Wedding soon need camcorder Hi Def ?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by a_friend, May 4, 2007.

  1. a_friend

    a_friend
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    Can't decide which type of Hi Def camcorder to go for, so i got some questions

    I like the sound of AVCHD but does HDV still better it in terms of PQ out of all the camcorders that are currenlty out?

    How portable are HDV tape based camcorders? Recording time at the highest quality?

    What is the shelf life of DVD media comapred to DV tape?
     
  2. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    I like the sound of AVCHD but does HDV still better it in terms of PQ out of all the camcorders that are currenlty out?

    Yes, the HDV cams perform slightly better.

    How portable are HDV tape based camcorders? Recording time at the highest quality?

    Camcorders like the HC5, HC7, HV20 are small. There isn't a big size difference between them and say the Sony SR1 HDD/AVCHD model. Recording time of HDV is what it says on the tape, which is generally 60 mins with some 80 minute tapes available.

    What is the shelf life of DVD media comapred to DV tape?

    Hard to answer this. It depends on the quality of the media... there is lots of opinions but little hard evidence. But I believe DV tape generally is a more reliable long term storage medium.
     
  3. a_friend

    a_friend
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    Thanks mark

    I have been looking at some of the camcorders you mentioned above mainly the Sony SR1 and HC7 and also these
    JVC GZ-HD7
    Canon HV20
    Panasonic HDC-SD1 - limited features ie no Light Mount

    Is there a noticeable difference between 1440x1080 and 1920x1080?
     
  4. senu

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    No.. although Canon would have you believe that although the recording is done at 1920 ( and output at 1440) , that extra resolution shows
    It is a bit of marketing a bit like the 6/8 or 8/10 megapixel thing with DSLRs . What is true is that the HV20 has a progressive recording mode which ( with some video shots) will result in marginally superior output. The downside is that for editing not all software would be able to handle it

    If you playback the output of all the ones youve listed , all taken in Good daylight or well lit indoors via an HD TV, you would be hard pressed to notice any big jump or drop in IQ among them
    What makes the difference are things like
    Do you mind the Tape format: HDV models?
    Are you rather more keen on HDD : AVCHD?
    Does the idea of using a Media card seem great?
    Is Editing important ( Editing ease, and support)

    Then in the individual models, Low light performance , Any manual controls?

    I trust Mark will give you very accurate and unbiased info as your short list shrinks
    I would personally stay close to the HDV models, the HC7 and Canon HV20 but this is because i don't mind tape, I know their low light performance is good to excellent
    There is no getting away from the fact that camcorders in general do better with better lighting
    And more importantly, the ease and support for editing is well established

    AVCHD now has emerging Editnd support and it wont be long before it it more commonplace. Th PC hardware requirments ( if you are keen on Editing) are more but you may already have a OC with ooomph!
    Mac support for AVCHD is AFAIK still in the pipeline but that may similarly happen soon
    HDD or Media card recording are the way forward but for some of us , we don't mind waiting and sticking to what is still the most VFM and best PQ (even if the gap is closing up)
     
  5. redsox_mark

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    Is there a noticeable difference between 1440x1080 and 1920x1080?

    Well, the only consumer camcorder which records 1920x1080 today is the JVC HD7.... and for video quality it doesn't perform as well as the HDV 1440x1080 models (Sony HC7, Canon HV20). So based on what's available there is a difference, and 1440x1080 is better!

    The reason HDV went with 1440x1080 is 1) engineers believed the difference in resolution would not be noticable, and 2) it meant that less compression was needed.
     
  6. senu

    senu
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  7. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    Senu,

    I see what you are saying…

    So we have 2 different types of “1920x1080” camcorders:

    1. Those which shoot and record images at 1920x1080. That is a class of one today, the JVC HD7.
    2. Those which capture a 1920x1080 image and immediately convert it to 1440x1080 (like the HV10/HV20).

    The Sony HDV cams have ample pixels on their camcorders that they could have implemented 2) above but they don’t… they take the approach that if you are going to record 1440x1080 you might as well capture that in the first place…..

    You can make arguments either way, but in terms of quality I think the HC3 was slightly better than the HV10, and it appears the HV20 is slightly better than the HC7… but I don’t think capture of 1920 vs. 1440 is significant. In theory the JVC could be better as it not only shoots 1920 but it retains all that information… but in practice it isn’t as good.

    But for marketing… 1920 is a larger number than 1440, so they sell it…

    Bottom line is – choose based on the end result (how good the picture quality is), as well as other factors like features, handling, build quality. Don’t worry about 1920 or 1440.
     
  8. a_friend

    a_friend
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    It seems from all your comments that HDV is still the one to go for.

    I did read the review if the Panasonic HDC-SD1 here but there was no mention of recordign time on the 4GB card that comes packed in.

    The Sony HC7 is poor in low light and the SR1 has better manual controls

    http://www.simplydv.co.uk/Reviews/panasonic_hdc-sd1.html

    and it says that the PQ is better then the SR1.

    Can AVCHD be converted to Mpeg2 for playback on a standard DVD player?

    I'm currently reading the review of the NV20 and I must say I like it :)
     
  9. senu

    senu
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    I imagine AVCHD can be converted but until the software is fully out there Im not sure with which quality.
    As it happens, Mark has updated to Vegas 7.0e ans a few clips.. he might be able to say with certainty

    HC7 is poor in low lighting should be taken it its right context : these are comparisons which don't quote reflect the fact that any camcorder is better with good lighting. As such even if a camcorder is said to be better in Low lighting, it is still better to give it good lighting

    I have the HC1, the HC3 and HC7 which are newer don't have as many controls but they are said to be better in low light.
    I can assure you that the HC1 will give you reasonable video in not brilliant light
    The HV20 seems justifiably popular
     
  10. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    I did read the review if the Panasonic HDC-SD1 here but there was no mention of recordign time on the 4GB card that comes packed in.

    40 mins in best quality mode. Also quality settings which fit 1 hour and 1.5 hours.

    The Sony HC7 is poor in low light and the SR1 has better manual controls

    As Senu said, that review was misleading. In the later comparison review they said the HC7 and HV20 were both good in low light... just that the HV20 was better when in progressive mode.

    Can AVCHD be converted to Mpeg2 for playback on a standard DVD player?

    Using editing software which can edit it, you can convert it to MPEG2 for DVD just like with HDV. Here is a link to a MPEG2 file for SD-DVD with 3 clips (the obvious scene change will tell you when it's moved to a new clip.. one is HDV (Sony HC1), 2 of them are AVCHD (Sony SR1)). Note I've purposely not included audio. The AVCHD downconverted fine. Guess which clip is the HDV one?
    http://www.mbryant.aquiss.com/video/avctest.mpg
     
  11. senu

    senu
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    Interesting test . It is of course better to download the clips ( "save target as") rather than just clicking the link
    They actually all look fine: the cat and flowing water have more colour contrast , but the windmill seems to "flow": Hard to say which is which:
    I think that speaks volumes of Vegas abilities.
    In encoding to Mpeg did you use a high bitrate or just a standard VBR max 6000Mbps ?
    Oh just looked : the clips were between 7-8000
    WMP doest like it much .:devil: . but then WMP is fussy:thumbsdow
     
  12. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    I used 8000 kbps CBR for the encoding.
     
  13. senu

    senu
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    Well ..which is which?:)
     
  14. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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  15. senu

    senu
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    That is interesting I recall seeing your cat from the HC1 before but that HDV Cat scene and the flowing water look similar in colour tone.
    Cat is really sharp and vibrant but that could be you optimising your manual settings on the HC1
    The windmill has a nice fluid movt to it but its colour is a little dull compared, I guess the same scene , having gone through Vegas would be even harder to spot the difference
    How long did the conversion take ? ( the clip is about 1/2 min)
     
  16. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    How long did the conversion take ? ( the clip is about 1/2 min)

    Interesting question....
    For this mixed (HDV and AVCHD) project, it took about 4 mins (so 8:1 ratio).
    Which is longer than for just HDV.

    So I did a test. For 30 seconds (approx) of HDV, conversion to SD took 1 min 30 sec (3:1 ratio). Did the same with all AVCHD, it took 5 mins (10:1 ratio).

    So as you may have expected, rendering based on AVCHD takes much longer than based on HDV.

    All of this was using the "best" setting in Vegas, which takes longer than the standard "good" setting.
     
  17. senu

    senu
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    It is possible that Ver 8 will improve on that: that is Overnight rendering for a 45min-1hr video:rolleyes:!
     
  18. letmeboogey

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    Hi

    I have the Panasonic SD1, before i made my purchase i read lots of reviews and nearly all said it was really good. www.simplydv.com really gave very high scores and said that picture was marginally better then the sony equivalent.

    Anyway there are numerous editing suites which are about to come out to let you edit the avchd format, ulead videostudio 11 have just been released, pinnacle studio 11 is being released on tuesday, so those worried about lack of editing shouldn't worry.

    I went for this for the reason on 4 gb card i can record 40mins worth highest setting, this camera is able to potentially accept up to 23 gig cards if and when available which will make it as easy to store footage as the hard drive camcorders. I have one 4 gb card and an 8 gb card, the 8 gb card allows me 80 mins of highest quality recording.

    These card prices are always coming down and these are always resuable, and as there is very little moving parts in the camera, it is robust. Having a memory card still allows you to transfer onto dvd's aswell. The camera is very simple to use and you get an adapter to use a light mount for the camera as it shows in the accessories leaflet. The use of the camera is small & weighs about 480 grams. I think this camera is awesome and even in low light it habdle the image well. I hope this helps, do go and have a look to see if this suits you.
     
  19. senu

    senu
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    Thanks
    It nice to get positve user feed back rather than manufacturer generated " great reviews":smashin:

    One aspect of AVCHD that seems to be quietly forgotten is Mac support ( or the lack of it)

    Another is the need for a really decent spec machine ( at least dual core with a decent graphics card and good amt of RAM) . to play let alone edit it . and the need to give plenty of time for rendering ( as demonstrated by Marks little experiment above )

    Im not knocking AVCHD, far from it , it is evolving In its infancy DV needed costly hardware cards to do anything tangible in real time.

    It just appears that the Camcorders are coming fast and furious but the Hardware/Software is lagging behind by a fair bit,. Sony Vegas software that Mark used is , for the time being only Sony camcorder specific. We used to feel AVCHD was a single agreed standard up till now

    It seems to be the assumption that the target market for the camcorders are mainly those interested in shooting home , family videos and plugging the camcorders direct to their flat HD ready displays
    For those who wish to be a bit more creative, there is no forewarning of these potential difficulties
     
  20. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    If I was to get a AVCHD cam, I'm most tempted by flash memory based cams (like the SD1) over HDD or DVD cams. Memory cards will grow in capacity, no moving parts... HDDs do fail over time.
    Sony has a new flash memory based one coming soon. So I can understand purchasing a SD1... and it's quality is very good. Even if the HV20 has a slight edge the differences between any of these cams in the "High Def Shootout" isn't great.
     
  21. a_friend

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    As you say over time the solid state camcorder limitations will be forgottern as memory cards will get larger.

    I did read the review at simplydv for the SD1 and i think this little baby is winning the short list.
     
  22. senu

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    It isnt just the limitations of memory card sizes that was holding solid state camcorders back (if at all)

    It is the appalling PQ , poor design, and gimmicky nature of models prior to the Panasonic SD1 .
    It ( the Panasonic) is the landmark model that shows just how much potential these cameras have.

    Apart from increased capacity, falling prices of media coupled with more models like this , and increased AVCHD support will make them even more popular in time to come
     
  23. redsox_mark

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    I just noticed that the AVCHD clips I used were 60i, which would result in longer render as was rendering to 50i for DVD.

    I did another test, rendering these 60i AVCHD clips (30 sec) to 60i (NTSC) DVD.... and that took just over 2 mins (so about a 4:1 ratio). So the AVCHD render was still a bit longer than the 3:1 ratio for HDV, but not as significant of a difference as I had thought.
     
  24. senu

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    Thanks that does sound rather more encouraging:)
     
  25. a_friend

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    So I've got my short list now the the three finalist are:

    Sony SR1
    Sony HC7
    Panasonic SD1

    I would wait for the new Sony ones coming out later but they will be to late for the wedding.
     
  26. redsox_mark

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    But there are 3 on the list? :)
    For the second one, do you mean Sony HC7 or JVC HD7?
     
  27. a_friend

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    opps sorry meant to say three

    it is the Sony HC7 and not the JVC HD7

    but I've had a real nightmare in the past with tape so I really don't think this is a contender.
     
  28. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    Well they are all good camcorders... comes down to your preference on format.

    You may have seen this review of the SR1.... in the comparisons section they compare the SD1 and SR1.
    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Panasonic-HDC-SD1-Camcorder-Review/Comparisons--Conclusion.htm

    It mosty comes down to the pros/cons of a HDD vs SD memory.

    Interestingly that review talks about the SR1 costing $200 (US) more... here they seem to be just about the same price online.

    The Canon HV20 or Sony HC7 are probably both slightly better perfomers, but the difference isn't large enough to swing it if you really don't want tape.
     
  29. a_friend

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    Thanks Mark you have been a great help

    After reading that link it's got to be the SR1, I have never recorded more then an hour or so so the 4 1/2 hours recording in HD won't be a problem at all.

    Now I also need a light and a lens filter protector for it any idea's.

    HDV question just for peace of mind how often has any of you suffered drop outs if at all?
     
  30. senu

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    I havent .. with the Standard Sony Premium tapes ... This is with the Sony
    HC1 and FX1.. Easily over 100 of them I would say

    Im told Ive been lucky as dropouts happen occasionally but.. no.. not to me in the last 20 months. Maybe my use is less intensive ( or extensive) but The kit gets some use at least 3-4 x a month on a quiet month, when Im not using it by the PC

    With the SR1 you would be using a HDD and AVCHD... the technology is different to HDV , Im not sure dropouts are a factor there

    I have had a major nightmare with tapes in the past which cost me a camcorder tape head.
    It was due to mixing different brands ( a big:nono: ) but I have not since then and Im still happy to buy another tape based HDV for now.. until the Media based and AVCHD technology get to be far more ubiquitous.
    I quite love the concept of a reusable HDD ( even though they can fail..not that i know of any horror stories)

    Tapes are cheap, quality is good and with care they will last a long time as the footage archive
     

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