Video quality on Canon S1 IS compared to a digital camcorder

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by photohound, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. photohound

    photohound Guest

    I'm curious if the video quality on the Canon Powershot S1 IS is as
    good as that on your average digital camcorder. In other words - if I
    buy this camera, would I need a separate camcorder? Thanks for any
    photohound, Jan 1, 2005
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  2. photohound

    SleeperMan Guest

    You'll need separate camcorder if you want to shoot long movies. Note that
    S1 can only shoot short clips - if you have 1G card, about 7 -8 minutes, i
    believe. Even if you buy bigger card (2 or 4 G), one clip can't be longer
    than 1G -this is file system limit, so you'll have to end clip after 8
    minutes and start again.
    But, overall quality is quite good. Taking into account 640x480 at 30 fps -
    size is almost as big as in camcorders, whihc is just over 500x something.
    Sound is also pretty good, since it has 22k sampling rate.
    Remember that S1 is mainly photo camera...
    SleeperMan, Jan 1, 2005
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  3. photohound

    tomcas Guest

    Whether or not you need a separate camcorder depends on how you use it.
    For me, 90% of the time it works fine and I've used it for things like
    recording the kids plays and family gatherings with good results. As the
    previous post states the record time of each clip is limited to one gig,
    which at the highest resolution averages about 9 1/2 minutes each. You
    can drop to lower frame rates and resolutions, which extend each clip
    time up to one hour each but these settings, are not comparable to an
    average camcorder. Besides the time limitation, many camcorders have
    zooms exceeding 10x and have low light shooting capability. If you are
    use to using these features in your camcorder you will definitely miss
    them as the S1 is limited to 10x and the recordings get grainy in low
    light. Its important to make sure you get a compact flash card that
    writes fast enough to record with having to use the buffer. If this
    happens the record time of each clip is reduced. I read various posts,
    which place this threshold at 12x to 16x, but I'm not sure if they are
    accurate. Here is a helpful forum thread with individual results

    I'm using a 2gig 80x Lexar and have never had problems shooting long
    movies. To transfer movies to your PC I suggest using a firewire card
    reader, or at the very least USB 2, because of the large file size. I'm
    using the Lexar firewire reader and I'm very happy with the speed of
    file transfer.

    You can find some sample movie clips and reviews here
    tomcas, Jan 1, 2005
  4. SleeperMan,

    which isn't much of a limitation. One scene longer than 8
    minutes would be rather unusual.

    Generally we will see the difference between camcorders and
    cameras disappear. It's already happening.

    Hans-Georg Michna, Jan 1, 2005
  5. photohound

    SleeperMan Guest

    True, i guess.It's only...let's say you buy 4G card..first of all, you must
    have rather fast one (at least 20x speed), then it's bloddy expensive, and
    you have only about 4x4=16 min of video. On camcorder, you have (normally)
    60 min cassette, it's way cheaper, you have extra spare in your pocket...
    Don't get me wrong... i don't have camcorder and i don't plan to buy it any
    soon yet. I have 256M card at the moment and i usually only make videos at
    home, where i take 2.5 min long one, transfer to PC and do it again...
    Like i said, i find S1 movie totally compatible with camcorder, and better
    than most analog ones.
    Currently, only downside i can find on S1 is that microphone is turned
    towards me instead towards scene to be shot, so if i make at least a bit
    noise, it's recorded bloddy loud...
    SleeperMan, Jan 2, 2005
  6. photohound

    SleeperMan Guest

    From my calculations, longest movie on 1G highest res is 8 min 20 sec (1980
    kb/sec), while at a bit less quality is 11 min 28 sec (1440 kb/sec). Speed
    of CF card must be at least 9.6x for normal 640x480, and at least 13.2 for
    finest quality movie. (note that 1x speed is 150 kb/sec)
    SleeperMan, Jan 2, 2005
  7. photohound

    tomcas Guest

    Those numbers seem about right. The difference is due to the level of
    compression because both are a 640 x480 30 FPS. The question now, even
    though subjective, is how much better is the image quality when shot in
    the lower compression mode?
    tomcas, Jan 2, 2005
  8. photohound

    SleeperMan Guest be honest, i didn't test it yet, although it seems a bit funny...
    maybe i'll do that soon in future days..just to see
    SleeperMan, Jan 2, 2005
  9. photohound

    Confused Guest

    On Sun, 2 Jan 2005 09:45:42 +0100
    In message <KwOBd.7680$>
    Posted from Slovenija OnLine - SiOL
    Things are about to change rapidly now that
    JVC is finally testing the consumer waters:

    From the pdf instructions, with a 4GB CF card/micro-drive:

    ULTRA FINE - 60 minutes 720 x 480 pixels, 8.5 Mbps (CBR)
    FINE - 90 minutes 720 x 480 pixels, 5.5 Mbps (CBR)
    NORMAL - 120 minutes 720 x 480 pixels, 4.2 Mbps (VBR)
    ECONOMY - 300 minutes 352 x 240 pixels, 1.5 Mbps (VBR)

    It would be kinda fun to mount one on a flash bracket. I played with
    it in a store and liked it. The swivel body is similar to the Nikon
    900 series. First of it's kind. (as far as I know) Works as
    expected for a small video recorder. Overpriced :-0

    Some hands on testing (which the store is willing to set up) is
    required to find out if the "WIDE" function will master an anamorphic
    16:9 image in those 720x480 pixels. If it does...what a cool toy, eh?

    Confused, Jan 2, 2005
  10. photohound

    Bruce Graham Guest


    but isn't DV on tape 25 Mbps?
    Bruce Graham, Jan 3, 2005
  11. photohound

    News Guest

    But isn't the S1 IS restricted to 2GB as it doesn't/cannot use NTFS? Or was
    that a feature added in the 1.0.2 .0 firmware upgrade?
    News, Jan 3, 2005
  12. photohound

    SleeperMan Guest

    NOt that know off.. as far as S1 exists, it was told that 8G microdrive can
    be used.
    SleeperMan, Jan 3, 2005
  13. photohound

    News Guest

    You're (probably) right: just found this link at Canon:
    relevant bit of which is "Compatible with 2GB memory cards & larger", which
    is a comment affixed to "Memory card type: CompactFlash Type I/II
    (Microdrive compatible)".
    Being a cynic where promotional material is concerned, I note that it says
    "compatible with", which may not mean that it can store/read up to 8GB, or
    whatever the max MicroDrive is. I think I got the 2GB limit from Steve's
    DigiCams sometime last year so, hopefully, that is out of date.
    News, Jan 3, 2005
  14. photohound

    Mike Guest

    The S1 IS supports FAT32 and can use CF cards of any size.

    The size/length limit on movie clips is 1 hour or 1GB per clip,
    whichever occurs first. Multiple clips can be stored on a
    single CF card.
    Mike, Jan 3, 2005
  15. photohound

    SleeperMan Guest

    I know i've read one review where they tested S1 with 4G microdrive, so it
    must be working.
    SleeperMan, Jan 3, 2005
  16. photohound

    info Guest

    See this site .

    They aggregate product reviews from the web. They have more than 40
    reviews on the Canon S1 IS digital camera. Seems that it's a great
    camera (however, be careful about the battery life !)
    You would not probably need a separate camcorder.

    info, Jan 3, 2005
  17. photohound

    News Guest

    What I wanted to hear: now I KNOW I should have asked for an enormous
    Microdrive (or two) from Santa.
    News, Jan 4, 2005
  18. photohound

    Renee Guest

    Well, almost any size. Here's a Canon rep's response to an inquiry about CF

    "Any card with a capacity up to 2048GB that adheres to the Type I or Type II
    CompactFlash card standard should work in your camera."

    It was a little hard for me to believe at first so I asked them again "Are
    you sure you mean GB?!?"

    They assured me they did.
    Renee, Jan 4, 2005
  19. However, if I remember the S1 manual, a single video on the S1 cannot be more
    than 1 gigabyte, and FAT32 doesn't allow files to be greater than 2 gigabytes.
    Michael Meissner, Jan 4, 2005
  20. photohound

    tomcas Guest

    Fat32 file size limit is 4 gig.
    tomcas, Jan 4, 2005
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