A remarkable breakthrough: Sony DSC-F828

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jill, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. Jill

    Jill Guest

    I see that the Sony DSC-F828 digital camera can record video at 640 x 480
    pixel resolution at 30 frames per second on a memory stick. This is achieved
    using the new MPEG-VX Fine mode. Steves digicams says that: "If you wanted
    one camera that could capture high quality stills and high quality video
    then look no further, the F828 can do it!

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/f828.html

    This seems to be a remarkable breakthrough in technology because digital
    still cameras could previously only record video at 15 frames per second.
    Can anyone tell me whether the quality of 640 x 480 video at 30 fps using
    MPEG-VX would be as good as that achieved with a mini DV camcorder that has
    a CCD of (gross) 680K? Does such a camcorder also produce 640 x 480
    resolution video at 30fps?

    Incidentally, if you want a hybrid camera that takes both excellent movies
    and stills, the Sony camcorder DCR-PC330 produces 3 megapixel stills that
    are as good, if not better, than those I get from my 3-year old 3.3
    megapixel Sony DSC-S70 digital still camera. I proved this to myself by
    making big enlargements of some prints from both cameras and then comparing
    the results. However, the results are not nearly as good as those I got from
    the Sony DSC-V1 camera (5 megapixel). I was surprised at just how much
    better the quality of the 5 MP stills were when compared with the 3 MP
    stills, particularly when big enlargements were made.

    Regards, Jill
     
    Jill, Oct 15, 2003
    #1
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  2. Jill

    Rick Guest

    "Jill" <> wrote in message news:vIjjb.1221$...
    > I see that the Sony DSC-F828 digital camera can record video at 640 x 480
    > pixel resolution at 30 frames per second on a memory stick. This is achieved
    > using the new MPEG-VX Fine mode. Steves digicams says that: "If you wanted
    > one camera that could capture high quality stills and high quality video
    > then look no further, the F828 can do it!
    >
    > http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/f828.html
    >
    > This seems to be a remarkable breakthrough in technology because digital
    > still cameras could previously only record video at 15 frames per second.


    FYI, Fuji's S602Z has been doing 640x480 @ 30FPS for well
    over a year now.

    Rick
     
    Rick, Oct 15, 2003
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. "Jill" <> wrote in
    news:vIjjb.1221$:

    > I see that the Sony DSC-F828 digital camera can record video at 640 x
    > 480 pixel resolution at 30 frames per second on a memory stick. This
    > is achieved using the new MPEG-VX Fine mode. Steves digicams says
    > that: "If you wanted one camera that could capture high quality stills
    > and high quality video then look no further, the F828 can do it!


    <SNIP>


    > Regards, Jill



    What is your Sony Employee ID number?



    --
    Tom Shellberg
    www.shellberg.com
     
    Tom Shellberg, Oct 15, 2003
    #3
  4. Jill

    PiZzazA Guest

    How compressed is the data? Can it provide DVD quality video at the same
    compression as DVD mpeg2? If it is DVI, then it is still not practicle as
    camcorder replacement.

    "Rick" <> wrote in message
    news:bmkhcl$npdus$-berlin.de...
    > "Jill" <> wrote in message

    news:vIjjb.1221$...
    > > I see that the Sony DSC-F828 digital camera can record video at 640 x

    480
    > > pixel resolution at 30 frames per second on a memory stick. This is

    achieved
    > > using the new MPEG-VX Fine mode. Steves digicams says that: "If you

    wanted
    > > one camera that could capture high quality stills and high quality video
    > > then look no further, the F828 can do it!
    > >
    > > http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/f828.html
    > >
    > > This seems to be a remarkable breakthrough in technology because digital
    > > still cameras could previously only record video at 15 frames per

    second.
    >
    > FYI, Fuji's S602Z has been doing 640x480 @ 30FPS for well
    > over a year now.
    >
    > Rick
    >
    >
     
    PiZzazA, Oct 15, 2003
    #4
  5. Jill

    Frank ess Guest

    "Jill" <> wrote in message
    news:vIjjb.1221$...
    > I see that the Sony DSC-F828 digital camera can record video at 640 x 480
    > pixel resolution at 30 frames per second on a memory stick.


    I understand that camera will accept CF cards. Will it not record video on
    them?

    How much video will it put on a 128MB CF card?

    Is it true Sony doesn't, and doesn't intend to, offer accessory lenses?
     
    Frank ess, Oct 15, 2003
    #5
  6. Jill

    Bob Niland Guest

    > Jill <> wrote:

    > I see that the Sony DSC-F828 digital camera can ...


    No, you read that the F828 allegedly can ...

    This camera is not available for sale anywhere
    on the planet, and the release date is slipping
    faster than the calendar is advancing, with
    recent rumors putting it at 2004-01-15 (sorry,
    Santa).

    > "If you wanted one camera that could ...


    ... inject FUD into the market, then yes, the
    F828 has done it. Canon isn't likely hurting
    too much, but Nikon has had to drop their
    digicam prices, and Pentax must be in a pure
    panic with their overpriced, underfeatured
    and ill-named *istD.

    > http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/f828.html


    NONE of the so-called reviews answer the sort
    of questions that readers of rec.photo.digital
    have. No test charts. No noise studies. Steve's
    is nice, as pretty-picture review sites go, but
    please check back when the F828 review at
    http://www.dpreview.com/articles/sonydscf828/
    has some technical meat on the bones.

    --
    Regards, PO Box 248
    Bob Niland Enterprise
    mailto: Kansas USA
    which, due to spam, is: 67441-0248
    email4rjn AT yahoo DOT com
    http://www.access-one.com/rjn

    Unless otherwise specifically stated, expressing
    personal opinions and NOT speaking for any
    employer, client or Internet Service Provider.
     
    Bob Niland, Oct 15, 2003
    #6
  7. Jill

    Bob Niland Guest

    > Frank ess <> wrote:

    > How much video will it put on a 128MB ...


    Evidently, the video is compressed to
    a stream of 1.3Mbits/sec., so a 128
    card would capture about 2 minutes.

    > ... CF card?


    Sony is only claiming 640x480@30 to
    Memory Stick Pro. Some observers think
    it might work to the higher speed CF
    cards, or perhaps CF HDDs, but this remains
    to be seen (as with much about this camera).

    > Is it true Sony doesn't, and doesn't
    > intend to, offer accessory lenses?


    Reportedly, the front element moves
    (whether during focus, zoom, or both, I
    don't know). Sony only lists one filter-size
    close-up lens as supported. My guess is that
    the multi-element wide/tele/macro adaptor
    lenses are too heavy for the servo(s).

    This is going to be a problem. People will
    upgrade from 707 and 717 and attempt to
    use their lenses. People will buy such lenses
    unknowingly. Failed photos and failed servos
    will come back to haunt Sony.

    I would not be at all surprised if early in
    2004, Sony intros a DSC-F829 with stationary
    front element.

    Possibly, whatever problems are causing the
    '828 to miss the holiday market in 2003, might
    cause Sony to scrap the 828 as presently
    configured, and move directly to what they
    needed to have in the first place.

    --
    Regards, PO Box 248
    Bob Niland Enterprise
    mailto: Kansas USA
    which, due to spam, is: 67441-0248
    email4rjn AT yahoo DOT com
    http://www.access-one.com/rjn

    Unless otherwise specifically stated, expressing
    personal opinions and NOT speaking for any
    employer, client or Internet Service Provider.
     
    Bob Niland, Oct 16, 2003
    #7
  8. Jill

    PTRAVEL Guest

    "Jill" <> wrote in message
    news:vIjjb.1221$...

    <snip>

    > Can anyone tell me whether the quality of 640 x 480 video at 30 fps using
    > MPEG-VX would be as good as that achieved with a mini DV camcorder that

    has
    > a CCD of (gross) 680K? Does such a camcorder also produce 640 x 480
    > resolution video at 30fps?


    It will not. miniDV cameras capture at 720 x 480 and compress to the DV25
    standard, which is approximately 5 to 1. MPEG, on the other hand,
    compresses by at least an order of magnitude and, to achieve any kind of
    meaningful storage, would have to compress far more than that. In order to
    achieve reasonably good resolution of an MPEG stream for, for example, a
    DVD, only the most powerful consumer computers with large amounts of memory
    can achieve real-time transcoding. High-quality MPEG encoding requires
    multiple passes and is extremely slow; it's not unusual for a good
    transcoder to 10 to 20 times as long to encode at the highest quality on a
    fast computer.

    I haven't seen an MPEG-based camera, including Sony's microMV line of
    camcorders, which can even remotely approach this kind of quality. So, no,
    I don't think the video quality from this digital still camera will be
    remotely close to what even the cheapest miniDV camcorder can achieve.

    Finally, the rate for miniDV data storage is approximately 3.6 megabytes per
    second, or 216 megabytes per minute, or 13 gigabytes per hour. Just how
    much video do you think you'd be able to get, even if you had a 1 gigabyte
    memory stick? In order to get any usable amount of time, the compression
    rate would have to be enormous.


    >
    > Incidentally, if you want a hybrid camera that takes both excellent movies
    > and stills, the Sony camcorder DCR-PC330 produces 3 megapixel stills that
    > are as good, if not better, than those I get from my 3-year old 3.3
    > megapixel Sony DSC-S70 digital still camera. I proved this to myself by
    > making big enlargements of some prints from both cameras and then

    comparing
    > the results. However, the results are not nearly as good as those I got

    from
    > the Sony DSC-V1 camera (5 megapixel). I was surprised at just how much
    > better the quality of the 5 MP stills were when compared with the 3 MP
    > stills, particularly when big enlargements were made.


    Except that the 330 is a rather mediocre video camera, with poor low-light
    performance and a considerable amount of digital artifacting which is a
    concommitant of high-density CCDs. Excellent video is produced only by
    camcorders that are designed specifically for that purpose. I haven't seen
    the output of enough digital still cameras to apply that generalization in
    the still arena, but I'd wager a fair amount of money that my Canon 10D
    produces significantly better stills than a lower-end jack-of-all trades
    camera.

    >
    > Regards, Jill
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    PTRAVEL, Oct 16, 2003
    #8
  9. Jill

    PTRAVEL Guest

    "Bob Niland" <> wrote in message
    news:eek:...
    > > Frank ess <> wrote:

    >
    > > How much video will it put on a 128MB ...

    >
    > Evidently, the video is compressed to
    > a stream of 1.3Mbits/sec., so a 128
    > card would capture about 2 minutes.


    That's a compression rate 2.5 times greater than miniDV, resulting in a
    total compression rate of nearly 13 to 1. That's not going to yield
    good-quality video.


    >
    > > ... CF card?

    >
    > Sony is only claiming 640x480@30 to
    > Memory Stick Pro. Some observers think
    > it might work to the higher speed CF
    > cards, or perhaps CF HDDs, but this remains
    > to be seen (as with much about this camera).
    >
    > > Is it true Sony doesn't, and doesn't
    > > intend to, offer accessory lenses?

    >
    > Reportedly, the front element moves
    > (whether during focus, zoom, or both, I
    > don't know). Sony only lists one filter-size
    > close-up lens as supported. My guess is that
    > the multi-element wide/tele/macro adaptor
    > lenses are too heavy for the servo(s).
    >
    > This is going to be a problem. People will
    > upgrade from 707 and 717 and attempt to
    > use their lenses. People will buy such lenses
    > unknowingly. Failed photos and failed servos
    > will come back to haunt Sony.
    >
    > I would not be at all surprised if early in
    > 2004, Sony intros a DSC-F829 with stationary
    > front element.
    >
    > Possibly, whatever problems are causing the
    > '828 to miss the holiday market in 2003, might
    > cause Sony to scrap the 828 as presently
    > configured, and move directly to what they
    > needed to have in the first place.
    >
    > --
    > Regards, PO Box 248
    > Bob Niland Enterprise
    > mailto: Kansas USA
    > which, due to spam, is: 67441-0248
    > email4rjn AT yahoo DOT com
    > http://www.access-one.com/rjn
    >
    > Unless otherwise specifically stated, expressing
    > personal opinions and NOT speaking for any
    > employer, client or Internet Service Provider.
     
    PTRAVEL, Oct 16, 2003
    #9
  10. Jill

    Jeremy Guest

    Jill <> wrote:

    > This seems to be a remarkable breakthrough in technology because digital
    > still cameras could previously only record video at 15 frames per second.
    > Can anyone tell me whether the quality of 640 x 480 video at 30 fps using
    > MPEG-VX would be as good as that achieved with a mini DV camcorder that has
    > a CCD of (gross) 680K? Does such a camcorder also produce 640 x 480
    > resolution video at 30fps?


    No. 640x480 is not full NTSC resolution, and the compression on this video
    is much higher. It won't even approach DV quality. It will be better than
    what most still cameras are doing now, but the "movie mode" on still cameras
    is still a toy. Not that there's anything wrong with that; I've used it as
    a toy, and sometimes a toy is all you need. But don't expect to replace a
    DV camcorder with it.

    > I was surprised at just how much better the quality of the 5 MP stills
    > were when compared with the 3 MP stills, particularly when big
    > enlargements were made.


    Pixel count isn't everything. You'll get better pictures from the 4MP
    Nikon D2h than you will from the 5MP Sony V1. (And the V1 is no slouch,
    that's what I'm using and it's great.)

    --
    Jeremy |
     
    Jeremy, Oct 16, 2003
    #10
  11. Jill

    Jill Guest

    "PTRAVEL" <> wrote in message
    news:bmknpc$nr7t7$-berlin.de...
    snip

    > Finally, the rate for miniDV data storage is approximately 3.6 megabytes

    per
    > second, or 216 megabytes per minute, or 13 gigabytes per hour. Just how
    > much video do you think you'd be able to get, even if you had a 1 gigabyte
    > memory stick? In order to get any usable amount of time, the compression
    > rate would have to be enormous.


    Thanks very much for this explanation. Although the compression rate for
    MPEG is substantially greater than for miniDV, the quality of recordings
    made on to DVDs, for example, is pretty good. For example in a review of
    the Sony DCR-DVD300 (a Sony DVD camcorder) Jeff Keller said:

    "At the highest quality setting, I found the DVD300's video quality to hold
    its own against the MiniDV camcorders that I'm used to. At the middle
    (SP) setting, the video was also good, and indistinguishable from the HQ
    video in my eyes. In LP mode, you could definitely see a lot more digital
    junk in the video, so I'd avoid using that mode when possible."

    http://www.dvspot.com/reviews/sony/dvd300-review/index.shtml

    Jeff Keller discusses how the DVDs produced by the DVD300 may
    be edited. It seems that despite the compression, a fairly good edited
    result can be achieved from MPEG2 recordings.

    The DVD300 would be using MPEG2, but I am not sure whether the Sony
    DSC-F828 uses MPEG1 or MPEG2. Can anyone advise on this?

    > > Incidentally, if you want a hybrid camera that takes both excellent

    movies
    > > and stills, the Sony camcorder DCR-PC330 produces 3 megapixel stills

    that
    > > are as good, if not better, than those I get from my 3-year old 3.3
    > > megapixel Sony DSC-S70 digital still camera.


    snip

    > Except that the 330 is a rather mediocre video camera, with poor low-light
    > performance and a considerable amount of digital artifacting which is a
    > concommitant of high-density CCDs. Excellent video is produced only by
    > camcorders that are designed specifically for that purpose. I haven't

    seen
    > the output of enough digital still cameras to apply that generalization in
    > the still arena, but I'd wager a fair amount of money that my Canon 10D
    > produces significantly better stills than a lower-end jack-of-all trades
    > camera.


    Are you talking about the very new Sony DCR-PC330 as described at:

    http://www.global-dvc.org/html/PC330.asp and

    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/sony-dcr-pc330-editorial-review-08_26_0
    3.html

    The article at Global-dvc says that the DCR-PC330E has a consumer look
    but provides broadcast quality video.

    The DCR-PC300 has a single 1/3 in. CCD chip and a rating of 7 LUX which
    would probably give adequate low light performance for most people? This
    is better than the 10 LUX of the 3CCD Panasonic PV-DV953 (also
    referred to as the Panasonic NV-MX500).

    But, if there is a better camcorder than this for a similar price and with
    better
    low light performance, can you give recommendations please. I am fairly
    new to all this as you can see, so I can't understand why the PC330 which
    has a 3310K CCD and effective video of 2077K would be a rather mediocre
    video camera as you say above! Are we talking about the same camera?
    There haven't even been any major reviews done yet on the PC330E and
    it has only just gone on sale. I looked at the first one ever to arrive in
    the shop!

    It seems that the PC330E would be a better hybrid camera than the F828
    because it has 2077K video and 3.3 MP stills. Do you agree with this?

    Regards, Jill
     
    Jill, Oct 16, 2003
    #11
  12. Jill

    Bill Guest

    It's not a breakthrough. I have a Fuji Finepix S602 and it does capture
    video and 640x480, at 30 frames per second, with audio. While this is a
    handy feature to have at times, it can't compare to a dedicated digicam. But
    just to set the record straight, Fuji had it before Sony.
    Bill

    "Jill" <> wrote in message
    news:vIjjb.1221$...
    > I see that the Sony DSC-F828 digital camera can record video at 640 x 480
    > pixel resolution at 30 frames per second on a memory stick. This is

    achieved
    > using the new MPEG-VX Fine mode. Steves digicams says that: "If you wanted
    > one camera that could capture high quality stills and high quality video
    > then look no further, the F828 can do it!
    >
    > http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/f828.html
    >
    > This seems to be a remarkable breakthrough in technology because digital
    > still cameras could previously only record video at 15 frames per second.
    > Can anyone tell me whether the quality of 640 x 480 video at 30 fps using
    > MPEG-VX would be as good as that achieved with a mini DV camcorder that

    has
    > a CCD of (gross) 680K? Does such a camcorder also produce 640 x 480
    > resolution video at 30fps?
    >
    > Incidentally, if you want a hybrid camera that takes both excellent movies
    > and stills, the Sony camcorder DCR-PC330 produces 3 megapixel stills that
    > are as good, if not better, than those I get from my 3-year old 3.3
    > megapixel Sony DSC-S70 digital still camera. I proved this to myself by
    > making big enlargements of some prints from both cameras and then

    comparing
    > the results. However, the results are not nearly as good as those I got

    from
    > the Sony DSC-V1 camera (5 megapixel). I was surprised at just how much
    > better the quality of the 5 MP stills were when compared with the 3 MP
    > stills, particularly when big enlargements were made.
    >
    > Regards, Jill
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    Bill, Oct 16, 2003
    #12
  13. Jill

    PTRAVEL Guest

    "Jill" <> wrote in message
    news:9Dmjb.1246$...
    >
    > "PTRAVEL" <> wrote in message
    > news:bmknpc$nr7t7$-berlin.de...
    > snip
    >
    > > Finally, the rate for miniDV data storage is approximately 3.6 megabytes

    > per
    > > second, or 216 megabytes per minute, or 13 gigabytes per hour. Just how
    > > much video do you think you'd be able to get, even if you had a 1

    gigabyte
    > > memory stick? In order to get any usable amount of time, the

    compression
    > > rate would have to be enormous.

    >
    > Thanks very much for this explanation. Although the compression rate for
    > MPEG is substantially greater than for miniDV, the quality of recordings
    > made on to DVDs, for example, is pretty good. For example in a review of
    > the Sony DCR-DVD300 (a Sony DVD camcorder) Jeff Keller said:
    >
    > "At the highest quality setting, I found the DVD300's video quality to

    hold
    > its own against the MiniDV camcorders that I'm used to.


    I suspect the operative words here are "MiniDV camcorders that I'm used to."
    I'm relatively new to digital still photography, but I've been doing video
    for a long time, and I'm very familiar with the range of camcorders that are
    out there. A DVD burned from a miniDV AVI using TMPGENC (a high-quality
    transcoder), tweaked to the highest quality, using 2-pass VBR (which is as
    close to state-of-the-art as you'll get in a consumer environment, and takes
    more than 24 hours to produce on my 1.4 GHz 512M computer) does not look as
    good as the miniDV produced from my higher-end single-chip TRV20. It's a
    simple matter of physics -- the more "lossy" compression, the worse the
    image, and the camera you've described must compress video 250% more than a
    miniDV machine. If you start talking about high-end consumer camcorders
    (for instance, I now use a 3-ccd Sony VX2000), the difference would be, to
    say the least, obvious.

    > At the middle
    > (SP) setting, the video was also good, and indistinguishable from the HQ
    > video in my eyes. In LP mode, you could definitely see a lot more digital
    > junk in the video, so I'd avoid using that mode when possible."


    The DVD-300 in the review below is a direct-to-DVD recorder. The DCR-PC330,
    which you had mentioned in your post, is a miniDV handicam. They're two
    completely different machines. The DCR-330 has a rating of 7 lux (and Sony
    is very liberal in its lux ratings). This means that it's only capable of
    producing a decent image in reasonably bright daylight, and will be useless
    indoors. This, by the way, is a concommitant of high-pixel-density CCDs.
    For digital video, the more pixels and the smaller the CCDs, the poorer the
    low-light performance. The DVD-300 has a 1/4.7" CCD, which is quite small
    and accounts for it's poor low-light response. It has, however, a
    lower-density (but not low density) CCD. The DCR-330 has, if I recall
    correctly, a larger CCD, but still equally disappointing low-light
    performance. However, its recorded video image should easily eclipse the
    DVD-300 because the latter records direct-to-DVD, and therefore uses some
    flavor of MPEG compression. As I said in my earlier post, real-time MPEG
    compression is difficult and expensive, and quality real-time hardware
    transcoding is far beyond the capabilities of any consumer gear.

    >
    > http://www.dvspot.com/reviews/sony/dvd300-review/index.shtml
    >
    > Jeff Keller discusses how the DVDs produced by the DVD300 may
    > be edited. It seems that despite the compression, a fairly good edited
    > result can be achieved from MPEG2 recordings.


    That's also not quite correct. MPEG compression works by selecting a single
    frame as a "base" and then recording only the differences between the base
    frame and subsequent frames. Quality of MPEG video is determined, in part,
    by how often a new base frame is used. However, the more base frames, the
    less compression. The few consumer and prosumer video editing packages that
    can edit MPEG do so by cutting to the nearest base frame, which makes
    frame-accurate editing impossible.

    >
    > The DVD300 would be using MPEG2, but I am not sure whether the Sony
    > DSC-F828 uses MPEG1 or MPEG2. Can anyone advise on this?
    >
    > > > Incidentally, if you want a hybrid camera that takes both excellent

    > movies
    > > > and stills, the Sony camcorder DCR-PC330 produces 3 megapixel stills

    > that
    > > > are as good, if not better, than those I get from my 3-year old 3.3
    > > > megapixel Sony DSC-S70 digital still camera.

    >
    > snip
    >
    > > Except that the 330 is a rather mediocre video camera, with poor

    low-light
    > > performance and a considerable amount of digital artifacting which is a
    > > concommitant of high-density CCDs. Excellent video is produced only by
    > > camcorders that are designed specifically for that purpose. I haven't

    > seen
    > > the output of enough digital still cameras to apply that generalization

    in
    > > the still arena, but I'd wager a fair amount of money that my Canon 10D
    > > produces significantly better stills than a lower-end jack-of-all trades
    > > camera.

    >
    > Are you talking about the very new Sony DCR-PC330 as described at:
    >
    > http://www.global-dvc.org/html/PC330.asp and
    >
    >

    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/sony-dcr-pc330-editorial-review-08_26_0
    > 3.html
    >
    > The article at Global-dvc says that the DCR-PC330E has a consumer look
    > but provides broadcast quality video.


    Yup. And it doesn't provide anything remotely close to broadcast video.

    I looked at global-dvc.org (which I've never heard of before). They're a
    store, pure and simple.

    camcorderinfo.com is run by Robin Liss, and is a legitimate source of
    information, though I don't always agree with her reviews. However, here's
    what she had to say about the the DCR-PC330:

    "I wasn't able to test the DCR-PC330's low light performance at the Sony
    press event in New York, however Sony has rated the LUX of the camcorder at
    7. If this is the true LUX rating it's a real disappointment."

    "Sony sadly provides no manual shutter speed control. I'm now really
    pressing Sony on this issue - I really think that it is hurting Sony.
    Panasonic, JVC and Canon all include manual shutter speed and Sony should
    too."

    This thing is clearly a consumer camcorder and, as a 1-CCD machine,
    absolutely cannot produce broadcast-quality video.

    >
    > The DCR-PC300 has a single 1/3 in. CCD chip and a rating of 7 LUX which
    > would probably give adequate low light performance for most people?


    Absolutely not. My TRV-20 was rated by Sony at 4 lux and didn't provide
    adequate low light performance. There are, at present, no _current_ single
    CCD miniDV camcorders that offer low light performance that even remotely
    approaches what was available in Hi8 and the first and second generation
    miniDV machines.

    >This
    > is better than the 10 LUX of the 3CCD Panasonic PV-DV953 (also
    > referred to as the Panasonic NV-MX500).


    Yeah, the 953 has low-light performance as poor as Sony's TRV-950. However,
    both machines will provide a much sharper picture, with better color and
    less noise than any single CCD machine.

    >
    > But, if there is a better camcorder than this for a similar price and with
    > better
    > low light performance, can you give recommendations please.


    Does it have to be new? The best deal on the market right now would be a
    used TRV-900 in good condition. Sadly, Sony discontinued this excellent
    machine and replaced it with the TRV-950. The 950 (like the 953) has all
    sorts of gimmicks -- ultra-long zoom (which is absolutely useless, since (a)
    it's digital, meaning you lose resolution beyond a certain point, and (b)
    it's impossible to hand-hold a camcorder when you zoom in much more than 10
    or 12x), Blue-tooth (does anyone really want to send email from their
    camcorder?), USB ports (only useful for still transfer, incapable of
    handling sustained full-resolution video transfer), and other inanities.

    If you really want high-quality video, the VX2000 has a street price of
    around $2,100, and will probably drop in price now that Sony has introduced
    the VX2100. The VX2000 is 3-ccd, can shoot noiseless video by candlelight,
    has excellent audio pickup and reproduction, and video quality that exceeds
    broadcast specs. The BBC uses these (with a minor audio mod) as news
    cameras.

    > I am fairly
    > new to all this as you can see, so I can't understand why the PC330 which
    > has a 3310K CCD and effective video of 2077K would be a rather mediocre
    > video camera as you say above!


    1. Single-ccd camcorders produce poorly saturated colors and are prone to
    stair-step artifacts and other digitizing errors. If you shoot a subject
    with narrow vertical lines, e.g. a building front, the lines will look as if
    they're swimming.

    2. More pixels does not equal better resolution in the video world.
    MiniDV, in the US, is fixed at 720 x 480. Adding pixels will not add
    resolution (unless the camcorder does subsampling, but most consumer
    camcorders don't). Adding pixels will add digital artifacts and hurt
    low-light performance.

    3. Consumer camcorders (which are all 1-ccd, and include some
    bottom-of-the-line 3-ccd machines) use electronic image stabilization --
    software determines when there's movement and selects different portions of
    the CCD to produce the image in compensation. Electronic stabilization
    dampens natural motion blur but, once you exceed the limits of the
    stabilization, will blur as expected. This produces an unnatural look on
    pans. Electronic stabilization and also uses chip real-estate, further
    diminishing resolution. Better camcorders use optical stabilization --
    acceleration sensors in the camera determine when there's movement and move
    elements within the lens in compensation. This results in natural and
    continuous motion blur, and doesn't use any chip real-estate. The better
    camcorders, including the VX2000, use optical image stabilization.

    > Are we talking about the same camera?


    Yes, we are.

    > There haven't even been any major reviews done yet on the PC330E and
    > it has only just gone on sale. I looked at the first one ever to arrive in
    > the shop!


    Read what Robin Liss had to say at camcorderinfo.com. She wasn't able to do
    a hands on review (Sony wouldn't let the press actually view the video from
    one of these cameras), but she's made a comprehensive checklist of concerns.

    >
    > It seems that the PC330E would be a better hybrid camera than the F828
    > because it has 2077K video and 3.3 MP stills. Do you agree with this?


    I don't think any camcorder makes a good still camera and I don't think any
    still camera makes a good camcorder. That's why I have a Canon 10D and a
    Sony VX2000 -- they're both exceptionally good at what they designed to do.

    >
    > Regards, Jill
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    PTRAVEL, Oct 16, 2003
    #13
  14. Jill

    Alfred Molon Guest

    In article <vIjjb.1221$>, says...
    > I see that the Sony DSC-F828 digital camera can record video at 640 x 480
    > pixel resolution at 30 frames per second on a memory stick.


    30 frames/second is the rate in the USA. But can this camera also record
    at 25 frames/second, which is used in the European PAL standard ? And by
    the way, TV in Europe is 625 lines, vs. 525 lines in the US.
    --

    Alfred Molon
    ------------------------------
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Olympus4040_5050/
    Olympus 4040 resource - http://www.molon.de/4040.html
    Olympus 5050 resource - http://www.molon.de/5050.html
     
    Alfred Molon, Oct 16, 2003
    #14
  15. Jill

    Bowser- Guest

    It's a breakthrough if, and when, it sees a retail store shelf. Until then,
    it doesn't exist.

    Hey! I remember a camra from last year that was hyped beyond belief, and we
    couldn't get samples from that, either. The Kodak DCS 14n. We eventually did
    learn why there weren't any samples.

    "Jill" <> wrote in message
    news:vIjjb.1221$...
    > I see that the Sony DSC-F828 digital camera can record video at 640 x 480
    > pixel resolution at 30 frames per second on a memory stick. This is

    achieved
    > using the new MPEG-VX Fine mode. Steves digicams says that: "If you wanted
    > one camera that could capture high quality stills and high quality video
    > then look no further, the F828 can do it!
    >
    > http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/f828.html
    >
    > This seems to be a remarkable breakthrough in technology because digital
    > still cameras could previously only record video at 15 frames per second.
    > Can anyone tell me whether the quality of 640 x 480 video at 30 fps using
    > MPEG-VX would be as good as that achieved with a mini DV camcorder that

    has
    > a CCD of (gross) 680K? Does such a camcorder also produce 640 x 480
    > resolution video at 30fps?
    >
    > Incidentally, if you want a hybrid camera that takes both excellent movies
    > and stills, the Sony camcorder DCR-PC330 produces 3 megapixel stills that
    > are as good, if not better, than those I get from my 3-year old 3.3
    > megapixel Sony DSC-S70 digital still camera. I proved this to myself by
    > making big enlargements of some prints from both cameras and then

    comparing
    > the results. However, the results are not nearly as good as those I got

    from
    > the Sony DSC-V1 camera (5 megapixel). I was surprised at just how much
    > better the quality of the 5 MP stills were when compared with the 3 MP
    > stills, particularly when big enlargements were made.
    >
    > Regards, Jill
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    Bowser-, Oct 16, 2003
    #15
  16. On a sunny day (Wed, 15 Oct 2003 18:11:35 -0500) it happened Bob Niland
    <> wrote in <>:

    >> Frank ess <> wrote:

    >
    >> How much video will it put on a 128MB ...

    >
    >Evidently, the video is compressed to
    >a stream of 1.3Mbits/sec., so a 128
    >card would capture about 2 minutes.

    Nope, MB is Mega Byte, and it 1.3 Mbit.
    so a factor 8, or 16 minutes.
    Not bad, for future cameras, if you realize that 2 GB modules
    already exists..
    But still a lot more expensive then tape.
    If you are out to make only short recordings, then take
    home and upload to PC, then it is a cool thing.
    1.3 Mb/s is not vey good quality, at least 4Mb /s for PAL
    720x576 @25 would give 5 minutes if it could do it...
    JP
     
    Jan Panteltje, Oct 16, 2003
    #16
  17. Jill

    Jill Guest

    "PTRAVEL" <> wrote in message
    news:bml8ok$nk4gh$-berlin.de...
    >
    >> "Jill" <> wrote in message
    >> news:9Dmjb.1246$...


    snip

    Thanks very much for your helpful comments.

    > The DCR-330 has, if I recall
    > correctly, a larger CCD, but still equally disappointing low-light
    > performance.


    > 2. More pixels does not equal better resolution in the video world.
    > MiniDV, in the US, is fixed at 720 x 480. Adding pixels will not add
    > resolution (unless the camcorder does subsampling, but most consumer
    > camcorders don't). Adding pixels will add digital artifacts and hurt
    > low-light performance.


    The DCR-PC330 has a 3310K CD and 2077K effective actual for video.
    It has a 7 LUX rating. Would a lower-end camcorder, such as the Sony
    DCR-TRV22E, which has a CCD of gross 800K pixels and actual of
    400K, be likely to produce video that is good as the Sony 330?

    The Sony TRV22E has a minimum illumination of 5 LUX, do you think
    the difference between a 5 LUX and a 7 LUX camcorder would be
    noticeable when filming indoors in low-light conditions?

    > Absolutely not. My TRV-20 was rated by Sony at 4 lux and didn't provide
    > adequate low light performance. There are, at present, no _current_

    single
    > CCD miniDV camcorders that offer low light performance that even remotely
    > approaches what was available in Hi8 and the first and second generation
    > miniDV machines.


    Sony still sell a Hi8 Handycam, for example, the CCD-TRV218E. It is rated
    at 1 LUX. Is the miniDV format substantially better then Hi8 or Digital 8?
    If you really want excellent low light performance, I guess you could buy
    the TRV218E.

    > If you really want high-quality video, the VX2000 has a street price of
    > around $2,100, and will probably drop in price now that Sony has

    introduced
    > the VX2100. The VX2000 is 3-ccd, can shoot noiseless video by

    candlelight,
    > has excellent audio pickup and reproduction, and video quality that

    exceeds
    > broadcast specs. The BBC uses these (with a minor audio mod) as news
    > cameras.


    I wonder whether you would really notice a difference in the video quality
    on
    home TV sets when comparing the output of the VX2000 with a lower end
    miniDV such as the Sony PC330 or the Sony TRV22E? What sort of TV set
    would you need to notice a difference? In other words, I think the video
    from
    a gross 800K CCD camcorder with 520 lines is really sharp on my TV,
    would you need a huge TV to notice the difference in quality between
    broadcast quality TV cameras and domestic camcorders?

    I look forward to the day when all camcorders will be able to record
    broadcast
    quality video on solid state memory sticks! Panasonic already have some
    television cameras that can do this.

    Regards, Jill
     
    Jill, Oct 16, 2003
    #17
  18. Jill

    PTRAVEL Guest

    "Jill" <> wrote in message
    news:YeEjb.1377$...
    >
    > "PTRAVEL" <> wrote in message
    > news:bml8ok$nk4gh$-berlin.de...
    > >
    > >> "Jill" <> wrote in message
    > >> news:9Dmjb.1246$...

    >
    > snip
    >
    > Thanks very much for your helpful comments.
    >
    > > The DCR-330 has, if I recall
    > > correctly, a larger CCD, but still equally disappointing low-light
    > > performance.

    >
    > > 2. More pixels does not equal better resolution in the video world.
    > > MiniDV, in the US, is fixed at 720 x 480. Adding pixels will not add
    > > resolution (unless the camcorder does subsampling, but most consumer
    > > camcorders don't). Adding pixels will add digital artifacts and hurt
    > > low-light performance.

    >
    > The DCR-PC330 has a 3310K CD and 2077K effective actual for video.
    > It has a 7 LUX rating. Would a lower-end camcorder, such as the Sony
    > DCR-TRV22E, which has a CCD of gross 800K pixels and actual of
    > 400K, be likely to produce video that is good as the Sony 330?


    As good, or possibly better.

    This website might be helpful:

    http://www.ferrario.com/ruether/camcorder--comparison.htm

    You also might want to drop in on rec.video.production. It's mostly pros
    who post there, but there are very knowledgable people who read the ng, and
    I frequently see recommendations given for consumer camcorder purchases.

    >
    > The Sony TRV22E has a minimum illumination of 5 LUX, do you think
    > the difference between a 5 LUX and a 7 LUX camcorder would be
    > noticeable when filming indoors in low-light conditions?


    It would if these were accurate ratings. Unfortunately, Sony's lux ratings
    are quite inconsistent. The best thing to do is go to a shop that will let
    you try this cameras hands-on (with the output displayed on a true monitor,
    as opposed to the cameras' LCD screens or the RF input of a television).

    >
    > > Absolutely not. My TRV-20 was rated by Sony at 4 lux and didn't provide
    > > adequate low light performance. There are, at present, no _current_

    > single
    > > CCD miniDV camcorders that offer low light performance that even

    remotely
    > > approaches what was available in Hi8 and the first and second generation
    > > miniDV machines.

    >
    > Sony still sell a Hi8 Handycam, for example, the CCD-TRV218E. It is rated
    > at 1 LUX. Is the miniDV format substantially better then Hi8 or Digital 8?


    Digital8 is the same format as miniDV. The only difference is the physical
    configuration of the tape on which the data is recorded. In theory, then,
    you'll get the same quality from D8 as you would from miniDV. In practice,
    though, D8 is considered a "low end" format, and the cameras themselves,
    i.e. sensors, electronics and lenses, tend to be inferior to miniDV cameras.
    There used to be some good top-end D8s that compared favorably to mid-range
    miniDV, but they've all been discontinued.

    Hi8 is an analogue format and, in terms of video quality, is inferior to
    either miniDV or D8. The difference between the two is pretty dramatic
    (though might not be as obvious when compared with a bottom-of-the-line,
    bargain-basement digital camcorder). The compromise right now is inferior
    video but better low-light performance with Hi8 (which is a nearly-dead
    format) or superior video but degraded low-light performance with miniDV.

    Again, you need to be careful of manufacturer's lux ratings (I think Robin
    Liss had something to say about this on her website). My VX2000 was rated
    by Sony at (if I recall correctly) 5 lux, but it has far, far better
    low-light performance than my TRV-20, which was rated at 4 lux.

    > If you really want excellent low light performance, I guess you could buy
    > the TRV218E.


    Well, not really. Sony calls their camcorders equipped with Nightshot "0
    lux," but they really aren't. Nightshot simply means they can use infrared.
    However, the Nightshot mode produces a black-and-white image (actually
    tinted green), and won't work if there is no infrared illumination.
    However, with an infrared light source, the camera will appear to work in
    the dark in Nightshot mode. With a 1/6" CCD, I'd expect poor low-light
    performance from this camera. It's all a matter of simple physics: the
    bigger the sensor, the more light falls on, and the stronger the signal.
    This is one of the reasons why single CCD machines perform so poorly. Their
    sensor is covered with a grid of tiny filters, one per pixel, in the primary
    colors red, blue and green. Most camcorder sensors use two pixels for
    green, resulting in 4 pixels per one "full color" image pixel. Each
    aggregate pixel is receiving only 1/4 of the light that falls on it,
    resulting in poorer low light performance than a 3-ccd machine, which has
    three separate sensors, each getting a different color through a
    beam-splitter.


    >
    > > If you really want high-quality video, the VX2000 has a street price of
    > > around $2,100, and will probably drop in price now that Sony has

    > introduced
    > > the VX2100. The VX2000 is 3-ccd, can shoot noiseless video by

    > candlelight,
    > > has excellent audio pickup and reproduction, and video quality that

    > exceeds
    > > broadcast specs. The BBC uses these (with a minor audio mod) as news
    > > cameras.

    >
    > I wonder whether you would really notice a difference in the video quality
    > on
    > home TV sets when comparing the output of the VX2000 with a lower end
    > miniDV such as the Sony PC330 or the Sony TRV22E?


    Absolutely, and without question. I burn my videos to DVD, which get played
    on a variety of sets. The difference between a VX2000 and a 1-CCD machine
    is very, very obvious. Colors are richer and more saturated, there is no
    color noise (which looks like static) in lower (but not necessarily low)
    light levels, and best of all, digital artifacts are virtually
    non-existant -- there is no stair-stepping of diagonal lines, and parallel
    horizontal lines don't "swim" when there's camera movement. It was this
    last problem that motivated me to upgrade to the VX2000 from the TRV20.

    If you look at the David Reuther website, you'll find some good comparison
    shots between the VX2000 and other camcorder models. Even with the jpeg
    compression necessary to make the site reasonably fast on the web, the
    differences are obvious and dramatic.

    > What sort of TV set
    > would you need to notice a difference?


    Any TV set would show the differences. Obviously, the better the set (and
    the better the delivery vehicle, i.e. s-video inputs instead of RF) the
    better the picture, but you'll see the difference all but the meanest,
    oldest televisions.

    > In other words, I think the video
    > from
    > a gross 800K CCD camcorder with 520 lines is really sharp on my TV,
    > would you need a huge TV to notice the difference in quality between
    > broadcast quality TV cameras and domestic camcorders?


    Yes, you will. I thought my TRV20 looked great compared to the TR600 Hi8 it
    replaced (the TR600 was a high-end consumer machine). However, when I got
    my VX2000, I was overwhelmed by the difference.

    Everything depends on what you want and why you are shooting. If all you
    want to do is shoot the occassional family video, document your trip to
    Disneyland, show the kids growing up, etc., then any reasonably decent
    camcorder would do. If, however, you're concerned with good video quality,
    then you need a better machine. I'm strictly amateur (at least so far), and
    shoot video almost exclusively of my wife's and my travels. However, the
    purpose of these videos is to capture, the extent possible, as much of the
    experience as I can so that years from now, when we no longer can travel as
    easily, we can relive our adventures. To that end, I want the best quality
    that I can get. I carry the VX2000, a monopod (and, most recently, I've
    added a very high quality, but very light, tripod), a Sharp MT-15 minidisc
    recorder (for recording ambient sound, itinerant musicians, etc.), a shotgun
    mike, a stereo lapel mike (for the MT-15), filters, a wide-angle lens and,
    also most recently, the Canon 10D (which I use in places that don't allow
    video -- primarily museums -- and create video montages from the stills).
    It's not really a lot of weight, and fits nicely in a smallish camera
    backpack, with room left over for the odd purchase, a sweater or two, etc.

    If you want to see what the VX2000 can do, I have a couple of short clips up
    at:

    www.ruyitang.com

    Even in heavily compressed .WMV file format, you should be able to see a
    difference in the quality (technical quality, that is) between the VX2000
    and the single-chip consumer cameras.

    >
    > I look forward to the day when all camcorders will be able to record
    > broadcast
    > quality video on solid state memory sticks! Panasonic already have some
    > television cameras that can do this.


    I'm waiting for that, too, but I suspect it will be quite some time before
    it happens.

    >
    > Regards, Jill
    >
    >
     
    PTRAVEL, Oct 16, 2003
    #18
  19. On a sunny day (Wed, 15 Oct 2003 18:11:35 -0500) it happened Bob Niland
    <> wrote in <>:

    Also if it is actually recording some mpeg4 form, the quality at that bitrate
    would not be bad, depends on how much motion etc....
    JP
     
    Jan Panteltje, Oct 17, 2003
    #19
  20. Jill

    Roy Guest

    Very knowledgable answers and detailed explanation.

    One question, which kind of TV/Monitor you are using to watch DVD? I
    am also using TMPGENC with highest quality config to do 2-pass VBR
    compression. I tried with 4700Kb, 5400Kb, 6000Kb, 7400Kb for video bit
    rate. I am also using VX2000. I am using a Vieosonic professional 17'
    CRT and GF2 Pro video card with powerDVD for DVD play.

    The reason I list my CRT/video/DVD-software here is related to video
    quality after compresssion.

    My experience is, AVI is no doubt the best quality. 7400Kb is very
    close to AVI. Unless your sharp eyes paired with a good quality HDTV,
    you canot tell the difference although you can feel it, but only with
    HDTV.

    6000Kb is good for everyday video, but occasionally I will find
    masaics. 5400Mb is very close to 6000Mb.

    With 4700Kb, I can put 2 hours video in a DVD disck (single layer) and
    it looks good on a analog TV.

    Since I have no plan to upgrade to HDTV yet, I keep 2 set of video
    DVD. One with 7400Kb for future high quality need. One with 4700Kb so
    I can put more hours on disc.

    FYI, with 512MB DDR RAM and Athlon 1.4Ghz CPU (equal to 1.8G P4)
    compression time is 20+ hours for one hour video.

    Without DVD I don't know how to keep video. With video tapes it is not
    only expensive but also inconvenient. It is also very hard to
    duplicate it unless you can live with VHS tape. What a waste for
    VX2000 if so.

    > >
    > > Thanks very much for this explanation. Although the compression rate for
    > > MPEG is substantially greater than for miniDV, the quality of recordings
    > > made on to DVDs, for example, is pretty good. For example in a review of
    > > the Sony DCR-DVD300 (a Sony DVD camcorder) Jeff Keller said:
    > >
    > > "At the highest quality setting, I found the DVD300's video quality to

    > hold
    > > its own against the MiniDV camcorders that I'm used to.

    >
    > I suspect the operative words here are "MiniDV camcorders that I'm used to."
    > I'm relatively new to digital still photography, but I've been doing video
    > for a long time, and I'm very familiar with the range of camcorders that are
    > out there. A DVD burned from a miniDV AVI using TMPGENC (a high-quality
    > transcoder), tweaked to the highest quality, using 2-pass VBR (which is as
    > close to state-of-the-art as you'll get in a consumer environment, and takes
    > more than 24 hours to produce on my 1.4 GHz 512M computer) does not look as
    > good as the miniDV produced from my higher-end single-chip TRV20. It's a
    > simple matter of physics -- the more "lossy" compression, the worse the
    > image, and the camera you've described must compress video 250% more than a
    > miniDV machine. If you start talking about high-end consumer camcorders
    > (for instance, I now use a 3-ccd Sony VX2000), the difference would be, to
    > say the least, obvious.
     
    Roy, Oct 20, 2003
    #20
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