View Full Version : Rio_mang's questions about Canon Vixia Camcorders.
9th of January 2009 (Fri), 22:44
Hello POTN, glad you could drop by in this thread. I am interested in taking nice videos to capture family moments, and for possible school projects. I don't know much about camcorders but I do know a bit about SLRs, so please bear with me.
Q: I was taking a look under my local dealers and saw that there are a few Vixia camcorders.. but which one to choose?
Q: Would buying an expensive Vixia Camcorders be better than the cheaper models? Could I get away with a cheaper one?
Thanks to all those who reply.:D
10th of January 2009 (Sat), 11:30
No answer, but more questions for you.
1) Do you have a preference to shoot in tape vs. disk?
tape = easy backup, long term storage, HD is 1440x1080 stretch to become a HD footage at 1920x1080. This uses HDV as its storage method which uses mpeg2 compression. less compression vs. AVCHD (flavor of H.264) and arguably better colors thans AVCHD. Requires you to capture the video to your computer via Firewire (OR HDMI if you have the $$$) before you can edit.
disk = easy to transfer from camcorder to system for quick editing, storage is cheap, but you will need to buy more HDs to storage your footage. You may need a more powerful computer to edit AVCHD and you'll also need to get software that can edit it.
if it were me.. I'd buy the cheaper vixia line. the incrementl differences come at a premium. much like the 20D, 30D, and 40D. sure it gets better with each increasing model, but the sensor are all relatively the same. The new vixia HV40 (shipping march 2009) has a bigger sensor, but I'm guessing when its first released the cost would be 2x an HV20. The HV30 is incrementally better than the HV20. I'm not as familiar with the disk versions, but I suspect the HF series would have similar patterns.
10th of January 2009 (Sat), 12:25
Ahh thanks for replying man.
I look forward to be using disk.. (or using the GB memory in the camcorder). I'll be looking into more powerful computers to do editing, so leave that to me.
Speaking of which, the order from this list on Canon's Canada website it's going from greatest to least right?
Q: I am quite confused on what the meanings of HG, HV, and HF mean. Is this an order like xxxD, xxD, then xD cameras?
Q: Does having numbers mean anything? Ex: HG21, HF100 etc etc
Thanks for your time.
10th of January 2009 (Sat), 13:12
HG = Internal Hard Drive (non-removable)/fixed storage
HV = MiniDV tape storage
HF = Flash Storage
-- HF## = internal + removable flash storage
-- HF### = removable flash storage only
Bigger numbers = newer.
for the HF S10 and HF S100 = bigger sensor (1/2.6")
10th of January 2009 (Sat), 18:48
Oh that makes alot of sense thanks..
What do you prefer out of the HG, HV, and HF series? I would just like an opinion.
11th of January 2009 (Sun), 09:54
For me, my primary reason for getting a camcorder was to archive moments. I thought it would be nice to be able to edit video, but honestly, I don't have the time. Disk and Flash based solutions sound great, but I don't like to keep things on disk.
Cheap storage (hard drives), or mechanical devices that are prone to failure. So for me the consideration for 1) creating a home network attached storage, 2) creating dundancy, 3) cost for running network + storage (time + electricity). I took that all into consideration vs. the cost of having a simple minidv tape sit on a shelf (cost, maintenance, space) is pretty small.
If I really did want to edit video, I can always spend the time to transfer the video to digital and edit the footage and I would still have a archived copy on tape.
With disk based solutions, when you run out of storage you need to transfer your storage before you can shoot again. With tape storage, I can always just buy another DV tape.
For the reasons above, I own a HV20. But if I were to buy a new one today I would most likely buy the same one. I am considering cost as the most important reason. The HV40 is nice, but since its not available today, I can't choose it. If I tape was not an option, I would get the HF100 today or wait 6 months for the HF S100 to come down in cost.
11th of January 2009 (Sun), 11:54
the future is with solid-state recording, that's why canon came out with several new models that don't use tape anymore... their only tape-based unit received very minor upgrades.
currently, the hf100 is great bang for the buck... for stepping up to 24Mbps avchd, the hg lineup is very cost effective... i have an hf11, it's been a great camcorder.
go over to the avchd forum at dvinfo.net, download some of the raw hf11 test footage, and see if you can develop an effective editing workflow on your particular computer.
12th of January 2009 (Mon), 01:01
DV tapes will continue to have their place. Canon's professional line still uses HDV tape as a format. Even Panasonics HVX series cameras still use HDV. Granted most people shoot with P2s on the Panasonic, but that's an entirely different argument. Sony, too.
The reason why Canon tape line only received minor upgrades, is because there isn't much to upgrade. The technology is proven over and over again. The consumer grade line is just a lightweight version of the professional series (less full control over aperture, and 1 CMOS vs. 3 CCD. and doesn't have a Canon way of using different lenses)
AVCHD recording is in an infant stage. Also, flash based units have had (until this most recent product line) smaller CMOS sensors. The tape units are still arguably better format. IMO, AVCHD just hasn't matured enough (especially when NLE's).
12th of January 2009 (Mon), 10:26
I have the XHA1, HF100 and HV30. For what your looking for, I would recommend the HV30, or the newest model HV40. Tape will be around for awhile, and it is a lot more easier to edit with. The AVCHD format takes a lot of power to edit. Quality wise the two are pretty similar, although if your looking hard enough you'd see the HV is slightly better than the HF model. Don't get me wrong, both are great cameras, and you'd be happy with the images of both. I think recording on SDHC cards is great and will be the next main format. However, its still a little to soon for it, like I said, keep in mind your workflow. HDV is much easier to edit with than AVCHD...at least for now.
Good Luck on your purchase.
12th of January 2009 (Mon), 20:58
the hf11/hg20/hg21 have all tested out at more resolution than the hv30, they have longer glass, better lowlight ratings, the same digic dv processor as the canon xh a1, far more shutter speed selections, etc.
the latest versions of some of those avchd camcorders include new sensors, a brand new digic dv chip, zebra capability, and glass that's rated at 900 lines of resolution.
the hv30 "upgrade" is trivial compared to that, because tape is a dead format... canon only has one hdv consumer camcorder left?
canon does not sell professional camcorders, they sell consumer and prosumer camcorders, although i suppose that you could argue that the 5d mkII has some pro resolution & lowlight specs.
the panasonic hvx camcorders have effectively been replaced by the avchd hmc150/170 series of camcorders, according to some people... they like the picture better than the hvx stuff.
when minidv first came out, you couldn't play the captured video files back on a pc, it took a special media player to handle smooth playback outside of the editors... we've been here before, buying into a dead tape format will hurt you in the long run.
if your computer is too slow to edit avchd, you can always use an intermediate codec, after all, that's how apple does it, they don't support native avchd editing.
13th of January 2009 (Tue), 10:48
Tape a dead format? Not sure I would completly agree with that. It will be around for many years to come. MiniDV/HDV for example is a solid format and will continue to be around for awhile. Manufactures such as Canon are still developing cameras in that format.
Im a video editor and work with god knows how many different formats. If it was up to me I would take a tape format over the AVCHD right now. And thats simply because its established and easier to work with.
The quality of the HF11/100 and so on looks great as does the HV30. The average joe would never be able to tell the difference between the two formats. AVCHD still suffers with movement and just recently caught up with captruing 25mbps. My only problem with solid state memory is that it is still new for many consumers. Of course this will change, but it will also tak some time. I would not be afraid of buying a Tape based camcorder today. Tape will be around for awhile and is fairly well established.
No matter what you choose you won't be disapointed in quality.
15th of January 2009 (Thu), 01:12
No matter what you choose you won't be disapointed in quality.
True true.. perhaps since I am a beginner I should go for the $700-$900 line or something.. maybe less.. anything HD is amazing
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