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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

i must change my camcorder after 8 years and I need some advice.

I had Digital8 Sony TRV110E, recording DV files on Hi8 tapes and my question is: what kind of video quality should I expect, compared to my old one's, from camcorders like the standard definition JVC Everio MG330 or the Canon FS100?

And from HD ones like the Canon HF100 or the Sony SR11?


I watched some sample videos on vimeo.com from the different camcorders and it looks like the standard def's ones are worst than my old camcorder's, while HD looks nicer, is it correct or it depends on the fact that posting videos online makes you downgrade them too much? It shouldn't be the case, since HD ones look good, but...


I expected that even less expensive newer videocameras (like the MG330 or the FS100) would have been better then a 8 years old one, but at first sight it looks false, in terms of viedeo quality. Do you confirm that? Of course I understand that the new ones have several advantages, like the dimension and weight, the ability to record on SD cards and get rid of tons of tape etcaetera, but if all this comes at the expenses of the video quality I think it doesn't worth wile.


thanks for any comments.
 

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the picture quality of these new avchd camcorders will blow you away... if you go over to the avchd forum at dvinfo.net, you can download some raw footage from the canon hf11 and take a look at it on your computer.


vimeo is not the best place to judge the picture quality, because for one thing, it won't display more than 24fps... youtube does a much better job with 720p video, blow this hf11 video clip up to full screen on your computer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hxua4ALWHms&fmt=22
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow!! that's amazing!

Actually far superior than my old camcorder...

Thank you for the suggestion, I'll check the forum and see more footage but the one you linked is already quite...explaining!


In your opinion the quality from HF11 to HF10 drops that much?


Thanks again.
 

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i paid the extra toll for the hf11 specifically to get the higher bitrate, because i use it as a prosumer camera.


for home video stuff, or perhaps on a smaller tv, the bitrate may not be that noticeable... camcorderinfo claims that there is very little picture quality difference between these two camcorders... also, there are so many ways to go wrong with the editing and encoding end of this hi-def stuff, that it's easy to pay the extra $$$ for the hf11, and still end up with junk video... there is a lot of that happening on this forum; guys who re-encode their files unnecessarily, or use junk encoding software.


i would say get familiar with the editing end first, get your workflow down with the test clips, while in the meantime, prices will continue to drop, well into next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds like a really good advice... Actually I had some doubts about my ability to manage AVCHD files with my PC (I've god an Intel Core 2 Duo E6750, 2,67 GHz with 2 Gb RAM), and didn't consider the possibility to try with "third party" files found around the forums.


In the meantime...I'll go on with the camcorder I borrowed from a friend, hoping He won't need it!

Sadly, my old Sony fell down and is totally unusable.


Thanks a lot for the advice and...happy 2009!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ah, if I want to try and menage some AVCHD files to see if I'm able, what kind of results one can get and if my hardware is sufficient, what kind of software should I use, in your opinion?

Are there trial versions, or freeware software working good or one has to buy some piece of software anyway?

I can use both PC and Mac, as my home computer runs Windows XP, while my work laptop runs MacOSX 10.5.


I've seen lots of posts on editing AVCHD, but found there many different suggestions and ... it's quite difficult to have a clear idea.

Thanks again.
 

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i have the exact same cpu and ram that you do, and it's too slow to playback 24Mbps avchd from the timeline of some editing programs.


i edit with sony vegas pro, but i first re-encode the avchd to an intermediate codec, which makes the files ~7x bigger, but manageable in the vegas timeline... it's a rather clumsy approach that takes up a lot of disk space, but you can delete the intermediate files after the editing is done, and you'll still have the mts source files as backup.


what you probably want to do is use editing software that does smart rendering... nero includes a suite of programs that put out really high quality video, and the avchd will play back fine in the nero editing timeline... but it's a really bad interface.


check out the avchd forum at dvinfo.net, see what they are using.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, as "osv" suggested I tried working with some short sample AVCHD raw files found around dvinfo.net using Nero, which I already have on my PC.

Nothing particularly complex, just cut scenes, add sequences one another with some simple transition, add mp3 sound under the original voice and export in HD 1440x1080 25fps format (the highest quality video my version of Nero is able to produce).

I didn't make any editing on colors, add no effect ... just plain cut and paste, adding some music. But that's what I will probably do with my camera: just family footage or recording concerts of the group I play in.

For this stuff, my PC worked well with Nero.

My doubt is: when the files with which I work get bigger then the 30-40 seconds of the samples I fond till now will it get unworkable?

Does anybody now if there are bigger raw samples from canon HF11, HG20 or HG21 camcorders downloadble on some site?


Other question: are there some kind of stats on how long do the hard disks mounted on camcorders last? or on the frequency of maintenance necessities of those hard disks? And does anyone know, more or less, how much would it cost to replace a broken Hard Drive on a HG20/HG21?


I'd like to buy one among the three camcorders cited above.

The three things I have in mind are:

- viewfinder (with my actual camcorder I use it mainly when I'm low in batteries; probably I could live without it, even if it is surely useful, also in the sunshine when the lcd works less good);

- hard disks's potentially breaking: in my experience with PCs, Hard Disks tend to be one of the weak links, I had at least 4 of them broken. I'd like to avoid this on a camcorder or, at least, I wouldn't want to spend lots of money to replace a broken disk;

- budget (HG20 is about 30% less expensive than the other two).

Are there, in your opinion, other arguments to keep in mind when comparing those three products?


Thanks
 
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