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Old Jan 29, 2010, 8:10 AM   #1
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Default Sanyo VPC-FH1 vs. Sony HFXXX - I cannot decide =)

Hello all,

So I'm looking into possibly getting the Sanyo VPC-FH1 or one of the Canon HFXX or HFXXX models (Right now, the HF100 can be had for $439 refurb). The Sanyo is tempting for all the reasons you all know about, the 1080p 60fps 24mbps, the slow mo, the low light performance, and the sub $400 price. The Canon has the stabilization advantage, but has 1080i and 17mpbs. From the reviews I've read, the are about equal in resolution performance. The Canon has decent low light, but not as good as the Sanyo.

OK, so for me, the stabilization issue is what this all comes down to. So I have the following questions:

Digital Stabilization - Does it affect image quality noticeably? I've seen some clips where I could swear I see the DS 'working' with some 'shifting' within the video, etc., but maybe I'm wrong. How much of the zoom is it effective (I've read maybe up to 5x) when using DS?. Does it work enough to keep a steady image still while standing still, etc?

Deshaker Users - Has anyone found a way to have a relatively easy and automated workflow that uses deshaker? One that does not take 2-3 days to encode 1 hour of video? I'm not against using deshaker with the Sanyo if I bought it, but not if it takes 25-50x the time of the video to process it effectively, etc.

1080i vs. 1080p. I've seen the clips, and I've seen how the are different with motion, but does it annoy you (for any of you that have used a 1080i cam in the past) enough to really make a difference? Most of my clips are of my kids so there will be some movement, but just don't have enough experience to know if it should be a dealbreaker, etc.

17mbps vs. 24mbps - I have viewed both the Sanyo and Sony clips on my 92" screen with my 720p projector and I cannot tell the difference in artifacting....can you?

Any input on any of these things is greatly appreciated. I will post on some other sites also.

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Old Jan 30, 2010, 6:09 PM   #2
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The EIS will work if you are working hard to keep the camera steady. The moment you start to move/walk/tilt/breathe/etc, the EIS actually makes things worse. That's my experience....taking video while drinking the morning coffee? Forget it.
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Old Feb 4, 2010, 6:57 PM   #3
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I have a Sanyo HD1010 and I must say the stabilisation issue was a problem for me.

I tried De-shaker and found it slow and frustrating. I then bought Cyberlinks PowerDirector 8 ultra. The stabilisation module built into PD8 is just amazing. I mean it is instant, no waiting for ages for it to do it's stuff plus a simple slider bar to use more or less stabilisation. I tell you it is a dream to use after De-shaker.
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 6:19 PM   #4
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I have sanyo CG6 and have enjoyed it since i got it (2 years ago?). I have moved on already to dSLRs for photos (Nikon D90) but my wife wants an upgraded HD sanyo. I have my eyes on HD2000 but the negative reviews about image stabilization is a concern. Is it really that bad, wish i could get my hands on it and try? I mean even compared to an older CG6? if it's the same as the CG6 i think i can live with it. I tried Canon HF200 but my wife didn't like the form factor and the low light noise.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 10:07 AM   #5
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I have HD2000 and image stabilization is issue if you like to zoom a lot and do bird watching or similar things, with Sanyo you will need good tripod for that.

About 5X zoom is efective, beyond that you will need tripod if you are going to keep it steady.

1080p is better than 1080i if you are going to look video from computer, don't need to mess with deinterlacing.

1080p/60 isn't supported format if you are going to make Blu-Ray discs from your footage.

Low light performance is quite good.

Still photo option is good, but not as good as it could be. Taking still photos indoors needs lots of light and flash isn't very powerfull compared to SLR cameras or bigger compact cameras.

Camera is small enough to fit your jacket pocket.
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 1:00 AM   #6
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This has turned out longer than expected, but it has information about image quality you might find helpful.

With compression the higher you go the more striking and clear the detail, edges and contrast becomes. Eventually the visible artifacts start disappearing with higher data-rates, to the point that they are not even visible with lots of motion, but the image continues to improve. From what i know, a trick they use to get better compression, is they filter all the pixel levels to have less difference between one another, then compress the difference. This is a first stage prime trick in compression. They also use curves to represent the rise and fall of the tone of the image, and these can be imprecise further affecting edges and details. What you will notice from this process is that the image and details will have less contrast, areas will become flatter, and details will start to look fuzzy, but still there, just muted. So, these are areas to look for improvements after visible artifacts disappear. Higher data rates are also handy for maintaining quality when manipulating and processing the image (or doing green screening). Professionally I prefer 36-50mb/s h264 and for cinema filming 100mb/s. These are some reasons that Bluray (up to 36mb/s the end of consumer grade) can look so much better than old style HDTV, and that movies at the cinema can look better again. (these are figures in h264 inter for comparison).

As a side note: There are three general tricks in cameras to look out for, that they try to use to make their footage look better, but all either don't restore any real quality or make the quality worse. First they try to artificially raise the contrast, this makes the picture brighter, but can loose details and toning in the really bright and dark areas. Second they try to sharpen there image to make the remaining detail and edges stick out (Not sure what it dos to the detail but probably mikes it less shaped) and produces a bright halo around objects on a bright back ground that you used to see all the time which is brighter on different cameras. The third, another favorite, is to oversaturate the colors, eventually the toning in colored areas just flattens out to flat blobs of color. If you have a camera like this you might find your self wanting to adjust down the TV each time you show footage from it. This is because many TV's are often adjusted up in color, brightness, contrast and sharpness already, and the extra bright camera footage just pushes it over the top. However, for consumers, a camera picture that is a little brighter, sharper and more colorful might be desirable. I think the Sanyo had ways to turn color and sharpness down in the old HD1/2 cameras, which might still be there.

About your camera, which I guess you might have by now, ask yourself, which camera has everything you need, if the Sanyo has everything, then ask yourself is the Canon worth the extra money.

The 1080p60 is best for future proofing, as prime stock footage for consumers (though 50p is needed in PAL markets and presents a slight quality improvement). It can be converted to prime 60i footage, even converted to 24p with reasonable results. However, you will probably find many FullHD TV's, computer media players, digital cinema projectors supporting it, and you can use a good computer, media player or the camera to play it back. High frame rate video also compresses better than interlace.

Video projectors (and TV's in general) make it difficult to see what is happening in the footage because the obscure what is happening. A normal video projector converts 720p into native 1024*768 or 800*600, which would obscure many artifacts and lower quality. Many projectors also have less range of colors and contrast issues, obscuring some of the compression benefits. If you have a true 720p projector, the fullhd still has to be interpolated down to 720p obscuring things (plus certain media playing software on computers might also desaturated an image obscuring the quality benefits). Many TV's, computer software, and likely projectors, also try to process the image to hide or improve problems and quality, making it hard to see the difference. Some things they do is try to remove noise, remove visible artifacts and repair them (but that does not mean they will bring back the detail or exact shape there before), sharpen the image, details and contrast of them.
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