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alicumhur Jan 8, 2003 3:06 PM

Camparison of S602z's video capability and a camcoder?
Hopefully, I'm a dad to be, and I'd planned to buy a digital camcoder to capture my baby's first times. but after I've learnt about the video capability of S602z. I'm now confused and need your help.
Can you please inform me about the comparison between S602 and a camcoder in terms of visual playback quality :?: (If it's up to %75 of a digital camcoder in terms of quality, I think I will shift to S602z. Should I :?: )

Waiting for your valuable comments.


voxmagna Jan 8, 2003 4:15 PM

I don't like to put percentages on things, it's either acceptable to me as video, or it's not.

If you consider moving video at say 6X4 on a pc monitor is OK, then you will be impressed with the comparitive resolution, versus the TV line structure to moviecam on TV.

However, in my opinion, the movie mode on the 602 is let down, not by the 640x480 VGA resolution or 30fps, but by the high file size of M-JPEG format and extremely high JPEG compression factor used by the cam to conserve file size - which is way bigger than MPEG standards. Artefacts of compression, ocurring in different places during frame to frame motion, are not a pleasant sight on a full size screen. Unfortunately, whilst you can use conversion to change to MPEG afterwards, you're stuck with the original artefacts.

The 602 is first of all a great still cam. Conversely, you will not find a DVcam giving 10X8 still pics as good as a 602. I doubt if you will get both in the same box.

Tomcorbet Jan 8, 2003 9:56 PM

Camparison of S602z's video capability and a camcoder?
I just purchased a 602 and am quite happy with it so far. If you want to judge the quality of the video capture and playback I suggest that you check out Steve's review I believe that he as loaded a quick video of some people surfing. If you load it onto your PC and play it you may get a feel for the quality.

As a previous new dad I have a suggestion for you. If you buy the video camera ..... once a week have your wife hold the baby in the same position whilst sitting on the same chair and shoot her and the baby for 10 sec. Of course you have to put aside one card just for this project but after 6 or 8 months it is really KOOL to watch the vid and see your child "grow" before your eyes. I did this with a still camera for 4 years and it was amazing particularly if you have them in the same place and in the same pose.


voxmagna Jan 9, 2003 3:46 AM

That idea helps get the best from the high compression - keep the baby as still as possible and avoid panning the camera (zoom is locked out anyway).

alicumhur Jan 10, 2003 4:54 AM

Thanks for your advices.

I Think an S602z backed by a 1gb microdrive stands as a feaseble solution.


Alakai Jan 15, 2003 6:30 AM

Vox pretty much summed it up.

Aside from the compression artifacts, that Voxmagna points out, I'm pretty impressed that the 602 can do 640x480 with sound. It almost looks like film to me. Right now the 602 the king of video capturing as far as digital cameras go. I suppose for now, until you can get a camcorder, the 602 should suit your needs just fine. MiniDV camcorders can be had for around $400-600 USD. Like Canon's ZR40 and Sony's TRV-18. So perhaps you might be able have both still camera and camcorder.

It's interesting to see the convergence in technologies Camcorders with still imaging features and Digital Cameras with movie modes. Unfortunately, at this time there is no product that does both superbly. In a couple of years perhaps we just might.

voxmagna Jan 15, 2003 6:42 AM

I agree the tech. is converging, but are there really moviecams that can print acceptable pics?

What I miss on the 602 is to occasionally just record sound only, as long as the memory holds out - like that 10 minute Birthday speech. It's another plea for a change to firmware upgradeability.

Alakai Jan 15, 2003 7:10 AM

Yeah, that's what I meant when I said there isn't a product that can both record video and stills superbly, like a top of the line DV Cam and 6MP still cam in one. I have mixed feeling about that.

I'm accustomed to how a SLR feels in my hands when taking snapshots and conversely, how a camcorder feels when I'm shooting video. I guess I could get used to a multifunction video device. Amongst other reasons, that's why I didn't care for the Sony 717 and Minolta top prosumer cameras. They felt like camcorders.

The convenience factor is nice, but I'm leary about multifunction devices in the event one of the functions fail to work. As in my HP 3 in 1 scanner, fax, printer officejet. I won't get into that. My sentiments are the same regarding Fuji's bogus non-upgradable firmware issue. That's Fuji's way of saying "Buy the next new and improved version replacement!" Really suxors because Kodak and Nikon, to name a few, do--consumer and prosumer.

voxmagna Jan 15, 2003 7:19 AM

I always think, a video cam maker understands video (sony etc) and a still cam maker understands still cams (Nikon, Olympus etc).

I have some perceptions about still cam makers understanding electronic cams and processing, but they're learning fast! The technology might appear to be converging as user features, but I'm not so sure that each specialist understands it enough to deliver both movie and still at excellent quality and price consistently. High Def. TV and displays are pushing things on though.

Alakai Jan 15, 2003 7:44 AM

Didn't digital camera's imaging chips come from the same technology used in camcorders? I would assume so. I seem to think so especially, when I see pics taken from digi still cams, 602 included, that look like it was taken from a digital camcorder, but cleaner. It just looks digital. You know what I mean?

My background is in Audio. I can draw a similarity there to this digital imaging business. When digital audio recording first came out. It sounded so cold and sterile. Nowadays, there are preamps and A/D converters that can sound almost as good, if not just as good as analogue. Purists will disagree, but there is definite improvement at least to my ears. Who knows? Perhaps I've lost partial hearing from listening to loud music and extended listening periods. Knock on wood, I hope my vision remains 20/20.

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