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'[TECH] Canon HF100 camcorder (was: [EE] SDHC Cards'
2008\07\17@141947 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On 7/17/08, Bob Ammerman <spam_OUTrammermanTakeThisOuTspamverizon.net> wrote:
> > They are primarily being positioned as the next stage in digital video
> > media.  I just purchased a Canon HF100.....
>
> My son wants to buy that model. Could I ask you your opinion of it?

Changed the topic and subject.  Wonder if this might be OT?  Please
change into soft slippers if you're going to boot me Russell...  ;-D

I've only had it for a few days now, and haven't done any significant
shooting or post processing with it, so you might consider asking me
again in a month or two - I'm taking it on a vacation next week.

I spent a lot of time on here:
http://www.camcorderinfo.com/ratings.php#

which appears to be (or aspires to be) the dpreview of camcorders.
The reviews are fairly thorough.  I also spent some time on amazon.com
reviews and this one had the least number of bad reviews, though it's
a fairly new model.  Lot's of, "I bought X but didn't like such and
such about it, so I returned it and bought this one and it's perfect!"
type reviews.

Noting that I've never owned a camcorder before, here are my first impressions:
- It's small and light - I can see myself using it for long periods
of time without becoming sore, and the case I purchased for it is
smaller than my DSLR case (Canon XTi 400D) so I won't hesitate to
bring it if I think it might be useful wherever I'm going.  Of course,
I'm now faced with the perpetual quandry - which one do I bring, and
if both to I get a larger case for both or let them hang off my
shoulders as two seperate bags?  I think that I could modify an arm
lamp to act as a mount for this - it weighs less than the flourescent
head of the lamp, which could have interesting uses for electronic
documentation.
- It's surprisingly stable - I can't hold a webcam by hand with
noticably annoying shake, but this wasn't annoying.  The lens
stabilisation (vs electronic image stabilisation) gets high marks from
most reviewers, so I think Canon made a good choice here.  I can zoom
in all the way (12x) and while the shake is noticable, the video is
still watchable/usable.  This is freestanding hand shake - when I rest
my elbows on a table or other surface even zoomed in it appears rock
stable.  I was expecting it to be pretty bad given its low mass.
- The macro focus is AWESOME.  I was surprised to find that zoomed
out it would focus to about an inch in front of the lens, which is
perfect for some of the electronics related video I want to capture.
Looking at the fibers in a piece of cloth with perfect focus on a
large high resolution monitor was very nice.
- The image quality is very, very good.  Connected to a full
resolution monitor there's no noticable blurriness, aliasing, or image
compression artifacts.  (well, that I notice on my cheap 24" screen,
anyway)
- Low light performance is good, though I'm told there are better
(including the previous canon SD cameras with larger sensors).  Indoor
use with flourescent or incandescent lighting is fine, although you
can see a marked improvement when the scene is well lit.
- The zoom is variable and starts off very slowly, so it's very smooth
- The camcorder uses a USB profile that is built into Windows Vista,
so even if you use Vista 64 you aren't scrambling around for drivers.
- The lens is threaded so you can add polarizing and other filters
and attachments (telephoto, wide angle, etc) easily and inexpensively.
- Focus is fast.  Unless you are outside the focus range (19" zoomed
in, 1" zoomed out) then hunting was unnoticable or, in low light, not
bothersome.  It has a seperate focus sensor, so a quick pan from a
near object to a far object was spookily in focus by the time I
stopped on the far object.
- The important controls (zoom, start, stop, power) are within hand's
reach for the gripping hand and usable without loosening your grip.

Cons:
- It doesn't do live video via USB, so if you want to use it in live
video situations (webcam, ustream, etc) then you need to have a video
input on your computer, such as composite, or the new HD component or
HDMI capture cards now out.
- Rather than turning the power savings due to solid state recording
into longer record times, they shrunk the battery so it fits inside
the envelope of the camcorder.  The included battery is 7.4v @
~800mAH, and is supposed to last typically just under an hour.
Batteries are not inexpensive, but you can get an extended battery,
and my plan is to simply keep another battery or two around and a
seperate charger - this has worked well with my dslr camera usage
patterns, so we'll see.  Alternately I'm mulling over the idea of an
external battery pack that mounts onto the camera's 1/4" tripod mount
- just a small box that adds 1/2 to 3/4 inch to the height and is
packed with lipoly batteries.  Should be cheaper than an official
canon battery, and would add several hours of time with not much
weight.
- It appears that nearly every camcorder has a built in microphone
that picks up environmental noise too easily, and isn't directional.
This is no exception - I have a relatively noisy office (a fan,
several computers, furnace in next room, etc) and it was very
noticable on a recording of someone speaking quietly.  The reviewers
don't seem to dock points for it, so perhaps it's just par for the
course in camcorder land.
- Very few buttons.  It's a reasonably complex and adjustable
camcorder, but you have to go through more than 1-2 button presses to
alter the exposure, adjust focus manually, aperature, etc.  I don't
know that I'll be using these things much, so it suits me, but I know
some people like to have everything at their fingertips without taking
their eyes off the monitor.
- It doesn't come with an off-board battery charger.  The power
adaptor plugs into the back of the camera while the battery charges
installed in the camera.  I suppose this is how most camcorders work,
but I think I would rather carry around a few batteries and an off
camera charger.  On the plus side, if there's AC nearby you don't have
to worry about the battery running low.
- I could be mistaken, but it appears the camcorder requires that AC
be plugged in when connected to the computer.  Seems odd and somewhat
limiting, but it may be that I was connecting in an odd mode or
something.

None of the cons really bother me, they're just things I would like
out of a perfect camcorder.

Lastly, the price is very nice - you can get this HD camcorder for
just over $600 now.  I purchased the camcorder and two 8GB cards for
under $700 including shipping.

The only thing I wish I could add to this review is comments on the
included software bundle (which processes, converts, and burns DVDs
among other things).  I haven't tried it yet, and I'm concerned that
even though I've got a reasonably nice computer that should actually
do very well for video, I might still see long conversion times.
AVCHD is a relatively new format, so support is limited and sparse in
most video editing programs, so this is an important part of the
bundle.  I'll let you know what I find soon.

Let me know if you have any specific questions about it.

-Adam

--
EARTH DAY 2008
Tuesday April 22
Save Money * Save Oil * Save Lives * Save the Planet
http://www.driveslowly.org

2008\07\29@121903 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
So, Adam, how has this nice looking camera been doing?

-Carlos

On 17/07/2008, M. Adam Davis <.....stienmanKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -


'[TECH] Canon HF100 camcorder (was: [EE] SDHC Cards'
2008\08\04@195759 by Vitaliy
flavicon
face
Carlos Marcano wrote:
> So, Adam, how has this nice looking camera been doing?

Yeah, you promised to tell us more! :)

2008\08\04@233426 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
Aaugh, I'm being mobbed by piclisters!  ;-D

I delayed as I haven't had time to fiddle with the actual files
produced yet.  The software included is, for all intents and purposes,
useless (on the video end - the pictures are managed by the same
software Canon uses with their SLRs, which is very good for what I
need).  I'm going to be looking at a few packages over the next week
or two, but AVCHD is still a new format for HD video.  I complicate
matters further by using a Windows Vista 64 system as my main machine
- Sony's video editing software, for example, installs but then
crashes on startup.  I still have 3-4 more AVCHD editing packages to
try out, and expect I'll find something suitable this week.

For now I'm using my XP laptop to transfer the video to an external
HD.  The laptop is not a speed demon, though, so I'm no going to
attempt to edit video on it.  The included software doesn't download
on my Vista 64 system - it loads, and downloads smaller videos (50MB
or less) but fails on larger videos.  I imagine it's a driver issue
Canon will eventually clear up, but as I'm saving them to an external
drive anyway it doesn't matter which computer I use, so for now I'm
using an XP system to take the video from the camera.  The file format
on the SD cards is not what you get on the PC, though, so at the
moment I do have to transfer from the camera rather than an SD reader.
It looks like a bunch of transport streams and a bunch of files with
meta information, and the included software probably grabs the
necesary files and stitches them together during the transfer.

The latest nightly build of VLC (VideoLanClient) plays the raw M2TS
files just fine, and I expect I can use it to transcode (and I've seen
messages online saying ffmpeg works with AVCHD M2TS files now) so I
don't expect it to be a roadblock, but I do wish the included software
had more features, especially regarding transcoding the video to a
standard mpeg4 AVI.

I'm told that for 32 bit XP and Vista users, there are several good
editing programs available that work out of the box - I'm running a
non-standard setup.

As far as the camcorder itself -
- Battery life is as good/poor as described (about an hour on highest
quality, 90 minutes on lower quality).  I purchased a second regular
battery and an external charger.  I might get the extended battery
later, or wait for a quality generic to become available.
- Video quality from the camcorder to an HD monitor is VERY good
using component out.
- Audio quality is better than I expected - certainly good enough for
most usage.  Not noisy, picks up quiet sounds easily and clearly
(small children speaking quietly).  I'm pleased with it.  Haven't
tested for stereo seperation.
- Low light performance is good - recorded a stage play from a few
rows back, colors, etc were good.  Could detect a slight graininess of
the video.  Pointing away from the stage into the darkened audience
and you lose most color while the 'grain' becomes very noticable, but
everything is discernable.
- I do wish it was wider on the wide angle end - I found myself
backing up in small rooms to get the view I wanted.  There's a wide
angle lens available, but I don't want the wider view so badly that
I'm willing to spend $100+ on it.
- Contrary to published reports I had no problems slipping the
camcorder into my shirt pockets and pants pockets.  It fit very nicely
and I had no worries about it falling out - it goes completely inside.
I'm probably going to buy a plain glass filter for it so I don't have
to worry about dust or scratches on the lens from having it hit other
items in my pockets - the front lens cover is held closed by springs,
and opens easily if touched from the front.
- The still camera images are good - I'm used to the Canon XTi DSLR
which is noticably better, but it was good enough that I didn't carry
the slr around with me on a recent vacation and instead used the
camcorder - better than the point and shoot's I've used in the past.
Now that I think about it, I have a sample:
http://flickr.com/photos/adavis/2734495254/ Exif:
flickr.com/photos/adavis/2734495254/meta/
- I'm still very surprised at the macro capabilities.  Really very
nice.  Combined with the zoom I wish I had the camcorder with me
rather than the SLR on a recent visit to a buterfly house.  I couldn't
get a great picture of a flying blue morpho, but I suspect a still HD
video frame would have been better than what I did capture.

So, the only issue I have right now is that I don't have a good video
software workflow.  Having not owned a camcorder before, and having
heard from friends that most camcorders don't come with good software
I wasn't expecting to have this set up quickly anyway, but I do wish
the software had enough functionality to convert to something that
Vimeo or Youtube can eat.

I'm planning on taping the next Go Tech meeting (Ann Arbor local
maker/electronics/computers/CNC/robots/etc enthusiast group) next
Tuesday, so I expect a few days after that I'll have some video
online, and I'll see about putting some of the raw stuff up so you can
see what it produces.  Hopefully I'll have a workflow setup by then
that requires almost no effort to go from camera to HD Vimeo online.

Let me know if you have any questions or want me to try something with it...

-Adam

On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 7:54 PM, Vitaliy <.....spamKILLspamspam.....maksimov.org> wrote:
> Carlos Marcano wrote:
>> So, Adam, how has this nice looking camera been doing?
>
> Yeah, you promised to tell us more! :)
> -

2008\08\05@073052 by olin piclist

face picon face
Vitaliy wrote:
>> So, Adam, how has this nice looking camera been doing?
>
> Yeah, you promised to tell us more! :)

I'm not Adam (whoever that is), but I got my son a HF100 for birthday and
highschool graduation.  I'm impressed with the camera itself.  Two hours of
HD video at the highest quality setting on a 16Mb card is fine.  The image
quality is good too, although you can sometimes still see compression
artifacts when there is lots of motion.  The highest quality setting is
17Mbits/second.

This is a rapidly advancing field, so I'm sure there will be something
better out in 6 months, but the HF100 looks like the best tradeoff for a
affordable personal HD video camera today.

The problem is the video editing software.  The stuff that comes with the
camera is way too slow unless maybe you have a top of the line fully souped
up desktop system.  It was unusable on my son's laptop.  We got the Ulead
video editing software ($80 download).  It works on smaller systems because
it has what they call a "proxy" mode.  The high res HD is essentially
precomputed into low res that you do the editing with, then the final result
is of course rendered from the original high res HD.

The Pinnacle software was the other contender, but it wasn't clear whether
they had anything like this proxy mode and there was no free trial, so we
got the Ulead software and are happy with it.  You do need the Ulead version
11.5, not 11.0.  Version 11.5 adds support for importing the ADVCHD
(something like that) files the HF100 camera creates.  Version 11.0 can't.
You end up buying 11.0, despite what the screen says when you click BUY NOW,
then you have to add the free upgrade to 11.5 separately.  They could have
made that easier and less confusing, but after the initial hassle all works
as expected.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\08\05@080626 by fred jones

picon face

I hang out on the hv20.com forum site where many of the guys are professionals.  Because of their dissatisfaction with AVCHD (first gen anyway), I decided to go with the HV30 instead of the HF100.  Of course it is a fantastic little camcorder, the number 1 rated HD consumer camcorder just barely beating out Sony.  My coworker got the HF100 recently and now I'm not so sure I made the right choice.  I wanted the best quality I could get so I decided to go with tape one more time.  After seeing the quality and convenience of his HF100, I think it may have been worth a slightly lower video quality.  Oh well, what's done is done.
FJ> Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 23:34:21 -0400> From: EraseMEstienmanspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> To: piclistspamspam_OUTmit.edu> Subject: Re: [TECH] Canon HF100 camcorder (was: [EE] SDHC Cards, was Re: Digital Sound)> > Aaugh, I'm being mobbed by piclisters! ;-D> > I delayed as I haven't had time to fiddle with the actual files> produced yet. The software included is, for all intents and purposes,> useless (on the video end - the pictures are managed by the same> software Canon uses with their SLRs, which is very good for what I> need). I'm going to be looking at a few packages over the next week> or two, but AVCHD is still a new format for HD video. I complicate> matters further by using a Windows Vista 64 system as my main machine> - Sony's video editing software, for example, installs but then> crashes on startup. I still have 3-4 more AVCHD editing packages to> try out, and expect I'll find something suitable this week.> > For now I'm using my XP laptop to transfer the video to an external> HD. The laptop is n!
ot a speed demon, though, so I'm no going to> attempt to edit video on it. The included software doesn't download> on my Vista 64 system - it loads, and downloads smaller videos (50MB> or less) but fails on larger videos. I imagine it's a driver issue> Canon will eventually clear up, but as I'm saving them to an external> drive anyway it doesn't matter which computer I use, so for now I'm> using an XP system to take the video from the camera. The file format> on the SD cards is not what you get on the PC, though, so at the> moment I do have to transfer from the camera rather than an SD reader.> It looks like a bunch of transport streams and a bunch of files with> meta information, and the included software probably grabs the> necesary files and stitches them together during the transfer.> > The latest nightly build of VLC (VideoLanClient) plays the raw M2TS> files just fine, and I expect I can use it to transcode (and I've seen> messages online saying ffmpeg works with AVCH!
D M2TS files now) so I> don't expect it to be a roadblock, but I do wi
sh the included software> had more features, especially regarding transcoding the video to a> standard mpeg4 AVI.> > I'm told that for 32 bit XP and Vista users, there are several good> editing programs available that work out of the box - I'm running a> non-standard setup.> > As far as the camcorder itself -> - Battery life is as good/poor as described (about an hour on highest> quality, 90 minutes on lower quality). I purchased a second regular> battery and an external charger. I might get the extended battery> later, or wait for a quality generic to become available.> - Video quality from the camcorder to an HD monitor is VERY good> using component out.> - Audio quality is better than I expected - certainly good enough for> most usage. Not noisy, picks up quiet sounds easily and clearly> (small children speaking quietly). I'm pleased with it. Haven't> tested for stereo seperation.> - Low light performance is good - recorded a stage play from a few> rows back, colors, etc !
were good. Could detect a slight graininess of> the video. Pointing away from the stage into the darkened audience> and you lose most color while the 'grain' becomes very noticable, but> everything is discernable.> - I do wish it was wider on the wide angle end - I found myself> backing up in small rooms to get the view I wanted. There's a wide> angle lens available, but I don't want the wider view so badly that> I'm willing to spend $100+ on it.> - Contrary to published reports I had no problems slipping the> camcorder into my shirt pockets and pants pockets. It fit very nicely> and I had no worries about it falling out - it goes completely inside.> I'm probably going to buy a plain glass filter for it so I don't have> to worry about dust or scratches on the lens from having it hit other> items in my pockets - the front lens cover is held closed by springs,> and opens easily if touched from the front.> - The still camera images are good - I'm used to the Canon XTi DSLR> wh!
ich is noticably better, but it was good enough that I didn't carry> t
he slr around with me on a recent vacation and instead used the> camcorder - better than the point and shoot's I've used in the past.> Now that I think about it, I have a sample:> http://flickr.com/photos/adavis/2734495254/ Exif:> http://flickr.com/photos/adavis/2734495254/meta/> - I'm still very surprised at the macro capabilities. Really very> nice. Combined with the zoom I wish I had the camcorder with me> rather than the SLR on a recent visit to a buterfly house. I couldn't> get a great picture of a flying blue morpho, but I suspect a still HD> video frame would have been better than what I did capture.> > So, the only issue I have right now is that I don't have a good video> software workflow. Having not owned a camcorder before, and having> heard from friends that most camcorders don't come with good software> I wasn't expecting to have this set up quickly anyway, but I do wish> the software had enough functionality to convert to something that> Vimeo or Youtube can ea!
t.> > I'm planning on taping the next Go Tech meeting (Ann Arbor local> maker/electronics/computers/CNC/robots/etc enthusiast group) next> Tuesday, so I expect a few days after that I'll have some video> online, and I'll see about putting some of the raw stuff up so you can> see what it produces. Hopefully I'll have a workflow setup by then> that requires almost no effort to go from camera to HD Vimeo online.> > Let me know if you have any questions or want me to try something with it...> > -Adam> > On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 7:54 PM, Vitaliy <@spam@spamKILLspamspammaksimov.org> wrote:> > Carlos Marcano wrote:> >> So, Adam, how has this nice looking camera been doing?> >> > Yeah, you promised to tell us more! :)> > -

2008\08\05@083329 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
> I'm not Adam (whoever that is), but I got my son a HF100
> for birthday and
> highschool graduation.  I'm impressed with the camera
> itself.  Two hours of
> HD video at the highest quality setting on a 16Mb card is
> fine.  The image
> quality is good too, although you can sometimes still see
> compression
> artifacts when there is lots of motion.  The highest
> quality setting is
> 17Mbits/second.

It's stunning the compression rates that can be achieved
these days. :-)


       R

2008\08\05@094407 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
Quoting Apptech <KILLspamapptechKILLspamspamparadise.net.nz>:

>> I'm not Adam (whoever that is), but I got my son a HF100
>> for birthday and
>> highschool graduation.  I'm impressed with the camera
>> itself.  Two hours of
>> HD video at the highest quality setting on a 16Mb card is
>> fine.  The image
>> quality is good too, although you can sometimes still see
>> compression
>> artifacts when there is lots of motion.  The highest
>> quality setting is
>> 17Mbits/second.
>
> It's stunning the compression rates that can be achieved
> these days. :-)
>
>
>         R

Meanie. I was wondering what would happen if I put an 8MB CF card up  
on eBay...

Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
--
"it's the network..."                          "The Journey is the reward"
RemoveMEs...TakeThisOuTspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com

2008\08\05@095432 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On 8/5/08, Apptech <spamBeGoneapptechspamBeGonespamparadise.net.nz> wrote:
> It's stunning the compression rates that can be achieved
> these days. :-)

Wait until we get 3D object recognition in real time in the camcorder
- then all they'll do is record 3D meshes with textures moving about
the scene.  15:1 is nothing!

;-D

-Adam

--
EARTH DAY 2008
Tuesday April 22
Save Money * Save Oil * Save Lives * Save the Planet
http://www.driveslowly.org

2008\08\05@102047 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
>> It's stunning the compression rates that can be achieved
>> these days. :-)

> Wait until we get 3D object recognition in real time in
> the camcorder
> - then all they'll do is record 3D meshes with textures
> moving about
> the scene.  15:1 is nothing!

15:1???
Nay sir

> I'm impressed with the camera itself.
> Two hours of HD video at the highest
> quality setting on a 16Mb card is
> fine.  ...
>  The highest
> quality setting is 17Mbits/second.

17 Mb/s x 1/8 Bytes x 7200 seconds / 16 MB ~= 956:1*

:-)

FWIW 17 /8*7200 = 15.3 GB or NO compression at all.
Or, maybe that's unwinding the calculation that produced the
17 Mb/s in the 1st place.
Seems quite likely. Full circle ;-).



       Russell

That 956 = 1000 for some values of = is not a coincidence
:-)





2008\08\05@104036 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
heh heh heh, I missed the Mb vs GB discrepancy.

-Adam

On 8/5/08, Apptech <TakeThisOuTapptechEraseMEspamspam_OUTparadise.net.nz> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\08\05@121925 by olin piclist

face picon face
Apptech wrote:
> 17 Mb/s x 1/8 Bytes x 7200 seconds / 16 MB ~= 956:1*

You slipped a few decimal points.  HD video is 1920 x 1080 pixels per frame,
which is 2.1 Mbyte.  With interlacing (1080i at 60Hz format) you send half
that 60 times per second for a total uncompressed data rate of 62.6
Mbyte/sec or 498 Mbit/sec.  498/17 = about 30:1 compression.

Two hours of 17 Mbit/sec is 15.3 Gbytes, which makes the claim of 2 hours
recording time on a 16 Gbyte card seem plausible.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\08\05@125633 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
Quoting Olin Lathrop <RemoveMEolin_piclistspamTakeThisOuTembedinc.com>:

> Apptech wrote:
>> 17 Mb/s x 1/8 Bytes x 7200 seconds / 16 MB ~= 956:1*
>
> You slipped a few decimal points.  HD video is 1920 x 1080 pixels per frame,
> which is 2.1 Mbyte.

With no compression or chroma subsampling there are 3 bytes per pixel.

{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\08\05@132757 by olin piclist

face picon face
Spehro Pefhany wrote:
>> HD video is 1920 x 1080 pixels
>> per frame, which is 2.1 Mbyte.
>
> With no compression or chroma subsampling there are 3 bytes per pixel.

Oops, you're right.  However 8 bits per color per pixel is highly optimistic
color resolution.  The actual uncompressed information is probably somewhere
closer to 12 bits/pixel, but I don't have any solid evidence to support
that.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\08\05@140810 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On 8/5/08, Olin Lathrop <olin_piclistEraseMEspam.....embedinc.com> wrote:
> Spehro Pefhany wrote:
> >> HD video is 1920 x 1080 pixels
> >> per frame, which is 2.1 Mbyte.
> >
> > With no compression or chroma subsampling there are 3 bytes per pixel.
>
> Oops, you're right.  However 8 bits per color per pixel is highly optimistic
> color resolution.  The actual uncompressed information is probably somewhere
> closer to 12 bits/pixel, but I don't have any solid evidence to support
> that.

That would suprise me greatly - I would expect experts to complain
long and loudly if the camcorder only recorded 4096 colors - that
should be readily detectable by eye.

However, I can't seem to find any specific mention of color
information on the canon website or the manual.  I would be surprised
if the Digic II processor reads anything less than 24 bits per pixel
off the CCD, but perhaps someone can take apart the mp4 encoded stream
and tell us what the encoded color space really looks like.

-Adam

--
EARTH DAY 2008
Tuesday April 22
Save Money * Save Oil * Save Lives * Save the Planet
http://www.driveslowly.org

2008\08\05@144802 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
Quoting "M. Adam Davis" <EraseMEstienmanspamgmail.com>:

{Quote hidden}

Human vision is significantly less sensitive to chroma (color) detail than
to luminance (brightness) detail. This is taken advantage of in analog  
television signals,first developed in the 1950s, where the chroma  
bandwidth is but a fraction of the luminance bandwidth, and in digital  
video where the chroma signal is sampled at something like 1/4 of the  
resolution of the luminance information. But that's a form of (lossy)  
compression.

What actually happens at the sensor is another kettle of fish again:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer_filter

Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
--
"it's the network..."                          "The Journey is the reward"
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Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com


2008\08\05@153639 by olin piclist

face picon face
M. Adam Davis wrote:
> That would suprise me greatly - I would expect experts to complain
> long and loudly if the camcorder only recorded 4096 colors - that
> should be readily detectable by eye.

You can see well more than 4096 colors in a static image.  However when each
pixel is refreshed at least 30 times per second, 12 bits with some temporal
dithering can look very good.

Look at all the color compaction that normal NTSC video gets away with.  The
bandwidth of the color components are greatly reduced from the full
theoretical "pixel" rate.  This color information reduction is based on
human eye perception, so it will work just as well on HD video.  NTSC
composite video looks fine with 8 bits/pixel.

I was giving HD the benefit of the doubt and understanding that it isn't
really compacted into compsite form.  I think even a naive 4-5-3 bit RGB
encoding with +-1/2 LSB of random noise added to each channel before
digitization will look quite good displayed on a normal HD monitor.

I don't know how this particular camera encodes the video, but I was talking
about effective color resolution per individual pixel that you eventually
get to see on a monitor.  Individual frames probably have noticeable noise
on them, but that gets averaged out over a number of frames by the eye,
effectively restoring signal to noise ratio by temporal low pass filtering.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\08\05@195115 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Tue, 2008-08-05 at 12:56 -0400, Spehro Pefhany wrote:
> Quoting Olin Lathrop <RemoveMEolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamspamembedinc.com>:
>
> > Apptech wrote:
> >> 17 Mb/s x 1/8 Bytes x 7200 seconds / 16 MB ~= 956:1*
> >
> > You slipped a few decimal points.  HD video is 1920 x 1080 pixels per frame,
> > which is 2.1 Mbyte.
>
> With no compression or chroma subsampling there are 3 bytes per pixel.

I really depends on the camera in question.

For completely raw numbers:

For 1080i/720p the pixel rate is 74.25MHz.
For 1080p the pixel rate is 148.5MHz.

Note that these rates include the blanking and sync regions of the video
stream.

The number of bits per pixel varies though. 8bit/colour (24bits/pixel)
used to be the only game in town, 10bits/colour (30bits/pixel) is now
getting common, and 12bits/colour (36bits/pixel) is starting to appear.

For compression it depends on what codec is used, and what the
compression settings are. For true HD content 17Mbps is about the middle
ground (for Bluray the max video bit rate is 40Mbps).

TTYL

2008\08\07@060145 by Peter

picon face
The number of pixels in the camera is almost irrelevant if the signal is
recorded or transmitted. Current standards are mostly based on D2 which uses
color decimation and optional (simple?) compression. Current schemes compress
like 4:2:2 (for bits of Y, B-Y and G-Y respectively). This is the case for most
satellite tv and broadcast feed data. 8:8:8 is never used afaik. The internal
data paths in current state of the art ENG and pro consumer cameras ($3k to $30k
range) are 3 x 12 or 14 bits at the full pixel rate (can be >20MHz for HDTV),
one channel per trichrome imager. Single pickup cameras don't count
quality-wise. That fire-hose is compressed to D2 or to internal studio bus
bandwidths before leaving the camera head. Most current HDTV and MPEG/OGG etc
standards are designed around the constraints imposed by such data streams,
adapted to 'reasonable' screen refresh rates and screen sizes. For example
decompressed MPEG2 encoded data bears a suspicious resemblance to certain D2
data formats (not by accident).

Peter


2008\08\11@212322 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 11:34 PM, M. Adam Davis <EraseMEstienmanspamspamspamBeGonegmail.com> wrote:
> The software included is, for all intents and purposes,
> useless

Wow I'm long winded.

Ok, I actually read the manual for the software that came with it
(wait, RTFM works?) and it DOES do simple conversions to standard
definition video, and video suitable for online players (such as
youtube).  I haven't tried its editing features, but it's supposed to
be able to basic editing operations (clipping, sequencing, etc).
Further, it will write to DVDs, and I believe blue ray if you have a
burner.  It will also write AVCHD files to DVD which, I'm told, some
blue ray players play natively.

However, I still ended up getting Ulead video studio, as I wanted to
also convert my video to high definition mpeg2 content, which the
included program did not do, and of course Ulead does so much more
with editing and creation of DVDs (menus, etc), blue ray (and HDDVD if
you bought into that), and will convert directly to a variety of
formats easily and quickly - such as iPod, Zune, etc.  At $99 it was
worth it.  It also converts faster - it appears to be 4 times realtime
for the few different types of conversions I did (high resolution
AVCHD to high resolution mpeg2, high resolution AVCHD to 720p mpeg2,
high resolution to youtube (320x240 15fps)) - this is on a mid range
machine (Core 2 duo 6600, 2.4GHz, 2GB RAM, and the lowest video card
that was still compatible with Vista).  It uses both cores pretty
well.  So the 75 second clip I'll be linking to later took 300 seconds
to convert into the higher resolution formats, and if I remember
correctly the conversion to youtube quality was much closer to
realtime.

Unfortunately I've already suffered a hardware failure - the automatic
shutter on the front no longer opens and closes.  It's lightly held by
springs, so I can hold it open, and it doesn't appear to have an error
for closed shutter (ie, some camcorders will not record when this
happens, even if you hold the shutter open).  So I'm going to fashion
a little clip to hold it open to record a meeting tomorrow, and then
send it off to Canon.  They were pleasant to deal with, and it sounds
like including shipping time I can expect to be out of commission for
2-3 weeks.  Not ideal, but we'll see how it goes.

Lastly, I'm lazy but I _did_ promise samples, which I hope to link to
tonight or tomorrow.

-Adam

--
EARTH DAY 2008
Tuesday April 22
Save Money * Save Oil * Save Lives * Save the Planet
http://www.driveslowly.org

2008\08\12@080554 by olin piclist

face picon face
M. Adam Davis wrote:
> At $99 it was worth it.

Good thing you feel that way because you paid $20 more than it costs right
on its own web site.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\08\12@083727 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
I did get that discount, sorry for the mistake - first time customers
get $20 off, so at $79 it is an ever better deal.

Thanks for the correction!

-Adam

On 8/12/08, Olin Lathrop <RemoveMEolin_piclistKILLspamspamembedinc.com> wrote:
> M. Adam Davis wrote:
> > At $99 it was worth it.
>
> Good thing you feel that way because you paid $20 more than it costs right
> on its own web site.
>
>
> ********************************************************************
> Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
> (978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.
> -

2008\08\12@093527 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On 8/11/08, M. Adam Davis <stienmanSTOPspamspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:
> Lastly, I'm lazy but I _did_ promise samples, which I hope to link to
> tonight or tomorrow.

Ok, I don't have a full 1920x1080i clip I can share, but here's the
next step down in camcorder - 1440x1080i.  The following links to
vimeo's downconverted version, but in the lower right hand corner you
can find a link to the full resolution mpeg2 file:
http://www.vimeo.com/1512608
You have to log in to download, but if that annoys you, you can
download directly from my site: http://ubasics.com/that1440x1080i.mpg
- as unlikely as it is, someone might pass these links on - please
only pass the vimeo link, I've been burned on bandwidth before, even
though this is only a 43MB file.  Just short of 15 seconds - the full
75 second clip is on youtube below.

The youtube (320x240 15fps) version is... unavailable to me at work -
you can find it by my youtube username, stienman.  It's the longer
clip, but I've got it up there so I can compare regular youtube vs
vimeo HD vs the full clip resolution.

And yes, I looked more closely at the bug later on and realized it was
not a spider under a leaf.

I'm currently using two twist ties to hold the shutter open for
tonight's recording - they appear to be outside the frame, so it
should go well.  Hopefully I'll have more video to put online
tomorrow, some of which might be interesting to some on this list.

-Adam

--
EARTH DAY 2008
Tuesday April 22
Save Money * Save Oil * Save Lives * Save the Planet
http://www.driveslowly.org

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