Canon ups the AVCHD anté, and goes dual flash!

Canon has made the first step above 15 Mbps AVCHD with the HF10hf10a.gif.


While Sony piddles with 15 Mbps,
And Panasonic piddles with 12 Mbps,
Both far under the 24 Mbps AVCHD ceiling,

Canon takes AVCHD to 17 Mbps and full 1920 x 1080 recording from lens to playback.

Things are starting to look up…


Canon’s web site relates:

The VIXIA HF10 is one of Canon’s first AVCHD (Advanced Video Codec High Definition) format Flash Memory camcorders. AVCHD uses an MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) video codec, recording true 1080 High Definition resolution video. An advantage of the AVCHD format is that it captures twice as much video using less storage, which enhances the extended recording time possible with Flash Memory, up to 4 hours 45 minutes in SP mode with the internal memory.

I must note here that AVC doesn’t record 2x as much video with less storage.
It is oft claimed that AVCHD is “about twice as efficient” as HDV. (Never proven)
This would mean either:
– a) 2x as good video with the same amount of storage, or
– b) the same quality as HDV with less storage space.
Not both.

hf10b.gifOr, let me put it another way:
60 minutes of HDV is 13GB… 120 minutes is 26 GB.
Saying the 17 Mbps data rate is comparable to HDV (untested yet)…
their “2x” claim would mean 240 minutes (4 hours) of HDV-quality video in less than 26 GB.

They measured 125 minutes in 16GB.
Extrapolating out to 26GB at their data rate gives us 203 minutes-
or 1.69 times (not 2x) the amount of video…
using the SAME AMOUNT of storage (not less).

The advantages of Flash Memory go beyond the added recording time. You’ll also appreciate the quick response time, because it doesn’t have to wait for moving parts. Press the record button and your VIXIA HF10 starts recording video faster than you’ve ever seen before. In addition, when you review your footage, it will come up more quickly as well.

Given that most camcorders just shoot, I don’t know how valuable the playback access speed will be, but it’s brain-dead obvious that flash memory cues up data faster than a tape. It can also record variable frame rates because it’s not dependent on the restrictions of tape speed and throughput. You can cram a lot of data onto flash media very quickly as Sony has demonstrated with the 60 FPS capability of the EX1. No such features here.

Another plus is the VIXIA HF10s lower power consumption rate, allowing your battery to last longer. It’s just what you need so you don’t miss that pivotal play on the field or the moment when they say “I do”.

If you aren’t rolling long before they say “I do” then you’re a moron and no flash-media camcorder is going to save your ass. I hate stupilistic marketing crap like this.

While we certainly hope you keep your VIXIA HF10 securely in your hand while shooting, if it happens to slip, or you accidentally knock it against something, you’ll be happy to know that Flash Memory makes your camcorder more shock resistant than other recording storage systems. It also minimizes the chance of data loss due to damage to your recording media or the moving parts in other camcorders.hf10c.gif

As I have said before.
Does it have optical image stabilization? Yes.

It focuses too? Zooms too?

Making this new technology even more convenient to use is the VIXIA HF10‘s compact size and light weight. Measuring only 2.9″ wide, 2.5″ high and 5.1″ deep, it combines big video storage capacity in a small, easy to carry body.

Pretty snazzy for a discrete camera on the alter, or to record all kinds of alternate angles and then try to match up the footage with the main camcorders later.

Maximum recording time
16 GB Internal Flash Drive
LP (5 Mbps) 6 hours 5 min
SP (7 Mbps) 4 hours 45 min
XP+ (12 Mbps) 2 hours 50 min
FXP (17 Mbps) 2 hours 5 min -Allows 1920×1080 Full HD Recording
Greater Capacity is Possible by Adding an SDHC Memory Card.

2+ hours is good- but adding a SDHC card for another 2 is very nice. Also, that would be 4 hours of continuous recording, without stopping to change cards. Something that can only be bested by a hard drive camcorder > 30GB.

stilslots.gifThe VIXIA HF10 records first onto the built-in 16 GB internal memory and then onto the memory card. Video stored on the internal memory can also be copied onto the memory card which can then be inserted into your computer or HDTV’s card reader slot for immediate viewing. It is also possible to transfer still images recorded to the SD/SDHC card to the internal memory.

I’m hoping they really mean you can pick where the media goes, because I’d certainly hate for short, simple shots to only be allowed to be recorded onto the internal flash until it’s full. Like still cameras with dual media, allowing the user to pick the media they want to use, at any time, is de rigueur.

16GB cards are $80.
Bigger cards are on the way.

Maybe the next version of the camcorder could be cheaper and just give us two slots.

I wonder what company has the chops to put out an AVCHD camcorder that uses the full bandwith and offers all the capabilities the AVCHD specification has to offer.

Oh, maybe that’s what Scarlet is. :)




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