Canon vixia G20 - 60i has fastest focus?

Started Apr 12, 2013 | Discussions
polarizer
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Canon vixia G20 - 60i has fastest focus?
Apr 12, 2013

Hi there

I am thinking of buying G20 and started reading G10 manual online - it says that fastest focus is using 60i

I am getting this mostly for kids soccer so need fats focus but also need low light for piano recital etc.

What are the pros and cons of using 60i vs 30p or 24p

i assume i should use 60i for sports and 30p for recital

another question: should i be looking at another camcorder or camera for my needs?

appreciate you advice

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Sean Nelson
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Re: Canon vixia G20 - 60i has fastest focus?
In reply to polarizer, Apr 12, 2013

Fast action in activities like soccer will look smoother at 60i, although it may show combing artifacts depending on how smart your playback equipment is.   24p would probably be best for piano recitals because there's not a lot of motion to worry about and the slower frame rate allows a longer shutter speed which will help in low light situations.

Camcorders often have a low-light advantage over a similarly priced camera, but the downside may be having to carry around two devices.  I can't offer any specific advice on the Canon G20 as I'm not familiar with it.

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polarizer
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Re: Canon vixia G20 - 60i has fastest focus?
In reply to Sean Nelson, Apr 12, 2013

Sean Nelson wrote:

Fast action in activities like soccer will look smoother at 60i, although it may show combing artifacts depending on how smart your playback equipment is.   24p would probably be best for piano recitals because there's not a lot of motion to worry about and the slower frame rate allows a longer shutter speed which will help in low light situations.

Camcorders often have a low-light advantage over a similarly priced camera, but the downside may be having to carry around two devices.  I can't offer any specific advice on the Canon G20 as I'm not familiar with it.

makes sense - thank you

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lancespring
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Re: Canon vixia G20 - 60i has fastest focus?
In reply to polarizer, Apr 13, 2013

Keep in mind too that the new G20 is going to also offer 1080/60p recording at both 28 Mbps AVCHD and 35 Mbps in MP4, something that the G10 does not offer.  Using it you will be able to shoot fast action, yet still maintain very high image quality.

I can tell you that the Canon automatic follow focus on the G10 does a wonderful job of tracking moving subjects and keeping them in focus at events.  I really don't follow sports, though, so I cannot tell you how well it works for sports.  But at events it allows me to set the focus on a person, and it will very accurately follow that person as they move around.

.

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Sean Nelson
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Re: Canon vixia G20 - 60i has fastest focus?
In reply to lancespring, Apr 13, 2013

lancespring wrote:

Keep in mind too that the new G20 is going to also offer 1080/60p recording at both 28 Mbps AVCHD and 35 Mbps in MP4, something that the G10 does not offer.  Using it you will be able to shoot fast action, yet still maintain very high image quality.

Yes, I totally agree.   The advantage of 60p is that you can get the same smooth motion capabilities of 60i but without the combing artifacts.   If the camera supports 60p then that would be the way to go for shooting action like soccer, IMHO.

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lancespring
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Re: Canon vixia G20 - 60i has fastest focus?
In reply to Sean Nelson, Apr 13, 2013

Oops, I messed up big time here.  I was thinking of the upcoming Canon HF G30 due out in June, which does support 1080/60p.

The HF G20 supports the same recording options as the G10, and lacks the 1080/60p option.

Sorry for my confusion and mistake here.

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lancespring
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Re: Canon vixia G20 - 60i has fastest focus?
In reply to polarizer, Apr 13, 2013

Please disregard my earlier remark, as I was thinking of the just announced HF G30, which will not be available until June, and is a much more expensive camcorder ( $600 more than the G20 ).

Note that the only true progressive option on the G10/G20 is 24p   It offers the max image quality and the best low light performance.  Instead of 30p, these camcorders offer 30PF, which stands for Progressive segmented frame.  This is a technique of recording progressive video within an interlace stream.

So use 24p for best results in the indoor recitals, and 60i for sports.  Shoot both using the max MXP 24 Mbps recording quality.

.

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polarizer
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Re: Canon vixia G20 - 60i has fastest focus?
In reply to lancespring, Apr 13, 2013

lancespring wrote:

Please disregard my earlier remark, as I was thinking of the just announced HF G30, which will not be available until June, and is a much more expensive camcorder ( $600 more than the G20 ).

Note that the only true progressive option on the G10/G20 is 24p   It offers the max image quality and the best low light performance.  Instead of 30p, these camcorders offer 30PF, which stands for Progressive segmented frame.  This is a technique of recording progressive video within an interlace stream.

So use 24p for best results in the indoor recitals, and 60i for sports.  Shoot both using the max MXP 24 Mbps recording quality.

.

thank you

i am tempted to wait for the G30 and pay extra $600. Features i like:

- 60p

- 20x lens

- 5 axis stabilization

- bigger battery

- capacitive touch screen

- higher res viewfinder with tilt

- hybrid focus with phase detect - ( i can't tell if this is new vs G20/10)

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lancespring
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Re: Canon vixia G20 - 60i has fastest focus?
In reply to polarizer, Apr 14, 2013

All of the Canon HF G series camcorders use the same batteries.   Canon is simply going to bundle their mid-size battery, the BP-819, with the G30.  It is an excellent battery, and normally costs another $87   If power usage in the G30 is similar to my G10, it will power the camcorder for over 3 hours, even when when using the LCD.

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lancespring
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Re: Canon vixia G20 - 60i has fastest focus?
In reply to polarizer, Apr 15, 2013

polarizer wrote:

thank you

i am tempted to wait for the G30 and pay extra $600. Features i like:

- 60p

- 20x lens

- 5 axis stabilization

- bigger battery

- capacitive touch screen

- higher res viewfinder with tilt

- hybrid focus with phase detect - ( i can't tell if this is new vs G20/10)

Regarding the new hybrid focus feature, yes that is yet another new feature.  The G30 has new features galore, and fortunately they are all pretty much useful and desirable things.

I can tell you that the Instant Focus feature on the current Canon camcorders is excellent, and works very well.  But keep in mind that the current camcorders only have a 10x zoom range.   The G30 is going to have double that: a 20x range.  It is far more challenging to make a fast and accurate autofocus system work well on a lens with such a dramatically greater zoom range.  So I would expect Canon to have to improve their autofocus system some, just to be able to support such a longer zoom range.

Other options less expensive than the Canon HF G30 would be the upcoming Panasonic  HC-X920, which is due to be in stores next month:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/910265-REG/panasonic_hc_x920k_hc_x920_3mos_ultrafine_full.html

or a Sony HDR-PJ710V for the same price of the HC-X920 of roughly $1,000.  It takes really nice  video too:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/838312-REG/Sony_HDR_PJ710V_HDR_PJ710V_High_Definition_Handycam.html

Personally, though, I have found the ergonomics, controls, and menus of the Canon HF G series to be superior to what the competing camcorders from Sony and Panasonic offer.  I give Canon an edge in ease of use.

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polarizer
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Re: Canon vixia G20 - 60i has fastest focus?
In reply to lancespring, Apr 15, 2013

lancespring wrote:

polarizer wrote:

thank you

i am tempted to wait for the G30 and pay extra $600. Features i like:

- 60p

- 20x lens

- 5 axis stabilization

- bigger battery

- capacitive touch screen

- higher res viewfinder with tilt

- hybrid focus with phase detect - ( i can't tell if this is new vs G20/10)

Regarding the new hybrid focus feature, yes that is yet another new feature.  The G30 has new features galore, and fortunately they are all pretty much useful and desirable things.

I can tell you that the Instant Focus feature on the current Canon camcorders is excellent, and works very well.  But keep in mind that the current camcorders only have a 10x zoom range.   The G30 is going to have double that: a 20x range.  It is far more challenging to make a fast and accurate autofocus system work well on a lens with such a dramatically greater zoom range.  So I would expect Canon to have to improve their autofocus system some, just to be able to support such a longer zoom range.

Other options less expensive than the Canon HF G30 would be the upcoming Panasonic  HC-X920, which is due to be in stores next month:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/910265-REG/panasonic_hc_x920k_hc_x920_3mos_ultrafine_full.html

or a Sony HDR-PJ710V for the same price of the HC-X920 of roughly $1,000.  It takes really nice  video too:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/838312-REG/Sony_HDR_PJ710V_HDR_PJ710V_High_Definition_Handycam.html

Personally, though, I have found the ergonomics, controls, and menus of the Canon HF G series to be superior to what the competing camcorders from Sony and Panasonic offer.  I give Canon an edge in ease of use.

I like the specs on the new G30 lens - its wider and longer

Thanks fo the info on sony and panasonic - i will take a look at these as well

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Cy Cheze
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G30 versus HC-X920 versus PJ710
In reply to polarizer, Apr 15, 2013

Of the three, the HC-920 is priced the lowest and is the lightest and most compact.  Its control ring is more versatile and easy to control than menu or touch screen controls.  It also has three 1/2.3" sensors (for red, cyan, blue) so there is no need for a Bayer sensor and no moiré.  It also offers time lapse, which neither of the other two do, SFAIK.  If (for whatever reason) you get an itch to shoot something in 3D, you could (if you fancied) get the 3D adaptor for the HC-920, which is a lot less expensive or compromising than getting a dedicated 3D videocam.  The optical zoom is 12X which is about the most you can use without having major image shake challenge.  You can use a smart zoom (sensor crop) that effectively doubles that zoom in good light, but probably need a tripod to avoid bad shake.

A three way test of the cameras would be quite interesting, but don't hold your breath in hopes that will appear soon, if ever.  I vaguely suspect that the Sony gyro stabilizer outperforms the five-axis version of the other two, though only by a bit and at the expense of greater weight.  The Canon may offer the most advanced control options, if you can figure them out or really have any occasion to need them, but is bulky and expensive.  The image quality and low light performance may be quite similar.  All offer 1920x1080 60p, though in low light your shutter speed will be a lot slower.  Zoom shots in the dark are an AF challenge for just about anything.

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Menneisyys
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Re: Canon vixia G20 - 60i has fastest focus?
In reply to Sean Nelson, Apr 15, 2013

Sean Nelson wrote:

Camcorders often have a low-light advantage over a similarly priced camera

also, they (at least the better ones including the m50 / G10 / G20, that is, the natively 2 Mpixel ones) don't exhibit (that bad) aliasing / moire effects, thanks for their natively 2 Mpixel sensors. At least not in non-interlaced mode (interlacing can introduxe its own "aliasing": "twittering"). Most stills cameras,shoot videos riddled with these awful effects. Even  higher-end ones like the Canon G1X - or, for that matter, to a lesser effect, the latest-=and-greatest Sony NEX-6.

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Menneisyys
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Re: G30 versus HC-X920 versus PJ710
In reply to Cy Cheze, Apr 15, 2013

Also, a huge advantage of it is having wideangle at 29.8mm. Not even the G10/G20 are capable of this (they both start at 30.4mm; only the forthcoming G30 can (26.4mm when not using electronic IS) go (much) wider).

However, the sensors are 12 Mpixels each. I wonder if there will be aliasing / moire because of line skipping. (I'm pretty sure the sensors / the driver chipset aren't capable of sampling all pixels. We're speaking of 36 Mpixels, after all - which would require some really advanced chipset, particularly at 60p. I don't know of anything consumer-priced, except for the 30p only, 38 Mpixel Nokia 808, that would do this.)

Cy Cheze wrote:

Of the three, the HC-920 is priced the lowest and is the lightest and most compact.  Its control ring is more versatile and easy to control than menu or touch screen controls.  It also has three 1/2.3" sensors (for red, cyan, blue) so there is no need for a Bayer sensor and no moiré.  It also offers time lapse, which neither of the other two do, SFAIK.  If (for whatever reason) you get an itch to shoot something in 3D, you could (if you fancied) get the 3D adaptor for the HC-920, which is a lot less expensive or compromising than getting a dedicated 3D videocam.  The optical zoom is 12X which is about the most you can use without having major image shake challenge.  You can use a smart zoom (sensor crop) that effectively doubles that zoom in good light, but probably need a tripod to avoid bad shake.

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polarizer
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$1000 price point
In reply to Cy Cheze, Apr 16, 2013

so if we look at $1k price point we have:

G20 with good AF and low light but no 60p

pj710v with 60p and best stabilization, good mic

x920 with 60p 3 sensor, control ring

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lancespring
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Re: G30 versus HC-X920 versus PJ710
In reply to Cy Cheze, Apr 16, 2013

Cy Cheze wrote:

Of the three, the HC-920 is priced the lowest and is the lightest and most compact.

The Sony PJ710 is not that much larger, and the weight difference is only 555 grams for the Sony vs 417 grams for the Panasonic.   Both are significantly lighter than the upcoming Canon HF G30 ( 765 grams ).  My Canon HF G10 is 549 grams, and I find it to be very comfortable and light enough to hold for long periods.   The Sony should feel the same.

A super light camcorder really contributes nothing to holding a camcorder steady.  Of these camcorders, I think that only the size and the weight of the HF G30 is of concern.

Also, the price difference between the HC-X920 and the PJ710 at B&H Photo is only a difference of $48, which is quite negligible.  Not enough to factor in the decision making process, in my opinion.
.

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lancespring
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Re: G30 versus HC-X920 versus PJ710
In reply to Menneisyys, Apr 16, 2013

Menneisyys wrote:

Also, a huge advantage of it is having wideangle at 29.8mm. Not even the G10/G20 are capable of this (they both start at 30.4mm; only the forthcoming G30 can (26.4mm when not using electronic IS) go (much) wider).

You are also shortchanging the Sony PJ710, as it goes down to 27mm on wide angle, easily beating out the Panasonic HC-X920.

.

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lancespring
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Re: $1000 price point
In reply to polarizer, Apr 16, 2013

polarizer wrote:

so if we look at $1k price point we have:

G20 with good AF and low light but no 60p

pj710v with 60p and best stabilization, good mic

x920 with 60p 3 sensor, control ring

Well, except that regarding controls, the GH G20 wins hands down.  It not only has a control ring around the lens like the Panasonic does, but in addition it has an awesome control dial on the rear of the camcorder right where your thumb is.

For example, if you want to take it easy, and let the camcorder do most of the work for you, but still be able to adjust exposure, do this:  Set the G20 into Manual, and then choose Program Mode for the exposure.   Then set the rear control dial to exposure compensation.   You can then fine tune your exposure very quick and easily using your thumb. 
That is something neither the Panasonic or Sony can do.

.

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polarizer
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Re: $1000 price point
In reply to lancespring, Apr 17, 2013

so really its the sony (stabilization, 60P) vs G20 (ergonomics, low light, focus) for around $1k

or G30 with all the additional features for another $600-$700

probably not gonna do the panasonic

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lancespring
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Re: $1000 price point
In reply to polarizer, Apr 17, 2013

polarizer wrote:

so really its the sony (stabilization, 60P) vs G20 (ergonomics, low light, focus) for around $1k

or G30 with all the additional features for another $600-$700

probably not gonna do the panasonic

I think that you could be happy with either this Sony or the Canon G20.  Do you have any large retailers near you that you can check them out at first hand and handle them?   That would be the ideal thing to do.

Those are your two choices if you want to buy now.  The Panasonic HC-X920 is still probably a month away from being available, and for the Canon HF G30, it probably will be close to 2 months before it is out.

.

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