Best Camcorder Subsitute?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by TS, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. TS

    TS Guest

    Which digital cameras are best suited for recording video and sound?
    I'd rather have a nice quality digicam with some limited video
    capability than a camcorder that takes still pics.
    I'm only planning to watch the videos on PCs, laptops and PDAs and I
    want the video to have decent sound and not have an arbitrary number
    of seconds or minutes you are limited to. I want to be able to record
    several minutes at time to 512MB or larger SD flash memory cards.
    I'm looking for something more transportable than a separate camcorder
    and digital camera and priced under $700 if possible.
    Which current cameras are recommended for this purpose?
     
    TS, Aug 12, 2004
    #1
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  2. TS

    Irwell Guest

    On 12 Aug 2004 11:53:31 -0700, (TS) wrote:

    >Which digital cameras are best suited for recording video and sound?
    >I'd rather have a nice quality digicam with some limited video
    >capability than a camcorder that takes still pics.
    >I'm only planning to watch the videos on PCs, laptops and PDAs and I
    >want the video to have decent sound and not have an arbitrary number
    >of seconds or minutes you are limited to. I want to be able to record
    >several minutes at time to 512MB or larger SD flash memory cards.
    >I'm looking for something more transportable than a separate camcorder
    >and digital camera and priced under $700 if possible.
    >Which current cameras are recommended for this purpose?

    The new Sony DSC W1 is a nice compact camera with a
    whopping 2.5 inch LCD. It will record video at640x480,
    under $400.
     
    Irwell, Aug 12, 2004
    #2
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  3. TS

    Guest

    (TS) wrote:

    > Which digital cameras are best suited for recording video and sound?


    As expected, asked and (somewhat) answered:

    http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=282812

    I'll add a bit of personal experience here though:

    I recently picked up a Pentax Optio 43WR for use in places where the
    Canon 10D would fail quickly (technical canyon hiking, white water
    kayaking, etc). I bought it for the waterproof camera thing; this
    video stuff just came along for the ride.

    But it can record video of unlimited length (640x480, 30fps, QuickTime
    motion-jpeg with sound), given a sufficiently fast SD card. It says
    it can do about 6 minutes for a 256MB card.

    It even has a nifty time-lapse mode (sunsets are interesting indeed at
    x100!)

    Video quality is so-so. There is no control over the JPEG parameters
    used for each frame in the movie (if there was, the video would
    probably be fairly good -- noise notwithstanding.)

    However, the audio _SUCKS_. This isn't just plain old sucks. Or it,
    like, really sucks. I mean, it is fantastically, horrifically, truly,
    incontrovertibly, positively galactic-super-cluster scale _horrible_.

    I don't know how much the waterproofness of the 43WR is to blame for
    this (but my Garmin RINO's are similarly waterproof and their audio
    isn't as dreadful). Nevertheless, the mic itself crunches badly, and
    it sounds alot like Pentax didn't include an AA filter prior to the
    audio sampling (or, for that matter, a post-DAC filter after
    reconstruction). The ~8kHz sampling rate isn't the greatest either (a
    surprising move, given that in the grand scheme of things, the audio
    data is a tiny fraction of the data, even at 44kHz -- but then again,
    the analog audio chain is so terrible, maybe the engineers just
    stopped caring...).

    A relatively minor issue is that while recording a movie, you can't
    wiggle the focal length around. If I was a die-hard videophile (I
    don't own a television set) I would probably be as upset about this as
    the audio. But at least the audio can be fixed via external solutions
    (timecodes, etc).

    > I'd rather have a nice quality digicam with some limited video
    > capability than a camcorder that takes still pics.


    Still image quality isn't the greatest, but I've seen alot worse in
    the small digi-cam form-factor. (Recall: I want waterproofness over
    all other qualities.) Camera user-interface is basically obvious for
    the most part, and what isn't can be found quickly in the manual, and
    is easily remembered.

    One oddity is the histogram for all the images that come out of this
    camera: so incredibly smooth! The images also have a just slightly
    too aggressive noise-reduction veneer to them. No doubt this is
    related.

    A partner and myself have been using the macro mode to collect images
    of plants, as we progress through a self-taught Trivial Botany 101
    (ie, identification of local plants). Fairly nice in this
    application.

    We shot some videos while running/playing the fun parts of the Ottawa
    River. Camera got nice and wet, but still worked fine. Partner likes
    the videos, even if the audio has a nail-scraping zero-base,
    rattly-tinny quality ... (shudders)

    I find myself despising the SD card form-factor though (so much
    slower, even for a "10MB/s" card). I wish the 43WR used CF cards like
    any civilized camera does.

    Camera devours batteries. There are some figures in the manual about
    power consumption and life-time. Ha ha ha.
     
    , Aug 13, 2004
    #3
  4. TS

    Blade Runner Guest

    Fuji S7000 can do 640x480 30 fps w/ Mono Audio.
    The zoom is fixed in recording mode.
    It takes xD and CF(and microdrive).
    With 2.2GB Microdrive,one can record 30 minutes 640x480 30fps or 60 minutes
    320x240 30fps MJPEG movie.

    Tere are freeware video converter to convert MJPEG to either MPEG2, DVD, or
    DiVX.

    W/ rebate s7000 was under $500.00. 2.2GB microdrive costs between $100-$200.

    BTW. S7000 has the strongest flash(27ft) within DCs, if it matters to you.

    Since s7000 looks like a camera, it is better than hidden camcoder.
    Just hang it on your neck and shoulder and put it on 320x240 mode and you can
    shoot one hour movie.

    On 12 Aug 2004 11:53:31 -0700, (TS) wrote:

    =>Which digital cameras are best suited for recording video and sound?
    =>I'd rather have a nice quality digicam with some limited video
    =>capability than a camcorder that takes still pics.
    =>I'm only planning to watch the videos on PCs, laptops and PDAs and I
    =>want the video to have decent sound and not have an arbitrary number
    =>of seconds or minutes you are limited to. I want to be able to record
    =>several minutes at time to 512MB or larger SD flash memory cards.
    =>I'm looking for something more transportable than a separate camcorder
    =>and digital camera and priced under $700 if possible.
    =>Which current cameras are recommended for this purpose?
     
    Blade Runner, Aug 14, 2004
    #4
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