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HD vs. Digital Video

VideoMarker's picture
Last seen: 1 month 4 weeks ago
Joined: 11/24/2011 - 4:30am

I currently use a Canon GL1, which needs to be sent in for maintenance.

Wondering if I should spare the expense or put the money toward a Canon Vixia HF G10.

Using the camera to shoot short films/weddings, etc. Need something professional and compatible w/Mac software, i.e., iMovie, Final Cut, etc..

Any suggestions?

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Gregory Watts's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 2:31am

Hello Marc: If I may, I looked at both models, and well have your cake and eat it too. I would get the Canon G10 and get the Canon GL1 repaired. The Canon GL1 as you know uses miniDV tapes, and audio comes in basically three flavors.

The old vinyl record, the only medium that captures the exact same thing that is heard. For all its issues vinyl records will be the best audio capture device ever, it is the only recording method that records perfectly what was heard.

Two, tape, although not near as perfect as vinyl records, it comes in super close. And for that reason, tape is the current best recording medium for live settings.

Then there is digital, sad to say folks, this is NOT what was heard, this is a sampling, true the more samples you lay down the better, but digital at this time and perhaps never will capture every nuance, every tone, every vibration, the processor captures a sample of it, converts it to 0's and 1's then adds value by creating bytes. But it is not anywhere near equal to records or tape.

So that said, if you are still set on setting aside the GL1 please let me know and I will send you my address, I gladly accept all donations.

 "A Photo Captures but a Moment in Time: Video Captures a Lifetime in a Moment"


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

Video does not work quite the same way as audio. In either case, both cameras are digital, even though one uses tape.


Gregory Watts's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 2:31am

However digital tape for audio exceeds in quality over SD digital. I have been trying to find such a camera for some time, I did check eBay and they have a few. I want to do the audio in tape format then dub it onto the finished video, but come to think of it, once dubbed it becomes SD digital. POO!, In the end your stuck with HD Digital. Why did I have to think that through? Doublehamm it was your fault...:) But reasoning it out after Doublehamm's post, you are just as well to make the complete conversion. But it never hurts to have a backup.

 "A Photo Captures but a Moment in Time: Video Captures a Lifetime in a Moment"


VideoMarker's picture
Last seen: 1 month 4 weeks ago
Joined: 11/24/2011 - 4:30am

Thanks for the responses.

I keep hearing alot about issues with the audio with the HD cams. Any websites online that shows the comparisons between the miniDV audio and the HD audio?


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

I really don't think the audio is any worse... The main complaint is if
you want incredible audio, you must purchase audio gear and capture that
separately. That goes from consumer to professional and even to Cinema
cameras. I don't know of a camera to date that would be considered perfect for capturing audio. They can most all capture decent audio - but for the
audiophile they may be a bit lacking.


VideoMarker's picture
Last seen: 1 month 4 weeks ago
Joined: 11/24/2011 - 4:30am

Contacted Canon in order to repair my GL1 and they are telling me it's past it's service life :(

Ugh

I guess I'm going to be making the switch to the HD cam sooner rather than later...


Gregory Watts's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 2:31am

Sorry to hear it. I use the Canon Vixia HF21, not near the G10, but I think the Canon Vixia line is a great line and I am more than pleased. I think you will be as well.

 "A Photo Captures but a Moment in Time: Video Captures a Lifetime in a Moment"


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am

From a technical viewpoint HDV (the MiniDV tape form of HD) does not record as good a quality of audio as DV. To fit all that extra video data on the tape, they went from lossless audio (PCM) on DV to a lossy compression (MP2) on HDV.

Granted, it still a high bitrate (192k) so under "normal" conditions, you'll be hard pressed to hear any problems, but they can pop up.

For a more detailed explanation, read this excerpt from a VASST book: http://vasst.com/Portals/0/books/pagesfromhdvbooklow.pdf

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


Gregory Watts's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 2:31am

Thanks birdcat for that correction. I had assumed that the older analog form of capture was applied.

 "A Photo Captures but a Moment in Time: Video Captures a Lifetime in a Moment"


MediaFish's picture
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 05/25/2011 - 2:06pm

Marc - take a look at the Canon XF100 (the XF105 is basically the same as the XF100 except the XF105 has Genlock HD/SD-SDI output). We have several and use the heck out of them. We have found the XF100 to be very versatile using them in just about every situation. Recorded sound on the XF100 is not bad both with the built in mic or from attached external mics. We also us Canon 7D's - the 7D's internal mic is terrible and there is an AGC problem with them. When using the 7D's we use Zoom H4N recorders.

The baby brother to the XF100 is the Canon XA10 - which is more a Prosumer type camcorder where as the XF100 (XF Series) are all considered professional grade cameras.

Or if you want to stick with miniDV HDV the Canon XH A1S is a good option to consider which is a little dated (2009) where the XA10 and XF series are more recent models (2011).

Check them out - one of them just might fit the bill for you. Good Luck.

Jeff Media Fish Productions



MediaFish's picture
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 05/25/2011 - 2:06pm

Marc - I don't know about the iMovie but pretty sure it works with Final Cut (latest version) - it works fine with Premiere Pro CS5.5 with no conversion necessary. The XF series of Canon Cameras produce a MXF source file. Premier Pro treats it as a native file however some of the other lower end version of editors cannot handle the MXF extension so the file has to be converted to a format that can be used.

Bottom line - with everything I know about all the other various new model cameras that have come out across the board in the XF100 price range - I would still go with the XF hands down. We are very pleased so far with its performance and capabilities of the XF platform.

Jeff Media Fish Productions


Rick Crampton's picture
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/20/2009 - 1:08pm

MediaFish points out:

" The XF series of Canon Cameras produce a MXF source file. Premier Pro treats it as a native file however some of the other lower end version of editors cannot handle the MXF extension so the file has to be converted to a format that can be used."

There seems to be a never ending quest for manufacturers to create cameras which are favored by some corresponding editing software . . . Sony being an example, Cannon being closely related . . . etc. And Apple is out there somewhere on their own, not having a camera line.

WHY on earth would anyone NOT buy editing software which accepts the broadest range of camera codecs as " native "; ie,w/o the need to first convert the files??!! I may be wrong but it just seems to me that any time one must " convert " a file in order to deal withits content, something potentially gets lost.

Rick Crampton


Gregory Watts's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 2:31am

gldnears, The proconsumer camera HD market really only opened up in late 2010 to 2011. Up until that time most NLE's that handled most formats were SVP, and AF.

Until 2010 all lower end NLE's did not handle mts format. In fact Corel VSX4 was the first version to handle professional formats. The same year that Corel released VSX4 Adobe released Premier with the ability to handle mts format. As of the opening of 2012, these were still the only two lower end NLE to handle mts formats.

But it is not just the software that lagged behind the proconsumer camera market, many . in fact most likely it is still the case, onboard OEM box computers are unable to process mts format and lower frame rates of HD video. HD video is a very intensely heavy graphic processing format. That is why for years it was professional cameras and software that cost $1,000.00+ to handle it.

With the proconsumer camera market the software makers and video card makers had to play catch up. So the only temporary solution was conversion. And some users that made the switch to proconsumer were unaware that when they shot in HD they also needed to spend money to upgrade their software and hardware (video card). I do not think any onboard video can handle HD mts format video properly. So until the proconsumer software market catches up, a lot of conversions will still be taking place.

And no insult to anyone, but when I was at Dell, (I did Gold Tech Support) we were taught that 80% of computer users fully believe that what they bought in software 10 years ago would run everything forever. Some videographers that are hobbyist may see a need to upgrade their cameras to HD mts format but may not fully understand why Corel VSX3 will not take the format. VSX4 still has issues with AVI format. And here is another factor codec's, many are propriety and patented, so unless you are willing to shell out some serious money you may not be able to get all the codec's that you need, yes you can download free packs, but they are consumer written or extractions and may not work properly.

So your question comes down to money, not everyone can buy a $1,000 proconsumer camera that shoots in HD mts format then turn around and upgrade their software and hardware at the same time, so until they are able they have to find ways to make things work, call it the MacGyvor videographer, but in the end those kind of videographer will pick up experience that others that just run out and buy out of box everything works like magic will never have. Field techs and people who adapt what they have in the field are more experienced then out of box techs.

So for the next few years until the completion of the merger of the consumer and professional markets you will have this overlap.

 "A Photo Captures but a Moment in Time: Video Captures a Lifetime in a Moment"


dellwovideo's picture
Last seen: 2 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 05/20/2011 - 6:35pm

If you've been shooting on a GL1 you will be pleased with the video quality of just about any of the cameras mentioned.

I sold my XL-1 and got a high end consumer Canon full HD camcorder and that tiny little thing kicked my XL-1's a**.

I just got a T3i for commercials, music videos and still photosbut I've got my eye on the XA10 for event videography. Check it out, you may be pleased with the amount of bang for your buck.