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Old Jan 15, 2003, 10:57 AM   #11
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I don't own a 602, but have a 2800. I find that I cannot take movies in anything less than daylight outdoors, or under intense indoor flood lighting or they are almost black. As I assume most baby pictures would be taken indoors in normal room lighting, and maybe in the bathtub, etc......do the 602 indoor movies come out bright enough to be acceptable?
Also, if taking them in digital means the poster wants to send them as attachments in emails to relatives, the size of the file may not be acceptable to most ISPs. In many ISPs here it's about 2MB max, which is only a few seconds.
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Old Jan 15, 2003, 5:35 PM   #12
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It's the same problem with all digicam movie modes that use motion JPEG compression. BIG file sizes. You can convert to MPEG2/divx, but even on a hot pc it's relative slow, and not practicable I feel for more than a few secs. Although, if you reduce the PIX per frame and frame rate, you can get small screen area videos which just about look OK.

The 602 has 800ASA or 1600ASA 1Mpix mode for fixed shots. I suspect for 640 x480 @30fps it may have this sensitivity, because it does work under tungsten. However, because of the high JPEG compression, any shots with flat low contrast lighting and noise, just make the frame to frame compression artefacts more objectionable, and panning becomes a no-no.

I am using a better decoder now. Windows Media 9 was cr*p for M-JPEG and too thirsty on my pc cpu resource.
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Old Jan 15, 2003, 7:42 PM   #13
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It would be nice if a 602 owner would comment on what I said about videos not being bright enough indoors under "normal" room lighting, i.e. a couple of 100 watt bulbs behind lamp shades several feet away from the subject. I haven't read anywhere if it's any better (brighter) than a 2800/3800. The only way I can view my indoor movies is in Windows Media Player 7 or 9 that provides a brightness adjustment as you are viewing (it doesn't fix the original). I'm not sure if everyone wants to buy additional software to correct what is wrong with their videos (or spend the time fixing them). The most I would consider doing myself is using VideoImpression to string several of them together.
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Old Jan 17, 2003, 8:37 AM   #14
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The 602 is a still cam first, so sensitivity is what you get in stills, movie mode only strings the stills together at 640X480 @30fps, and I believe higher compression.

Despite my previous comment, I'm now wondering whether the sensitivity options like 1600 ASA at 1Mpix could be used. I don't think the cam processor could acquire 3Mpix and pixel share to give enhanced sensitivity, for movies. Sensitivity might be fixed in movie mode. You've only got an f2.8 lens going for you.

So I suspect its movie sensitivity is default 200ASA. Not much good for movies indoors by low light. It wouldn't be easy to get a high res, high fps and use MJPEG with these constraints. That's why dv movie cams are the better cams for this work.

Try shooting stills of the same indoor scene in 'P' mode at all the ASA options, compare with some movie pause frames to work out which one the cam is using. I doubt if it's that clever to be adjusting it in movie - but you never know!
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 4:04 AM   #15
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If you will use the camera only once or a couple of times, try renting a video camera. I think that in the long run having a tape that is relatively inexpesive to permanently capture this one time event would be worth using a video camera. You will be able to record more on the tape at a higher resolution for 1/10 the price of buying a new microdrive that won't hold as much information. Full motion video on a still camera is a novelty. what happens when you run out of memory on that $100+ microdrive, and now you want to take some pictures or need to capture more video. Either you go buy some more memory (if a store is near by and you want to spend the money), or start cutting some out the video. Capture this moment in your life as clearly as when it happened first and decide then decide whether one weakness outways the other later.
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 7:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
You will be able to record more on the tape at a higher resolution
Actually, the capture resolution of the 602 at 640x480 @30fps is higher than some DV formats. But after capture, the 602 uses the same JPEG still frame processing with more compression to fit the frames on the media, then joins them together as Motion JPEG. The gains of the res. numbers are thrown away to get the pics on small media cards!

If you were using tape or a big HD, with higher storage per inch and less compression in the 602, It's movie mode replay as RGB out, would seem like high definition, compared to 525 line NTSC!

Go get a tape dv for movies. 'Time' is eternity for flash memory and small drives.
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 2:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Actually, the capture resolution of the 602 at 640x480 @30fps is higher than some DV formats

If the video camera is a digital format it should be 720x480, 4:1:1 (NTSC) and 720x576, 4:2:0 (PAL), there shouldn't be any digital video cameras that are any different than this standard. Analog video of course is a different story. Eventually there will be a convergence where video and still cameras will have near equal capturing performance, but we are not there yet. If you want to take still pictures get a still camera, if you want to take video get a video camera.
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 3:47 PM   #18
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My 640 X 480 602 output on a pc monitor, even with its high compression, is delivering progressive frame scan, whereas your TV examples are MPEG2 output formats for interlaced TV line scanning standards. Both NTSC and PAL are coding specifications, throwing away resolution. You might have more pixels in but they don't all come out - sharp anyway! Nyquist had a lot to say about this.

If I took out the 602's high compression, I think my MJPEG files transparently mapping 640 x 480 progressive to a SVGA pc monitor, would win over any picture on a TV. OK I've got the analogue VGA interface, but that can carry over 20 megs of data bandwidth per RGB channel. TV tubes are lucky to carry 5-10 Mhz!

That's why all the fuss about S-video versus PAL/NTSC is flawed. Only RGB, even analogue, delivers the bandwidth quality. Yes we've got sdi, dvi, HDMI, firewire, usb etc etc, but they don't yet get straight to the display (they do in some new plasmas). My 602 3Mpix pics taken from a laptop and fed RGB via a standards converter, look eons better on my TV, than the cams PAL out.
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Old Jan 23, 2003, 12:43 PM   #19
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I tried my s602 last night in our VERY dimly lit living room. It's 20'x14' and had two 60W lamps in opposite corners on and light from another 60W lamp coming through the open french doors of a much smaller adjoining room. Light bouncing off walls from another room made it enough light to read by for some, not enough for others to give you an idea. The resulting video (having not reset anything from factory defaults on the camera) was a bit dark, especially in the shadows. I viewed the video directly on the TV from the camera (nice feature) and then erased that video and filmed another one in the room the TV is in. This room is about 12'x15' and well lit by an over lamp of 75W-100W. Boy that video was pretty darn good.

An important point to remember when comparing a still camera's video (at least the s602) to a video camera is that you cannot zoom or focus or basically change anything while filming. You can change these, but not while shooting. Also, being that the unit is so small, it is very easy to get extra microphone noises since it is in such close proximity to everything else (like your finger).

By the way, with about 10 or 12 1M pictures on the 16Mb SM card, I could fit 7sec of high resolution video and sound or 20s of low res and sound. I tried the low resolution (QVGA) in the room with the better lighting and it still looked good, but seemed a slight bit darker and, of course, lacking in clarity.
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Old Feb 10, 2003, 7:29 PM   #20
Gil
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Default A vote in favor of S602 video

Don't be so quick to discount the 602's value for video. I have
a nice DV camcorder that is mostly gathering dust. I use the 602
to record video all the time and I haven't sprung for a microdrive
yet either, I record in QVGA mode on a couple 128MB Smartmedia cards and use my laptop to view the results (I reserve my CF card for stills). You might not be able to count every nosehair on your
subject but the quality is more than adequate to be able to enjoy.

The advantages of taking video like this are 1) Convenience of taking stills and video with one device is huge. Still quality is much
more important to me than video so I would never compromise still
quality by using a camcorder for both. 2) Having your output ready
for viewing or editing in AVI is a big advantage. You can convert
video from your camcorder into some computer friendly format but
it's much more of a hassle. I also happen to find using the computer is a great way to watch and share video. Grandparents are actually excited that they finally found something useful to do with their computer when you burn a cd for them. I even keep copies of S602 video I shot on my PDA (an older Sony Clie). 3) Being constrained to shorter clips is actually an advantage, you will shoot more economically and therefore be more inclined to want to see the results.

Finally, ask the camcorder adherents how often they really trot
out their camcorder and plug all the cables into the tv to view
previously shot video. I have hours of camcorder video and the
only time I ever look at it is generally right after I took it.
Maybe when prices of dvd burners drop <$100 I'll convert all my
video to dvd and then be more likely to watch it but at least for
now S602 is the video tool that I really use.

I don't want to totally knock camcorders, I still use mine occasionally. If you can afford both then go for it. But if you're choosing between a still camera and a camcorder, then this is a very worthy compromise.
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