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Old Apr 5, 2010, 11:42 AM   #1
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Default Sanyo 1080p vs. Canon Vixia 720P

Hey everyone, I'm directing a film that, while it's most likely only going to be a straight-to-dvd release, I do want to film it in the best but smallest resolution it takes to qualify for being shown on the big screen. So far, I gather that 1080P is most of the time accepted, as it has only very, very slight width differences than 2K, which I believe most digital films are filmed at. About 720P, I'm not so sure, but I don't believe any cinema films would be filmed under that...but I'm sure it would qualify for a DVD release.

Anyway, here's my problem. I don't have over 800$ for the camera, and you know, under this, there's not a whole lot to choose from. The camera with probably the best natural lens and sensors, the most technical and perfectionist design and controls, and inputs, is probably the Canon Vixia, but it only does 1080i, which means only 720P to my ears (because I don't like interlaced).

Then, I just discovered that Sanyo has their HD cameras that film in 1080P for relatively the same price! To me, this sounds fishy, I've heard of certain cameras doing false upscaling or downscaling in areas like resolution and frame rates, and can make the picture look crappy. But so far, I have no reason to believe the Sanyo cams do this. The main thing I just worry about with the Sanyo cams, is the availibility of controls, lack of mic inputs, how good the aperture and lens are (supposedly Sanyo is alot better in low light than the Vixia) and all that.

Also, I've been considering buying a 'picture camera' (ex. Canon's Ti2) that can take 1080p and/or 720p videos, and with the adjustable focus rings and all that jazz, this could almost seem like the best idea, if it weren't for the fact this idea partially scares me because if these types of camera could truly deliver HD video just as well, then why wouldn't everyone just buy these instead?

Help? Advice? I'm really trying to find the best, but cheapest, 1080p camera, and if there really just is not a good one under 1000$, then please recommend the BEST 720p camera possible, especially one that is good in dark lighting!! Please help!

Last edited by CSmitty123; Apr 7, 2010 at 6:37 PM.
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Old Apr 7, 2010, 6:36 PM   #2
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Anyone? =/
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 1:03 AM   #3
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I have no idea which Vixia you're looking at but all of the mid-range and above ($500+) are 1080p - even if you go back a couple model years. The "high-end" Sanyo (if we can call any of them that) will likely offer you better video quality but their IS is pretty much non-existent. There is nothing fishy about the Sanyo - but it is going to require a tripod and it will not be user-friendly.
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 2:50 AM   #4
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I have to say that I've done alot of research on the Vixia series, and I know there's a new one coming out any day now for around $1,000 (on amazon), but the next newest ones (S100/S10) only do 1080i aka 60i fields per second (as far as I'm aware, I've read alot of the specifications, but I may have read them wrong) The canon website/amazon says you can change it to 24p for a film 'look', but this is only supposed to be a downscale/upscale so I've heard; everything records in natural 60i first. Supposedly the new Vixia is completely different though, it has 60i, 24p native, ect ect. I may be completely wrong though *hopefully*

That's why I'm a little partial to the Sanyo anyway, all the info is sort of 'right there' and not confusing, but I would love to have just a few specifics about the image sensor and lens that might help me out. And yeah, I've heard about them having absolutely no stabilization which is really bad (especially for the neat gun style camera, they really ruined a good idea!) but yeah.

Anyway, please anyone correct me if I'm really wrong about the Vixia (specifically the HF S10/S100) and yeah, the reason I'm so concerned about I vs. P is because after the film is done, you have to get alot of still frames from the shoot to use as poster material, dvd case photos, ect ect and I just don't want to take any chance of them being low quality/line looking, although at 60 fields per second, it's horribly impossible to imagine it being like that no matter what I choose to film it in. Also, cinema projectors operate at 24P I think, which means deinterlacing if you choose I, I think....and I've just heard that all around, P is just easiest to deal with.

I really am praying I'm wrong about the Vixia though, it's really the camera I want and everything else about it is literally perfect, the mic input, the really great looking stabilization, the many manual controls, dock on top, and even just the general professional look to the camera! I've only heard it sucks in low light though, and from what I've seen, it sort of does so...meh, I'm just so frustrated about this, and my film is starting production in just a few weeks!

Last edited by CSmitty123; Apr 8, 2010 at 2:55 AM.
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Old Apr 8, 2010, 3:36 AM   #5
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As I stated in the previous post, all of the Canon Vixia camcorders are 1080p as are the mid to high-end Panasonic camcorders (another option). They do use a 60i wrapper though. If you want native 24p or native 30p, then that is something else entirely and only starting to become the norm this year. Essentially it records 2 frames to achieve a single progressive frame. I would really suggest looking at some sample videos on Vimeo though because the quality is excellent despite the wrapper from both the Canon and Panasonic models.

I can tell you from experience that the stabilization on the Canon Vixias from last year is terrible, which is pretty ironic considering Canon has one of the best IS systems for still cameras. Hopefully they improved it on this year's models.

If you want a decent low-light performer, go for the S-series. They have a larger sensor and do fairly well indoors. The Sony camcorders do really well indoors and have the best IS by far but the PQ is slightly below both Canon and Panasonic and last year at least, they lacked a lot of manual controls also. Also, Sony is horribly overpriced, especially when compared to the frequent sales of Canon and Panasonic.
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Old Apr 10, 2010, 8:07 PM   #6
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So I guess I need to check what I know so far....

P = when each line and pixel is shot one full frame at a time; just like the way real film does it.
I = when each even and odd line is recorded rapidly after each other.

Frame = what P uses, just like film.
Field = what I uses, don't know exactly what it is.

60P - 60 frames per second = pretty rare, but used for slow motion.
24/30P - 24/30 frames per second = standard for prosumer film cameras, and is just what goes with P.
60I - 60 fields per second = standard for most consumer cameras, and is just what goes with I.


So anyway, I just don't really understand the whole 'wrapper' thing. What exactly does this do? If the Vixia can shoot in natural 1080P/24-or-30P, then why would it need this wrapper? Like I said, I'm using whatever camera I buy to shoot a professional, distributor released film, and everything really has to match up to the standard of cinema, so I guess these details are just really important to me and I definatly want to learn the most I can about this and not have anything that could comprimise the final product, especially if this film were to be blown up on the big screen. It's truly hard to decide which camera to buy just based on videos, it's more of the specifics that I'm really looking for. Because of budget, I truly am looking to find a small camera that is in the consumer market, and I want to cut any corners possible, but with filmmaking and recording, it seems that one wrench in the engine can really mess things up....

Last edited by CSmitty123; Apr 10, 2010 at 8:15 PM.
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Old Apr 28, 2010, 1:14 AM   #7
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The wrapper records as 60i and is then deinterlaced to 24p/30p. The result will be similar to native 24p/30p but not identical. If a camcorder states within the specs that it records at "native 24p" then the wrapper is not used. I don't know much about the technical aspects of commercial films but I would imagine that most films are recorded in their native format.
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