View Full Version : HFS100 or GH1?

05-05-2009, 07:34 PM
Im looking to buy a new camera for video and right now i have a canon hv20.
Looking at the GH1 because of its shallow DOF capabilities.
The announced price is $1500, is the PQ better?
Better dynamic range?

05-05-2009, 10:52 PM
um i dont understand what your saying?

05-05-2009, 11:20 PM
Can't compare to the HV20 but the GH1 looks good, and I think it has IQ comperable to the 5Dmk2.... though there's some who are concerned about the codec.

05-05-2009, 11:28 PM
GH1 already looks much better then out of the box HV20 ( I have one, using it with Cineform Neo HD) Wait till GH1 is out in EU and US - youll get more reviews and more footage to look at.
5D is great, but also 2 times more expensive.

05-06-2009, 12:05 AM
Well i always color correct in AE so the footage out of the box of the HV20 isn't exactly comparable for me.
I did have a DOF adapter, looked amazing but a real hassle to work with.

Would like shallow DOF:
Easy to color correct
mimic "filmic" image

05-06-2009, 12:07 AM
GH1 will net you the best picture IMO. If you can afford it, I think it's the best option for narrative work.

05-06-2009, 12:29 AM
"Well i always color correct in AE so the footage out of the box of the HV20 isn't exactly comparable for me"

I mean, if you compare raw HV20 and raw GH1 footage - GH1 wins.

Grading it , may only help :)

05-06-2009, 12:32 AM
great---might get it then
my friend and teacher both have a huge amount of canon and nikon lenses---
thanks (above about grading)

what im really concerned about is the color--the raw HV20 at certain settings seems "bland"

05-06-2009, 12:36 AM
well, you may actually want to shoot "bland" because you dont want to over/under expose your footage - IF you want to apply color correction in AE.

05-06-2009, 12:54 AM
your right

05-06-2009, 01:27 AM
Shooting "bland" or flat is really a misnomer because it's a matter of what you see is not all you've got.

John Caballero
05-06-2009, 06:10 AM
The cameras in the HV20 category are evolving and getting better. HV20 is yesterday, with that awful tape system, thing of the past. There are better cameras out there, like the HDC TM300 from Panasonic for example. Much more advance image wise and to SD memory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQubVABroQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQubVABroQ) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQubVABroQ)

05-06-2009, 06:20 AM
what im really concerned about is the color--the raw HV20 at certain settings seems "bland"
That is most likely "cinemode" you are referring to. It is meant to look that way which helps significantly with grading. It's a very flat image due to its gamma curve. Once you capture your image and color correct you will see the benefit in using it. It also helps to preserve your highlights when filming. I have an HV20 myself )two years now) but am definitely (somehow) getting the GH-1 whose colors....and just about everything else blows away most camcorders.

13th Judas
05-06-2009, 06:32 AM
with the release of GH1, i don't find any reason why anyone would still buy a consumer camcorder.

GH1 kills the consumer camcorder market :)

John Caballero
05-06-2009, 06:43 AM
The truth is that Panasonic took most of the TM300 features put in in a DSLR body and gave it a huge sensor and interchangeable lens. What more can you ask for? Oh, an affordable price with a lens kit!

05-06-2009, 07:42 AM
I have spent the last week testing the HFS100 like crazy. Last night was my 5DMkII vs HVX200 vs HFS100 test. I can also kind of throw the GH1 in there since I've been researching that under a microscope with all the internet footage posted. Actually my HD Camera research hard drive is about 300GB full now.

This is what I've been thinking regarding GH1 vs HFS100.

The S100 is more ergonomic, probably has a smoother zoom you can achieve, has deeper DOF which will make your life easier when you don't want to deal with shallow DOF, has switchable frame rates from 24p, 30p, and 60i, and on camera light. But more importantly, it has up to 24mbits/sec encoding. From what I've seen the encoding in the S100 is much more resilient than the GH1. Resolution wise I think they are about the same. Additionally, the macro ability on the lens on the S100 is incredible, able to focus right on top of the lens. The GH1 has a minimal focus distance of like .5 meters on the stock lens. Of course you could put whatever lens you want on the GH1 with better min focus specs. The S100 also has better audio control with live headphone or A/V monitoring.

However, here's a big deal for the S100 vs GH1 - the S100 has some real bad staircase/stairstep/jaggy issues on diagonal lines under some circumstances, where I'm not seeing that in the GH1 footage. Furthermore, obviously, the GH1 has the larger sensor and has the potential to achieve glorious shallow DOF with it. So it's kind of a totally different animal in that regard. Additionally you can use it to overcrank with 720p60. Although it can be said that you can utilize 60i on the S100 to overcrank using post production methods. The GH1 also allows you to interchange to nearly any other lens which again puts in a totally different league than the S100. GH1 stock lens is far wider than the S100 stock lens. And photographically, the GH1 smokes the S100, plain and simple, although I'm still impressed with the S100 for shots that are far better than any cell phone.

I'm thinking I'll end up owning both cameras.

The S100 is going to remain my true run and gun mini video cam that I'll probably end up destroying due to abuse and extremes. To me, the essence of the camera is that it's a discrete stealth compact camcorder for documentary, event, interview, and sports, as well as family and party footage. But I can also see using it more creatively with effort. I'll definitely use it as an additional cam for live performance video in clubs.

The GH1 will be a more artistic tool that I get particular and control freaky with and use within my higher end production techniques. The essence of the camera is truly some different hybrid animal and I see it as a filmic creative visionary tool. But is it a camcorder? Not exactly.

Lastly and to run off topic, so where does the 5DMkII and HVX200 fit in?

HVX200 - the formidable A-cam with pro audio. While the image is softer than the 5DMkII, S100 or GH1, the image is rock solid - no stairsteps (s100), no moire (5DmKII), no codec blowup(GH1), no rolling shutter (all 3 cmos-based cams) and overall, a nice warm tried and true image. It sucks in low light though.

5DMkII - the ultra compact, high res, full frame, crazy shallow dof, low light sensitive beast. The audio sucks on it, and you can't precision control it, only does 30p, but to me it has the nicest image of the 4 cameras and has the most shallow achievable DOF which I'd use specifically for that look. The compression is more solid than the GH1, but the GH1 has far more control, although DOF not as shallow, and lenses cropped x2 compared to the 5DMkII.

Good notes for a new thread! - HVX200 vs 5DMkII vs HFS100 vs GH1!


05-06-2009, 01:51 PM
The HF S100 seems to be weak in low light from tests I've seen. The 24Mb/s does leave more texture detail than I've seen in any GH1 footage.

The HV20/30/40, the HF S100, and the rest of the Canon lineup have HDMI output. While it won't fix the low light, it gives the opportunity of 160Mb/s I-frame 4:2:2 XDCAM with nanoFlash XDR, 160Mb/s I-frame 4;2:2Cineform with a more homemade solution, 220Mb/s I-frame with a mini-MXO2 and a laptop. In any of those cases the image will probably be the best of any on this list.

Of that list only the HVX has a shot at good audio on camera. And then your audio guy will record off camera and maybe on camera as a backup with a breakaway cable.

To really take the best image on the run the GH1 would probably win in this group. Here the recording (after in camera noise reduction) is good enough, and the manual controls interchangable lenses flexible enough, and the large sensor sensitive enough to let you get the image you are chasing. On your list only the HVX has better controls. It loses most if not all its recording speed advantage by giving away resolution, not using GOP and using older compression technology. It also is the only one in the group with a sub-sampling sensor. The 5DM2 gives away manual controls making each shoot more of a project. The HF S100 has a surprisingly bad interface. The HV30 had a pretty good one, moving the conrols under your thumb. The HF S10/100 have a joystick and buttons on the LCD panel. Not my idea of fun.

For all its issues, the GH1 is the only sub $2k video camera combining high end glass and sensor with good manual controls.

05-07-2009, 01:23 AM
Well the thing though is, I broke my HV20 and recently just got my camera claim.
When i bought the camera it was in 2007 for about $981 but right now the claim is sending a check worth $650 or so?
Was it because the repair estimate was around $300 or was it because of deprecated value?
They said they would replace the camera.

05-07-2009, 08:44 AM
Well...if I didn't have either...and was spending my money for an under $2000 video camera...GH1 with the kit lens ($1500) plus either a Zoom H4n ($350) or Tascam DR-100 ($430) sounds about right. The only questions is what you add for filters/mattebox/rods/legs unless you already have them. Minimally I'd probably carry a circular polarizing filter, a digital diffusion, and maybe some NDs, say a .3 and a .6.

If I didn't want to spend $2k, I'd consider an HV30 over the HV20 (much better user interface) or maybe a Sanyo HD2000 or FH1. The HD2000 has audio input, a shoe mount, and headphone output. Both Sanyos have full manual control but a weak image stabilizer. Rather low speed recording but use a noise reduction very similar to the GH1 and generally seem to create pleasing images. You can (and should) record sound off the camera as in the other scenarios. They are under $600 and under $450 respectively.

05-07-2009, 09:06 AM
I have an HD1000 and while you have full manual control, your ability to change things while shooting is limited, for instance its really hard to focus while shooting (impossible on the HD1000, possibly the HD2000).

On the other hand, the Image Stabilization on the HD2000 should be as good or better than optical image stabilization on modern cameras, in that it can theoretically compensate for a wider range of camera rotation.