Camcorders forum

General discussion

Sony HDR-SR11 or Canon HG10

by rancineb / March 28, 2008 1:56 AM PDT

I?m looking to purchase a camcorder and debating between either the Sony HDR-SR11 or the Canon HG10. What do you think is better or is there another one that you recommend more? This is my first camcorder I?m buying so I?m not too familiar with them. Thanks for the help.


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Both are pretty good.
by whizkid454 / March 28, 2008 2:20 AM PDT

Have you done some research regarding the two? Here are some starting links:

If you are interested in looking at tape based camcorders, the HV20/30 is another good option. For much more information, search this forum.

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Thanks for the info...
by rancineb / March 29, 2008 2:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Both are pretty good.

I guess my question now is which format I should go with. I really like HDD because each film clip is a seperate file which makes it easy to transport (from my experience that is) but I'm not too familiar with miniDV. How is video stored on it and transfered to the computer? Can you take pictures on miniDV or is it just for video? I'm really new to camcorders so sorry to ask such general questions.

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by whizkid454 / March 29, 2008 4:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks for the info...

With hard drive camcorders, videos are stored as individual files like you said. Stills and videos are recorded to the hard drive. When you connect the camcorder to the computer, it is recognized like an external hard drive. All you have to do is copy the video files from the camcorder to the computer (pretty fast transfer speeds via USB) and you're ready to use them for editing or DVD burning. Keep in mind the video files are in the MPEG2 format so the viewing/editing software needs to be able to handle MPEG2 video files.

With miniDV camcorders, the video is stored on the tape from start to finish straight through. There are no separate files. In order to transfer the video to the computer, you hook up the camcorder via Firewire (not USB, too many problems around here) and import the video. Now, the difference is that 60 minutes of video on the camcorder will take 60 minutes to import to the computer. You cannot store still photos on the tape. That is why you need a memory card to store those. Once in the computer, you can import the one long video file into pretty much any software and edit it as you like. Then you can burn to DVD.

It's no problem. We all had to start somewhere. Hope this helped.

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Other differences...
by boya84 / March 29, 2008 5:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Differences...

If the clip is a long one - lets say 45 minutes (half of a play or concert), HDD will break the file into 20 minute clips (2 @ 20 minutes; 1 @ 5 minutes); MiniDV tape will be one continuous file. There are no lost frames between the HDD file segments, it just "is".

Generally, the video editor can help with the segmentation. In the HDD environment, you would stick the files back together to make a single continuous clip for the project. In miniDV tape land, while it is true that importing the whole tape (even with starts/stops) results in a single large project file, you can make the short clips by exporting the short portion desired or just import what you want.

In the case of miniDV tapes, the tape is the archive. While it is accurate that importing real-time can be time consuming (1 hour of standard def takes 1 hour to import; hidef may take longer that real-time and depends on your computer's CPU), I find it easy enough just to go do something else... design the DVD art, mow the lawn, whatever... In the case of the HDD archiving, once you copy the files from the camcorder to your computer, your first step *should* be to make your archive files. When the project is complete and you delete the files from the camcorder and the computer... and 3 years later you want a clip that is long gone because you did not archive those video data files... whereas, with miniDV tape, just go back to the tape and re-import. So the perceived amount of time saved in the import/copy process is less than initially thought.

There's more - like how DV is much less compressed than the internal hard drive MPEG2 compression (and the compression can impact video quality) or dropping/breaking the camcorder poses different video recovery methods or the differences between running out of hard drive space or miniDV tape will impact your planning or reaction requirements...

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Just some clarification...
by whizkid454 / March 29, 2008 10:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Other differences...

There are no "lost" frames between clips. If you record an event with both types of camcorder, start and stop at the same time, and import to the computer. Each will play the exact same way. There is always a minuscule "switching" gap between scenes. Not any camcorder's fault.

Chances are, most people record more than one small event per tape. If so, once it is imported, you MUST use a video editor to cut out the other event so you can make a DVD of that specific event. No relative wants to see the extra footage of say a football game on that same tape, they want to see the kids playing. This would be where individual clips can be a time saver. Say your clip of the kids is 15 minutes long, drag and drop that clip from the hard drive camcorder onto the computer and burn to DVD. That simple and with no need for a video editor.

Just a note to any camcorder owner: BACK UP YOUR FOOTAGE. Keeping two copies is a very good idea. (If three or more copies can be made, that's even better.) Technology can (and eventually will) go wrong.

I'm not saying miniDV isn't the best way to go. I'm trying to say that there are more options out there. Just to let people know, DVDs you rent or buy are recorded in the MPEG2 format. MPEG2 is not a "bad" way of recording video.

I'll also point you to a moderator's response to an earlier similar question:

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Great Info...
by rancineb / March 30, 2008 1:33 AM PDT

I really apprecaite all your help. I think I'm going to go with the HDD version just because of the ease of use. I'm not trying to do anything professional here so having the higher quality of a miniDV is not extremely important to me when MPEG2 is still good quality.

As far as storage, I can always buy a bigger hard drive for my computer if the extra space is needed in the future. Hard drives are dirt cheap these days.

I think I'm going to go with the Sony HDR-SR11. I've heard so-so feedback on the Canon scroll wheel and I like the bigger screen then the SR10 which makes it easier for the touch screen navigation.


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Hope everything works out for you...
by whizkid454 / March 30, 2008 2:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Great Info...

Let us know how you like it once you get it. It's always good to get some real world feedback.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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by rancineb / April 2, 2008 3:57 AM PDT

Yeah, I got a question. Where can I get this camcorder for less then $1200 Happy

I'll let you know how I like it.

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Dell - $180 less
by rancineb / April 2, 2008 4:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Cost

I saw that the Sony HDR-SR11 is $180 less through Dell then anywhere else I've seen. Has anyone purchased anything from Dell and how was the service?

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Dell is a good vendor...
by whizkid454 / April 2, 2008 9:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Dell - $180 less

I've heard good things from B&H too. There a line that should be drawn. If it's advertised for $500+ off, it is probably too good to be true. Don't go for it. Stick with reputable vendors.

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DOH - Price changed
by rancineb / April 3, 2008 2:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Dell - $180 less

Dell must have been running a 1 day sale, or they corrected the price. It's not listed at $1200. I think I'll just go to Best Buy and buy it. It'll be easier to return in case there are issues since I don't have to mail anything.

I never purchase extended warranty because I think it's a scam but would you recommend buying a replacement plan through them, or just stick with the Sony warranty?

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It's up to you..
by whizkid454 / April 3, 2008 7:09 AM PDT
In reply to: DOH - Price changed

The default warranty is 1 year parts, 90 days labor. If you think you'll be rough with it, I think it would be a wise idea. If you're not going to be using it often, maybe rethink the warranty a bit.

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by WalterQ26 / April 3, 2008 9:58 AM PDT
In reply to: It's up to you..

i would def go with Canon. I trust them with Cameras, I actually was thinking of getting that camera a while back.

I saw a nice little deal on those classifieds ad sites ( someone was selling a used one but not bad for the deal.

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Extended Warranty
by JayVeeCee / April 7, 2008 12:00 AM PDT
In reply to: DOH - Price changed

I am incline to agree that extended warranty is a scam.

I have seen extended warranty that include in the list of coverage those that were covered by standard warranty. Additionally, there could be deductible like insurance. Most of the time, I believe, would brek within the first 90 days, which usually would still be under warranty.

If purchased from reputable vendors, there is usually a 14 to 30 days return policy. Please check re-stocking fee that could be rediculous and the cost of shippings (to and from) plus handling you will have to forfeit/lost.

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sonyHDR SR11 @ $619, free s&h.
by randy238 / April 8, 2008 4:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Cost

Found this price today on Sonic Cameras site: $619, free S&H. Have seen nothing close to that on any other site. Anybody have experience with this outfit? Most prices for the SR11 are in the $1000 +/- 100. I'm skeptical of deep discounts.

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Sony HDR-SR11
by JayVeeCee / April 8, 2008 5:11 AM PDT

I would not be surprised this is a "come on".

If you have a way, ask somebody from the website what is included in the price.

" &" are also in the same scam.

Good luck. The lowest price i saw was in Costco. I got it for about $1050 plus tax. Last time I check, it was no longer available.

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Purchased Last Week
by rancineb / April 8, 2008 5:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Sony HDR-SR11

I bought the Sony at Best Buy last week for $1130 and declined the extended warrenty. I read about Best Buy's service plans and from everything I saw from information and people's experiences, seems more like a headache then something useful.

So far the camera has been great. Still reading about it and how to use all the features. The quality has been great so far and I'm just looking at the LCD on the camera. I can't wait to take some videos and download them and start editing to get a real feel for the quality and ease of use. So far in the short time I've used it, I'm happy.

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by JayVeeCee / April 8, 2008 6:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Purchased Last Week

Congratulations to both of us.
I got mine yesterday from Costco.

Tip/note - a 4 gig Sandisk Ultra II (Memory Stick Duo Pro) indicated it will last for over an hour of HD video.
Since I could download from memory directly to my desktop, I prefer to use this for convenience.

Good luck to you and your new toy. ... JVC

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You're nuts...
by smart_aalex / April 8, 2008 10:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Purchased Last Week

The $139 extended warranty basically means that if your camcorder breaks down in 4 yrs or less, you'll either get (a) your existing cam fixed/replaced if broken or (b) you'll get a new cam if the SR11 is discontinued in before 2012. My Magellan GPS broke down at the 3 3/4 yr mark and BB gave me a brand new GPS for the $25 my wife bought the Protection Plan 3 3/4 yrs ago. Ever since then, I buy everything through them JUST to get get the warranty.

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Sonic Cameras
by joeyn12004 / April 19, 2008 7:46 AM PDT

On March 31st I ordered this camera and I received the package about a week later. The only problem was that the camera was not in the package. Instead of the camera there was a can of beer!!!. I have been in contact with Sonic Cameras and they have filed a claim with UPS. I am working with them and giving them the benefit of the doubt to see if this will be resolved and I will get my camera. Also, the price they advertised at that low price is not for an american market. I ordered on at a little over $1000 but there were a lot of extras. It is April 19th and I still don't have my camera.I will give an update when this is resolved as I am still giving them a chance to resolve this issue.

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by randy238 / April 20, 2008 12:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Sonic Cameras

Sorry to hear of your experience. If I were you, I would be sure to check with UPS to ask if they actually have an investigation in process.
Also check with whatever credit card, bank, or other agencies involved in the payment process. It seems to me the credibility of the supplier is suspect. CNET members should be alerted as well as the BBB. When I checked with them, i.e., Better Business Bureau, they said they had heard of the company, but had nothing to report. Your situation deserves more publicity and you deserve applause for bringing it to light. Harken to the old warning, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't."

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Dishonest vendors.
by JayVeeCee / April 20, 2008 11:26 AM PDT

I believe it is imperative to have a "never ending" thread of dishonest practices and vendors involve.

And we could start here, right now,

Name the vendor, one line at a time, and what you believe was dishonest or unfair practices.
We could classify the thread by types of products, camera, camcorder, GPS, etc.

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To above poster...
by whizkid454 / April 21, 2008 5:59 AM PDT

This isn't the thread to start the chain of vendor annoyances. This thread is about the Canon HG10 vs the Sony SR11. Please either start your own discussion thread or continue one of the many started previously on the issue of bad sellers. Thanks.

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check reviews online
by scottokamoto / August 11, 2008 5:06 AM PDT

You weren't discriminated against. I just found the sonic site and was skeptical. They are total scam/bait and switch people. The probably never had what you wanted in the first place and just wanted you to spend more money on crappy stuff.

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