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canon hf r300

MiniDV, DVD, Hard Drive, 8 mm, High Def, brands, import / capture techniques, settings ... talk about camcorders in here.

canon hf r300

Postby videovillageidiot » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:21 am

just wondering if anyone is familiar with this camera. i'm trying to figure out which preset i would use to bring in video from the sd card...i'm guessing it would be full hd 1080i 30 based on what i see in the camera's pdf manual. but i'm not sure.

also, i tried a project as avchd and got the clip from the card itself...actually i copied the mts file to a drive on the computer and then brought it into pe9. is that the same result as if i had connected the camera thru a usb port and downloaded the file using the video importer? i haven't tried that method yet because i'm confused about having to install the provided software to do it. the manual says to install the software before connecting the camera to the computer the first time, but i'm thinking it's irrelevant for use with pe. i'm just not at all clear about the process.

i guess i still prefer my old dv camera, but the quality is awful. of course if i can't properly use the new camera, what good is it? i truly hate all the technical aspects of this stuff...i just want to tell stories... :(

thanks for any help
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Re: canon hf r300

Postby Dave McElderry » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:28 am

videovillageidiot wrote:just wondering if anyone is familiar with this camera. i'm trying to figure out which preset i would use to bring in video from the sd card...i'm guessing it would be full hd 1080i 30 based on what i see in the camera's pdf manual. but i'm not sure.


Correct. For natively editing AVCHD in Premiere Elements 9, record in MXP mode 60i on your Canon, then use NTSC-Hard Disk, Flash Memory Cancorders > Full HD 1080i 30 for the project setting.

also, i tried a project as avchd and got the clip from the card itself...actually i copied the mts file to a drive on the computer and then brought it into pe9. is that the same result as if i had connected the camera thru a usb port and downloaded the file using the video importer?


I'm assuming you're a Windows user. Yes, the results are the same. You're just copying the MTS file, whether you get it straight from the SD card, or whether you use the USB port.

i haven't tried that method yet because i'm confused about having to install the provided software to do it. the manual says to install the software before connecting the camera to the computer the first time, but i'm thinking it's irrelevant for use with pe. i'm just not at all clear about the process.


It's true that the camcorder is recognized as a USB device in Windows and that the software is not actually needed for a simple file copy. There are a couple of advantages if using the Canon software, though. One is that it knows where to find the files, so it saves you the extra couple of navigation steps to get to the right folder on the SD card. Also, you can safely use the utility to delete files from the SD card. They do not recommend deleting files from Windows. If you're not using the Canon software, delete files using the tools menu on the camcorder itself. Also, always use the camcorder menu to initialize (format) the SD card - never do it through Windows.

Note that you should have two software utilities available to install: the VideoBrowser (for full editing and playback, and file transfer), and the Transfer Utility (copyng and deleting via USB). Upon installation the software will warn you to only install one OR the other - not both. Since I was going to be using Premiere Elements I chose the Transfer Utility. Note that even if you install the Transfer Utility you can still use Windows to copy files via USB. The Transfer Utility opens automatically when the camcorder is connected, but you can just close it and use Windows. But one perk of using the Transfer Utility is that it keeps track of what you've already copied to the computer with it, so it won't copy those files over again the next time if you leave them on the camcorder and do more recording. I think that's one of the reasons they tell you to install the software before connecting the camcorder for the first time.

A last word: Be sure to observe the cautions in your manual regarding how to connect and disconnect the camcorder, and what not to do. You can irretrievably mess up your files on the SD card. The general section is pp 131 - 136.
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Re: canon hf r300

Postby Bob » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:06 am

You can also use the AVCHD full 1080i project preset.
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Re: canon hf r300

Postby Dave McElderry » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:02 am

Bob wrote:You can also use the AVCHD full 1080i project preset.


Yes, exact same settings, just available under two different preset headings.
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Re: canon hf r300

Postby videovillageidiot » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:20 am

Thanks Dave and Bob! I'm still digesting all the great info...

Dave...you are so familiar with the process for this camera...do you have one?

also...if i want to see the quality compared with my canon optura (std dv camera) do you have any ideas? i did try to video a local waterfall with both cameras. so far i've displayed the hd clips on a small hd tv. if i try to view the sd video on the same tv the quality will be adversely affected by the fact that it's sd on a hd tv (is that right?). i'm not sure what test to set up.

since i don't have a blueray burner, what i'm really hoping for is some great quality output viewed on the web. some hd videos on vimeo are amazingly sharp compared to my stuff from the optura. of course i may be able to improve the optura output depending on the share settings. i hate to admit i've only ever used the default settings. :-$

thanks for your help!
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Re: canon hf r300

Postby Dave McElderry » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:41 am

No I don't have an HF R300, but I have another Canon Vixia camcorder that works the same way in regards to file transfers. There was a time a few years ago when hi def TVs were doing a poor job of displaying standard def content, but that has improved a lot. I'm sure the answer to that question just depends on the particular TV. There are going to be many factors which affect a direct comparison test as you describe. SD sharpness and detail will (by definition) nearly always be inferior to HD, but there are many other variables, some subjective, which go into the overall quality. My Panasonic PV-GS400 MiniDV SD camcorder still outperforms many lower end HD camcorders in many ways, in my humble opinion. It was a gem of its time, and its end product is very natural-looking and pleasing. Try some Vimeo or YouTube uploads of both camcorders and see what the output looks like. Just be sure that the quality setting is at least the res of the source material. Higher than that won't make it look any better, though. Maybe someone else will have suggestions for a better way to do a comparison, but in the end I suspect that you'll prefer the HF R300.
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Re: canon hf r300

Postby momoffduty » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:17 am

Now that Vimeo has gone with the larger player the SD video doesn't look very good because it is uprezed. Many people are not happy about the new larger player size. The Vimeo specs maximum width for uploads is 1280 for HD, which would be your 720p preset. On Vimeo I have many widescreen videos and they don't look as crisp on the new player. If you purchase a Plus account the quality is a tad better (supposedly).

I edit in 1440x1080 and upload to Vimeo a HD file and burn a widescreen SD disc. If the project is for disc only, I edit in widescreen and downconvert in camera. The Canon HV 30 does a good job of converting.

I have an account on YouTube too, but mostly dormant. Their player/encoder isn't as good or at least I haven't figured out what is best.
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Re: canon hf r300

Postby TreeTopsRanch » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:05 am

Another odd thing with Vimeo...Try clicking on the full screen icon on the lower corner of the video. It actually goes to a smaller screen and not full screen at all.
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Re: canon hf r300

Postby momoffduty » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:10 am

TreeTopsRanch wrote:Another odd thing with Vimeo...Try clicking on the full screen icon on the lower corner of the video. It actually goes to a smaller screen and not full screen at all.


The full screen works for me in Firefox. With the New Vimeo design there are still bugs. My group page activity doesn't always update, the featured videos feature doesn't work, and sometimes I don't get email notifications on replies...to name a few.
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Re: canon hf r300

Postby videovillageidiot » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:38 pm

ok guys...this is so over my head. i'm trying to figure it all out...i think between this thread and Dave's "General questions regarding AVCHD cameras" thread i'll either be squared away or more confused.

momoffduty wrote:I edit in 1440x1080 and upload to Vimeo a HD file and burn a widescreen SD disc. If the project is for disc only, I edit in widescreen and downconvert in camera. The Canon HV 30 does a good job of converting.


downconvert? in the camera? i'm not sure what that's all about.

i really hate to be an idiot about this stuff, but please understand that my brain absolutely fogs over when it comes to the tech details. i've looked at upload info for both vimeo and youtube and it's overwhelming. Plus the camera is new to me, as well.

i tried uploading 2 samples to youtube...example 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHDIgW19Rb8&feature=plcp is from the optura, uploaded as a .mov file, using the DSL option, and all defaults (created in PE4).
example 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyOWDLdv_nI&feature=plcp was created in PE9 and is from the r300, uploaded as a .mov file, using the preset options I got from Steve in another thread.

does the r300 version look any good? granted, it looks better than the optura, but still...

THANKS ALL!!! I'm looking forward to the day when i "get" this...i just want to create nice stuff.
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Re: canon hf r300

Postby momoffduty » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:57 am

videovillageidiot wrote:
momoffduty wrote:I edit in 1440x1080 and upload to Vimeo a HD file and burn a widescreen SD disc. If the project is for disc only, I edit in widescreen and downconvert in camera. The Canon HV 30 does a good job of converting.


downconvert? in the camera? i'm not sure what that's all about.


I have a Canon HV30 & HV20. Under output you can change to DV Lock for SD. The video stays HD, but the output is SD. I looked up the specs of your cam and it does have the feature to output to SD.

HD-to-SD Downconversion: A new HD-to-SD Downconversion feature enables users to convert recorded high-definition video to standard-definition files while preserving the original HD video. These standard-definition files make it even more convenient to share video online or create a DVD.

Here is the link:
http://currentphotographer.com/a-new-li ... rom-canon/

Looking at the other thread with the settings info, looks good. Is this 1 pass or 2 pass encoding? You would want VBR and not CBR. With VBR, variable bit rate, the settings should be between 5000 & 8000 kbps and this gives you 2 pass encoding. Sorry,I don't have PrEl 9 to look this up. Anyone?

Here is the thread you are referring to:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11038
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Re: canon hf r300

Postby videovillageidiot » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:31 pm

momoffduty wrote: Is this 1 pass or 2 pass encoding? You would want VBR and not CBR. With VBR, variable bit rate, the settings should be between 5000 & 8000 kbps and this gives you 2 pass encoding. Sorry,I don't have PrEl 9 to look this up. Anyone?


Cheryl...i'm not sure about the 1 pass or 2 pass.


i posted 2 more examples on youtube...comparing std def (created in pre4 from video shot on the optura at http://youtu.be/15ZFb5GbY_Q) and the hd created in pre9 (using video from the hf r300 at http://youtu.be/wEuIyc1iBL0). neither looks good to me.

what does anyone else think?
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Re: canon hf r300

Postby momoffduty » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:21 pm

videovillageidiot wrote:Cheryl...i'm not sure about the 1 pass or 2 pass.


There are 2 types of bitrate. VBR is variable bitrate and if fluctuates between a low & high rate and uses 2 passes to encode...Vimeo for example recommends between 5000 for the low & 8000 for the high for HD. CBR is constant bitrate and you can set it for one number...I think high would be 8000 and it uses 1 pass to encode. I've had better quality using VBR for 2 pass encoding.

I don't have PrEl 9 and don't know if you have the option to chose between VBR or CBR. Does your export panel show the info? Usually it is located at the top of the panel when you select your settings. A screen shot would help. Or maybe someone can post the answer that has PrEl9.
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Re: canon hf r300

Postby Chuck Engels » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:53 pm

VBR should also give you a slightly smaller file size as it uses one pass to detect fast motion to set the bit rate higher and then when there is little or no motion the bit rate can be a lot lower. Then on the second pass it actually writes the file slowing down or speeding up the bit rate depending on how much motion is in the video. At least that's how I understand it works :)
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Re: canon hf r300

Postby videovillageidiot » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:25 pm

Cheryl, I am going to try to post a screen print of the share values i used when i uploaded the hd .mov files on youtube that i linked to in above posts.

as the screen print shows my source is 1920 x 1080 and the output is 1280 x 720. i don't notice anything about VBR or CBR.

I'm not sure if anyone has viewed them, but the quality of the videos i uploaded to youtube is not very clear and sort of blocky.

I'd sure love to figure this out or the camera is going back... :(

THANKS everyone who has tried to help!
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