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Firmware hack for Canon Vixia Legria?
  • Hello GUYS!

    Can You write firmware hacks for canon vixia/legria camcoder models?

    All professional camera/camcorder tests show (resolution charts like ISO 12233 Test Chart) that most consumer camcorders can record videos with higher real resolution (lw/ph horizontal and lw/ph vertical) than the best DSLR cameras. Moreover consumer camcorders are are more popular in the market.

    See resolution/sharpness tests of !

    Thank you!

  • 38 Replies sorted by
  • Yeah, I was wondering if you guys could hack my refrigerator. Increasing my freezing ratio would be awesome.

  • It is not a joke. The so-called flag-ship consumer camcorder models have higher price than most DSLR cameras, therefore their higher detals and sharpness is not a wonder.

  • @Stears

    If you ask me, no I can't. And do not use titles made from caps if you want answers.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev Ok, but what is the difficulty with the firmwares of camcorders? There are a lot of version of firmware hacks for DSLR cameras on the internet, but there aren't for videocameras. (Only HV20 30 40 camcorders have hack)

  • A lot of those video cameras have full HDMI output. You can then buy a recorder and capture uncompressed. I know the HV20 could do it and while it was 60i, if you set the 24p setting, it was in the wrapper and you could then remove pulldown. The last and only test I saw was 5 years ago, before the cheap BMD shuttle came out so it wasn't very cost effective back then since you needed a PC with a raid setup. Now if you have a old HV20 lying around you could do it cheap now with the BMD Shuttle v1.

  • Yes, these canon memcard camcorders have HDMI output, but they haven't 60p/50p or 30p/25p progressive outputs. Their HDMI out support only interlaced (or Progressive Segmented Frame interlaced) output, which will be deinterlaced automatically by HD-TV sets. The deinterlace process significantly worsened the video sharpness/resolutions of the video materials of Canon camcorders. :((((

  • Not sure about some of these other cams, but the HV20 recorded HDV 1440 in tape, but output full 1080p and the interlaced wrapped 24p was full resolution, as good as it got until the HDSLRs came out.

    You can get used ones on Ebay for around as cheap as $200 and if you get a "damaged" one with a jammed tape deck, maybe even less.

    Used HV20 $200, BMD Shuttle v1 $180, $130 for 120gb SSD, = $510, cheapest uncompressed 1080p you can get. I've got a damaged HV20, but...the GH1/GH2 is good enough. I don't need uncompressed or 4:2:2 just yet.

  • IHello CRFilms!

    I spoke about Canon HF series (memory cards with AVCHD codecs). The Panasonic & JVC camcorders have progressive HDMI out.

    I think that flag-ship consumer camcorders are more interesting than DSLR cameras, due to the Higher Video Resolution materials of camcorders (see ISO chart tests of Moreover flagship consumer camcorder models are not cheaper than DSLR cameras.

    Firmware hacks for consumber camcorders have more benefits (due to their superior video-image quality) than firmware hacks for DSLR cameras.

  • I have both Vixia cams and Sony top models and I prefer the look of my GH1 . Perhaps you could mix the two as each has certain strengths but I find DSLR to be more artistic in how you can achieve different looks with different glass.

    What are you trying to improve in terms of hacking a consumer HD cam?

  • I have an XA10 camcorder that I use side-by-side with my DLSRs due to its useful focal range, image stabilization and compact form-factor. For example, if my 5DmkII is equipped with a 35mm f1.4 and I suddenly need a telephoto, the Camcorder can fill that need in a pinch quickly. For me, the hacks that would be really useful would be higher bit-rate and higher FPS. It can't go above a true 30p. 60p, even scaled down to 720 would be useful!

  • @Stears @Aria asks a really good question above. It's difficult to see what you're trying to do. I mean, camcorders are really useful for their form factor etc, if you are shooting run and gun etc, but if you are asking why no-one has hacked some of the Vixia Legria models, then I guess it's probably because they're not worth hacking.


    Did you read their sharpness tests?

    Average 19201080 video of the DSLR cameras can produce only 600700 pixel real (optical) resolution in the ISO charts.

    Panasonic camcorders can produce 1000 * 900 pixel videos in full HD (1920*1080 mode)

  • @Stears, I do realize that those small chip HD cams have some high Rez stats, but what sold me on the GH2 was a resolution comparison of a live shot between the GH2 and other top S35 Cams. The GH2 was right up there with a C300. Close enough that it really didn't seem that far off at all and surely enough to satisfy my needs.

    There are other factors beside Rez. I think having a Camcorder is a handy part of a tool kit tho and the IQ from them is pretty darned high. I don't know why someone wouldn't just hook up a Black Magic Hyperdeck to their Camcorder and gain a higher bit rate if they felt that it would be beneficial. They're actually reasonably affordable and you wouldn't have to wait on a hack, that may never come.

  • Less real (optically visible) resolution means less detail and less fine picture. DLR cameras were very good with their 600*600 pixel real optical resolutions in the era of mpeg2 HDV (miniDV) camcorders. However AVCHD camcorders surpassed them in video quality. Higher resolution sensor doesn't mean more detail (pixel) in video picture. Why? Because picture resize algorythms have not enough good quality. All ISO chart tests show that.

    The size of one pixel in a high resolution pixel of a DSLR cameras are signifficantly smaller than the pixel size of a camcorder sensor. Forexample a 1/3 inch 20M.pixel DSLR-sensor have smaller pixel size than a 1/3 inch 4 M.pixel camcorder sensor. Little sensor pixel means more noise.

  • @Stears

    I think all here got your position long time ago.
    No need to go in circles.

  • @Stears, I still don't see a list of what features you wish to see added to your Camcorder. I don't see the value of arguing the superiority of Camcorder Rez over DSLR. Thousands of DSLR Videographers aren't put off by the rez of their cams. There's WAY more to the look of the video than the rez, so again I want to know what in particular do you want to see improved in your camcorder that a hack would solve?

  • @stears I think you're confused. Sharpness is a tiny part of a quality image. You seem to be basing all your conclusions on the price of high end comsumer camcorders and a sharpness test at camorder info.

    To the first- while a gh2 body may be cheaper than these camcorders, an equipped GH2 is way more expensive. It needs multiple lens and a fair amount of other equipment to be truely useable. A camcorder doesn't.

    To the second- a DSLR's sensor is several times the size of what's in a camcorder. In theroy at least, that means a lot more as far as a quality final image goes then a sharpness test.

    If I wanted a supersharp image out a gh2, I could get it with the right lens, lighting, sharpening in post, etc. I don't. I want it to look organic not machined.

    I'd love to have a tm900 for it's ease of use, good image, endless list of features, 60p, etc. But claiming its mage quality is better than a GH2 based on single non real world chart based sharpness test is a fallacy.

  • For anyone curious, I had a romp around vimeo to look for some native footage to download. Here's an example:

    Download the 1920x1080 file to see the original.

    The raw video coming out of this is certainly impressive, and definitely more impressive than my XHA1 camcorders, which are now getting old and looking distinctly furry compared with the GH2. I guess it could be a really useful replacement for those (for me) but I definitely wouldn't replace my GH2. It's nice to have both - what you gain in convenience with a camcorder you lose (IMO) in image quality, so @Stears I don't think it's "just" about resolution, as @chauncy also says above. But nice to have been prompted to have a look at the tm900.

  • @Mark_the_Harp

    The good picture quality of high pixelcount video-sensors was nothing more than a wide-spread urban legend/gossip, whithout any scientific background. I heard and read it many times in the last 10 years, but it doesn't change the fact, that it is not more than a wide-spread hebetate gossip. Real professionals, like engineers and official sites of that factories/firms have never stated such gossips.

    Nowadays (2011-2012) the downgrade the amount of sensor pixels in professional camcorders is a trend for good video resolution. Perhabs the best solution is a large perfectly 1920*1080 pixel sensor, because there are more amount of light sweep the pohotraster, and therefore it induces stronger electric signal/pixel. There is no need image resize tranformation processes/algorithms which further downgrade the video quality.

    GH2 DATA (ISO resolution test chart 12233)

    On the resolution front : Camera / Mode/ Vert / Horiz lines / picture height from ISO 12233 chart. (Shot at optimum aperture) LW/PH GH2 / Cin24 / 780 / 800 GH2 / 1080i / 550 / 800 GH2 / 720p / 600 / 650 HMC / 1080p24 / 600 / 650 HMC / 720p24 / 550 / 550

    Old AVCHD camcorder: Panasonic HDC-TM700

    The camcorder measured a horizontal sharpness of 1000 lw/ph and a vertical sharpness of 900 lw/ph.

  • @Stears Interesting point about downsampling the sensor. I also downloaded the video of the HC900X from the vimeo (don't know how that compares to TM700) and played with that. It's in 50p so you can do a nice slowdown to 25p. Resolution looks good. The only thing really is that you are more limited because you are stuck with the lens that's provided. But yes, nice images and for some reason my Sony Vegas / 6-core 3930K seems to play nicely with the mts files it produces.

  • My question: Is the hacking of a camcorder-firmware more difficult than a firmware-hack of a DSLR camera? Which softwares/hex editors are good to create/edit such a firmware?

  • @Stears

    I specially warned you to not go in circles.

  • Is the hacking of a camcorder-firmware more difficult than a firmware-hack of a DSLR camera?

    To hack something you need to have this first. And your question is so general that it became impossible to answer.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev "To hack something you need to have this first." Do you think about the hardware (camcorder/camera) or the firmware file?

  • Do you think about the hardware (camcorder/camera) or the firmware file?

    How do you think yourself?