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"HF100/HF10 vs. HF200/HF20: differences in auto exposure?"

pauldc

Standard Member
Hi,

Im looking to buy a HD camra. Ive got it down to being a Canon of the HF series. I like the HF20/200 cams with its new features, but Ive read the hype about low light issues compared to HF10/100.

The one thing that Im not happy with is what Ive noticed with the HF20/200 (while watching clips on youtube/vimeo) was that even tho they had filmed in daylight the film still seemed to be a bit darker. Its a great picture, but just that it seems to be a tad darker.

Now is this just me or has anyone noticed this? Im not sure if this just has to do with the sensor being smaller.

I would rather buy the newer cam, but if it comes to it, I will go with the HF10/100. Any help on this would be great because Im going to try and buy the cam soon.

examples: HF20/200
Shinjuku, Tokyo. Canon HF 20. on Vimeo
YouTube - Canon HF20 HD video test - Cape Kaliakra - Bulgarian Properties

examples: HF10/100
Canon HF10 test on Vimeo
YouTube - Early Spring 2009 Canon HF10 - HD


Paul
 

A n d r e w

Well-known Member
The one thing that Im not happy with is what Ive noticed with the HF20/200 (while watching clips on youtube/vimeo) was that even tho they had filmed in daylight the film still seemed to be a bit darker. Its a great picture, but just that it seems to be a tad darker. Now is this just me or has anyone noticed this? Im not sure if this just has to do with the sensor being smaller.
A side-by-side test would be required to know for sure. I doubt it has anything to do with sensor size. It's possible Canon has fiddled with the AE program between models. The HF100 (like the Panasonic SD9) had a tendency to overexpose slightly in bright light, so perhaps they have indeed fiddled. Merely speculating, in lieu of a side-by-side test.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Ive altered your thread title for clarity..:)

My simple take on all this is to take both the reviews and the online videos in context. Sometimes that means the phrase "a pinch of salt" comes to mind

Apart from the physics of sensor size and lens quality ( fastness),the image processing firmware , the manufacturers default and user settings heavily influence the final video you see ( assuming compression for online streaming has not affected video)

A few things are clear though

  • Consumer models have improved considerably and anyone buying recent model should end up with a better low light camcorder than in the past
  • However the shrinking sizes mean there is a limit to how much is possible with current technology
  • All camcorders (including the much better Prosumer and above) do better in better light . Most are fine in daylight anyway
  • Whatever you do get you will more than likely get to know its strengths and weaknesses ( if any )and harness these as with all kit

Decent low light is the holy grail of video and what can be obtained from any kit should be viewed in the conext of its prie and expected market
Even with the high end kit used by the industry , some software correction of lighting is employed where nessesary
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I don't think the OP is asking about low light issues though, Senu:
I agree , he is saying the videos come out looking darker even though taken outdoors
Which means the AE settings are off and the image will be darker no matter how much light the camcorders are exposed to when the camcorders are compared
Nonetheless there would be some merit to my actual post.. I think..;)
Im certainly quite happy to re edit the title if it isnt spot on .. What would you suggest...:) ?
 
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pauldc

Standard Member
Yea from the clips ive seen on the internet the picture always looks great in daylight but it always just looks a bit on the dark side which can be seen in the clips of the HF20/200 so maybe it might have to be a HF10/11/100
 

A n d r e w

Well-known Member
Im certainly quite happy to re edit the title if it isnt spot on .. What would you suggest...?
How about, "HF100/HF10 vs. HF200/HF20: differences in auto exposure?"?

But you're right: your post was highly informative, I'm just not sure it was what the OP was asking about. :rotfl:

Have to say, though, the original question's a tough one to answer definitively without running both generations of HFs side-by-side. The Bulgaria clip looks well exposed to me, until the operator pans and zooms to the sun rippling on the sea. That kind of high-contrast scene is going to look unnatural (dark) on any camcorder struggling to interpret such complex lighting while in auto-exposure mode. The dynamic range on these consumer camcorders just ain't that wide, and a picture like that is the result. I doubt the HF10/HF100 would have handled those scenes noticeably differently - but, like I say, there's no way to be sure without running a side-by-side test.

Moreover, as Senu has said, there are too many variables with web-based video. Were the two sample clips edited in the same program? Did the editor make any adjustments to the levels (probably not, but you never know)? What's the dynamic range of the computer monitor the clips are being viewed on? Etc. Bottom line is, I personally wouldn't worry about it. Overexposed video is worse, in my opinion, than moderately underexposed video - not that I'm espousing an firm opinion here about whether or not either the HF10 or the HF20 tends toward either overexposure or underexposure when set to AE.
 

pauldc

Standard Member
Yea that's all true ive heard others say that the HF10 is a bit over exposed so maybe the hf20 which maybe is underexposed could be lightend up a bit with out it looking to un natruel im aware that the HF20 have problems in low light.

but like it is said here its hard to know unless the cams are tested in the same way.
 

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