Canon XF300 on the way for review. Questions? Tests? [UPDATE] It’s here.

Canon says that the Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder is on it’s way to me for test & review. This camera features 50Mbps MPEG-2 4:2:2 recording to Compact Flash (CF) Cards. This high data rate should push aside all issue with compression, even though it does use the older MPEG-2 codec as opposed to the newer MPEG-4 / H.264 / AVCHD codec that a lot of newer camcorders and cameras use. The advantage to MPEG-2 is that, with a lot less compression, today’s even faster computer should handle it with ease, as opposed to the much more difficult time today’s systems have with AVCHD footage. Continue reading “Canon XF300 on the way for review. Questions? Tests? [UPDATE] It’s here.”

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Sony accepts orders for NEX-VG10: the large sensor camcorder gets REAL!

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Sony is clearly sprinting to the large sensor HD camcorder finish line!

Looks like the race is over. Sony and Panasonic announced large sensor camcorders back at NAB but now Sony is showing off the goods. They are taking pre-orders starting today.

The goods Sony is offering look real good! As with many of the last consumer/prosumer models, you can expect the VG10 to come out in a prosumer model, with XLR inputs, and probably more video settings than the consumer model offers. But probably no different lenses.

The Alpha lenses from the digital still lineup are already designed to resolve far, far beyond the 2 Megapixels of 1080i60 HD video. So you probably won’t see different lenses than will be available in the consumer lineup, but it does open the door to the entire Minolta Maxxum line of SLR lenses, which are the basis for the Sony’s Alpha. Continue reading “Sony accepts orders for NEX-VG10: the large sensor camcorder gets REAL!”

Canon demos next-gen digitial camera doing amazing things

It could be the 5000 mm lens with image stabilization that keeps a handheld camera looking as if it’s on a film head. The massive touch screen rear face, the multi-face portrait capture, or any number of other features that make this concept simply amazing- if it weren’t for the backpack that the photographers use to provide the horsepower for the live demo.

That said, we hold cell phones in hour hands with more computing power than laptops of just a few years ago, so you can expect that in just a couple years, the horsepower in that backpack will be on a chip that can fit in the camera. We live in amazing time. YouTube video from the Canon demonstration is after the break. Continue reading “Canon demos next-gen digitial camera doing amazing things”

Is a digital still camera’s “HD Video” for real?

tricams.jpg Just in for review and testing are the brand-spankin’ new Canon SX1 IS and the SX200 IS digital still cameras.

Both of these “super zoom” cameras also shoot HD video… BUT the 10 MP SX1 shoots 1080 with a CMOS sensor, the 12 MP SX200 shoots 720p with a CCD. I’ve spoken about “sensor issues” with the imagers in these cameras before. For comparison, I also have a Canon S2 IS  that seems to be about a stop to two stops faster with its larger, 5 MP, SD video, CCD chip. 

Which camera shoots better video… this is what I intend to find out in the coming days.

HD Everywhere?

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Well, the 2009 Photo Marketing Association’s annual conference is March 3-5 and it’s expected that most everyone who hasn’t already announced a still camera capable of HD video recording— will at the event. This is not to say that video camcorders are not needed any more. I have already shot video with these new “HD-capable” still cameras… and let me tell all the video camcorders out there: your jobs are secure.

The other shoe to drop recently is the first cell phone to tout HD video recording capability. Personally, I am hoping for about 5 MP of quality pictures, but HD video? I doubt it. The proof will be in the pudding when these things actually ship and the video makes its way onto the web for everyone to critically assess.

Either way, the main problem these devices have, aside from the complete lack of control of “camera” functions while shooting, is video that is plagued with problems… Continue reading “HD Everywhere?”

Mystery Alaska

img_0990.jpgCan single-chip camcorder models priced less than $1,000 and bearing the bold “Full HD” logo do the job of prosumer and professional camcorders costing many times that price?

In this article I’ll take two high-end consumer HD camcorders into the field—specifically, the wilds of the Alaskan bush—to see what I can do with these little devices.

You may be pleasantly surprised by what I find. Continue reading “Mystery Alaska”

WIP: Alaska Video / Camcorder Review

circle.jpgIt’s tough keeping a blog going when you are busy with projects and one of those projects takes you up one of the loneliest highways— the Dalton Highway, up to Prudhoe Bay / Deadhorse, Alaska, where the oil is pumped for the Alaska Pipeline.

I was re-shooting an episode of IEBA’s Alaska outdoor adventure series, Wilderness Adventures Off The Beaten Path and shooting it in HD. That’s full HD, not HDV.  But using two different high-end consumer camcorders and writing about it for Event DV magazine. 

Continue reading “WIP: Alaska Video / Camcorder Review”

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