Animation Benchmarking by Cameron Adams.
Cameron takes a sobering look at animation performance for HTML, Canvas, and SVG relative to Flash.
They all follow pretty much the same pattern: Flash on top, followed by Canvas, then HTML, then SVG; with the exception of Safari on OS X, where – at lower numbers of particles – the native browser technologies hold their own, but still degenerate in performance for higher numbers of particles.
The good news, you might say, is that Safari nearly holds its own. That’s promising for the iPhone, the iPad, and the future of web standards in general.