Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Now, I'm fully 1920 x 1080. Whew!

It took awhile, but I'm finally there. 1920x1080. What does that mean? It means my Computer (incl. monitor), Plasma TV, Blu-ray disc and Video Camcorder are all what they call "Full HD."

How long has this taken? It seems like forever when looking back at the first murmurs of the new TV format called high def in what, the early 1990's? Affordable HD camcorders were the last piece of the puzzle, having come along in the last year-ish. Big, reasonably affordable HD tv's have only been around for the past two. Ditto for HD discs. Computers with the power to edit the new codecs, say 2 yrs also.

If I've got this equipment, you know that we as a culture have passed the point of inflexion. Because I'm not an 'early adopter', nor a 'laggard.' I jump on the bus when the price curve starts to flatten, and the standard appears in the distance, not a moment later.

Attention: We are now living in the HD World, and are never going back. We won't miss the SD world, though, it will probably be increasingly our visual code for nostalgia and history. So be it.

Well, I changed my mind. I bought the HF10 Why?

In an earlier post I proclaimed that I would be buying the HV30, even though the HF10 was, as I said, the one to get. Well, here's why I rethought that conclusion:

1) This baby is much smaller than the HV30. I didn't realize until I saw it in person and held it in my hand. The size difference (convenience) is significant. The smaller it is, the more likely I'll take it with me.

2) Though the "instant" backup inherent in a tape-based unit is convenient, it doesn't solve my backup problems for my digital photos and other random stuff. I accepted that I will have to have a digital backup strategy for those, and if so, I can incorporate the (significantly increased) requirements of digital video, too.

3) The picture quality is very, very close to the HDV format of the HV30 according to several reviewers. (Camcorder Info, Cnet)

4) The convenience of flash memory was getting more and more appealing over time.

5) I'm not worried about the editing issues of AVCHD format. It is truly the wave of the future. Editing programs will support it in the future, some do right now. And I have a Q6700-based PC, so I should (knock on wood) have enough horsepower to handle it. We'll see.

6) Front/Bottom mounted mikes. I'm starting to get a clue that sound quality is important to video. I may buy the $200 Canon directional mike, but I'll have to see if it is truly worth the money and hassle of shelppping it along.

I also made a choice between the HF10 and HF100, the latter offering no internal memory, a silver color, but being $160 cheaper. The internal memory was a nice feature (faster data transfer rate allow up to 1/2000 shutter speed vs 1/500 with the SDHC card). In the end 16GB of memory would cost around $80, so I paid $80 for black and the higher available shutter speed. In the end I really wanted black. Why? I want the camera to be as inconspicuous as possible. I believe this makes for less "self conscious" subjects.

I paid $860 plus $12 shipping and $20 for a modest Lowepro case, and no tax, shipped to my home in NJ, from B&H. This all in price was better than Costco or Amazon.

There! I fessed up!