Test clips from Canon HF10

Filming those trees in full HD

People that have been following me for a while know that I bought a Panasonic HDC-SD5 and returned it because of too much noise in the audio.

So, I’ve been patient and waited for the Canon HF10 Solid State AVCHD camera. It arrived about a week ago and unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to test it in detail yet. So far it looks very good. Small, but more sturdy and solid than the Panasonic. No noise on the audio and a very nice progressive recording mode. Way better performance in low light and a built in 16 GB of memory in addition to the SD-slot.

It works very well with both iMovie and Final Cut Express.

Update:
Here’s a detailed review with tech specs on Camcorderinfo.

I have published some very short test videos and will add more later.

25p-960×540.mov 18-May-2008 01:22 43M
= recorded in 25p and scaled down to half size

25p-testclip-canon-h..> 18-May-2008 02:21 177M
= original recording in 25p, Apple intermediate file

50i-testclip-canon-h..> 18-May-2008 02:11 126M
= original recording in 50i, Apple intermediate file

50p-960×540.mov 18-May-2008 01:52 55M
= recording in 50i and converted to 960×540 50p

For the converting from 50i full size to 50p half size I’ve used the free and excellent JES Deinterlacer. I set it up with the following parameters under “Project”:
Standards Conversion
Custom
Minimal Blend
Settings: Height: 540 Width: 960 Frame rate: 50.000
Movie speed: 1.000

Here’s another quick clip. Something I did to demonstrate Shazam ID on my phone. The video is slightly edited in iMovie, transcoded and uploaded to Brightcove. The recording was done in 25p, saving the hassle of deinterlacing. If you’re reading this in an email update or RSS reader you might want to click through to the article on eirikso.com to view the video.

http://services.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/376819422

And here are two stills from the same camera. It’s snapping decent 3 megapixel stills as well.

Still image from Canon HF10

Test clips from Canon HF10

Test clips from Panasonic HDC-SD5

For the last year or so I have been using my Nokia N95 as my primary video recording device. As you understand, I am currently more serious about stills photography. But I need to do occasional video recordings and the quality of my N95 is great for a mobile phone, but not very good compared to a proper video camera.

So I wanted something better than the N95, but small and portable. I narrowed my possibilities down to two cameras recording straight to solid state memory. The Sony HDR-CX7 or the Panasonic HDC-SD5. After some googling and a quick test in the store I decided to go for the Panasonic. Mostly because I don’t like Sony’s stupid memory stick and because I read that the AVCHD-compression in the Sony camera had some issues with high motion scenes. According to what I have been reading the Panasonic is not as good as the Sony in low light conditions. But a compression that breaks into artifacts in high motion is worse than a problem with some noise in low light.

I also like the navigation on the Panasonic better. Sony rely on a touch screen that force you to use both hands when operating. The Panasonic lets you operate most of the menus with one hand on the back of the unit. In addition to this the Panasonic has a pretty useful pre recording function and good macro possibilities. So far I have only one issue with the camera. A low volume high frequency noise that is captured by the microphone while recording. A well known problem on tape based and HD based cameras, but I thought that wouldn’t be a problem on a solid state camera. Maybe it’s a problem with my camera only. I’ll have to investigate this further. You can hear the noise in the last test clip. Downloads at the bottom of this article.

Both cameras are recording AVCHD, meaning heavy compression and a native format that is not suitable for editing. For the record, the Sony camera can also record standard definition MPEG2 (not very good for editing either), while the Panasonic is AVCHD only. I am not going to use this camera for making hollywood style movies. I am going to make some quick demonstrations for my presentations and for my blog. And the occasional documentation of some events in my family.

When surfing around looking for reviews of these cameras I was disappointed of sites that claim to have a proper review up, but don’t provide any test clips for download.

So to help people that is about to buy a new camcorder I’ll provide you with some test clips and images here.
Continue reading “Test clips from Panasonic HDC-SD5″

Test clips from Panasonic HDC-SD5