AVCHD camcorders record directly to files on SDHC memory cards. For the longest time the only way to get acceptable video resolution and quality was with tape. AVCHD is a codec developed by Soyn and Panasonic and compress in AVC/H.264, maximum bitrate for High-Profile@Level-4.1 is 24Mbit/s.
- AVCHD and SDHC
- Good low light performance
- Manual controls
- Bitrate 24Mbit/s (for greenscreen dropout)
- Under 1100 USD price point
While AVCHD is still 4:2:0 chroma subsampling, the resolution will make up for it when keying out the background on a greenscreen scene.
In order of approx. product introduction date.
- Canon HF10 (16 GB onboard + SDHC) - camcorderinfo.com - trustedreviews.com
- Canon HF100 (SDHC) - camcorderinfo.com - trustedreviews.com
- Canon HG20 (60 GB harddrive + SDHC) - camcorderinfo.com - trustedreviews.com
- Panasonic HDC-SH100 (60 GB harddrive + SDHC) - camcorderinfo.com - trustedreviews.com
- Panasonic HDC-SD100 (SDHC) - camcorderinfo.com - trustedreviews.com
- Canon HF11 (32 GB onboard + SDHC) - camcorderinfo.com - trustedreviews.com - provideocoalition.com
- Canon HG21 (120 GB harddrive + SDHC) - trustedreviews.com
- Panasonic HDC-HS300 - (120 GB harddrive + SDHC) - trustedreviews.com
- Canon HF S100 (SDHC) - camcorderinfo.com
- Canon HF S10 (32 GB onboard + SDHC) - trustedreviews.com
The evolution is as following:
- HF10 → HF11 → HF S10
- HF100 → HF S100
- HG20 → HG21
- HDC-SH100 → HDC-SH300
The most of the 2009 Canon models (HF20, HF200) has a smaller cmos sensor and the low light performance takes a hit. The 2008 models are still perferred when image quality is important.
JVC and Sony also has a few models, but none of them are of any interest.
- Canon HF11 - Great low light and overall image quality, 32 GB onboard, SDHC, 24Mbit/s
- Canon HF10 - Same good low light and image quality, 16 GB onboard, SDHC, 24Mbit/s
- Canon HF100 - Same great image, SDHC, 17 Mbit/s
- Canon HG21 - 120 GB harddrive, 24Mbit/s
- Canon HG20 - 60 GB harddrive, 24Mbit/s
- Canon HF S100 - Too pricey but impressive image quality
- Canon HF S10 - Also too pricey
- SDHC 16 GB memory cards
- Fast card reader
- Extended battery
- Wide angle lense
- UV filter
- External microphone