or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Other Areas of Interest › Camcorders › The "Official" Canon HFS20 / HFS21 Owner's Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The "Official" Canon HFS20 / HFS21 Owner's Thread

post #1 of 75
Thread Starter 
Started this thread since these models are now available. I just received the S20 from the largest online retailer and am learning the ins/outs. inital impressions: Feels a bit light and plastic'y for the price, but so far I like the 3.5" touchscreen. Coming from tape I am loving working with files from the sdhc card. Just learning the ins/outs.
post #2 of 75
All the shops in Europe say there's a 3 to 4 week wait before its available over here.
Or should I buy the NTSC version in the USA?

It has 24p (pal version has 25p)
post #3 of 75
I started doing some initial tests yesterday. Preliminary review can be found here: http://lucienk.spaces.live.com/blog/...635!1839.entry

No big surprises so far as very similar to HF S20 but the new powered IS to steady shots works really great. I changed it right away into toggle on/off (instead of holding the button).
post #4 of 75
Thanks for the excellent review Lucien!

Canon always has more of a cinematic color then Panasonic or Sony.
post #5 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luc48 View Post

I started doing some initial tests yesterday. Preliminary review can be found here: http://lucienk.spaces.live.com/blog/...635!1839.entry

No big surprises so far as very similar to HF S20 but the new powered IS to steady shots works really great. I changed it right away into toggle on/off (instead of holding the button).


Nice writeup Luc.

One question though.

Are you sure your HV20 is focusing correctly? It seems to be slightly out of focus in those shots which could be causing the difference in resolution differences.
post #6 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blasst View Post

Nice writeup Luc.

One question though.

Are you sure your HV20 is focusing correctly? It seems to be slightly out of focus in those shots which could be causing the difference in resolution differences.

Thanks. I'll test again with manual focus to eliminate any focus potential issues. However I think difference is expected since the default sharpening of the HF-S series is lot higher (and also little bit higher than HF series). Also the HV20 is 1440x1080 and I used bicubic upscaling to compare framegrabs (and no PP applied otherwise).

Biggest surprise for me is that it seems default saturation levels appear to be little bit higher but I'm running now more tests if it's really saturation or rather contrast. I'd prefer to lower these levels little bit in picture effect.

I've put couple of video's here: http://vimeo.com/10817385. Note the original AVCHD file will be available for 1 week (don't have plus account).
post #7 of 75
Luc,

Will look for your retest on the focus.

Looked at your video on vimeo this morning. Wow, the Dynamic IS works very well! When I first took a look at the clip where you walked down the path, I was thinking that this was too jerky for my tastes, then noticed the first part was on standard IS.
post #8 of 75
I retested and compared outdoor landscape with infinity focus and got very similar results. See here 1:1 crop:

https://yratuw.bay.livefilestore.com...0_HV20_Outdoor[8].jpg

The middle picture is with sharpen -1 which makes it more comparable.

Yes standard IS is pretty poor. One of the weakest point always in previous Canon camcorder models but the dynamic mode is pretty good. I'll test later to see what happens with walking shots and powered IS. Not intended for that but you never know.

I also retested the picture effects and got now little bit less drastic differences to default:

https://yratuw.bay.livefilestore.com...Effects_2_Crop[13].jpg

For most recordings I'll probably use custom mode since more detail is retained with contrast or saturation -1 (not sure if I want to turn both down since may make it a little bit bland unless I want PP).
post #9 of 75
I ran few more tests in regards to auto W/B in sunny conditions. I'm happy that the magenty sky issue has been improved a lot and colors look pretty good so far. You still see slight reddish cast but now more similar to HV20 and overall picture looks best (warm) I think in auto W/B (check shingles/foliage):



Full picture crop: https://yratuw.bay.livefilestore.com/y1mMGbq7dCvik369640RXX9mR5r5GN0Wg4hAf07cEAWpmjuJ0qaYwzUdnOFU t9o5NnRqAZ_lERWyg-2blxjfRCMRqPLU_r-JJI4Qhxz5m3OuvFYTRa5PB4TKaZkxSplOCBYULl8JQfopE9973y8SyjhFg/HFS200_Auto_vs_DaylightWB[11].jpg

Also I noticed several small improvements since HF series:
- Microphone / AV switch setting is now stored with memory is turned off (before it was always reset to AV)
- Mic line in quality has been improved. Before I noticed some slight speed fluctuations which are gone now
- Infinity Focus is retained when you change focal length

Remaining things I want to test is low-light which seems so far very similar to previous models (and usual 30p+cinemode still works well for low-light).
Also the focus object tracking sounds great so will test that as well.
post #10 of 75
HI All:

Just received the the HF-S21 one week ago, and started to compared to the HS-S10 which I still have, The S21 is really full of new features and loaded with new workflows. These are a few of my first impressions.

PQ------Excellent, as good if not better than the S10.

Touch Screen------Very skeptical at first but found after one week of use that it was easy to get used to and down right a must in order to take advantage of all of the new features. The touch screen option is very good in implementing multiple task that previously required the joystick except that now every choice is exposed on the screen. It makes it very easy when you see the results right away. Menu navigation is easier, and beats the joystick. The finger marks are not a problem and nothing that can be take care by a swipe or two with a good eyeglass cloth. The surface is a mirror like finish at times somewhat reflective under bright sunlight. The leather hood LCD screen by Canon is highly recommended . I've used it and it really cuts down reflections.

LANC remote control--------I was really waiting for this one. I have a very old pistol grip from the Video 8 Era from Sony that has a LANC cable that connects to the remote terminal, and allows me to do the basic: start/stop, zoom in/out, on/lock/stand by. operations all from a firm hand grip. The grip also converts to a rock solid small tripod that is invaluable for certain table top shots. (see attached Jpeg).

HD to SD conversion in camera-------Very new feature, works as advertised, lets you keep the HD clips. You have a choice of bit rate for conversion, 3 and 9 Mbps bit rates. The higher the bit rate the better the quality of the resulting SD conversion. I did one conversion and produced a simple DVD that looked very good on my HDTV to the point that I had a hard time to see the difference between the HD and the SD project. The files of course are 740x420 the std resolution for SD.

STD, Dynamic and Powered IS----Dynamic vs the previous STD is definitely a major improvement and very welcomed, however the Powered IS is not working to me as a major change even if I use it only on the tele end of the spectrum. Maybe I don't know how to work it yet, but I don't see the major change as advertised when activated from hand held shots.

Custom Key and Dial ------ Not a new feature but greatly enhanced and more easily to work with the new Touch Screen feature. The custom Gain control has been expanded to cover more situations and choosing the feature that you want to control is now a snap.
Again with the Touch Screen it beats the joystick.

Surround Sound 5.1 Microphone------Very good, very small and very practical, works as advertised. My Onkyo receiver switches to Dolby Digital for decoding when playing clips recorded with the Surround Mic. Canon sends you a small SD card so that you can do a firmware update, before you can use the Mic, follow the included instructions. You can use Surround 5.1, Zoom Surround 5.1, and and Gunshot Surround 5.1 all with different audible characteristics, Plain Surround 5.1 gives you the best spatial sound-field by my own testing, but it is a matter of choice. The Mic comes with a wind muff.

Native 24p-----At last no more 2-3 pulldown !!!. What a pain. Never was much of a fan of 24p anyway but now I may learn to use it more often. Do 95% of my shooting at 30p.

Well, I still have more testing to do, all considered the Touch Screen is a blessing in disguise it allows you to use the major new features very easily, for example.... the focus shift in Tele from near to far or vice-versa is now very easy to use, among many other new features.
Hope some response is generated from this fully loaded new cam from Canon which is lacking from all Forums.

Thank You, Enjoy!!
Luidoly
LL
LL
LL
LL
post #11 of 75
Hey guys,

I'm thinking of buying this camera in the coming weeks and I was just wondering about some features. the camera captures in 1080 60i, but does 1080 30p at 60i? How does that work? is it making one frame from the interlaced images and halfing the frame rate?
post #12 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpencerR View Post

Hey guys,

I'm thinking of buying this camera in the coming weeks and I was just wondering about some features. the camera captures in 1080 60i, but does 1080 30p at 60i? How does that work? is it making one frame from the interlaced images and halfing the frame rate?

Hi Spencer:
I have read that it works exactly as you described it, however I'm not 100% sure. What I'm definitely sure is that iMovie 9, ingests the 30p clips as full progressive, yet the clips shot at 60i (default) are interlaced. This has also been the case with the S10. This S21 now has native 24p.
Thanks,
Luis
post #13 of 75
Quote:


Surround Sound 5.1 Microphone------Very good, very small and very practical, works as advertised. My Onkyo receiver switches to Dolby Digital for decoding when playing clips recorded with the Surround Mic. Canon sends you a small SD card so that you can do a firmware update, before you can use the Mic, follow the included instructions. You can use Surround 5.1, Zoom Surround 5.1, and and Gunshot Surround 5.1 all with different audible characteristics, Plain Surround 5.1 gives you the best spatial sound-field by my own testing, but it is a matter of choice. The Mic comes with a wind muff.

I don't suppose that Mic will work with the Canon HFS10/100 cameras?
post #14 of 75
I don't believe so. I've not tried it on my S10.

thanks,
Luidoly
post #15 of 75
Hi everyone,
I am new to here and video camcorders.
I have just received my camcorder and it seems to rattle slightly at the lens end when it turned upside down etc. Is this normal?

Cheers
bjrouse
post #16 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjrouse View Post

Hi everyone,
I am new to here and video camcorders.
I have just received my camcorder and it seems to rattle slightly at the lens end when it turned upside down etc. Is this normal?

Cheers
bjrouse

Yup. Very annoying and somewhat frightening but perfectly normal on the HFS cameras.
post #17 of 75
I finally took the plunge and ordered the HF S21 and expect it to arrive mid-week. I've gotten most of the accessories I plan to use, but have yet to commit to an editing software.

I run Windows at home and I'm wondering which software is best for editing footage shot on the HF S21. Anyone have good or bad experiences or recommendations?

Thanks!
post #18 of 75
For cheap software, something like Nero 10 or Edius Neo 2 Booster will edit AVCHD files perfectly fine on your average computer.
post #19 of 75
Thanks Paulo. Are these easy to use when making blu-rays? I want to be able to edit the footage and not just drag and burn.
post #20 of 75
Both are very easy to use although if you really wanted to be very fancy in your Blu-Ray discs, you'd have to get something like the Adobe Premiere+ Encore package or Production Premium which includes Premiere, Encore, Photo Shop, After Effects, and other programs. People have used After Effects to help make their menus.

Anyway, you can always download both Nero 10 and Edius Neo 2 Booster and try it out for free. You have a month for both.
post #21 of 75
You're right. The free trial is the way to go. Thanks again for your knowledge!
post #22 of 75
Hi everyone, I just got the hf s20 this week. I'm liking it so far. I was wondering if anyone could point me to some help on shooting and how to get the most out of this camera. I'm relatively new to this.

Most of the shots I do are in low lighting. I've seen videos from this camera that perform pretty well in low light/club settings, but when I tried the other night it was very grainy. I'm sure its just me not knowing how to properly use the camera. Maybe someone has some links to some guides or something, or just some advice on good settings.

Thanks in advance!
post #23 of 75
I am admittedly rather picky, but I find that the only way I can get real good color with this camera is to do a manual white balance with a #82 cooliing filter in front of the lens. I then take the filter off the lens to shoot. Otherwise footage comes out a smidgen (but noticeably) too blue.

Preset white balance (daylight, indoors, flourescent etc) is a crap shoot at best.

I think Canon really needs to look at the white balance in this camera. Last year's HFS100 was much better.
post #24 of 75
The idea here btw is that showing the camera a bit more blue than what is really there forces the camera to set itself a bit warmer. It is a technique that works and works well, I just wish I didn't have to do it.
post #25 of 75
I have maybe a dumb question. On this camera, in the rec. program section there are the 5 controls P, Tv, Av, cine mode, and the "Special Scene". Are all of these independent of each other? Like if I set the aperture and the shutter speed, does one override the other? If I set the shutter speed does it still run in Night Scene mode?

I'm just trying to adjust my settings to have the least amount of grain in low light situations.
post #26 of 75
OK, I bought the HFS20 to replace a really old Sony mini-DV camcorder. I wondered if you guys would mind answering a couple of noob questions related to this HFS20. I was wondering whether or not anyone has tried putting any sort of screen protector on the LCD display. I know that the manual doesn't recommend it, but I still wonder if anyone has tried anything.

I was also reading about filters and believe that the HFS20 can accommodate 58mm filters. I was wondering if anyone has tried using a UV filter and/or a circular polarizing filter on the HFS20. I'm looking for a something that may help protect the camcorder as well as providing some visual benefit. I'm just curious, as I don't know much about all this stuff.

I have looked at some of the SDHC cards available and wondered if the use of a Class 10 card would be of any benefit in the HFS20. I see in the manual that it mentions support for Class 10 cards, but it also mentions only having tested with cards made by Panasonic, Toshiba, and SanDisk as well. I was looking at a Patriot LX 32GB Secure Digital High-Capacity (SDHC) Flash Card (PSF32GSDHC10) that appears to be cheap, but also have read about some people having compatibility issues with this card in other cameras and camcorders. I wasn't sure if I wanted to risk it or not.

I could really use some feedback on any of this.

Thanks...
post #27 of 75
I have this cam on the short list....

Primary use will be shooting high school indoor basketball games from the stands or second floor balcony. Would it be better to buy this camera and find a zoom lens than to spend another grand to get a 20X (like the Sony HDR-FX7) ?

Output will be blu-ray for max resolution. I "assume" that to go AVCHD for a whole game (60 minutes) would produce lesser results.

I use Pinnacle Studio 12 ultimate.

Thanks.....

ps, doh... I'm really reeling after hours of searching this past weekend. For my application, I "think" I would be OK here.. but.... is there a better indoor sports HD capture cam? (Panny HDC-TM700K and the Sony HDR-XR550V are others I looked at).

thanks again.
post #28 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfstep View Post

Hi everyone, I just got the hf s20 this week. I'm liking it so far. I was wondering if anyone could point me to some help on shooting and how to get the most out of this camera. I'm relatively new to this.

Most of the shots I do are in low lighting. I've seen videos from this camera that perform pretty well in low light/club settings, but when I tried the other night it was very grainy. I'm sure its just me not knowing how to properly use the camera. Maybe someone has some links to some guides or something, or just some advice on good settings.

Thanks in advance!

Set agc to manual to get rid of video grain/noise. I set mine on 21.
post #29 of 75
Anyone have any pictures up taken with these so I can get a good idea of the quality. Going to Italy in September for my honeymoon and I want to take a video camera with good still capability so I don't have to carry around two cams.
post #30 of 75
Thanks to bing cash back and bestbuy my S20 should be here tomorrow, anybody have any suggestions for a light-weight and compact carrying case? To start with I'd like to have just one that is as small as possible only to house the camcorder, I assume later I'll need a larger one for accessories etc.

Thanks!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Camcorders
AVS › AVS Forum › Other Areas of Interest › Camcorders › The "Official" Canon HFS20 / HFS21 Owner's Thread