Camcorder versus Digital Camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mcp6453, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. mcp6453

    mcp6453 Guest

    My wife needs a digital camera with excellent zoom for taking pictures
    at my son's football games. There are some highly rated cameras with 10X
    optical zoom. However, there are some DV camcorders that claim 20X
    optical zoom. The camcorders are cheaper. Why should I purchase the 10X
    camera versus the camcorder 20X when still shots can be captured with
    the camcorder? There has to be a reason to prefer the camera, but I
    don't know what it is.
    mcp6453, Sep 20, 2004
    #1
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  2. mcp6453 wrote:
    > My wife needs a digital camera with excellent zoom for taking pictures
    > at my son's football games. There are some highly rated cameras with
    > 10X optical zoom. However, there are some DV camcorders that claim 20X
    > optical zoom. The camcorders are cheaper. Why should I purchase the
    > 10X camera versus the camcorder 20X when still shots can be captured
    > with the camcorder? There has to be a reason to prefer the camera,
    > but I don't know what it is.


    Are you trying to capture moving images at TV resolution or still images
    at "photographic" resolution?

    David
    David J Taylor, Sep 20, 2004
    #2
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  3. mcp6453

    mcp6453 Guest

    David J Taylor wrote:
    >
    > mcp6453 wrote:
    > > My wife needs a digital camera with excellent zoom for taking pictures
    > > at my son's football games. There are some highly rated cameras with
    > > 10X optical zoom. However, there are some DV camcorders that claim 20X
    > > optical zoom. The camcorders are cheaper. Why should I purchase the
    > > 10X camera versus the camcorder 20X when still shots can be captured
    > > with the camcorder? There has to be a reason to prefer the camera,
    > > but I don't know what it is.

    >
    > Are you trying to capture moving images at TV resolution or still images
    > at "photographic" resolution?


    Still images at photographic resolution. I think you just answered my
    question. The camcorder is lower resolution. How do you determine the
    resolution of a still created by a DV camcorder?
    mcp6453, Sep 20, 2004
    #3
  4. mcp6453 wrote:
    []
    >> Are you trying to capture moving images at TV resolution or still
    >> images at "photographic" resolution?

    >
    > Still images at photographic resolution. I think you just answered my
    > question. The camcorder is lower resolution. How do you determine the
    > resolution of a still created by a DV camcorder?


    Look in the specifications!

    Some camcorders will do better than others, of course, and your choice of
    final output medium - TV screen, Web image, computer display, print etc. -
    will determine what resolution you actually need.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Sep 20, 2004
    #4
  5. mcp6453

    Jim Townsend Guest

    mcp6453 wrote:

    > David J Taylor wrote:


    >> Are you trying to capture moving images at TV resolution or still images
    >> at "photographic" resolution?

    >
    > Still images at photographic resolution. I think you just answered my
    > question. The camcorder is lower resolution. How do you determine the
    > resolution of a still created by a DV camcorder?


    Digital camcorders with the ability to do stills have the resolution
    listed in the specs. You'll find the best you can get is around 1.6
    Megapixels and you'll pay dearly for the feature. This is only good
    for printing up to 5" X 7" .. Most lower end Camcorders only record
    1 Megapixel or less. That limits you to 4" X 6"

    Consumer still cameras today average about 4 Megapixels and can easily
    print better than 8" x 10" Many do short movies.

    If you want great video and marginal stills, get the Camcorder. If
    you want great stills and the odd short video, then get a still
    camera.

    If you're most interested in bringing things in close, you'll find that
    Camcorders generally have better telephoto ability..
    Jim Townsend, Sep 20, 2004
    #5
  6. mcp6453

    Kevin Guest

    In rec.video mcp6453 <> wrote:
    > My wife needs a digital camera with excellent zoom for taking pictures
    > at my son's football games. There are some highly rated cameras with 10X
    > optical zoom. However, there are some DV camcorders that claim 20X
    > optical zoom. The camcorders are cheaper. Why should I purchase the 10X
    > camera versus the camcorder 20X when still shots can be captured with
    > the camcorder? There has to be a reason to prefer the camera, but I
    > don't know what it is.


    Still shots captured by camcorders are pretty mediocre compared to what's
    possible with a decent digital still camera. At those long zoom levels
    though, it would be much more difficult to find a still camera (either one
    with a very long zoom or one that supports external zoom lenses)

    Good luck...
    Kevin, Sep 20, 2004
    #6
  7. Because the digital camera will take much better (still) pictures than
    any camcorder.

    mcp6453 wrote:
    >
    > My wife needs a digital camera with excellent zoom for taking pictures
    > at my son's football games. There are some highly rated cameras with 10X
    > optical zoom. However, there are some DV camcorders that claim 20X
    > optical zoom. The camcorders are cheaper. Why should I purchase the 10X
    > camera versus the camcorder 20X when still shots can be captured with
    > the camcorder? There has to be a reason to prefer the camera, but I
    > don't know what it is.
    Paul Wantzelius, Sep 20, 2004
    #7
  8. mcp6453

    PTRAVEL Guest

    "mcp6453" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > My wife needs a digital camera with excellent zoom for taking pictures
    > at my son's football games. There are some highly rated cameras with 10X
    > optical zoom. However, there are some DV camcorders that claim 20X
    > optical zoom. The camcorders are cheaper. Why should I purchase the 10X
    > camera versus the camcorder 20X when still shots can be captured with
    > the camcorder? There has to be a reason to prefer the camera, but I
    > don't know what it is.


    1. No camcorder is capable of still imaging comparable to a _good_ quality
    digitial still camera.

    2. A 20x lens on a camcorder is useless for a variety of reasons. First,
    it can't be handheld (anything over 8x-10x is virtually impossible to
    handhold). Second, consumer camcorder that tout large focal length zooms
    use inferior optics that will produce a miserable image at their extremes.

    3. Digital still cameras have a broader range of shutter speeds, which
    allow selecting one appropriate for the depth of field you wish to achieve.
    PTRAVEL, Sep 21, 2004
    #8
  9. mcp6453

    andre Guest

    Jim Townsend wrote:
    > mcp6453 wrote:
    >
    >
    >>David J Taylor wrote:

    >
    >
    >>>Are you trying to capture moving images at TV resolution or still images
    >>>at "photographic" resolution?

    >>
    >>Still images at photographic resolution. I think you just answered my
    >>question. The camcorder is lower resolution. How do you determine the
    >>resolution of a still created by a DV camcorder?

    >
    >
    > Digital camcorders with the ability to do stills have the resolution
    > listed in the specs. You'll find the best you can get is around 1.6
    > Megapixels and you'll pay dearly for the feature. This is only good
    > for printing up to 5" X 7" .. Most lower end Camcorders only record
    > 1 Megapixel or less. That limits you to 4" X 6"
    >
    > Consumer still cameras today average about 4 Megapixels and can easily
    > print better than 8" x 10" Many do short movies.
    >
    > If you want great video and marginal stills, get the Camcorder. If
    > you want great stills and the odd short video, then get a still
    > camera.
    >
    > If you're most interested in bringing things in close, you'll find that
    > Camcorders generally have better telephoto ability..
    >
    >

    Besides the stated obvious (above) my Sony MiniDV camcorder takes rather
    noisy pictures. I am rarely using it for anything but video.

    --
    ----------------------------------
    http://www.aguntherphotography.com
    andre, Sep 21, 2004
    #9
  10. mcp6453

    Mark M Guest

    "mcp6453" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > My wife needs a digital camera with excellent zoom for taking pictures
    > at my son's football games. There are some highly rated cameras with 10X
    > optical zoom. However, there are some DV camcorders that claim 20X
    > optical zoom. The camcorders are cheaper. Why should I purchase the 10X
    > camera versus the camcorder 20X when still shots can be captured with
    > the camcorder? There has to be a reason to prefer the camera, but I
    > don't know what it is.


    Video is recoreded at a TINY fraction of the resolution that still cameras
    record.

    Even video cameras that promote their "high resolution" sensors are woefully
    LOW res in comparison with even the cheaper still cameras.

    Sony has a video camera with a 2MP still capture.

    Digitals still cameras are cheap at 4MP, and reasonable all the way up to
    6MP.

    If you want to print larger than 4x6, you'll be much happier with a still
    camera.
    Mark M, Sep 21, 2004
    #10
  11. mcp6453

    hfs2 Guest

    What specs (zoom at X MPs) are required for a dcam to match
    a vcam with 640x480 sensor at 20X. Can you image her son
    as well with a common 3MP camera at 3 to 10X zoom as well as
    the vcam at 20X? (let's pretend that the image sensors are
    roughly equal - noise etc)

    mcp6453 <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > My wife needs a digital camera with excellent zoom for taking pictures
    > at my son's football games. There are some highly rated cameras with 10X
    > optical zoom. However, there are some DV camcorders that claim 20X
    > optical zoom. The camcorders are cheaper. Why should I purchase the 10X
    > camera versus the camcorder 20X when still shots can be captured with
    > the camcorder? There has to be a reason to prefer the camera, but I
    > don't know what it is.
    hfs2, Sep 21, 2004
    #11
  12. Get a stills camera. Even if your stills camera has half the specified
    optical zoom as compared with the video camera, you'll be able to 'zoom' in
    using your graphics software much more on the image taken with a stills
    camera because it will be much higher resolution.

    If money's no object then get a digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera.
    For example, the Canon 300D is only 600 UK pounds. And then you can fit
    whatever lens you want - and you can get some VERY long lenses nowadays.

    Jack.


    "mcp6453" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > My wife needs a digital camera with excellent zoom for taking pictures
    > at my son's football games. There are some highly rated cameras with 10X
    > optical zoom. However, there are some DV camcorders that claim 20X
    > optical zoom. The camcorders are cheaper. Why should I purchase the 10X
    > camera versus the camcorder 20X when still shots can be captured with
    > the camcorder? There has to be a reason to prefer the camera, but I
    > don't know what it is.
    Daniel Kelly \(AKA Jack\), Sep 21, 2004
    #12
  13. mcp6453

    Big Bill Guest

    On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 21:22:33 -0700, "Mark M"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"mcp6453" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> My wife needs a digital camera with excellent zoom for taking pictures
    >> at my son's football games. There are some highly rated cameras with 10X
    >> optical zoom. However, there are some DV camcorders that claim 20X
    >> optical zoom. The camcorders are cheaper. Why should I purchase the 10X
    >> camera versus the camcorder 20X when still shots can be captured with
    >> the camcorder? There has to be a reason to prefer the camera, but I
    >> don't know what it is.

    >
    >Video is recoreded at a TINY fraction of the resolution that still cameras
    >record.
    >
    >Even video cameras that promote their "high resolution" sensors are woefully
    >LOW res in comparison with even the cheaper still cameras.
    >
    >Sony has a video camera with a 2MP still capture.
    >
    >Digitals still cameras are cheap at 4MP, and reasonable all the way up to
    >6MP.
    >
    >If you want to print larger than 4x6, you'll be much happier with a still
    >camera.
    >


    Video cams do have an advantage that may transcend the lack of
    resolution: they take, by design a lot of frames per second, for as
    long as the tape lasts. Thus, you have many more frames to schoose
    from for that one good album of shots.
    Yes, poor resolution. But shots that wouldn't have been taken
    otherwise.
    Just something to consider.


    Bill Funk
    Change "g" to "a"
    Big Bill, Sep 21, 2004
    #13
  14. mcp6453

    Mark M Guest

    "Big Bill" <> wrote in message
    news:eek:...
    > On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 21:22:33 -0700, "Mark M"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >"mcp6453" <> wrote in message
    > >news:...
    > >> My wife needs a digital camera with excellent zoom for taking pictures
    > >> at my son's football games. There are some highly rated cameras with

    10X
    > >> optical zoom. However, there are some DV camcorders that claim 20X
    > >> optical zoom. The camcorders are cheaper. Why should I purchase the 10X
    > >> camera versus the camcorder 20X when still shots can be captured with
    > >> the camcorder? There has to be a reason to prefer the camera, but I
    > >> don't know what it is.

    > >
    > >Video is recoreded at a TINY fraction of the resolution that still

    cameras
    > >record.
    > >
    > >Even video cameras that promote their "high resolution" sensors are

    woefully
    > >LOW res in comparison with even the cheaper still cameras.
    > >
    > >Sony has a video camera with a 2MP still capture.
    > >
    > >Digitals still cameras are cheap at 4MP, and reasonable all the way up to
    > >6MP.
    > >
    > >If you want to print larger than 4x6, you'll be much happier with a still
    > >camera.
    > >

    >
    > Video cams do have an advantage that may transcend the lack of
    > resolution: they take, by design a lot of frames per second, for as
    > long as the tape lasts. Thus, you have many more frames to schoose
    > from for that one good album of shots.
    > Yes, poor resolution. But shots that wouldn't have been taken
    > otherwise.
    > Just something to consider.


    That's not completely correct.
    While it may be true that you could make a still print from a frame of
    video, you are talking only about VIDEO FRAME r**esolutions** at that point,
    which is MUCH lower.

    This is entirely different from their higher resolution "still-mode"
    shooting capabilities of these video cameras.

    When you buy a Sony video camera that says, "1MP still capture", this does
    NOT mean that any frame from a moving video will produce an image with 1MP's
    worth of resolution. It won't do this. You have to put the camera in
    "still mode" which THEN utilizes the extra pixels. If you simply take a
    frame from the video, you're going to have an image a FAR FAR lower
    resolution than 1MP...one which is at VIDEO resolutions, which,
    comparatively are extremely low.
    Mark M, Sep 22, 2004
    #14
  15. Everything digital is *supposed* to be the perfect solution.Like the
    panaceia, the supposed ancient greek medicine that was meant to heal any
    disease.Me, too.Why get the very expensive digital crap?To do what?

    --
    Dimitris Tzortzakakis,Iraklion Crete,Greece
    major in electrical engineering
    freelance electrician
    dimtzort AT otenet DOT gr
    ? "mcp6453" <> ?????? ??? ??????
    news:...
    > My wife needs a digital camera with excellent zoom for taking pictures
    > at my son's football games. There are some highly rated cameras with 10X
    > optical zoom. However, there are some DV camcorders that claim 20X
    > optical zoom. The camcorders are cheaper. Why should I purchase the 10X
    > camera versus the camcorder 20X when still shots can be captured with
    > the camcorder? There has to be a reason to prefer the camera, but I
    > don't know what it is.
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios, Sep 24, 2004
    #15
  16. mcp6453

    Tony Morgan Guest

    In message <cj0l12$jrv$>, Tzortzakakis Dimitrios
    <> writes
    >Everything digital is *supposed* to be the perfect solution.


    I'd have to disagree - even today, with the very expensive really high
    pixel CCD sensors. Top photographers shooting of Vogue covers still use
    (and will continue to do so) high-end 5 x 4 film cameras and will shoot
    on low-speed transparency film.

    This year, for the first time, sales of digital cameras in the US have
    outsold emulsion film cameras - but not hugely so.

    I, like a lot of folk who are serious about their photographic hobby
    will bring out their 35mm SLR for those shots where it's intended to
    print to 14 x 12 (I still use my Pentax LX - and it's likely to be some
    time before it's finally retired).

    For the great "Joe Public" however, the improvements and falling costs
    of digital cameras have put the potential advantages of digital into
    their realm. And today more and more people are attracted to the ability
    to have a camera that, with a footprint of maybe 5" x 4" x 1", can be
    slipped into the pocket - yet produce good album sized prints very
    easily in far more challenging lighting conditions than can be shot on
    emulsion film.

    Initially with digital cameras, potential users found the idea of being
    to print their photos on their computer's inkjet printer appealing.
    Most, however, later found that the high cost of photo-paper and ink
    cartridges made the option unexpectedly expensive compared with the
    film-emusion media photo-lab's costs. Today, with the increase in the
    number of high-street photo-processing shops who do prints from digital
    camera memory cards at more realistic costs, have improved matters.

    >Like the panaceia, the supposed ancient greek medicine that was meant
    >to heal any disease.Me, too.Why get the very expensive digital crap?


    That, if I might say so, is a crap remark :)

    >To do what?


    It entirely depends on the buyer's expectations.
    For the guy who wants to shoot photos for inclusion in the family album
    in far worse lighting conditions than would be possible with a film
    camera - a low-end digital camera has much to be recommended, especially
    with the month-on-month reduction in cameral cost.

    Also, the increasing availability and reducing cost of (say) 5Mpx
    "middle-range" but tiny "auto-with-manual-override" digitals introduces
    more and more people to serious photography - which can't be a bad
    thing. Their wife and friends can pick up and "point-and-shoot" this
    digital camera, but allows them to explore the abilities to shoot in far
    more exacting lighting conditions with manual overrides. And to learn
    while doing so.

    The of course there are the serious photographers who are likely to have
    owned a quality film SLR (or 5 x 4) with maybe two or three lenses, and
    are prepared to pay for the ability to do things more readily with the
    expensive DSLR in more onerous lighting conditions - and to be able to
    print large size "exhibition prints".

    Lastly, there are the group who's hobby is not actually taking
    photographs, but in owning (and talking about) the most expensive DSLRs.
    From many of the posts here of "my digital's better than yours", this
    group are quite thick on the ground here. Which is a shame really. I
    suspect they spend far more time poring over camera specs and manuals
    than they do in actually taking photographs. I have no objection to this
    group, since with more and more people in this group buying the top-end
    DSLRs the cost to the rest of us is bound to drop.

    But whatever your bag, digital cameras can in no way be described as
    "digital crap".

    Having got all the above out of my system, I'd perhaps finally point out
    the really great thing about digitals which many people ignore. That is
    the ability of people to inexpensively develop their photographic skills
    by "hands-on" because shots that are not the best can be analysed and
    discarded - part of the learning/experience process - with no cost
    whatsoever. Something that could not be done with film cameras. And to
    widen the learning/experience of more and more people can only be a good
    thing.

    --
    Tony Morgan
    http://www.camcord.info
    Tony Morgan, Sep 24, 2004
    #16
  17. take resolution, for one: if you enlarge a camcorder frame to postcard size,
    it already turns out quite fuzzy. not so with a fairly decent still camera.
    which should get you 8 by 10s easily. besides, you have much less control
    over what your camcorder actually records.
    "Tzortzakakis Dimitrios" <> wrote in
    message news:cj0l12$jrv$...
    > Everything digital is *supposed* to be the perfect solution.Like the
    > panaceia, the supposed ancient greek medicine that was meant to heal any
    > disease.Me, too.Why get the very expensive digital crap?To do what?
    >
    > --
    > Dimitris Tzortzakakis,Iraklion Crete,Greece
    > major in electrical engineering
    > freelance electrician
    > dimtzort AT otenet DOT gr
    > ? "mcp6453" <> ?????? ??? ??????
    > news:...
    > > My wife needs a digital camera with excellent zoom for taking pictures
    > > at my son's football games. There are some highly rated cameras with 10X
    > > optical zoom. However, there are some DV camcorders that claim 20X
    > > optical zoom. The camcorders are cheaper. Why should I purchase the 10X
    > > camera versus the camcorder 20X when still shots can be captured with
    > > the camcorder? There has to be a reason to prefer the camera, but I
    > > don't know what it is.

    >
    >
    Yehuda Paradise, Oct 4, 2004
    #17
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