1. Hello, I am a Dad with little kids---so I am limited to quicksnapshot/improptu videos
I thought I would add my 2 cents for others..
I just went on a trip to the zoo with ACTION HD GVS & A-HD+
This was my first time using them outside after purchasing them recently. I have been reviewing lots of clips of these and competing cameras on vimeo/you tube etc...
and these online clip really were unimpressive With jerky motion etc....now that I have shot my own footage... I highly recommend using camera in real life. I just reviewed footage I shot outside and was blown away by the image quality!
2..***********IMPORTANT-- VIEW THE PLAYBACK FROM THE CAMERA to HDTV directly without your pc before making judgements....I have a very new laptop with core 2 duo/4gb ram/8800GTS nvidia 512MB graphics card...and when I view playback via pc of the movies using windows media, real player or quicktime, the results were no where near comparable to what I saw when viewing directly from camera to hDTV. What looked artificial and jerky motion on my pc, looked butter smooth and lifelike on my tv....*************playback was on a 42 inch 1080p lcd using component cable.
3. Time of day was 2pm afternoon, conditions bright sun initially then darkening as I shot till closing time ( ~5pm)
VIDEO DURING GOOD LIGHT-
I was very impressed with clarity, detail and focus of the video images in good outdoor light. I shot on 1080p30 for moving animals, hopping kangaroos, running children and playback was smooth and very lifelike. I did not need 720P/60 for anything. 1080p was a very noticeable improvement over 720. I would never use 720 unless I absolutely had to ( running out of space or some other reason)
I shot animals from 30-40-50 yards away and could see the detail in their fur.
The GVS could shoot much further away then the HD+. But at closer range 20 yards or so...image quality looked identical during playback...
5. PHOTOS DURING GOOD LIGHT (no flash/ all settings on auto)
HD+ seemed to have much less shutter lag, and faster shutter speed setting.
Much better for moving objects then the GVS. Shoots as fast as an old instamatic...press button---picture is instantaneous. AND ready to shoot again in less then a second...probably 1/2- 3/4 of a second.
I could take a picture of my son jumping in the air and get a very clear picture. Very impressed.
GVS-- takes long time to take picture, even with AF locked out, takes almost 1 second from press of button till shutter goes off.... You really have to time your photo after getting feel for shutter. ie...hopping kangaroo--I had to aim the camera ahead of the animal and "catch it" just right... whereas with the HD+ I could just track animal in the view finder and press shutter button.
For taking stills of still/non moving objects GVS worked great.
But if I had to snap a moving object I found myself reaching for the HD+.
When Reviewed on TV and on PC ...both produced very nice usable stills for normal family use (emailing to each other/setting as desktop, viewing full screen on tv/ pc...etc)
6. VIDEO during less then perfect outdoor light. ( 4-5pm Evening approaching)
Very usable video, but you notice loss of fine detail & appearance of very fine grain on both cameras ( i noticed/friend did not till I pointed it out). I would say during this lower light the results look like a standard def camera... But at this light I dont have much need to shoot...as people would be headed home, colors of everything getting blah even to my eyes...
7. INDOOR TESTING AT HOME..
At this point I note that my EV adjustment on my GVS does nothing in video mode. This has been noted by others and shown to go away with a complete power down/reboot...I tried and can not get EV to work correctly.
As it is GVS Video indoors even with good 300 watts of lighting in a 12x 12 room is not sufficient to take decent video. very grainy dark video is the result.
Indoor video in a kitchen with 300-400 watts of lighting still is grainy. GVS Indoor stills with no flash are too dark, where as no flash indoor stills with HD+ look great. Also the GVS shots turn out blurry or smeared many times. if the obejct moves at all... The HD+ much more consistently good shots.
WITH FLASH INDOORS--- GVS STILLS much better exposed, but still if subject moves at all you will get blurred photos.
I need to get my EV working on the GVS....and will report back
OUTDOOR VIDEO WITH GVS -- VERY GOOD.
OUTDOOR VIDEO WITH HD+--looks same, but no where near the distance/zoom capabiltiy
OUTDOOR STILL SHOTS WITH GVS-- Very good on stationary or still objects and you must be still as well. Not very reliable on moving objects that need you to pan.
OUTDOOR STILL SHOTS WITH HD + Very fast, quick shots reliable for both moving and still objects
INDOOR VIDEOwith GVS in regular living rooom/.kitchen lighting with GVS--grainy/dark...but I think evs not working
INDOOR VIDEO with HD+ better, usable, but still grainy
NOTE- My casio exilim ex 750 still camera( 7.1mpixel, 640x480 30fps mpeg4)
shoots far better indoors. Better color, brighter picture.
INDOOR STILLS with GVS-- not very usable or reliable
INDOOR STILLS with HD+ better than GVS, but no match for a real still cam
9. PLayback/connectivity with GVS-- very goodbut we want more!
COmponent OUT/AV OUT/USB/Charger port/all on camera body---great!
Ability to use remote and playback instantly on you TV s wonderful and simple. No need for cradle like other "high end" camera.Cables simply plugs in to camera. No need to remove battery for charging.
AND you can plug in the charger at the same time your playing back to save battery.
ADDED BONUS_--I was also able to just pop the sd card into my XBOX 360
with a usb adapter..and playback with no problems...
If they added a mini HDMI--AND brought back the PVR capability that would be perfection..!but mini HDMI would be wonderful for 1 plug set up
10/. Conclusion- Initially I thought I would be testing both to keep 1 maybe, or just go up to a sony tg1/sanyo 1010 or full size with canon hf100 or samsung hmx20....
I now may end up keeping both cameras due to there combined strengths and ease of use...I was able capture a typical family outing with minimal effort , adjustment or stress. I could even hand off the camera to my wife with about 10 seconds of instruction and be in the video for a change. The results --very clear sharp high def videos and quite respectable photos. Results much better than I thought and thousands of times better than the salesman at the camera stores would have had me think possible with this. The videos I shot look as good as any I see on hi def channels on my 1080p tv. Now I may be shaky handed newbie but the video captured in good daylight were stunning and a quantum leap over my current set up.
Lowlight is still a dissapointment, so i need to check into fixing my evs or maybe getting an add on video light...
During my trip to the zoo I realized as a daddy..portability& kid friendly is key.They are so small, I was able to carry both cameras at the same time, 1 in each pocket. Perfect for moments when I had to run after my kid or grab something...no bulky bag and 2 free hands...
10. Here is my planned usage matrix
A> Quick trip to the park( close in shots/video)...I bring the HD+
B> Family outing where zoom & quick action stills will be needed- GVS& HD+
C> Special event where I need zoom and great photos-GVS& dedicated still cam
After seeing the difference between 640x 480 standard def of my current camera video clips, and the 1080p of the aipteks, i can no longer justify shooting anything in standard def ever again. its like VHS to DVD....
Watching my family outing on these in the aiptek 1080 was like watching real life and being there again vs watching standard video and saying "remember when"