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Old Jun 13, 2006, 3:36 AM   #21
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I hope Sanyo would act on this and release a firmware upgrade to address the diagonal jaggies issue. It's quite a shame for a otherwise revolutionary product.?Sanyo really can be a contender, IMHO, in this field where a few big boys are slow to evolve and reluctant to release the latest and greatest just to guard their status quo. RED camera hopefully will be sucessfully wage the battle in highend pro cameras category, and Sanyo can take the big chunk in the middle. I mean the palm sized solid state HD camera is the clearly the future. I just hope that HD1 will become the classic that set the right standard for this entirely new generation of cameras.?
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Old Jun 15, 2006, 2:13 AM   #22
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I should say that, while I obviously think the jaggies should be fixed, I don't often detect them in normal viewing on my HDTV. Occassionally--yes. It's a video defect, just like many others that we must live with when using a pocket cam that records to flash memory. But this defect seems, intuitively, fixable!

Many of us have posted over at dvinfo.com that you'll get the most of this little cam if you use a low manual ISO setting (I try to use no more than 100 with extra lighting, if necessary), the manual (or locked "auto") focus to preclude focus hunting, and perhaps something other than auto exposure mode to nearly eliminate exposure hunting. I find the aperature priority mode works the best for me. It's usually a good idea to use the "one click" white balance adjustment for every shoot--and be sure to put the white (or gray) card right on the subject.

If you abide by a few restrictions (lots of light is implied) you can get some really nice shots with this little cam. My goal is to create video of sufficient quality that I can stand to watch it on my HDTV. That's something 90 percent of broadcast TV does not achieve! I find the HD-1 makes that goal achievable, though it's not assured with every arbitrary shooting environment and camera setting.

-Cal
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Old Jun 17, 2006, 8:36 AM   #23
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Hello,

I would like to purchase the VPC-HD SD Camcorder and My question is simple - In order torectify the obvious HD1 bugs - Can firmaware resolve all of the issues now known (whether sent to factory or installed manually by user)

OR:

should one wait for a completely new Camera - i.e. VPC-HD2?

Thanks in advance
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 2:03 AM   #24
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Since the latest quality issues over at dvinfo, I would say wait for another model, Samsung is supposed to have a 720p h264 in August. Seriously, most of the bugs can be fixed up (and are so obvious they should never have shipped) in firmware, and the rest in the manufacturing stage.

Another issue is, that for the consumer, h264 over Mpeg4 doesn't matter that much, except that Mpeg4 is running on this camera at half the data rate it needs to deliver more consistent descent quality. A mode to run mpeg4 at the highest manageable rate, at 25fps as well, is needed.

So, unless you don't have the money or really need a pocket camera straight away, it is best to skip this one and go for a HC3 or 1, or wait for new Pocket HD cameras. If they fix it up in every way, then it is a descent buy in the meantime. It is a shame Sanyo did this to their market opportunity of being the only one out there.

Ideally they should apply all the fixes with 19+ Mb/s mode and drop the price to less than $500, $300 ideally, they should be able get a good market share over the H264 cameras and re-establish the Sanyo brand in camera stores and departments (which is the most vital thing for them).

Please note, I am not advocating to compete directly with the 18mb/s h264 crowd on codec quality. Mpeg4 requires less processing power for consumers in post (most of which will have computers that can't even play h264, let alone edit it) a good marketable advantage. Also, to compete with h264 18mb/s footage you would have to resort to running Mpeg4 somewhere between 25mb/s-38Mb/s, or maybe add gimmicks pro features at slower data rates (gimmick because there is not enough data rate for them) like 10 bit or 4:2:2 etc.

For Sanyo it is a tough choice, Mpeg4 is older technology but requires less processing power, and H264 is the new broadcast industry format, but will choke a significantly higher proportion of consumer computers then Mpeg4 in the short term, unless they use an intermediary codec format for editing etc. So, Mpeg4's days are numbered, and h264 hardware assist processing is coming this year or so (and I don't mean the expensive existing solutions) that is industry insider information. So there is a marketable advantage for mpeg4, for maybe two years yet as the cheap solution.
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 4:54 AM   #25
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Hello,

Thank-You Wayne for responding to me. I can afford to buy a camcorder right now but it's going to have to last for awhile. I find the HC3 too expensive and considering the potential the HD1 apparently has, I'd rather get my hands on that one.

If firmware can correct all the known issues with the Xacti HD1 then I would purchase and apply the fix later. (I.E. Can firmware correct things such as bit rate speed in order to process MPEG4 more efficiently?) If issues cannot be addressed with firmware alone,then obviously I'd rather wait.

I really appreciate feedback from others who have taken the plunge and are reporting on this unit. Thank-You. I leave reviews too when I make a purchase and know this is how we can all help each other out.

Hopefully the Sanyo Rep will confirm or deny that a fix is in the works in the form of updated firmaware or an HD2 model.

Thanks!
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 10:04 AM   #26
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The HC1 is better then the HC3 which is better then the HD1 again (but not progressive) and you can get it cheaper then the HC3, because they are running out, maybe even closer to $1K. We expect a H264 Sony camera models before the end of the year.

Their are more H264 cameras coming out, probably starting from 6 weeks. They might well be better then the HDV cameras.

The only reason to buy the Sanyo is that it is a Pocket Camera, and the only HD one at the moment, and it is cool when people use it right. I hold little hope of getting a firmware update to solve most of the problems, even a manufacturing revision that would improve performance from the response we are getting, but you can only ask. But having said that, if they did all the improvements and dropped the price, I might consider buying this and buy a more serious camera latter. I have seen some brilliant stills from this camera (versus the HD video look) and for that reason I think it is a feature for those who want that.

Take a look at this clip:

From: http://static.talentlessclown.com/RaceAroundUSA2006.mov

This one shows what happens with too much motion and to little data rate:

http://web.mac.com/kakuito/iWeb/affo...shcamlarge.mov
http://web.mac.com/kakuito/iWeb/affo...9451DC235.html


You can't see too much of the problems because the clips are something like quarter resolution, and put through a lower bit rate re-compression. This hides the extent of the noise, macro blocks and other motion artifacts from the original footage. But the footage still looks cool.

There has been many problems reported, don't be fooled. Have a look at the HD1 footage threads at dvinfo, the linked footage tells a lot of the story.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=58228


Here is a link to threads that mention just about all the H264 cameras:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/search.php?searchid=530747

Maybe you can change your picture, it is so freaky, I feel like casting a demon out of it or something, everytime I see it


Re-edit:

Forgot to mention, I don't think this camera is a good long term buy, and potentially a good buy when used professionally. When the first h264 camera ships with better quality, this camera will probably be dated.
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 8:29 PM   #27
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Hi,

Well, I'm starting to think that since many issues can be fixed with a firmware update that it might be worth buying it as general use/ family moment type recorder. If Sanyo doesn't provide a firmware update perhaps some tech guru will later on down the road for PayPal donations or what have you.

The fact is, and for others as well, there are many moments slipping by presentlyand itwould be great to capture some of them in a simplified digital format (SD). I just happened toget a 23" HDTV and I might as well apply some of the latest technology to it at the consumer level.

Can the SD footage be read directly from the card by a reader or does the docking cradle always have to be used 100% of the time for transfer?

Thanks
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 8:30 PM   #28
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Double posted by mistake.
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Old Jun 24, 2006, 5:01 PM   #29
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Wayne12 wrote
Quote:
<snip>
Another issue is, that for the consumer, h264 over Mpeg4 doesn't matter that much, except that Mpeg4 is running on this camera at half the data rate it needs to deliver more consistent descent quality. A mode to run mpeg4 at the highest manageable rate, at 25fps as well, is needed.

<snip>
Mpeg4 is older technology but requires less processing power, and H264 is the new broadcast industry format, but will choke a significantly higher proportion of consumer computers then Mpeg4 in the short term, unless they use an intermediary codec format for editing etc. So, Mpeg4's days are numbered, and h264 hardware assist processing is coming this year or so (and I don't mean the expensive existing solutions)
Hi Wayne. Good to see you here. First, some nomenclature (and I blame Apple for creating the confusion). Both H.263 and H.264 (Advanced Video Coding or "AVC") are covered in the mpeg-4 video standards.

http://www.m4if.org/resources/mpeg4userfaq.php#Whatis

Also from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.263
"The next enhanced codec developed by the ITU-T (in partnership with MPEG) after H.263 is the H.264 standard, also known as AVC and MPEG-4 part 10."

It seems Apple likes to refer to non-H.264 mpeg-4 video as "mpeg4" to differentiate it from H.264, which they usually refer to as "AVC," but they are both covered by the mpeg-4 standards. To further complicate things, within H.263 and H.264 are various "profiles" which may or may not be supported by any given implementation.

The 9mbps HD1 bitrate is not so much the problem as the quality of the codec output, given the HD1 processing limitations, at the chosen bitrate. 9mbps can produce nearly optimal H.263 video quality, but not realtime at the HD1 pricepoint, ATM. As an example, consider that fact that the maximum bitrate available in the DivX codec "HD Profile" is only 6mbps, but a two pass encoding at the higher quality settings is much more than a realtime proposition. 6mbps DivX works quite well for 720p / 30fps and most video source.

Perhaps when the 8Gig flash memories arrive, doubling the bitrate (or more) will make sense as the present bitrate is a compromise based on the current flash memory capacities. But once you accept such a high bitrate (somewhere around 19 mbps, in my opinion), you may as well forget about mpeg-4 and just use mpeg-2. Mpeg-4's sweet spot is around 1/2 the bitrate of mpeg-2.

Your assessment of the advancement of mpeg-4 technology is accurate, in general, but there are exceptions. The Ateme H.264 encoder (big $$$ for the commercial marketplace) is typically just as fast as any other mpeg-4 encoder, including the older technology H.263 and other mpeg-4 variants. The Nero H.264 codec was created by Ateme and performs quite well for the consumer marketplace. The CoreAVC decoder brings mpeg2 and H.263 encoding efficiency to your PC and it's very reasonably priced! If your PC can decode HD1 HD video, there's a good chance it can decode most (probably not some of the high profile options) H.264 (AVC) HD video with the CoreAVC decoder. I can't wait to test the CoreAVC encoder when it arrives!


-Cal, DivX Forums Moderator
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Old Jun 25, 2006, 12:08 AM   #30
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Thanks Calinb,

Re-edit:
Oops, I mistakenly sent the draft answer to the first two topics before I got to read and answer the rest of the your letter. I am sorry for the crack about compression specialists, but in my dealings I have been staggered at the limited level of their initiatives in trying to refine, minorly, their current systems, rather then re-inventing the wheel "round" (as I like to say in OS design). I'll do another re-edit shortly to properly answer the rest of your post. You can also fill in my gaps in knowledge, of where Mpeg has wondered in it's number scheme, below. I also strongly would like to work with a commercial concern on finale compression ideas, I have been thinking of Microsoft, but that is not something conclusive. The design problem is not so much what people think, but how they think.


I was illustrating that the quality of Mpeg4 at 18mb/s+ should be sufficiently close to H264 at that rate as to to make it a non issue for consumers (though H264 is preferable from a prosumer view point and recording excessive on screen movement). This was the disappointment with the original HDV 720p that used Mpeg2 instead.

While h263 and H264 are under the same name, they are substantially separate, and what we call Mpeg4 is H263, or simpler Mpeg2 in a Mpeg4 framework (as I hear with cheap cameras). H264, or AVC, is named such to separate it from it's poorer brother. So, referring to the newer codec as H264, and the older as Mpeg4, as it has been known, is less confusing standard of naming. In reality, they could have name Mpeg2 as Mpeg1 advanced, mpeg3, as mpeg 1 more advanced, mpeg 4 as Mpeg1 Latest, and Mpeg 4 Part 10 as Mpeg1 current and so on upto Mpeg 10 (what was that one). But this naming scheme they have adopted for Mpeg4 is confusing, and needs to be tamed, but they ran out of numbers, because of the scheme they used. Why give authoring multi-media frame works a separate Mpeg number etc (which I seem to remember they did, was it Mpeg 7 or Mpeg 10) when they could say Mpeg4 Author Multimedia, or Mpeg Author Multimedia 1, then the numbers for newer codecs need never run into each other. The thought of Mpeg4 being the most advanced form of compression possible is preposterous, there are a few good alternatives that could benefit more from the techniques in Mpeg4/h264, even my own techniques on the drawing board are more advanced aiming for a minimum of 10:1 lossless, upto 100:1 a possibility (believe me, even a number of so called professionals doing this work are not so bright, there is a lot more potential then trying to get blood from sand) and much higher for visually lossless) and so, they would all require there own separate numbers if adopted. So they needed to reserve the number scheme, for basic compression codec progression.

Second re-edit:

My comments on quality issues have mainly to do with practical and professional concerns over using Mpeg4 (and to a lesser extent H264) as a acquisition codec. While as a distribution codec they can be coaxed into holding up descent consumer grade quality (especially compared to present, not future h264 based, HDTV standards) they fall short on the quality they need for editing that produces generational loss, or for the grade of quality that is needed by prosumers, and for pro video quality (visually lossless cinema and true lossless being above these). I suspect that HD disks and future HDTV will reach this further level of quality, which I think that the 18mb/s AVCHD camera format is aimed at. The other big problem is motion on low bitrate streams, even for h264, but because of better compression techniques in h264, hopefully the quality should be more sufficient. The most direct way to compensate for this is more bandwidth on hand.

For instance, Kaku Ito, over at dvinfo, posted his crash cam footage from his HD1, the first true motion test I have seen (a quick mountain bike ride through forest and then the camera breaks it's mount and goes spinning away off the bike). He repressed this down to a lesser bit rate H264 SD stream. While the de-blocking algorithm makes it look interesting in an arty way (smudgy areas) which is not so bad for a consumer, the footage suffers from a number of compression related issues, it is well worth reading my amateur analysis of it there. It is uncertain (you would be better able to tell) as to what compression problem is caused by what, but he aims to put two short native footage sections there. Maybe only a h264 codec could produce sufficient footage at 18Mb/s in such an extreme circumstances, but even at 25mb/s Mpeg2 still produces staircase ripples in a pond, and odd waves at sea, that I noticed the HD1 9mb/s Mpeg4 does better.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=68191

So, I see Mpeg4, and preferably h264, as a nicer package then HDV for handling motion and low light noise (another thing that causes the Mpeg4 9mb/s a lot of macro blocking trouble) in consumer footage at the same bit rates (9mb/s Mpeg4 is not sufficient, and I do not trust H264 at that rate either).

The software you suggested, isn't that the one that uses the GPU to accelerate the encoding of H264, that is one of the future things I meant as hardware acceleration, but there is also discrete hardware acceleration I know of through discussions (but consider it vaporware until it ships).

re-edit please refer to the two re-edits I am doing above, this is only the first one.

Second re-edit above.
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