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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was the title of an article that compares video source from two Canon Consumer Video Camcorders HV-20 and HG-10:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=998


I own a Canon HF-100 and captured video is awesome. So I don't really understand how much better the picture quality can be. Specially with a non-professional camera with average optics.


Since I'm not an expert on the matter, I would like to read the opinion of other people about this. Is there really an important lose of quality on these new camcorders? Or is this guy just exaggerating?


Another thing I would like to know is how HF-100 compares to HG-10? Is there an improvement on picture quality on the HF-100?
 

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The article was written prior to the release of the current gen AVCHD models which garnered high praise in the very same "Camcorder Info" site that the author mentions condemned the older gen AVCHD.


So basically the article is out-of-date and the new AVCHD crop is equal to the best of the consumer HDV units.
 

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Yes the article is a bit dated but (IMO) they're still speaking the truth.


As I have stated in another post... after months of being all gung-ho with the new and great avchd stuff, and burning both avchd and Blu Ray disks, I've gone back to mpeg2.


It became apparent to me that the avchd just does not stand up to mpeg2 when I changed up from a 42" to a 60" plasma display. I didn't notice the slight degradation on the 42" but with the 60" the difference in the avchd and mpeg2 is clear... it's just not as good as the mpeg.


I must admit that because I now have a blu ray burner, going back to mpeg2 becomes somewhat more realistic and do-able. Not withstanding, mpeg2 is just plain easier to deal with.
 

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And unlike bigbarney, I believe and experienced quite the opposite, where it's clear to me that my SR11 AVCHD footage is equal or better in quality (detail, color, saturation, sharpness, etc) than my FX-1 and HC-1 footage I took over the last few years. The last gen of AVCHD is clearly a lot better than the SR1/HG10 gen and comparable to the best consumer HDV currently available (many pro reviews, including camcorderinfo.com agrees with that statement).


Bottom line, YMMV.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericjut /forum/post/14314808


The last gen of AVCHD is clearly a lot better than the SR1/HG10 gen and comparable to the best consumer HDV currently available (many pro reviews, including camcorderinfo.com agrees with that statement).


Bottom line, YMMV.

What last gen???


The article is dated but not by THAT much. It was written all of 5 months ago.


Not withstanding you're missing the point. The author took 2 cams that are virtually the same... the only difference is the compression scheme. But as can be seen there is a notable difference in the test results.


Also take note that the HG10 shoots 1920x1080 and STILL comes up short against the HV20's 1440x1080


Now I ask you... what have they done in the last 5 months with the "last gen" of avchd to make it so much better??? I suggest to you that the cam itself is better and has little to do with the avchd changing.... because to the best of my knowledge.... it hasn't changed at all in the last 5 months. This being the case my next question would be; what would the sr11 look like if it shot mpeg2?
 

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Didn't the 3rd genereation avchd camcorders come out less than 5 months ago? The HF10/100 was released in April 2008.


The HG10 has a max bitrate of 15mbit/s. The newer (3rd generation) avchd has a max of 17mbit/s.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV Freak /forum/post/14314985


Didn't the 3rd genereation avchd camcorders come out less than 5 months ago? The HF10/100 was released in April 2008.


The HG10 has a max bitrate of 15mbit/s. The newer (3rd generation) avchd has a max of 17mbit/s.

2mb doesn't make that much difference either way with avchd. Now it would be interesting to see avchd at 20 or so, but then it would be pretty much impossible to deal with on the time line.
 

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First and formost, let's talk about generations:


1st gen AVCHD camcorders came out in mid 2006 and were the SR1 and UX1, as well as some Panasonic models.


2nd gen AVCHD camcorders were the SR5, SR7 and SR8 in mid 2007, as well as some other Pana models. The Canon HG10, the first AVCHD that Canon made, also came out around that time and was available in August of that year.


So, that would make the SR10, SR11 and SR12 the 3rd generation AVCHD camcorders, yes. Still any doubt about this?


Secondly, the HG10 is almost a year old now, and was the first AVCHD camcorder that Canon made, and had plenty of issues (read the review on camcorderinfo.com). Let's also note that Canon's first HDV camcorder, the HV10, was less than stellar in terms of PQ, and Canon quickly came out with new versions (HV20 and HV30) within one year, and were stellar camcorders. There was actually only 5 months between the HV10 and the HV20, which proves that you can achieve quite a lot of improvements in just that amount of time.


Now is comparing Canon's 2nd gen of consumer cams using a mature technology (HDV has been out for 5 years now and Canon has had pro HDV camcorders available years before the HV10) with their first's gen of an emerging technology (AVCHD is only 2 years old) really fair? Should we be expecting a clean sweep with the new tech? Of course not! Just like Sony, Canon had to tweak and refine not only the hardware, but also the algorithms and/or the software that comes with in the camcorder. It takes up a couple of generations to get it right, as we saw with the HV10/HV20 and now with the HG10/HF10.


Finally, it's not the 2mbps of difference that made the big difference between the gens, but the improvements in the compression algorithm using that bandwidth (and the extra bits too).


Anyways... you clearly made up your mind that HDV irrevocably beats the current generation of AVCHD on all fronts and that's fine. But it's also clear that not everybody agrees with your assesment. Many pro and user reviews point to say that the HF10/100 and SR11/12 have cleared the gap in terms of PQ between AVCHD and HDV. And many consumers on this forum have switched from HDV to AVCHD and are happy with the results (myself included).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am not well versed in camcorder technology but I know about compression algorithms and technically AVCHD at 17mbps should be better than MPEG-2 at 24mbps.


You point out that HV-20 uses 1440x1080 resolution. That smaller resolution along with the extra 7mbs bit-rate should help getting a similar picture compared to AVCHD [email protected] But "technically" you should still get a better picture on AVCHD.


After thinking a lot about it, I'm leaning towards the theory that the difference in quality that was observed when comparing the HG-10 and HV-20 have to do with the real-time compression algorithm of that model (that's why I'm asking if someone here knows how HF-100 compares to HG-10). The chips used for real-time AVCHD encoding are probably powerhouses compared to what you need to encode real-time MPEG-2 video, and I guess the technology was not really advanced enough on those models.


What I would like to know is how good are the current models at encoding AVCHD. Real-time encoding is not the same as encoding on a PC with several passes and taking up hours encoding 60 minutes of video (in which case I can assure you would get a better quality video). I'm not sure if the current camcorders are advanced enough to create a better quality video than those MPEG-2 camcorders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericjut /forum/post/14315769


First and formost, let's talk about generations:


1st gen AVCHD camcorders came out in mid 2006 and were the SR1 and UX1, as well as some Panasonic models.


2nd gen AVCHD camcorders were the SR5, SR7 and SR8 in mid 2007, as well as some other Pana models. The Canon HG10, the first AVCHD that Canon made, also came out around that time and was available in August of that year.


So, that would make the SR10, SR11 and SR12 the 3rd generation AVCHD camcorders, yes. Still any doubt about this?


Secondly, the HG10 is almost a year old now, and was the first AVCHD camcorder that Canon made, and had plenty of issues (read the review on camcorderinfo.com). Let's also note that Canon's first HDV camcorder, the HV10, was less than stellar in terms of PQ, and Canon quickly came out with new versions (HV20 and HV30) within one year, and were stellar camcorders. There was actually only 5 months between the HV10 and the HV20, which proves that you can achieve quite a lot of improvements in just that amount of time.


Now is comparing Canon's 2nd gen of consumer cams using a mature technology (HDV has been out for 5 years now and Canon has had pro HDV camcorders available years before the HV10) with their first's gen of an emerging technology (AVCHD is only 2 years old) really fair? Should we be expecting a clean sweep with the new tech? Of course not! Just like Sony, Canon had to tweak and refine not only the hardware, but also the algorithms and/or the software that comes with in the camcorder. It takes up a couple of generations to get it right, as we saw with the HV10/HV20 and now with the HG10/HF10.


Finally, it's not the 2mbps of difference that made the big difference between the gens, but the improvements in the compression algorithm using that bandwidth (and the extra bits too).


Anyways... you clearly made up your mind that HDV irrevocably beats the current generation of AVCHD on all fronts and that's fine. But it's also clear that not everybody agrees with your assesment. Many pro and user reviews point to say that the HF10/100 and SR11/12 have cleared the gap in terms of PQ between AVCHD and HDV. And many consumers on this forum have switched from HDV to AVCHD and are happy with the results (myself included).

Great post eric. I agree with you completely (read my previous post).


Your comments about the differences between HV-10 and HV-20 are very helpful in the understanding of how much improvement I can expect between HG-10 and HF-100/HF-10 models.


Also good job pointing out how bit-rate is not what defines the picture quality as the most important thing is the format being used, which can achieve better results at a given bit-rate. MPEG-2 is really old and can't really compete with MPEG-4.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericjut /forum/post/14315769


Should we be expecting a clean sweep with the new tech? Of course not!

Wait a minute!


Why the hell not?????


Let's apply that statement to HDV when it first came out. Do think people would have switched up to HDV if it looked worse than DV??


Advancing technology is about making it BETTER, not stepping it back!! Hi def video is all about clarity and if anything gets in the way of that then you're completely defeating the purpose. Now the claim here is a better quality for less bitrate.... the article has proved it to be false.


People will have to be their own judge on this, but for me... I've seen it both ways on disk (and that includes Blu Ray disk). The mpeg just plain looks better. I'm all done being suckered by avchd..... and I made this decision before I even saw this article. This just simply re-enforces my thoughts on the issue.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericjut /forum/post/14315769



Anyways... you clearly made up your mind that HDV irrevocably beats the current generation of AVCHD on all fronts and that's fine.

This statement is not quite accurate. I don't believe that HDV looks better... I believe that MPEG2 looks better and there is a difference.


HDV is 1440x1080 on tape and while it has been proven hard to beat, no one so far has created an up-to-date MPEG2 hard drive cam that shoots REAL hd (1920x1080) for comparison. (JVC has come close with their HD7... but their cams just aren't of the same caliber as the Sony and canon cams.)


My question is... WHY?

Why is Sony pushing avchd so hard?
 

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Question....


I know that there are licensing fees for use of the mpeg2 codec in players as well as editors, but does anybody know if these camera manufacturers have to pay some kind of license or royalty fee for use of the mpeg2 codec in the cams? That would go a long way (IMO) to explain why Sony is pushing the avchd so hard (other than the fact that they're the main partners in developing avchd)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney /forum/post/14316173


People will have to be their own judge on this, but for me... I've seen it both ways on disk (and that includes Blu Ray disk).

I don't know why you keep ignoring what people tell you -- current gen avchd cameras are far superior to the ones you've seen. I'm not really sure why you're so passionately against accepting that when just about everybody else does?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney /forum/post/14316173


My question is... WHY?

Why is Sony pushing avchd so hard?

Because the compression algorithms are much superior to the alternatives, providing much higher compression ratios with the same video quality. That's pretty much a fact that nobody informed is disputing. Now, as glester tried to explain, implementation of the real-time encoding is nonetheless a challenge that everybody is working on, and that's (one of the reasons) why we see improvements from generation to generation.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pulzar /forum/post/14316832


I don't know why you keep ignoring what people tell you -- current gen avchd cameras are far superior to the ones you've seen.

Because I believe my eyes much more than other people who seem to be quite wrapped up in the new technology to see the situation objectively
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney /forum/post/14316735


Question....


I know that there are licensing fees for use of the mpeg2 codec in players as well as editors, but does anybody know if these camera manufacturers have to pay some kind of license or royalty fee for use of the mpeg2 codec in the cams? That would go a long way (IMO) to explain why Sony is pushing the avchd so hard (other than the fact that they're the main partners in developing avchd)

And I found the answer.... YES.


This from the Sony Vegas site:

Quote:
Of course they pay a royalty to the MPEG2 patent holders.

www.mpeg-la.com


As a matter of fact, any of us creating commercial DVDs are required to pay royalties as well. Look at the Vegas and DVD Architect EULA, the MPEG2 encoder is only licensed for non-commercial use.
www.mpeg-la.com


So it does appear that Sony has an alternate reason for pushing avchd. Whether this IS the reason.... you would have to ask Sony.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney /forum/post/14316735


Question....


I know that there are licensing fees for use of the mpeg2 codec in players as well as editors, but does anybody know if these camera manufacturers have to pay some kind of license or royalty fee for use of the mpeg2 codec in the cams? That would go a long way (IMO) to explain why Sony is pushing the avchd so hard (other than the fact that they're the main partners in developing avchd)

I'm no laywer, but I believe there's licensing involved for every technology, whether it's MPEG2, MPEG4 (H.264) or AC-3. If anything, the licensing for AVCHD is probably more complex than for HDV (or a MPEG-2 based camcorder in general).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney /forum/post/14317120


And I found the answer.... YES.


This from the Sony Vegas site:



www.mpeg-la.com


So it does appear that Sony has an alternate reason for pushing avchd. Whether this IS the reason.... you would have to ask Sony.

I think H.264 also requires licensing, as well as the MPEG2 TS (which AVCHD uses). And AC-3 definitely does.


So that's not the reason.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericjut /forum/post/14317147


I think H.264 also requires licensing, as well as the MPEG2 TS (which AVCHD uses). And AC-3 definitely does.


So that's not the reason.

Sony in combination with Panasonic OWN the licensing rights to AVCHD


And that's another thing to think about... BD player manufacturers have to pay a royalty for their machines in order to play avchd disks.


Please don't get me wrong. It may sound like I'm biased against avchd and I am certainly NOT. I'm for what ever gets you the best quality with the fewest headaches at the end of the day. So far though... I have to give that to mpeg2
 
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