High-quality video in versatile camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mike Stucka, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. Mike Stucka

    Mike Stucka Guest

    Kind folks,
    We're looking to get a better digital camera, one that's highly
    versatile. I was very impressed with a few minutes' hands-on time with a
    Fuji S6000, which offers a great zoom and some wonderful close-up
    opportunities. I didn't get to test it in low-light, though, or test the
    video.
    Is there a digital camera out there that offers acceptable video?
    Our first baby's been ordered, so that's becoming a concern. I don't
    know if any versatile digital cameras out there that offer video at
    least in the same neighborhood as a cheap video camera?


    Mike
     
    Mike Stucka, Oct 19, 2006
    #1
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  2. Mike Stucka

    irwell Guest

    On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 21:25:49 -0400, Mike Stucka
    <> wrote:

    >Kind folks,
    > We're looking to get a better digital camera, one that's highly
    >versatile. I was very impressed with a few minutes' hands-on time with a
    >Fuji S6000, which offers a great zoom and some wonderful close-up
    >opportunities. I didn't get to test it in low-light, though, or test the
    >video.
    > Is there a digital camera out there that offers acceptable video?
    >Our first baby's been ordered, so that's becoming a concern. I don't
    >know if any versatile digital cameras out there that offer video at
    >least in the same neighborhood as a cheap video camera?
    >
    >
    >Mike
     
    irwell, Oct 19, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Mike Stucka

    PTravel Guest

    "Mike Stucka" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Kind folks,
    > We're looking to get a better digital camera, one that's highly
    > versatile. I was very impressed with a few minutes' hands-on time with a
    > Fuji S6000, which offers a great zoom and some wonderful close-up
    > opportunities. I didn't get to test it in low-light, though, or test the
    > video.
    > Is there a digital camera out there that offers acceptable video?


    Short answer: no. However, it depends on how you define "acceptable." The
    video quality of any still camera will be far below that of even a medicore
    miniDV camcorder, just as the still quality of any camcorder will be far
    below that of even a mediocre still camera.


    > Our first baby's been ordered, so that's becoming a concern. I don't know
    > if any versatile digital cameras out there that offer video at least in
    > the same neighborhood as a cheap video camera?
    >
    >
    > Mike
     
    PTravel, Oct 19, 2006
    #3
  4. Mike Stucka

    Mark² Guest

    PTravel wrote:
    > "Mike Stucka" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Kind folks,
    >> We're looking to get a better digital camera, one that's highly
    >> versatile. I was very impressed with a few minutes' hands-on time
    >> with a Fuji S6000, which offers a great zoom and some wonderful
    >> close-up opportunities. I didn't get to test it in low-light,
    >> though, or test the video.
    >> Is there a digital camera out there that offers acceptable video?

    >
    > Short answer: no. However, it depends on how you define
    > "acceptable." The video quality of any still camera will be far
    > below that of even a medicore miniDV camcorder, just as the still
    > quality of any camcorder will be far below that of even a mediocre
    > still camera.


    That's only partially correct.
    While it's true that video camera still image capture is always going to be
    comparative crap...there are many still- cameras which now offer VERY
    comparable VIDEO quality...even up to 60 fps(!)--which is much higher than
    standard video capability. A couple years ago, this was not the case...but
    there are now many still cameras which are excellent...shooting at full VGA
    resolution.

    The down-side is that file-sizes are H-U-G-E at the highest quality levels,
    meaning storage and capacity for long video recordings become very limited.

    Even my dinky little Canon SD700 IS shoots VERY decent video at 30fps and
    full VGA.
    I shot video right next to a friend of mine who was using a standard digital
    video camcorder...
    ....and my recording was actually BETTER. The image was actually
    uperior! -The downside was...she could record the entire show, while I was
    limited to the 2GB card I had in my camera...which fills quickly.

    -Mark²
    --
    Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by Mark² at:
    www.pbase.com/markuson
     
    Mark², Oct 19, 2006
    #4
  5. Mike Stucka

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> writes:
    > Even my dinky little Canon SD700 IS shoots VERY decent video at 30fps and
    > full VGA.
    > I shot video right next to a friend of mine who was using a standard digital
    > video camcorder...
    > ...and my recording was actually BETTER. The image was actually
    > uperior! -The downside was...she could record the entire show, while I was
    > limited to the 2GB card I had in my camera...which fills quickly.


    I think the SD700 won't shoot more than 1GB of video nonstop, even if
    you have a larger card. You have a good chance of a 4GB card working
    ok in it though.

    Somewhat worse, the SD700 if it's like my A530 has no provision for an
    external microphone, and the internal mic is mono and not very good.
    Sound is actually more important than video in many situations. If
    the sound is good, people will overlook lousy video. The reverse is
    much less true.
     
    Paul Rubin, Oct 19, 2006
    #5
  6. Mike Stucka

    Mark² Guest

    Paul Rubin wrote:
    > "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> writes:
    >> Even my dinky little Canon SD700 IS shoots VERY decent video at
    >> 30fps and full VGA.
    >> I shot video right next to a friend of mine who was using a standard
    >> digital video camcorder...
    >> ...and my recording was actually BETTER. The image was actually
    >> uperior! -The downside was...she could record the entire show,
    >> while I was limited to the 2GB card I had in my camera...which fills
    >> quickly.

    >
    > I think the SD700 won't shoot more than 1GB of video nonstop, even if
    > you have a larger card. You have a good chance of a 4GB card working
    > ok in it though.


    I believe it will continue until the card is full...but I'll check that.
    I have a 4GB card in it now...so maybe I'll just do a little test to see.
    Regardless...the quality is very high.
    The only problem remains one of file size. These files are just HUGE.
    On the other hand...it's amazing how useful it was to have that little
    camera with me while in Ukraine recently...for those times when my huge
    5D/Grip/580EX was not a practical choice.
    I elected to leave the dedicated video camera at home this time, and did NOT
    miss it due to the very decent quality of the video taken by the tiny 700IS.

    >
    > Somewhat worse, the SD700 if it's like my A530 has no provision for an
    > external microphone, and the internal mic is mono and not very good.
    > Sound is actually more important than video in many situations.


    I agree with that, except that the "stereo" speakers on most camcorders are
    usually so close together--even on externals--that it's not all that
    different from mono anyway.

    >If
    > the sound is good, people will overlook lousy video. The reverse is
    > much less true.


    I agree with that.
    Digital video sound quality is excellent--even if not widely separated,
    left-to-right. I've actually used my video camera for sound-only
    recordings, and saved only the sound file because it's that good.

    --
    Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by Mark² at:
    www.pbase.com/markuson
     
    Mark², Oct 19, 2006
    #6
  7. Mike Stucka

    Guest

    On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 21:25:49 -0400, Mike Stucka <> wrote:

    > Kind folks,
    > We're looking to get a better digital camera, one that's highly
    > versatile. I was very impressed with a few minutes' hands-on time with a
    > Fuji S6000, which offers a great zoom and some wonderful close-up
    > opportunities. I didn't get to test it in low-light, though, or test the
    > video.
    > Is there a digital camera out there that offers acceptable video?
    > Our first baby's been ordered, so that's becoming a concern. I don't
    > know if any versatile digital cameras out there that offer video at
    > least in the same neighborhood as a cheap video camera?


    Check out the Canon S2 IS. The video performance is excellent.
     
    , Oct 19, 2006
    #7
  8. Mike Stucka

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> writes:
    > The only problem remains one of file size. These files are just HUGE.


    Huh? I thought they were pretty small. Remember that standard DV
    video uses about 3 megabytes per second. Does the SD700 burn space
    faster than that?

    > > Somewhat worse, the SD700 if it's like my A530 has no provision for an
    > > external microphone, and the internal mic is mono and not very good.
    > > Sound is actually more important than video in many situations.

    >
    > I agree with that, except that the "stereo" speakers on most camcorders are
    > usually so close together--even on externals--that it's not all that
    > different from mono anyway.


    This is about microphones, not speakers. Single-point stereo
    microphones work very well. The trick is that there is a pair of
    directional microphones at the same location, not both pointed in the
    same direction.

    > Digital video sound quality is excellent--even if not widely separated,


    It should approximate what you actually hear when you're making the
    recording.

    See also:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereo#Various_methods_of_stereo_recording
     
    Paul Rubin, Oct 19, 2006
    #8
  9. Mike Stucka

    Mark² Guest

    Paul Rubin wrote:
    > "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> writes:
    >> The only problem remains one of file size. These files are just
    >> HUGE.

    >
    > Huh? I thought they were pretty small. Remember that standard DV
    > video uses about 3 megabytes per second. Does the SD700 burn space
    > faster than that?
    >
    >>> Somewhat worse, the SD700 if it's like my A530 has no provision for
    >>> an external microphone, and the internal mic is mono and not very
    >>> good. Sound is actually more important than video in many
    >>> situations.

    >>
    >> I agree with that, except that the "stereo" speakers on most
    >> camcorders are usually so close together--even on externals--that
    >> it's not all that different from mono anyway.

    >
    > This is about microphones, not speakers.


    That was a typo... -Meant microphones, of course.

    >Single-point stereo
    > microphones work very well. The trick is that there is a pair of
    > directional microphones at the same location, not both pointed in the
    > same direction.


    It's better than mono, but they are not typically directional microphones.
    If they were, then they wouldn't pick up sounds in front of the camera very
    well.



    --
    Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by Mark² at:
    www.pbase.com/markuson
     
    Mark², Oct 19, 2006
    #9
  10. Mike Stucka

    PTravel Guest

    "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> wrote in message
    news:atDZg.48572$nm1.45116@fed1read04...
    > PTravel wrote:
    >> "Mike Stucka" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>> Kind folks,
    >>> We're looking to get a better digital camera, one that's highly
    >>> versatile. I was very impressed with a few minutes' hands-on time
    >>> with a Fuji S6000, which offers a great zoom and some wonderful
    >>> close-up opportunities. I didn't get to test it in low-light,
    >>> though, or test the video.
    >>> Is there a digital camera out there that offers acceptable video?

    >>
    >> Short answer: no. However, it depends on how you define
    >> "acceptable." The video quality of any still camera will be far
    >> below that of even a medicore miniDV camcorder, just as the still
    >> quality of any camcorder will be far below that of even a mediocre
    >> still camera.

    >
    > That's only partially correct.
    > While it's true that video camera still image capture is always going to
    > be comparative crap...there are many still- cameras which now offer VERY
    > comparable VIDEO quality...even up to 60 fps(!)--which is much higher than
    > standard video capability. A couple years ago, this was not the
    > case...but there are now many still cameras which are excellent...shooting
    > at full VGA resolution.


    Sorry, but the measure of video quality is the frames per second. Still
    cameras must use very high compression rates to store video on an SD or CF
    card. All of the ones that I've seen use either mpeg1 or mpeg2. Mpeg1 is
    incapable of anything beyond sub-VHS resolution. Mpeg2 is a lossy
    compression format that uses temporal compression, meaning subsequent and
    prior frames determine the compression of the current frame. Good quality
    mpeg compression requires two things: an analysis pass before transcoding
    and a high bit rate. No realtime consumer camera is capable of doing
    multi-pass transcoding -- all must do so on the fly, so the transcoding is
    less efficient. DVD-compliant mpeg2 (which, to my knowledge, none of the
    still cameras can do) has a maximum bit rate of approximately 10 mbs (less
    to conform to older set-top players). MiniDV camcorders, on the other hand,
    use the DV-25 video standard which, while lossy, is not
    temporally-compressed. Accordingly, there is no efficiency penalty for
    single pass, on-the-fly encoding. The DV-25 standard has a bit rate of 25
    mbs, more than 2.5 times the data rate of DVD-compliant mpeg2. The result
    is that far less data is lost, far more detail is passed, and the DV-25
    video image is vastly superior to anything that can be produced by a
    single-pass, temporally-compressed, low-bit rate codec such as is employed
    in still cameras. Finally, note that "VGA resolution" is 640 x 280 pixels
    per frame. The standard for digital video, including DV-25, is 720 x 480
    (NTSC), resulting in a VGA image that has only 88% of the video information
    of miniDV. And, finally, note that the NTSC video standard is 30 fps, each
    frame consisting of two interlaced alternating fields. The effective video
    rate is 60 _fields_ per second, not 60 frames per second. Non-interlaced
    video is called "progressive scan," and will result in motion artifacts when
    displayed on a standard television (as opposed to a computer monitor).

    You are wrong -- no still camera can produce video remotely approaching the
    quality of that of a reasonably decent miniDV camcorder.

    >
    > The down-side is that file-sizes are H-U-G-E at the highest quality
    > levels, meaning storage and capacity for long video recordings become very
    > limited.


    The standard for DV-25 is 13.7 gigabytes per hour. This is not huge by the
    standard of today's hard drives, which is why it is easy to edit DV-25 video
    on even an entry level computer. Temporally-compressed formats, such as
    mpeg2, mpeg4 and DivX, consume substantially less space (there is no hard
    standard because the most efficient transcoding format is variable bit
    rate). However, unless all you intend to do is simple cuts-only editing,
    and don't want to add interesting titles, transitions and effects, or do
    compositing or correction, you will find it virtually impossible to do so
    without buying expensive software and a state-of-the-art high-powered
    computer.

    >
    > Even my dinky little Canon SD700 IS shoots VERY decent video at 30fps and
    > full VGA.


    I suspect your definition of "very decent video" differs dramatically from
    mine. See what I wrote above about the differences between VGA and digital
    video, as well as temporally-compressed codecs versus the miniDV DV-25
    standard.

    > I shot video right next to a friend of mine who was using a standard
    > digital video camcorder...
    > ...and my recording was actually BETTER.


    Which only goes to prove that there are crappy camcorders out there. I have
    two miniDV camcorders, a Sony TRV-20 and a Sony VX2000. The VX2000 is a
    prosumer machine that does better-than-broadcast quality. The TRV-20,
    however, is a mid- to high-end older consumer machine and I guarantee that
    your Canon couldn't begin to approach what I can produce with the TRV-20.
    Your Canon, under the best of conditions, will produce VHS-grade video. My
    TRV-20, under the worst of conditions, will produce DVD-grade video.

    > The image was actually uperior! -The downside was...she could record the
    > entire show, while I was limited to the 2GB card I had in my
    > camera...which fills quickly.
    >
    > -Mark²
    > --
    > Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by Mark² at:
    > www.pbase.com/markuson
    >
    >
     
    PTravel, Oct 19, 2006
    #10
  11. Mike Stucka

    Mark² Guest

    PTravel wrote:
    > "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> wrote in message
    > news:atDZg.48572$nm1.45116@fed1read04...
    >> PTravel wrote:
    >>> "Mike Stucka" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:...
    >>>> Kind folks,
    >>>> We're looking to get a better digital camera, one that's highly
    >>>> versatile. I was very impressed with a few minutes' hands-on time
    >>>> with a Fuji S6000, which offers a great zoom and some wonderful
    >>>> close-up opportunities. I didn't get to test it in low-light,
    >>>> though, or test the video.
    >>>> Is there a digital camera out there that offers acceptable
    >>>> video?
    >>>
    >>> Short answer: no. However, it depends on how you define
    >>> "acceptable." The video quality of any still camera will be far
    >>> below that of even a medicore miniDV camcorder, just as the still
    >>> quality of any camcorder will be far below that of even a mediocre
    >>> still camera.

    >>
    >> That's only partially correct.
    >> While it's true that video camera still image capture is always
    >> going to be comparative crap...there are many still- cameras which
    >> now offer VERY comparable VIDEO quality...even up to 60
    >> fps(!)--which is much higher than standard video capability. A
    >> couple years ago, this was not the case...but there are now many
    >> still cameras which are excellent...shooting at full VGA resolution.

    >
    > Sorry, but the measure of video quality is the frames per second. Still
    > cameras must use very high compression rates to store video on
    > an SD or CF card. All of the ones that I've seen use either mpeg1 or
    > mpeg2. Mpeg1 is incapable of anything beyond sub-VHS resolution. Mpeg2 is
    > a lossy compression format that uses temporal compression,
    > meaning subsequent and prior frames determine the compression of the
    > current frame. Good quality mpeg compression requires two things: an
    > analysis pass before transcoding and a high bit rate. No realtime
    > consumer camera is capable of doing multi-pass transcoding -- all
    > must do so on the fly, so the transcoding is less efficient. DVD-compliant
    > mpeg2 (which, to my knowledge, none of the still
    > cameras can do) has a maximum bit rate of approximately 10 mbs (less
    > to conform to older set-top players). MiniDV camcorders, on the
    > other hand, use the DV-25 video standard which, while lossy, is not
    > temporally-compressed. Accordingly, there is no efficiency penalty
    > for single pass, on-the-fly encoding. The DV-25 standard has a bit
    > rate of 25 mbs, more than 2.5 times the data rate of DVD-compliant
    > mpeg2. The result is that far less data is lost, far more detail is
    > passed, and the DV-25 video image is vastly superior to anything that
    > can be produced by a single-pass, temporally-compressed, low-bit rate
    > codec such as is employed in still cameras. Finally, note that "VGA
    > resolution" is 640 x 280 pixels per frame. The standard for digital
    > video, including DV-25, is 720 x 480 (NTSC), resulting in a VGA image
    > that has only 88% of the video information of miniDV. And, finally,
    > note that the NTSC video standard is 30 fps, each frame consisting of
    > two interlaced alternating fields. The effective video rate is 60
    > _fields_ per second, not 60 frames per second. Non-interlaced video
    > is called "progressive scan," and will result in motion artifacts
    > when displayed on a standard television (as opposed to a computer
    > monitor).
    > You are wrong -- no still camera can produce video remotely
    > approaching the quality of that of a reasonably decent miniDV
    > camcorder.


    Then you have apparently been looking at different results than I have.

    >
    >>
    >> The down-side is that file-sizes are H-U-G-E at the highest quality
    >> levels, meaning storage and capacity for long video recordings
    >> become very limited.

    >
    > The standard for DV-25 is 13.7 gigabytes per hour.


    The files created by even my little camera are about 1GB per 9 minutes of
    video...

    The OP referred to "acceptable video," which I do not interpret as "state of
    the art camcorder video," rather simply "acceptable." There are certainly
    cameras capable of this, by most consumer's definition of what is
    "acceptable."
     
    Mark², Oct 19, 2006
    #11
  12. Mike Stucka

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> writes:
    > >Single-point stereo
    > > microphones work very well. The trick is that there is a pair of
    > > directional microphones at the same location, not both pointed in the
    > > same direction.

    >
    > It's better than mono, but they are not typically directional microphones.
    > If they were, then they wouldn't pick up sounds in front of the camera very well.


    Of course they're directional microphones, theyre not
    ultra-directional (that would require enormous shotgun mics) but the
    common schemes are either crossed cardioids or else a cardiod facing
    ahead plus a mic with a figure-8 pattern getting the sides (mid-side
    arrangement). See:

    http://www.paia.com/msmicwrk.htm

    This has been very standard stuff for many decades.
     
    Paul Rubin, Oct 19, 2006
    #12
  13. Mike Stucka

    PTravel Guest

    "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> wrote in message
    news:QSJZg.50212$nm1.45548@fed1read04...
    > PTravel wrote:
    >> "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> wrote in message
    >> news:atDZg.48572$nm1.45116@fed1read04...
    >>> PTravel wrote:
    >>>> "Mike Stucka" <> wrote in message
    >>>> news:...
    >>>>> Kind folks,
    >>>>> We're looking to get a better digital camera, one that's highly
    >>>>> versatile. I was very impressed with a few minutes' hands-on time
    >>>>> with a Fuji S6000, which offers a great zoom and some wonderful
    >>>>> close-up opportunities. I didn't get to test it in low-light,
    >>>>> though, or test the video.
    >>>>> Is there a digital camera out there that offers acceptable
    >>>>> video?
    >>>>
    >>>> Short answer: no. However, it depends on how you define
    >>>> "acceptable." The video quality of any still camera will be far
    >>>> below that of even a medicore miniDV camcorder, just as the still
    >>>> quality of any camcorder will be far below that of even a mediocre
    >>>> still camera.
    >>>
    >>> That's only partially correct.
    >>> While it's true that video camera still image capture is always
    >>> going to be comparative crap...there are many still- cameras which
    >>> now offer VERY comparable VIDEO quality...even up to 60
    >>> fps(!)--which is much higher than standard video capability. A
    >>> couple years ago, this was not the case...but there are now many
    >>> still cameras which are excellent...shooting at full VGA resolution.

    >>
    >> Sorry, but the measure of video quality is the frames per second. Still
    >> cameras must use very high compression rates to store video on
    >> an SD or CF card. All of the ones that I've seen use either mpeg1 or
    >> mpeg2. Mpeg1 is incapable of anything beyond sub-VHS resolution. Mpeg2
    >> is a lossy compression format that uses temporal compression,
    >> meaning subsequent and prior frames determine the compression of the
    >> current frame. Good quality mpeg compression requires two things: an
    >> analysis pass before transcoding and a high bit rate. No realtime
    >> consumer camera is capable of doing multi-pass transcoding -- all
    >> must do so on the fly, so the transcoding is less efficient.
    >> DVD-compliant mpeg2 (which, to my knowledge, none of the still
    >> cameras can do) has a maximum bit rate of approximately 10 mbs (less
    >> to conform to older set-top players). MiniDV camcorders, on the
    >> other hand, use the DV-25 video standard which, while lossy, is not
    >> temporally-compressed. Accordingly, there is no efficiency penalty
    >> for single pass, on-the-fly encoding. The DV-25 standard has a bit
    >> rate of 25 mbs, more than 2.5 times the data rate of DVD-compliant
    >> mpeg2. The result is that far less data is lost, far more detail is
    >> passed, and the DV-25 video image is vastly superior to anything that
    >> can be produced by a single-pass, temporally-compressed, low-bit rate
    >> codec such as is employed in still cameras. Finally, note that "VGA
    >> resolution" is 640 x 280 pixels per frame. The standard for digital
    >> video, including DV-25, is 720 x 480 (NTSC), resulting in a VGA image
    >> that has only 88% of the video information of miniDV. And, finally,
    >> note that the NTSC video standard is 30 fps, each frame consisting of
    >> two interlaced alternating fields. The effective video rate is 60
    >> _fields_ per second, not 60 frames per second. Non-interlaced video
    >> is called "progressive scan," and will result in motion artifacts
    >> when displayed on a standard television (as opposed to a computer
    >> monitor).
    >> You are wrong -- no still camera can produce video remotely
    >> approaching the quality of that of a reasonably decent miniDV
    >> camcorder.

    >
    > Then you have apparently been looking at different results than I have.
    >
    >>
    >>>
    >>> The down-side is that file-sizes are H-U-G-E at the highest quality
    >>> levels, meaning storage and capacity for long video recordings
    >>> become very limited.

    >>
    >> The standard for DV-25 is 13.7 gigabytes per hour.

    >
    > The files created by even my little camera are about 1GB per 9 minutes of
    > video...


    Sounds like constant-bit-rate mpeg2 at DVD-compliant rates, which will be
    around 5 GB per hour.

    >
    > The OP referred to "acceptable video," which I do not interpret as "state
    > of the art camcorder video," rather simply "acceptable." There are
    > certainly cameras capable of this, by most consumer's definition of what
    > is "acceptable."


    I'm not talking about state of the art camcorder video. I've spent a fair
    amount of time explaining the technical reasons why video from still cameras
    is of significantly lower quality than video from an _average_ quality
    miniDV machine. Your response is to ignore the specs and the technical
    explanation and simply claim that still camera video is "acceptable" by
    "most consumer's standards." Aside from the fact the you do not speak for
    most consumers you are incorrect -- most consumers who want video buy miniDV
    or Digital8 (another DV-25 based format) camcorders. Accordingly, most
    consumers want DV-25 quality.

    >
    >
     
    PTravel, Oct 19, 2006
    #13
  14. Mike Stucka

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "PTravel" <> writes:
    > > The files created by even my little camera are about 1GB per 9 minutes of
    > > video...

    >
    > Sounds like constant-bit-rate mpeg2 at DVD-compliant rates, which will be
    > around 5 GB per hour.


    I think the stuff from my A530 is mpeg-4 and I'd be surprised if the
    SD700 is something different.

    > I'm not talking about state of the art camcorder video. I've spent a fair
    > amount of time explaining the technical reasons why video from still cameras
    > is of significantly lower quality than video from an _average_ quality
    > miniDV machine. Your response is to ignore the specs and the technical
    > explanation and simply claim that still camera video is "acceptable" by
    > "most consumer's standards." Aside from the fact the you do not speak for
    > most consumers you are incorrect -- most consumers who want video buy miniDV
    > or Digital8 (another DV-25 based format) camcorders. Accordingly, most
    > consumers want DV-25 quality.


    I'd say the audio matters a lot more. I'm also not so sure DV25 is
    the most popular camcorder format, or if it is, by what margin. I see
    quite a few of those silly 3" mini-DVD cameras in the stores. There's
    also quite a lot of analog (VHS-C and hi-8) still around, and hard
    drive camcorders are getting more popular. I've been interested in
    getting something more modern than my old hi-8 camera but I'd only
    bother with mini-DV if I were doing something serious. Otherwise I
    kept wanting a camera that recorded onto regular (i.e. full size, 4.7
    inch) recordable DVD media. These days though, hard drives also look
    good. I'd even consider a flash-based camcorder if it ran on AA cells
    and had good audio.
     
    Paul Rubin, Oct 19, 2006
    #14
  15. Mike Stucka

    Mike Stucka Guest

    wrote:
    > Check out the Canon S2 IS. The video performance is excellent.


    Thanks for the suggestion!

    To the folks in the more involved discussion: I thank you, too. As
    someone pointed out, "acceptable" to one person may not be "acceptable"
    to another. While I'll certainly treasure video of my child's earliest
    years, I'm not certain how much difference it'll make if a 15-year-old
    video looks like an 18-year-old video.

    I think the advent of DVD standards and then HDTV has changed how we
    look at video, constantly raising the bar. That said, I just looked at a
    ~15-year-old video of my sister-in-law's birthday, and, while the sound
    was atrocious and the video quality was merely awful, it was still
    invaluable.

    Meanwhile, we're busy getting seven reels of 8mm film from our two
    families converted to DVD.

    I think the value of these films is incalculable, but everyone expects a
    loss of quality compared to contemporary standards. Our standards simply
    shift with technology, which shifts with time.

    I guess I'm more concerned about being able to discern faces in
    low-light birthday parties than being able to catch every detail. In
    that sense, the ultimate resolution matters a bit less than other
    technical specs.


    Mike
     
    Mike Stucka, Oct 19, 2006
    #15
  16. Mike Stucka

    PTravel Guest

    "Paul Rubin" <http://> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "PTravel" <> writes:
    >> > The files created by even my little camera are about 1GB per 9 minutes
    >> > of
    >> > video...

    >>
    >> Sounds like constant-bit-rate mpeg2 at DVD-compliant rates, which will be
    >> around 5 GB per hour.

    >
    > I think the stuff from my A530 is mpeg-4 and I'd be surprised if the
    > SD700 is something different.


    mpeg4 is a temporally-compressed lossy codec. Everything I said about mpeg2
    applies, i.e. the need for an analysis pass rather than single-pass
    on-the-fly transcoding, data rate, etc.
    >
    >> I'm not talking about state of the art camcorder video. I've spent a
    >> fair
    >> amount of time explaining the technical reasons why video from still
    >> cameras
    >> is of significantly lower quality than video from an _average_ quality
    >> miniDV machine. Your response is to ignore the specs and the technical
    >> explanation and simply claim that still camera video is "acceptable" by
    >> "most consumer's standards." Aside from the fact the you do not speak
    >> for
    >> most consumers you are incorrect -- most consumers who want video buy
    >> miniDV
    >> or Digital8 (another DV-25 based format) camcorders. Accordingly, most
    >> consumers want DV-25 quality.

    >
    > I'd say the audio matters a lot more.


    Audio is irrelevant to video quality. However, audio is important, yes.

    > I'm also not so sure DV25 is
    > the most popular camcorder format, or if it is, by what margin.


    It is. I don't have numbers, but miniDV is the most popular format. It's
    also the only digital format that is also used in prosumer and professional
    cameras.

    > I see
    > quite a few of those silly 3" mini-DVD cameras in the stores.


    Everything I said about digital still camera video applies to them in
    spades, except that digital still cameras probably have better glass.

    > There's
    > also quite a lot of analog (VHS-C and hi-8) still around, and hard
    > drive camcorders are getting more popular.


    In terms of resolution, VHS (vhs-c only refers to the physical cassette
    format and not the recording format) can resolve about 250 lines. Hi-8 can
    resolve about 425-450. MiniDV (and Digital8) can resolve 500-525. Analog
    formats, such as Hi-8, are also far more prone to drop-outs.

    > I've been interested in
    > getting something more modern than my old hi-8 camera but I'd only
    > bother with mini-DV if I were doing something serious. Otherwise I
    > kept wanting a camera that recorded onto regular (i.e. full size, 4.7
    > inch) recordable DVD media. These days though, hard drives also look
    > good. I'd even consider a flash-based camcorder if it ran on AA cells
    > and had good audio.


    Do you have any interest in editing your video? If so, you do not want a
    DVD, hard drive or flash-based camcorder as all use temporal compression
    codecs which are not readily editable, quality issues notwithstanding.
     
    PTravel, Oct 19, 2006
    #16
  17. Mike Stucka

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "PTravel" <> writes:
    > > I'm also not so sure DV25 is
    > > the most popular camcorder format, or if it is, by what margin.

    >
    > It is. I don't have numbers, but miniDV is the most popular format.
    > It's also the only digital format that is also used in prosumer and
    > professional cameras.


    Probably the higher end of DV25 is getting displaced by HDV, but
    the low end doesn't care. Note that HDV is also one of those
    "temporally compressed formats" but that doesn't stop serious
    productions (TV shows, indie movies) from using it.

    > In terms of resolution, VHS (vhs-c only refers to the physical
    > cassette format and not the recording format) can resolve about 250
    > lines. Hi-8 can resolve about 425-450. MiniDV (and Digital8) can
    > resolve 500-525. Analog formats, such as Hi-8, are also far more
    > prone to drop-outs.


    Regardless of that, hundreds of millions of consumers watched
    Hollywood movies on VHS and were perfectly satisfied.

    > Do you have any interest in editing your video? If so, you do not want a
    > DVD, hard drive or flash-based camcorder as all use temporal compression
    > codecs which are not readily editable, quality issues notwithstanding.


    The motion compression means the editing software has to be a bit more
    complicated, but that's not the user's problem. It also means if you
    want frame-accurate editing, there can be some video artifacts right
    after the edit point, but most viewers won't notice. As a fairly
    casual video user I don't really care about frame-accurate editing,
    I'm fine with being off by a few frames or even by a second or two. I
    think this is pretty typical.
     
    Paul Rubin, Oct 19, 2006
    #17
  18. Mike Stucka

    PTravel Guest

    "Paul Rubin" <http://> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "PTravel" <> writes:
    >> > I'm also not so sure DV25 is
    >> > the most popular camcorder format, or if it is, by what margin.

    >>
    >> It is. I don't have numbers, but miniDV is the most popular format.
    >> It's also the only digital format that is also used in prosumer and
    >> professional cameras.

    >
    > Probably the higher end of DV25 is getting displaced by HDV, but
    > the low end doesn't care.


    Actually, not yet. HDV has some signficant problems. It, too, uses a
    temporally-compressed codec and, evidently, there are some significant
    motion artifact issues with it.

    > Note that HDV is also one of those
    > "temporally compressed formats" but that doesn't stop serious
    > productions (TV shows, indie movies) from using it.


    Ah, you beat me to it. I don't know of any professional use of HDV, whereas
    I know of several studio-released feature films that were shot on miniDV.

    >
    >> In terms of resolution, VHS (vhs-c only refers to the physical
    >> cassette format and not the recording format) can resolve about 250
    >> lines. Hi-8 can resolve about 425-450. MiniDV (and Digital8) can
    >> resolve 500-525. Analog formats, such as Hi-8, are also far more
    >> prone to drop-outs.

    >
    > Regardless of that, hundreds of millions of consumers watched
    > Hollywood movies on VHS and were perfectly satisfied.


    Sure -- VHS was the only game in town, except for the exotic, expensive,
    must-be-flipped-many-times laser disk.

    >
    >> Do you have any interest in editing your video? If so, you do not want a
    >> DVD, hard drive or flash-based camcorder as all use temporal compression
    >> codecs which are not readily editable, quality issues notwithstanding.

    >
    > The motion compression means the editing software has to be a bit more
    > complicated, but that's not the user's problem.


    Not quite. The temporal compression means that frame-accurate editing
    requires untranscoding and retranscoding. Some of the higher-end prosumer
    products, e.g. Premiere Pro 2.0, can handle it, but only with a very, very
    powerful computer. I've done projects that required working with mpeg2
    clips (I use Premiere Pro 1.5 on a 3.1 GHz P4 with 1 gig of RAM). It was an
    absolute pain, and I was only using clips. It would have been almost
    impossible to do any compositing, effects, etc.

    > It also means if you
    > want frame-accurate editing, there can be some video artifacts right
    > after the edit point, but most viewers won't notice.


    Again, it depends on what you mean by "most viewers."

    > As a fairly
    > casual video user I don't really care about frame-accurate editing,
    > I'm fine with being off by a few frames or even by a second or two. I
    > think this is pretty typical.


    I'm a casual video user, and I care very much about frame-accurate editing,
    as well as achieving the best possible video quality.
     
    PTravel, Oct 19, 2006
    #18
  19. Mike Stucka

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "PTravel" <> writes:
    > Ah, you beat me to it. I don't know of any professional use of HDV,


    According to Wikipedia, some parts of the JAG television series are
    shot on HDV.

    > I'm a casual video user, and I care very much about frame-accurate
    > editing, as well as achieving the best possible video quality.


    I think I'd take issue with "casual video user" in that case, but it's
    not exactly a club that anyone is clamoring to get into. A casual
    user is someone who isn't very fussy, pretty much by definition. The
    still photography equivalent would be someone who takes snapshots with
    a disposable camera or cell phone camera.
     
    Paul Rubin, Oct 20, 2006
    #19
  20. Mike Stucka

    Mark² Guest

    Mike Stucka wrote:
    > wrote:
    >> Check out the Canon S2 IS. The video performance is excellent.

    >
    > Thanks for the suggestion!
    >
    > To the folks in the more involved discussion: I thank you, too. As
    > someone pointed out, "acceptable" to one person may not be
    > "acceptable" to another. While I'll certainly treasure video of my
    > child's earliest years, I'm not certain how much difference it'll
    > make if a 15-year-old video looks like an 18-year-old video.
    >
    > I think the advent of DVD standards and then HDTV has changed how we
    > look at video, constantly raising the bar. That said, I just looked
    > at a ~15-year-old video of my sister-in-law's birthday, and, while
    > the sound was atrocious and the video quality was merely awful, it
    > was still invaluable.
    >
    > Meanwhile, we're busy getting seven reels of 8mm film from our two
    > families converted to DVD.
    >
    > I think the value of these films is incalculable, but everyone
    > expects a loss of quality compared to contemporary standards. Our
    > standards simply shift with technology, which shifts with time.
    >
    > I guess I'm more concerned about being able to discern faces in
    > low-light birthday parties than being able to catch every detail. In
    > that sense, the ultimate resolution matters a bit less than other
    > technical specs.


    Your description here is precisely why I used the term "acceptable."
    I think you would most likely be very happy with the (as someone mentioned)
    Canon S2 or S3, or many of the other offerings which allow 30fps at VGA
    resolution. While it's true that there are certainly higher standards of
    quality from true camcorders, your description indicates to me that you
    would be quite pleased with the rendition of some of the more capable video
    recording capabilities I've described.

    -Mark²
    --
    Images (Plus Snaps & Grabs) by Mark² at:
    www.pbase.com/markuson
     
    Mark², Oct 20, 2006
    #20
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