More questions about digicam movies

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Zen Cohen, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. Zen Cohen

    Zen Cohen Guest

    What movie format in a compact digicam offers the best combination of
    smaller file size and high quality? From my non-technical understanding, it
    seems that MPEG-4 is pretty good. Are there others I should consider? Also,
    I've seen movies saved in .mpg, .avi and .mov file formats, and I'm sure
    there are more. Do any of these formats offer better quality than the
    others?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Zen Cohen, Dec 3, 2005
    #1
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  2. Zen Cohen

    PTravel Guest

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "digicam." Are you talking about
    digital still cameras that can take short movie clips? If so, none of them
    offer the same quality as even the cheapest miniDV camcorder.

    If you mean digital camcorders, miniDV, which uses the DV-25 codec, offers
    the best quality (at least in terms of consumer/prosumer cameras --
    professional video cameras are a different story). AVI is just a format for
    "wrapping" data -- you can store almost any video format in it. When DV-25,
    i.e. miniDV video, is captured on computers, it is usually stored in AVI
    files. DV-25 is a lossy format and is non-temporally compressed at a 5-to-1
    ratio.

    Mpeg (both 2 and 4) are also lossy formats that utilize temporal as well as
    spatial compression. DVD-compliant mpeg2 uses compression ratios of 10 to 1
    and above. In _theory_, mpeg is capable of very high quality compression.
    However, in practice, mpeg compression, whether 2 or 4, will result in
    considerably poorer video quality than DV-25. Mov is simply another
    compression codec and, like mpeg, results in poorer video than DV-25.

    Short answer: If you want good quality video, get a miniDV camcorder (not a
    miniDVD or DVD camcorder, or a still camera with video capability).
     
    PTravel, Dec 3, 2005
    #2
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  3. Zen Cohen

    Zen Cohen Guest

    Still cameras (though many of them will go up to about an hour on a 1GB card
    nowadays). Thanks for your informative comments.
     
    Zen Cohen, Dec 3, 2005
    #3
  4. Zen Cohen

    timeOday Guest

    I can speak for the Canon S80, which is a new model. It may apply to
    other Canons but I don't know.

    IMHO it does not offer the greatest quality/size tradeoff. The standard
    640x480x30 fps mode only gets 8 minutes on a 1 GB card! IMHO the
    bitrate is quite a bit higher than it needs to be, given how much sensor
    noise is apparent in the recordings. I'd prefer more smoothing and
    heavier compression.

    The only available step down on the camera fits almost 2 hrs on a 1 GB
    card, but the resolution is only 160x120x15 fps.

    By way of comparison, a computer using mpeg4 can fit 1 hour of video at
    that resolution onto a CD (700 MB) and it still looks quite good - good
    enough that compression artificts would still be less a problem than the
    sensor noise, autofocus, and exposure issues I see on video from the
    camera. That's not to say camera-based mpeg4 will be as good as
    generated on a PC, though (I don't know either way).
     
    timeOday, Dec 4, 2005
    #4
  5. Zen Cohen

    Jack Yeazel Guest

    I'm puzzling over the same question... I have a Canon 300SD that takes
    ..avi movies at 15 or 30 fps in 640x480 or 60fps at 320x240... At 15fps
    the movies are 1MB per second!

    So, I bought the Ace Video program to compress them by approximately a
    factor of six into .mpg files... A sample of a little movie with lots
    of 'action' at 15fps (compressed to .mpg) is at:
    http://gpsinformation.info/Jack/WeberTwist.mpg
     
    Jack Yeazel, Dec 6, 2005
    #5
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