The Canon HG21 has landed

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Various sites are now advertising it for $1,300.
[Vistek]
[Aden Camera]
[ShopBot.ca]
[MostlyDigital.ca (for $1,126!)]
[Canoe.ca]
[Henrys]

Nifty.

Update [2008-11-25 8:16 PM]:
MostlyDigital now has it for $930, a drop of $200!

Qik on the (jailbroken) iPhone

Friday, August 15th, 2008

So they seem to have worked out the kinks with the beta Qik client for the iPhone.
Actually, the kinks were in their website’s handling of iPhone-originated video.

In any case, you can go to qik.com/rae
and see my short masterpieces.
Plus, if I happen to be recording at that moment, you can watch it live!
Ooooh, ahhh.

I will embed the video I just took at work for your edification and amusement. :-)

Finally, a good-enough HD camcorder: Canon iVis HG11/HG21

Thursday, August 7th, 2008



click for larger image

Canon is releasing two new camcorders that record in AVCHD at 24 Mbps, the maximum bitrate for AVCHD.
The main difference between them is that one uses 32 GB of flash storage, while the other uses 120 GB of hard drive storage.
Both support an external SDHC slot (and you *can* shoot video to SDHC using the hard-drive model) for both video and still pics, which are 1920×1440.

I’ve been waiting a long time for an affordable, decent-quality HD camera.
The old, tape-based (HDV) camcorders had excellent quality, but only 1440 horizontal resolution (1920 compressed to 1440 and then expanded back to 1920 for playback).
Tape is also very slow.
The more recent AVCHD cameras have lots of good features, but the basic video quality has always been lower than that of HDV.

This increase to the maximum bitrate allowed for in the AVCHD spec should finally allow it to apprach and maybe surpass HDV in terms of quality.
Note also that AVCHD can play directly in most Blu-ray players.

See also: Engadget Jul 22 2008
HDCamcordersBlog Jul 25 2008
Digital Cameras (pics) Jul 27 2008
gizmodo.com Aug 7 2008
CamcorderInfo Aug 7 2008
Electronista Aug 7 2008
blog.reodica.org Aug 8 2008
gadgetell.com Aug 8 2008
gayakuman.com Aug 9 2008
crave.cnet.co.uk Aug 12 2008

Update 1: Added more sites to the list of links above the specs.

Update 2: There is now an official Canon USA page
for the camera.

Update Fri Sep 5 2008:
grabbed the following specs table from the Canon USA site.
I’ll leave the Japanese one below it for comparison. :-)


Power Consumption 3.8 W (SP Mode)
Image Sensor 1/3.2″ CMOS Sensor, RGB Primary Color Filter
Total Pixels Approx. 3.3 Megapixels
Effective Pixels Video: Approx. 2.07 Megapixels (1920 x 1080)
Still Image: Approx. 2.76 Megapixels (1920 x 1440)
Maximum recording time 120GB Internal Hard Disk Drive
LP (5 Mbps) 45 hours 55 minutes
SP (7 Mbps) 36 hours
XP+ (12 Mbps) 21 hours 40 minutes
FXP (17 Mbps) 15 hours 45 minutes
MXP (24 Mbps) 11 hours 05 minutes
Greater recording time is possible by adding an SDHC Memory Card
Lens Zoom Ratio 12x Optical/200x Digital
Focal Length f=4.8 – 57mm
Zoom Speed Variable/3 Fixed Zoom Speeds
Max. F/Stop f/1.8-3.0mm
Filter Size 37mm
Focusing System Instant AF, Through the Lens/Manual Focusing Possible
Manual Exposure Yes
Programmed AE Auto, Program, Av, Tv, CINEMA, Portrait, Sports, Night, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Spotlight, Fireworks
Max Shutter Speed 1/2000, 1/500 (card)
Auto Date/Time Yes
Record Search/Review Yes
Minimum Focusing Distance 10mm (wide) / 1m (tele)
White Balance Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Flourescent, Flourescent H, Auto, Manual
Minimum Illumination Night Mode .2 lx (shutter 1/2 sec.)
Image Stabilization SuperRange Optical (lens shift)
Viewfinder .27″ (approx. 123,000 pixels)
LCD Screen 2.7″ Multi-Angle Vivid Widescreen LCD (approx. 211,000 pixels)
Microphone Built-In, 3.5mm stereo mini jack, Mini Advanced Accessory Shoe
Flash Built-In
Recording Media Internal Hard Disk Drive (120GB) or SD/SDHC Memory Card
USB Terminal mini B, USB 2.0 Hi-Speed supported
Video Terminal component (output), composite (output)
Audio Dolby Digital 2ch (AC-3 2ch)
HDMI Terminal Type C 480i / 480p / 1080i Format Supported
Microphone Terminal 3.5 mm Stereo mini-jack
AV Mini Terminal
/Headphone Terminal
3.5 mm 4 pole mini-jack
Operating Temperature range 32° – 104° F (0° – 40° C) relative humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD) 3.1 x 3.0 x 5.5 in. (80 x 77 x 139 mm)
Weight (not including
lens and battery pack)
1.1 lbs. (490g)
Weight (fully loaded) 1.2 lbs. (540g) (BP-807, including memory card)

Note: 1920 x 1080 movie recording requires a Class 4 or higher memory card. For other recording formats, a Class 2 or higher card is recommended. Also, movie recording requires cards with 128 MB of memory or more. Cards made by Toshiba, SanDisk or Matsushita are recommended. No particular restrictions apply for still images.


Below is a massaged version of the Google translated version of
the Japanese specs.
Apologies for weird ALL-CAPS terms that seem to make no sense. :-)

Model name iVIS HG21
Applied media Hard drive (1.8-inch, 120 GB), SD Memory Card ※ / SDHC Memory Card ※

  • * Video and still images can be recorded
  • SD card is kind of operation following the Video Recording rough time please.
Video Recording Mode Standard Record: AVCHD standard (high profile)
How Video Compression: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 standard audio compression method: Dolby Digital 2ch / sampling frequency 48kHz
Video Recording Time MXP (high-definition + +) mode: about 5 hours 11 minutes (about 24 Mbps ※)
FXP (+ high quality) mode: about 15 hours and 45 minutes (about 17 Mbps ※)
XP + (high quality) mode: about 21 hours and 40 minutes (about 12 Mbps ※)
SP (standard) mode: about 36 hours (about 7 Mbps ※)
LP (long) mode: 45 hours 55 minutes (about 5 Mbps ※)

  • ※ average bitrate. “IVIS HG21” built-in hard drive (120 GB) recorded cases
  • * MXP mode is more than nine hours, or other mode is more than 13 hours of continuous recording. When you hit the prescribed time automatically stops recording.
  • * MXP / FXP Video Recording mode is 1920×1080 pixel resolution. In other modes of 1440×1080 pixels
Imaging device CMOS sensor 1/3.2 type (read lesser)
Total pixels: about 3.31 million pixels effective pixels
Video Recording: Approximately 2.07 million effective pixels resolution still picture / record: Approximately 2.76 million pixels (4:3 mode)
Effective pixels / record still images: Approximately 2.07 million pixels (16:9 mode)
Filter RGB primary color filter
Configuration signal NTSC-compliant system, 1080/60 i system
Scanning system Progressive
Images Recorded
  • Recording media

    • Built-in hard drive, SD Memory Card/SDHC Memory Card
  • Recording system

    • PUROGURESSHIBUFOTO
  • The total number of recorded images

    • L (2048×1536 pixels)
    • LW (1920×1080 pixels)
    • M (1440×1080 pixels)
    • SW (848×480 pixels)
    • * Movie mode (simultaneous record) only when
    • S (640×480 pixels)
  • Compression

    • JPEG format (compression rate: SuperFine/fine/normal)
Minimum illumination Approximately ⅕ lux (night-time mode, shutter speed 1/2½ seconds)
About 3 lux (Easy/P mode: When OTOSUROSHATTAON Tv mode: the shutter speed of ⅟₃₀ seconds when selected)
Illumination range Approximately â…• lux to about 100,000 lux
Lens
  • Lens Construction

    • 9 group of 11 pieces (two aspheric lens use, adopt a gradient ND)
  • Focal length

    • 4.8 – 57.6mm F1.8 – 3.0 (See time/hours and still images)
  • 35mm equivalent

    • Video: Approximately 42.9 from 514.8 mm
    • Still pictures: Approximately 39.3 from 471.6 mm (4:3 mode)
    • Still pictures: Approximately 42.9 from 514.8 mm (16:9 mode)
  • The shortest distance shooting

    • 10mm (AF-linked, wide end)
  • Zooming

    • Variable-speed (15 stages) compatible power zoom and slide lever system
    • Video: optical 12x, 40x in conjunction with digital/200x
    • Still pictures: optical 12x
Electronic shutter
  • Video hours

    • ⅟₃₀ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Easy/P mode, OTOSUROSHATTAON) ※
    • ⅟₆₀ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Easy/P mode, OTOSUROSHATTAOFU) ※
    • â…›, ⅟₁₅, ⅟₃₀, ⅟₆₀, ⅟₁₀₀, â…Ÿâ‚‚â‚…â‚€, ⅟₅₀₀, ⅟₁₀₀₀, ⅟₂₀₀₀ seconds (Tv mode)
    • PF24設定時は除く Except when setting ※ PF24
    • ½ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Night mode)
  • When still images

    • ⅟₁₅ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Easy/P mode, OTOSUROSHATTAON)
    • ⅟₃₀ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Easy/P mode, OTOSUROSHATTAOFU)
    • ½, ¼, â…›, ⅟₁₅, ⅟₃₀, ⅟₆₀, ⅟₁₀₀, â…Ÿâ‚‚â‚…â‚€, ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Tv mode)
    • ½ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Night mode)
Vibration reduction Optical (lens shift system)
LCD monitor 2.7 inch wide color LCD (approximately 211,000 dots)

  • * Wide viewing angle/gamut support, hard court surface treatment AR
Finder 0.27-wide color LCD (approximately 123,000 dots), adjustable diopter
AF mechanism High-speed AF (TTL-detection system and external video signal measuring the phase difference距方expression) and normal AF (TTL-video signal detection method) are available
Exposure control
  • Auto iris control
  • AE mode

    • Easy, P, Av, Tv, cinema ※, SCN (Portrait, Sports, Night, Snow, beach, sunset, spotlights,打上げ花火)
    • シネマモードは、動画時のみ ※ cinema mode is only when the video
  • Metering system

    1. Evaluative metering
    2. Center-weighted average metering
    3. Spot (still images recorded only)
    4. Metering None (打上げ花火)
    • The record still images * P, Av, Tv when only 1. Three. Selectable
  • Exposure Compensation

    • +11 From -11 to 23-step exposure compensation is possible
    • * Easy, except mode打上げ花火
White Balance FURUOTOOTO / set / preset functions
Built-in microphone Stereo microphone (EREKUTORETTOKONDENSAMAIKU)

  • * Wind cut feature (Auto/Off), Mike ATT, and MAIKUREBERUMETA
Auxiliary light source Built-in flash
Inputs and outputs MINIKONEKUTA HDMI (type C 19-pin: output only), AV mini-pin (φ3.5 mm 4 pole minijack: output only), external microphone input jack (φ3.5 mm MINISUTEREOJAKKU), headphone terminals (φ3.5 mm mini stereo Jack, AV mini-port terminal), a component terminal (Terminal D special: output only), USB terminal (mini-B, Hi-Speed USB), memory card connectors (special multi-pin), the battery terminals (special 4-pin) , DC input jack (φ3.4 mm jack)
Power DC7.4V (battery pack), DC8.4V (DC IN)
Power consumption BYUFAINDA used: about 3.7W (quality: SP, use the built-in HDD, recording, AF Focus)
Using the LCD monitor: about 3.8W (brightness: normal and quality: SP, use the built-in HDD, recording, AF Focus)
Size Approximately 80 (W) × 77 (H) × about 139 (D) mm (excluding GURIPPUBERUTO)
Mass Body only: approximately 490 g
The total mass shooting: approximately 540 g (battery pack BP-807, Memory Card)

Sony Bravia W4000 decodes AV-CHD

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

Sony Bravia W4000

I was reading about the brand new Bravia W4000 when I saw this:


The Series also supports the extended xvYCC colour space for moving images that Sony says set to replace sRGB as the industry standard has an integrated HDTV tuner and AVC-HD decoder alongside the DVB-T digital tuner.

So not only does it support xvYCC, which I think you need for HDMI 1.3a,
but you can plug in flash memory from your fancy new AV-CHD HD camcorder and play it back!

At least, that’s what I am assuming this means..

The small model cost around $1,300 for the small one I think.

Slightly higher bit-rate AVCHD

Monday, January 7th, 2008

Sony HDD 16Mbps AVCHD Camcorder
The Sony HDR-SR12 16Mbps AVCHD camcorder

AVCHD is another name for H.264, a very popular video codec that is also used in Apple’s iPod.
One handy feature of AVCHD is that you can burn it directly to Blu-ray discs and Blu-ray players
will play them as-is.

via camcorderinfo.com,
an excellent camcorder news site

CES 2008 is in full swing, and
Sony has announced
3 new hard-drive-based AVCHD camcorders, one feature of which was “The maximum bit rate has been incrementally increased from 15Mbps to 16Mbps. This is true only for the HDD AVCHD camcorders, not the DVD models.”

The AVCHD codec—which is becoming the de-facto standard for HD video cameras—is unfortunately hobbled by its picture quality level, which is below that of its tape-based predecessor, HDV.
The low quality is likely due to the CPU power required to do good H.264 encoding.

Sanyo Xacti HD1A: MPEG4 HD720p Camcorder, 10x Optical Zoom

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006
Sanyo Xacti HD1A
Sanyo Xacti HD1A

The most recent posting to LifeOfLeo had an amazon link to
the Sanyo Xacti HD1A,
and all I saw was (1) HD, (2) $666 US.

Wowza.
Since it’s so cheap I expect it won’t be as featureful nor as high-picture-quality as other, $3k cameras.
I mean, it’s “only” HD720p – no 1080 here.
But hey, I would actually think of buying an HD video camera at that price.