Canon FS100 or Panasonic HDC-SD9 ?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by truz, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. truz macrumors 6502a

    truz

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    #1
    I'm looking to purchase a digital camcorder. I'm looking at the Panasonic HDC-SD9 or the Canon FS100. Either one recommended or something different for the same price range?

    This will be used for personal things. I also have a baby on the way and would like to record a few things as he grows up.

    Really just looking for a good digital camcorder that will last and records great image quality and sound.

    Thanks!
     
  2. berkleeboy210 macrumors 68000

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    #2
    I just bought an HF100 and I LOVE it.

    It's nice and compact, and shoots amazing video. you won't be disappointed if you choose it.

    you will however if you don't buy a large enough memory card, because once you get it you won't want to put it down.

    I'd suggest a couple of 8gb SDHC cards, or a single 16gb SDHC.
     
  3. georg11 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2008
    #3
    Hi… Recently i bought a Canon FS 100 from http://www.checkcost.co.uk/camcorders/c/4354/
    Among Canon F Series camcorders they are all identical in quality and set up.. However they differ in memory storage. They all accept SD cards. You get Good quality picture and 37x Optical zoom and Excellent battery life. If talking about HD then u need a separate software to transfer the videos as no PC's come with High Def burners. Have a look at the above link they got lot of reviews from experts on the various models of camcorder and make ur own decision.
     
  4. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    #4
    The FS100 and HF100 are completely different camcorders, the first being standard definition and the latter high definition.

    In terms of the alternatives you've presented, my advice would be to get the Panasonic SD9, which is high definition (shooting AVCHD format video to SDHC cards). The difference in picture quality between consumer-level standard definition and consumer-level high-definition video is astounding. I have an SD9 and it's brilliant value for money. Forget the tales of woe you may have heard about the compatibility of AVCHD cameras with Macs. If you have a Intel Core 2 Duo machine then you'll have no problem importing AVCHD video into iMovie 08 either by connecting the SD9 itself by USB or by ejecting the SDHC card and using a USB card reader (the latter is easier). Once you've got your clips in iMovie you can convert to standard definition DVD files if you wish to distribute that way (for friends and family who want to meet the new addition but who don't have HD kit yet).

    The SD9 has recently been superseded by the SD100, so you ought to be able to find some pretty good deals around, too. Am*zon has it for pretty good money.

    I wouldn't bother with the FS100 or any other consumer-level standard definition camcorder unless you're on a Power PC Mac and have no intention of getting a C2D Mac any time soon.

    All best,
    Andrew.
     
  5. ernest720 macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I personnaly like Canon, the HF100 is better, i think
     
  6. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    #6
    The OP did not mention the HF100. The question was: FS100 or SD9?
     
  7. truz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    truz

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    #7
    Yea that camera is more then what I wanna spend. I would like to stay around $550- not $799
     
  8. truz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    truz

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    #8
    Courtaj,

    Thanks for the feedback and everyone else as well. Looks like I'm going for the SD9 or the HF100. I'm buying from circuitcity and the SD9 seems to be priced rather well for circuitcity.

    Main reason for doing this is I have a credit card with them and they run no interest sales which is something I need right now ;)

    I think I may get the SD9 but I'm going to look into the SD9 and HF100 a little more before purchasing.

    FYI I'm on a macbook pro 2.16ghz C2D with 3gigs of ram.


     
  9. berkleeboy210 macrumors 68000

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    #9
    I bought mine off of Amazon for around $640.
     
  10. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    #10
    No worries. The HF100 does have a few advantages over the SD9 (for instance it has a larger sensor, a number of imagery presets, an accessory shoe and an input for an external mic) which are worth it if you can afford them. The SD9 is a little more pared down, but makes great-looking pictures for the money, and has full manual control (including gain setting, which is pretty rare among consumer camcorders).

    Either of these cameras will give you plenty - all the best with choosing one!

    If I were you I'd buy an SD card and shoot some sample clips on both cameras. That way you get a feel for each, and can take a look at the video on your own Mac.
     
  11. truz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    truz

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  12. pwagner macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Why is having a card reader easier?

    Paul
     
  13. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    #13
    It's easier with the SD9 (I can't vouch for other camcorders) because using the onboard USB port to import clips from the SD9 means you have to use the AC adapter for power, and to get to the AC socket you have to remove the battery, then dither about plugging the AC adapter into the wall at one end and the camera at the other equals cables everywhere.

    Easier just to whip the card out and use a reader instead. No pfaffing required.

    Andrew.
     
  14. Dave00 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    I think perhaps the responder was encouraging the OP to consider the FS100 as well.

    I'm having a real problem deciding between the FS100 and HF100 myself. I like the quality additions outside of HD that differentiate the FS100 and HF100 - better low-light performance, better color fidelity, etc. But HD is a bit of a boondoggle for right now, for most usage. With standard def video, iMovie imports immediately. With AVCHD, from all reports even with a C2D processor, it takes longer than real-time to import. But the real problem is that there's no great way to distribute your video on media. You need a BD burner, and anyone you give the video to needs a blu-ray player, which are still pretty sparse in most homes. I suppose you could export the video as a file, save it to a DVD, and have friend/family play on their computer. But most people want a DVD. So you go through the extra work of working with an HD file, and it winds up being thrown away for almost any application.

    That said, I'm still considering the HF100 for the reasons mentioned above. As I've found iMovie '08 much less versatile, has anyone tried importing HF100 .mts files into iMovie HD?

    Dave
     
  15. fxstb2002 macrumors member

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    #15
    I own an FS100 for personal stuff, like videos of the kids. I bought it, because my wife can run it, transfer video, etc. It is also smaller (feels like about 2/3 size of the HF100). I have been happy with it, and it weighs next to nothing.

    I just bought an HF100 for work, as I wanted something that would be a little better and more future proof. I needed it for short video presentations of real estate. Most are going to be around 10 min. Price was around $630-640 from newegg.com.

    Now, I just need to get the Macbook Pro to edit them.
     
  16. truz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    truz

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    #16
  17. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    #17
    This may not be the answer you're after, but personally I'd avoid them both. I don't like buying accessories (especially optical ones like lenses) unless Ive seen them, tried them, shot sample clips with them, etc. My advice would be to find a good deal on the camera (and a spare battery) and get to know it before you start emptying the pocketbook for accessories you may never use.

    Andrew.
     
  18. fxstb2002 macrumors member

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    #18
    Basically, both of them are charging $70-80 for the extras. I would want to know if these are authorized Canon resellers as well. It might affect your warranty. I only buy from authorized resellers!

    Both of them come with SD cards, you need an SDHC card with this camera (class 4 or better I think).

    I paid $50 for a 0.5X wideangle from bhphoto.com, but there was a good review about it from someone who used it on the HF100. There are cheaper ones.

    It all comes down to whether you think the extras are worth the money.
     
  19. duncyboy macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 5, 2008
    #19
    I haven't got the links at work, will try and find them at home, but I had a few sites bookmarked with Panasonic SD9 samples on before I decided to buy one.

    On a personal note I think the SD9 is a great little HD camcorder. I got it from Amazon for £440 with an 8GB SD card included.

    The picture quality's fantastic although I use iMovie to ramp down the colours a tad, sound quality is good, amazing zoom, some neat features.

    I can agree with the post above and state that the first accessory I bought for it was a card reader! :D
    To connect it to your computer is a little bit of a faff but with a reader you just take out the card- it's worth it, believe me.

    Will add those links when I get home.
     
  20. CMD is me macrumors 6502

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    #20
    First off I didn't read all of the above posts so sorry if I'm repeating something...

    I also was considering a SD9 or HF100. So I found a shop with a liberal return policy and tried both. In short, I prefer the HF100 by a hair.

    Shooting side by side (literally) and playing back through a A/B video switcher the Canon had more consistent exposures. I was surprised though how good the SD9 looked. At times it actually looked sharper and more dynamic than the Canon, but other times the exposure was totally blown out and almost looked like you were going for an artist effect. Either one was really really impressive.

    For me the biggest difference was in low light... not really even "low" but anything other than good sunlight. The HF100 blows away Panasonic and Sony in that area. Shooting in both a dimly lit room and one with full southern exposure in the middle of the day the SD9 had a fair amount of noise and, if used in AUTO mode, if wanted to over expose. The video wasn't terrible, but looked more like SD than HD. I had similar results with the Sony SR12 which hunted for focus and made evening videos perhaps worse than the SD9.

    Still, the SD9 is a great little HD camera no doubt. The audio is the best I've heard and it has a spot on focus, but can be a bit Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at times -- shoot often, edit in PP.

    As far as eBay -- RUN,STAY AWAY! Often the kits are just sub-par accessories to inflate the "total value." The bags are always cheap and the tripods stay in the closet. You don't want to put a cheap piece of glass in front of the camera, nor use an unreliable SD card! Search online and you'll find parts needed for less. The HF100 is now around $600-650 (similar to the SD9 at CC). Also MS Live Cash Back offers ~$75 back bringing either down to mid $500s. Get an extra battery, UV filter and major name SD card and you're well under the "kits."

    Good luck!

    ps. iMovie O8 now plays nice with the HF100 and SD9 as well.
     
  21. Chris7 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    You may want to try the comparison here:
    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/conten...rder-Review-35094/Comparisons--Conclusion.htm

    You can also read the SD-9 review directly at camcorderinfo, done before the reviews of the HF100, HF10, and HF11 came out. A couple points that stuck out to me when reading about these cameras is that the Panasonic is said to way over-saturate colors (another review said it looked "neon"), but has vastly superior image stabilization than the HF-100.

    I do not have experience with either.
     
  22. Chris7 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Glad someone's done a three way comparison. Very interested to hear more of your experience with the video quality of the SR12. Camcorderinfo has a review on it's way, but not yet. I've heard it's much easier to handle, with the Canon next and the Panisonic last. Is this your experience? How does the Canon's audio compare with the Panisonic?
     
  23. CMD is me macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Yeah, why isn't there a SR12 / HF100 /SD9 head to head test? I did my own.

    As far as handling I'd rank them in that order. Sony just knows what they're doing there. BUT the HF100 is FAR better then the Canon's HDV counterpart (HV30). I'd put the HV30 PQ above the HC9, but the HV30 feels so cheap that I'd buy the Sony for an extra $200. Not so with the HF100 vs SR12... they're much closer. The SD9 is tiny and feels it. Its very light, but I feel it is pushing the limit for ergonomics. Its almost too small when using it. Certainly its the easiest to hide away though.

    Sony has a butter smooth zoom toggle and comfy strape. The SD9's zoom is a touch better than the HF100, but not much and the strap is the least comfortable (though its the lightest camera too). I did think Canon had a better menu than Sony though. With Sony you have to go through too many menus. The SD9 has few options, but they're easy to find.

    Sony also has a nice single component/audio cable where the others have 2. Sony places the port in better locations, etc. The SD9 puts one port behind the battery -- odd.

    Personally I wouldn't base buying on the above though. You'd get use to which ever you had.

    Audio? The SD9 was killer. Listing in a 5.1 surround home theater you could hear where the sounds came from. BUT iMovie edits in stereo I believe. Sony's audio sounded as good, but less dynamic (stereo vs 5 channel). Canon was good, but slightly tinny. Interestingly the audio was better on all the AVCHD models -- the SR12 was better than the HC9 and the HF100 better than the HV30!

    But again, video to me is the most important. I found ergonomics acceptable on all, as well as the audio. Good light, I only would fault the SD9 for its inconsistencies, but in poor light the HF100 is going to be the most forgiving.

    Also, solid state vs hard drive? Got to lean toward SS. And SD cards are way cheaper the memory sticks! And speaking of cheaper? You could nearly by 2 HF100s for the price of the SR12 right now!
     
  24. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    #24
    An important factor involved in evaluating these cameras is, of course, their price. There's a roughly £125 (approximately US$250) difference between the SD9 and the HF100. I quickly checked Circu1t City's prices (US$800 for the HF100, US$500 for the SD9) so the price difference appears equivalent.

    Price was definitely a strong motivating factor for me. I didn't feel like spending the money on the upper end AVCHD cameras as changes and improvements in the technology are happening so rapidly at the moment that I figured I'd go for something basic (the SD9) with an eye to replacing it in two to three years (assuming it gets the kind of frequent use that would warrant a bigger investment).

    As far as sound goes - well, the SD9 has no microphone input, so you'd want good reproduction from the onboard mics I suppose. Luckily the SD9's successor, the SD100, reintroduces all those little luxuries like mic input, headphone jack, electronic viewfinder, camera control ring, etc. But it still doesn't exactly get rave reviews about its resolution and low light performance (for although Panasonic decided to swap out their 3CCD imagers for CMOS, they went with 3 small CMOS chips instead of 1 medium-sized one like the Canons and Sonys have).

    It's a hard job finding (and indeed manufacturing, apparently) the perfect camcorder . . .
     
  25. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    #25
    It was the Camcorderinfo.com review of the HF100 that mentioned "neon colors" on the SD9, but to clarify, this was in the context of a "low light" (in this instance 60 lux) test. Here's what they said (click on the quote to be transported miraculously to the CCI review in question):
    True, it's not, and with 1/6" CCDs no one in their right mind would expect it to be - would they?

    It also "oversaturates" if you bung it into "Digital Cinema" mode (or use the progressive shooting option which also activates Digital Cinema) because then it switches to a deep colour mode which will look heavy-handed on HDTVs that don't interpret the colour information correctly (i.e. don't have a compatible Digital Cinema algorithm).

    Apart from that, the colours aren't bad in my experience. Anything too hot can be bumped in iMovie or Final Cut or whatever your favourite poison happens to be.
     

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