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Old Jan 3, 2007, 12:30 PM   #1
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what camcorder should i buy to get videos from in and outdoor music events, with possibly very loud and hard on bass music?
It should be small enough to be kept any time in a pocket that's why i've only looked to SD Card models so far.
It should also have a stabilizer and a 3x optical zoom and 30fps.
my range of price is 200$ to 700$
so far i've tried the kodak cx7430 which actually makes quite decent videos. I'm happy with them except for it is 10 fps (and the sound is not so good with very loud music)
recently i've bought the aiptek DV Z100 Pro which was quite disapointing. the videos are not even as good as the kodak ones for those reasons:
- an angle of less than 45° or so with the sun even behind clouds makes the videos very dark and unwatchable in auto mode
- when shooting a video in nightmode, any movement of the camera is horribly rendered (and the quality is actually bad but i suppose that's normal)
- the sound is pretty shitty with loud music even when i cover the mic with my finger

Thanks very much for your advice.

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Old Jan 4, 2007, 6:49 AM   #2
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the videos are to be placed online on the internet...
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 8:35 AM   #3
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It seems that your main requirement is a small pocketable device to record video more than still pictures. You may want to look at the Sanyo Xacti C6 hybrid digital camera/comcorder.


It has a very efficient MPEG-4 video compression that makes good (VHS) qualityof small size (41 minutes per 1 GB, at the best quality setting of 640X480 pixels, 30 fps, about 3MBps video bitrate - the latest firmware upgrade gives the camera 2 GB card capacity). It records to SD cards and is very small and pocketable. It has a 3.8X optical zoom (from 38-190 mm), which unlike many digital cameras with video mode, can be operated during video filming. The video mode has electronic image stabilization. It has excellent low light performance (many users including myself agree - image is good in a small room with a 60W light bulb for illumination).

To be fair I also have to mention some of theshortcomings of this camera: some noise from the zooming/ autofocus may be picked up by the microphone, because of the small size of the gadget (this is actually quite common in many other pocketsize digital cameras). Many users (including myself) find that the Sanyo products have quality problems like bad (hot, dead or stuck) pixels. Some users report problems of "clipping" of the audio when the sound is too loud - this may be relevant to your need to record rock concerts, but I doubt if anything short of a real digital camcorder can do any better. Some users report inaccurate auto white balance, but you can set the white balance manually. The still picture quality (especially in low light)is only mediocre comparing with major brandnames such as Canon and Fuji, so if still picture quality is your main requirement, move on.

There are other models in the Sanyo Xacti series - C5, HD1/1a, CA6. The C5 is an old model with poor low light performance. The HD1/1a is a "high definition" (1280X720 pixels) hybrid camera/ camcorder, but again the low light performance is mediocre. The CA6 is exactly the same as the C6 except it has a weatherproof (NOT underwater) shell, and it is bigger than the C6.

Another pocketable device I can think of is the Panasonic SDR-S100/150 - SD card, records to MPEG-2, 25 minutes of recording per 2 GB at the best quality setting, but the video quality is far superior than the Sanyo - so is the price! I am not sure about the low light performance comparing with the Sanyo, but I expect it to be comparable. The still picture resolution is far lower, 3.1 MP, but this device is designed as a camcorder afterall. If your budget stretches into the $700s it may be within your range. You can read more about this camcorder from the followingcamcorder review site (Steve's here is mainly digital camera review) - camcorderinfo DOT com (sorry I cannot post the link because it will get blocked by the forum) - look at "camcorder reviews" -> "Panasonic" -> "SD".

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Old Jan 4, 2007, 12:12 PM   #4
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thank you. i had noticed those two camcorder indeed. the panasonic is expensive and also twice as thick as the sanyo.
i've read on this forum that the sanyo sound problem was resolved by a firmware but i'm still unsure of the quality of the sound with loud music as it was obviously not a priority in the first place!

i wonder if any sd camcorder was known for a very good sound quality with loud music which is one of my priorities...
a camcorder with an external mic jack would be nice as well! (the panasonic doesn't have one) the music loudness is not such a problem in outdoor events so this flexibility would be very usefull...

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