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Old Nov 20, 2007, 12:12 PM   #1
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Howdy Folks, What would one need in terms of camera/camcoder and computer/software if they wanted to extract decent quality [about 3MP] stills from the recorded video?

I bought a miniDV Camcorder hoping to extract some nice stills from the video recording. Recorded to the Flash and viewed on the computer. The resolution was abysmal. Reading the manual more attentively revealed a still resolution of 640x480.

I wonder how the video capture resolution is correlated to the still capture resolution? Is video recorded to Flash lower resolution than if recorded to miniDV?

After searching the archives, now I am asking myself if it is possible to extract 3MP stills from recorded video? The questions to answer next are what
camera/camcoder would suitable? Then to capture a still, is it as simple as playing the video on the computer and grabbing any frame, or is some special editing hardware/software needed to preserve the still quality of about 3MP?

Your insight would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Nov 20, 2007, 1:22 PM   #2
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If you extract stills from video footage, it cannot be any higher resolution than the video itself, there is no "more resolution" hidden in video to extract.

NTSC DV (miniDV) resolution is low, at 720x480 interlaced. The highest possible resolution still you can extract from DV video is 720x480 if you can properly de-interlace a frame. If your camcorder extracted a 640 x 480 (~0.3MP) still from your miniDV, that makes sense. You may be surprised by the low quality still frames of DV video, but that is what DV video frames look like. I personally find I can extract much nicer stills from the Xacti MP4 progressive videos, even when in 640x480, than any DV cameras.

The Xacti HD cameras, depending on the model,can record 1280 x 720 progressive and 1920 x 1080 interlaced video (allowing you to extract ~1MP and ~2MP still frames directly from the video). I find the 1280 x 720 stills extracted from video quite acceptable. The Xactisallow youtoextract stills from video using the camera, or you can do it on a PC. Note that the Xactis are also hybrids, and therefore double as digicams and can also take proper fullresolution (4 - 7 MP, depending on model) stills.

Most video editing software allow you to extract video stills as well. Some media players allow you to extract stills.

No consumer cameras exceed 1920 x 1080 video recording, therefore you will not find one that allows you to extract 3MP stills directly from the video footage.
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