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Photo Forum Everything on Travel Photography, from what kind of equipment to how to light a subject, moderated by Stuart (Reggie) Martindale, a pro English photographer
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Old 17 Jun 2008
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OK, I see your point. I guess it all comes down to what your are used to. Down here in Oz, we use PAL as the TV format, this is using interlaced scanning as normal. The American NTSC system iuses sequential scanning. The quality of the interlaced system is so superior and a more truer colour system that I agree, there are other things than just resolution.

So, in your case, if you see an interlaced system and your used to an American NTSC broadcast television signal, it will be miles better quality than what you see at home. I had totally forgot about the different scanning formats of other countries when I posted above. Canada uses a different system again called SECAM, this is similar to PAL, but the colour signal is encoded differently.

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Old 17 Jun 2008
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I'm from the Netherlands, we've got PAL too. But if that interlacing method will interfere, I just watch the video's on a big TFT monitor, that's also a possibility.

I've made my decision now, I'll buy the HF10 from Canon, I understand from camcorderinfo.com that this cam is using the H.264 AVC compression and is therefore able to give a very nice image with this compression.
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Old 17 Jun 2008
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Please post again to let us know how it works out. I would love an HF10 and I think we'd all be interested to hear what it's like to live with on a trip. That, and when you get home with all the footage, is when your camcorder 'earns' its keep!
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Old 22 Jun 2008
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All right, I've picked up the camcorder last friday. I will take it on my trip and let you know, how this Canon worked out, see if it's overland proof

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Old 27 Jun 2008
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Sony HDD 30Gb

We are using a Sony HDD 30gb Handycam.

This records to the internal hard drive, as well as a memory stick. We have yet to record anything and run out of memory... so 30gb seems to be surprisingly big.

Standard battery lasts around 90 minutes. I bought an extended battery which lasts 2 hours.

It was cheap, it seems to be pretty robust (translate: not broken by us, despite travelling across the desert, and filming us throwing spanners about etc.)

The only FRUSTRATING thing, is that you HAVE to put it in the cradle, to charge the battery, and to download to PC... this just sucks for me - cos I am very, very lazy. And forget things. Like the cradle.

Its got an ALMIGHTY zoom (40x) but we don't really use that... and the sound is pretty good. And its got night vision.

As for quality -- stills are pretty crappy. Dont bother. Your mobile does better.

Video -- 9M - whatever that means.

If I had more money, I would spend it on buying better picture quality.

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Old 18 Jul 2008
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Its ALL compressed - doesnt matter what you use. DV format (as recorded onto DV tapes) is about 5 times compressed!. (thats right, raw DV data on a DV tape is already 5 times compressed) Burn it onto a DVD and you compress it a further 12+ times !! So recorded on a DV camcorder then burnt on to a DVD its compressed around 60 times. 720 x 576 pixels x 3 RGB values per pixel, x 25 fps, x (60 x 60 x 2) seconds per DVD = 225GB. But a DVD hold only 4.5 GB all up, including all the soundtracks, menus etc, so DVD quality is what video looks like when compressed about 60 times.

Those cheap 100 quid solid state cameras that record at 640 x 480 and hundreds of times compression are NOT comparable to a proper solid state video camera like the HF10/100 recording in 1920 x 1080 and about 6 times compression.

I would also add that its not difficult anymore to get 1000 GB external USB hard drives (for about 100 quid) that are compact and will store about 100 hours of full HD recording. Its a great way to back up solid state recordings so that you need no more than 2 x 16GB cards.... and 16GB SDHC cards are now around £35

Blu ray burners and players may not be that common today, but I would be very sure that in 5 years time you wont be able to buy a DV camcorder, or fix your existing one.

Edited PS ... there a good review of the HF100 here: SimplyDV Review: Canon HF100 AVCHD Camcorder
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Old 8 Aug 2008
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The main problem with the HDD based camcorders, or with backing up flash memory on HDD is that if your hard drive breaks you've just lost everything. So you'd have to have a minimum of 2 hard drives to keep a backup of everything... that's a lot of gear to haul around. 1 60-minute tape = 12 GB. So 20 tapes = 240 GB. Instead of 20 mini-DV tapes you'd have to carry at least 2 300-GB drives for backup. Plus a laptop for the transfer..

Of course it depends if you're doing a trans-america on highway or if you're mostly off-road and crashing here and there.

And I only taped 20 hours, that's not a lot. A friend of mine had already 50 hours after 6 months only!

For my 1 1/2 year tour I took an HDV camcorder - that is, recording on tape. The advantages are:

- tapes are cheap (just regular mini DV tapes). You can buy them virtually anywhere in the world.
- tapes take space but they're light.
- tapes can deteriorate without losing everything. This is known as "drop outs", it happens to me not very often (unless you're recording to HDV specific tapes which cost $$$). In most cases the drop-out can be hidden during editing by a cut. If a HDD loses one sector, chances are you lose everything. Only in one case did I lose half a tape because of bad quality.
- tapes can be sent home as you go, by courier at least that's a good way to secure them.
- HDV is easier to edit than AVC/H264. DV is even easier.

Advantages of solid state / HDD:

- tape transport mechanism is a moving part and can break. Sand can get inside during tape load-unloading. I had to fix my camcorder mid-way in the middle of India. But at the end of the day I could do it and my previous footage wa snot affected. Solid state cameras are inherently much more reliable.
- HDD/solid state is easier to transfer to your PC/Mac for editing.
- solid state (flash) is extremely reliable, it can sustain extreme abuse.

With tapes you can be sure you come back with something usable. With hard drives you never know..

Please comment on your experience when you come back.

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