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Old Sep 22, 2009, 9:41 PM   #1
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Default VPC-FH1 vs. VPC-HD2000

My impression was that the VCP-FH1 and VPC-HD2000 were basically the same camera in a different form factor. While most of the specs are the same, there are some significant differences:

VCP-FH1 vs VCP-HD2000
-------- ----------
Form factor Horizontal Vertical/Pistol
Microphone jack No stereo
Headphone jack No yes
Lens ring 37mm 40.5mm
Cold Shoe no yes
LCD 3" 2.7"
Lens: 12 element 11 element
Focal length: 5.95-59.5mm 6.3-6.30mm
Aperature(wide/tele): f/2.0-f2.8 f1.8-f2.5
Auto focus: 9 groups 8 groups (inconsistent- listed as 9 elsewhere)
Shutter speed(still) 1/2-1/500 1/2-1/1000
macro 1cm-80cm, 1cm-1m
flash red eye reduction: No yes
Docking station no yes USB and AV output is via docking station
Flash: fixed popup
Price: ~$400 ~$530

This list may not be complete. Lack of headphone and mic jacks on the FH1 is a serious flaw. And the inability to use the USB and AV outputs on the HD2000 without toting around the docking station, which also probably means that you can't use these while the camera is mounted on a tripod, is a serious flaw in the HD2000.

Other limitations of both:
- Webcam mode is apparently not USB Video Class compliant.
- No wired shutter release (does have an IR remote, though). Not
even by passive connections to USB port which costs nothing.
- No support of USB Picture Transfer Protocol, let alone media transfer protocol, remote preview, and remote camera control from computer via USB PTP.
- Charger uses a barrel connector, rather than USB. However,
this could be useful when using USB port to connect to
Hard Drive or Printer.
- Electronic Image Stabilizer vs Optical Image Stabilizer.
- Can't operate with screen closed; you can, however, fold the screen backwards but it still emits light and consumes power.
- No optical viewfinder
- No USB GPS interface, even though you can connect a Hard Drive or Printer.
- While you can copy saved pictures from SDHC card to USB Hard Drive, you apparently can't capture pictures directly to hard drive.
- No support for 24P, 25P, or 50P, arbitrary frame rates, or variable frame rates.
- No scripting ability (such as provided by third party CHDK on Powershot cameras) or plugin support.
- No firewire, ethernet, wifi, or bluetooth, even via external USB devices.
- No support for USB audio devices, which would potentially let you use more than 2 audio channels, high quality low noise differential XLR inputs, and inject non-audio data as audio.
- USB host and slave use the same USB port, so you can't have both at the same time.
- No genlock, No SMPTE timecode input. No ability to inject information via USB or other means to be stored with pictures/video.
- No Dirac Pro or MJPEG support
- Clumbsy transition, losing video, when crossing 4GB file boundary.
- Non-interchangable lenses
- no ability to function as a non-recording HDMI camera? Or firewire camera.
- no split second synchronized photos via electronic trigger (such as used to take action stereo images).
- No time lapse photography mode?
- No compass or temperature sensor, not even as external USB accessories. Some form of accelerometer is needed for EIS, but is full
inclinometer/accelleration/gyro information recorded in EXIF headers along with the degree of EIS compensation applied?
- No "bulb" mode for long exposures (sensor readout noise, including 1/f noise, may limit maximum exposure time).
- No low frame rate high resolution video modes
- No ability to disable 4:2:2 pulldown (loss of color spacial resolution
prior to chromakey and other editing).
- Does not support high bit rate video modes within the limit of
Class 6 SDHC bandwidth, let alone allow use of two or more cards
for higher bandwidth.
- No control of external turntable or pan/tilt (gcode over USB
serial) for panorama shots, etc.
- No high speed line camera mode (3264x1) or region of interest modes.
- No barcode decoding. Barcodes can be decoded, an audible signal given to the user when detected, and encoded in EXIF header, etc.
Also can be recorded, without images, in text file in another mode which also records the relative order in which pictures were taken. Great for things like product photograpy, as you can scan the barcode on the products and take pictures of them and easily search, process, and identify them afterwards. Combined with the ability to use an external turntable for 360 degree photos, this could be a substantial market by itself.

Most of these could have been corrected with zero or small marginal cost.
Instead of designing two cameras in different shapes for $400 and $530ish, neither of which actually work properly, they should have made one decent $450 camera - with all of the zero/low marginal cost features above. I am not really asking for much, here, just that a camera perform the functions that a camera can provide in a given price range and play well with others. Most of these are software issues. And they are easier to add on a commodity camera than a high end camera because the engineering cost is split over so many cameras that it is likely to add less than $1 per camera. And many of these features make sense in a commodity camera since they may be used in applications that either require use (and purchase) of lots of cameras for simultaneous use or to replace cameras used for hazardous duty. In addition, some offer the opportunity to make additional money providing accessories. Sanyo also doesn't have the problem of other manufacturers like Canon who risk competing with their own high end products (and deliberately cripple their low end ones) and needs features that give them a competitive edge. 1080/60P was a good start - too bad the cameras aren't that well suited for applications that demand 1080/60P due to the omission of zero/low cost features above.

Good features of both:
- 1080/60P is a major plus. Also has low resolution 240fps and postage stamp 600fps
- User interface is reported to be easy to use; however, you have to
go through menus, etc. to operate many controls which may have
separate controls on high end gear.
- HDMI output
- limited USB host functionality
- accessory lens thread
- clock
- 8MP sensor for still photos
- 8MP sensor means that if video is processed correctly, you have
real 2MP resolution for video, not fake bayer pattern resolution, though some of the benefit will be lost due to compression.
- ability to record 8MP still images while taking video

Light Sensitivity is midrange. About 6lux in auto mode and 2lux in high sensitivity mode. Better than some high res camcorders. Significantly less sensitive than Canon HV20 (0.2lux - equivalent to full moon sky), although the HV20 doesn't have a high resolution sensor, either. Both according to camera specifications, which may not comply with standards for such measurements. ISO (ASA) ratings from 50-200 in auto mode and 50-3200 in manual mode.
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 11:05 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 91

could you give more detail in your next comparison..

Nice work!
Markinter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 23, 2009, 1:30 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5

Originally Posted by whitis View Post
Light Sensitivity is midrange.
Hmm... I do wonder what scale you use to rate this as "midrange".

Originally Posted by whitis View Post
About 6lux in auto mode and 2lux in high sensitivity mode. Better than some high res camcorders. Significantly less sensitive than Canon HV20 (0.2lux - equivalent to full moon sky), although the HV20 doesn't have a high resolution sensor either.
No.. the HV20 rates 7lux at 1080/60i and 3lux at 1080/24p. I'm pretty familiar with it.. my HV10 has the same sensor, though only the 1080/60i mode. The FH1 blows it away in low light performance.

And for a little prespective, the legendary Sony VX2100, the standard for low-light quality among event videographers, rates 1 lux.

Now, of course, such ratings aren't quite so simple. When I say "this camera does 1 lux", what I'm saying is that the recorded video can hit 50IRE with just 1 lux worth of illumination. I'm really not saying a thing about the quality of the video at 1 lux, only that I'm delivering that sensitivity in some way.

Originally Posted by whitis View Post
Both according to camera specifications, which may not comply with standards for such measurements.
I dunno... lux rating is a test, not simply a specification. I couldn't find lux rating for any of Canons consumer models listed on their web sites. But it's pretty well acknowledged that the HV20 (and others with the same sensor, like the HV30) deliver 3 lux at 24fps... any decent review of a camcorder will include an actual test in low light (in fact, I found several, all claiming the same result).

And the Canon's low-light performance was big news when it was introduced. Most consumer models AND most HD models did far worse.
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