And is it noticeable at first glance while doing your comparison? Come on Brother, looking for some details.


HG20/21 are better in resoltion but falls behind in low light performace due to smaller form factor of the chip. But avchg ease of use in terms of drag & drop is also important.
Tapes are bad with drop frames and jaggies as well. All makes it a good reason to buy avchd unless you have lots of DV tape and need to revisit them.
post #58 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaspianM View Post

avchd is unquestionably better with resolution (1080 vs. 1440) but with acvhd they need to take care of mpeg artifact (mostly with motion video). I would expect it would get better with new generations.

Caspian,

I think you are missing the point. Artifacting increases as data rate decreases. It is a function of the compression algorithm. Long GOP MPEG (A complete new frame every 12 or so frames.) shows the most artifacting in panning shots. That is why I said previously that I was looking forward to the Sony SR12 at 24 mb/s, which would give it the same data rate as the HF11, the highest allowed under the AVCHD specs.
post #59 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbouch8828 View Post

Caspian,

I think you are missing the point. Artifacting increases as data rate decreases. It is a function of the compression algorithm. Long GOP MPEG (A complete new frame every 12 or so frames.) shows the most artifacting in panning shots. That is why I said previously that I was looking forward to the Sony SR12 at 24 mb/s, which would give it the same data rate as the HF11, the highest allowed under the AVCHD specs.

The keyword is implentation not theoretical aspects of each format. That is why I said AVCHD will get better by maturing. It is the codec of ACVHD that need improvements.
Cam corder info said in reviewing HV30:

"At an even 3000 lux, the HV30’s was once again very, very good. The crispness and lack of noise once again impressed us, and serves as a reminder that the AVCHD codec still has a ways to go before it can match HDV for unwanted compression artifacting."
With newer units with 24mbps the gap is narrowed and some units such as SR11/12 (16mbps avg) reports that it produces very clean and near artifact free images due to improved codec.
post #60 of 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaspianM View Post

The keyword is implentation not theoretical aspects of each format. That is why I said AVCHD will get better by maturing. It is the codec of ACVHD that need improvements.
Cam corder info said in reviewing HV30:

"At an even 3000 lux, the HV30’s was once again very, very good. The crispness and lack of noise once again impressed us, and serves as a reminder that the AVCHD codec still has a ways to go before it can match HDV for unwanted compression artifacting."
With newer units with 24mbps the gap is narrowed and have seen in SR11/12 reports that it produce very clean and near artifact free images.

We are not talking "theory". It is not about the CODEC. The AVCHD (MPEG4) CODEC is far superior to the HDV (MPEG2) CODEC. The MPEG4 CODEC is used for Blu-ray encoding/decoding. This is established fact, not theory. What you are seeing relates to differences in data rate and the number of I frames versus P or B frames possible at a given data rate and not to the CODEC.
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