piclist 2008\08\04\233426a >
Thread: Canon HF100 camcorder (was: [EE] SDHC Cards,was Re: Digital Sound)
www.piclist.com/techref/io/audio.htm?key=sound
face picon face BY : M. Adam Davis email (remove spam text)



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 <spamBeGonespamspamspammaksimov.org> wrote:
> Carlos Marcano wrote:
>> So, Adam, how has this nice looking camera been doing?
>
> Yeah, you promised to tell us more! :)
> -
<bc7a59a0808042034i744ee6adic33d3cc23d3b443a@mail.gmail.com> 7bit

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Subject (change) Canon HF100 camcorder (was: [EE] SDHC Cards,was Re: Digital Sound)

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