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Old Jul 4, 2004, 11:01 AM   #1
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Givenvarious software available to capture a still image from digital video, and given the lackluster resolution, etc. of on-board still capture capability, why should I look for this feature when I'm deciding on a camcorder? As the other features in which I'm interested seem much more important (optical zoom, optical image stabilization, 3 CCD, etc.), should I put any weight on the still image capability? My primary motivation in adding a camcorder to my inventory is the ability to capture moving targets - something I'm not successful with in general - as well as being able to see the action later. A secondary motivation is the seemingly more abundant shoulder-type stabilizers available for camcorders that make long hikes and travel less burdensome. Also, would most of you agree that miniDV is the better format? Thanks!
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Old Jul 4, 2004, 11:45 AM   #2
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Well, as a general rule, the video quality on a digital still camera leaves a lot to be desired. The same usually applies to still photos from a video camera.

However, manufacturers have been making some advances in both directions (better movies from still cameras and better still photos from movie cameras).

I'd be curious to see how this new Panasonic stacks up when it starts shipping in August:


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Old Jul 4, 2004, 1:06 PM   #3
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I would always go with a dedicated camcorder and digital camera, because neither one will do the other's job as well as having dedicated equipment for separate tasks.

Digital Camcorders can produce stills, but generally of little more than 1MP- but they do superb video compared to the low resolution and memory consuming video produced by digital still cameras.

It is possible to produce stills from video, my Minolta Z1 will do it automatically if I want, but they are still very low resolution stills, no more than 640x480.

You can also capture stills from video taken on a camcorder once downloaded through an editor.

And so overall, I don't think you need to look for the option of a camcorder for digital stills- the stills are low resolution, almost no good for photo printing at all and the camcorders aregenerallly more expensive- save yourself the money and buy a digital camera- you can get 2/3 Megapixels for under £100 which will produce better results than any camcorder.

And yes, MiniDV is currently the best format, unless you want to go up to an Mpeg4 camcorder- extremely expensive, use flash memory and use lot's of it!!

Hope this helps!
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Old Jul 5, 2004, 2:34 AM   #4
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While I agree with the replies stated above, there may be a higher-end digital camcorder that can produce high-quality stills (better than TV quality). Unfortunately it's been too many years since I've been out of the video business.
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