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mediaddict Sep 22, 2005 10:58 AM

I'm new here, having found this place while researching hybrid digicams. I'm planning on buying my first hybrid soon and I'm very tempted by this new Microtek, currently US$129 at TigerDirect:

Digital video has never been so easy or affordable until the Microtek Take-it MV500 digital video camera. MPEG4 video at up to 640x480 resolution at a seemless 30 frames per second provide smooth high resolution movie clips. Ideal for any level of user, it is also a full-featured digital camera with the ability to capture 5.2-Megapixel still images, playback MP3 music files, and act as a web cam for PC. Sharing is made easy with a USB 2.0 interface for sending images to friends and family, and with an AV out for viewing on television as well as Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) for convenient direct printing. Electronic image stabilization, 12x digital zoom, five-mode variable flash, and 2.0" LCD complete this innovative all-in-one solution. Rechargeable Li-Ion battery, power adapter and portable tripod included.

Sensor: 5.2 Megapixel

Movie Resolution: 320 x 240, 640 x 480

Lens Focal Length: f=8.2 mm

Focus Mode: Focus lock

Focusing Range: Macro: 1.0 in - 9.8 in, Normal: 3.3 ft to infinity

LCD Monitor: 2.0-inch

Shutter Speed: 1/20 - 1/4000 sec.

Exposure Compensation: ±2 Ev in 0.5 steps

ISO Speed Range: ISO 100

White Balance Control: Automatic, Cloudy, Daylight, Fluorescent, Tungsten, Flash

Flash Mode: Auto, Forced Flash, Off, Red-eye Reduction

Continuous Shooting: Approx. 3 images/sec.

Self-timer: Yes (10 sec)

Movie Mode: 30 fps

Movie Image Resolution: 320 x 240, 640 x 480

Movie Audio: Yes

Audio Player: Yes

Music File Formats: MP3

Built-in Speaker: Yes

Playlist Function: Yes

Voice Recorder: Yes

Built-in Microphone: Yes

Memory Included: 32MB Internal

Storage Media: Secure Digital

Movie File Format: AVI Video MPEG-4

Computer Interface: USB 2.0

Video Out: PAL/NTSC

Battery Form Factor: Rechargeable Li-ion

Height: 2.0 inches

Width: 2.6 inches

Depth: 4.43 inches

Weight: 5.7 oz.

Does anyone have any experience with this camera?

Caelum Sep 22, 2005 11:18 AM

Hi mediaddict, Old HACer spotted that oneabout a month ago (in the Hybrid list) but I haven't seen it reviewed anywhere. For the price you can't really go wrong, as long as you tell yourself that you get what you pay for. It doesn't have an optical zoom, andis fixed focus ("normal",witha macro mode),so don't expect it to provide equivalent quality stills to a 5mp digital camera. I don't know why, but I suspect the video quality will be on par with other models at this price range despite the 5mp sensor.

The specs lookgood on paper, heck I think the 3mp ones sound good on paper, but unfortunatly, for me anyhow, they don't quite live up to my expectations for those specs.

mediaddict Sep 22, 2005 11:29 AM

I don't have any illusions about what kind of a multicam I'll get for $129 - the size and the price are the main selling points for me - I just want something to tote around so that I can take vids of this and that. The higher MP don't seem to make any difference to the video resolution (640x480 is still the max) but I was thinking that at 5.1MP the digital zoom might be a bit sharper than it would be at 3.0MP. Does that sound right?

fishycomics Sep 23, 2005 12:19 PM

Med Welcome aboard a good find. remember a few thigs hanshing is another outfit that makes the same camera as an example, and a few more so a great deal in price and find, Yes it is again Welcome aboard , and when you get it post a picture and vid sample thank you.

Caelum Sep 23, 2005 1:54 PM

mediaddcit, that's what's really strange about these high megapixel camcorders. Ideally if these cameras had powerful image processors they woulduse all 5mp for input and do trilinear filtering to resample the image framesdown to640x480 for video. And ideally, like you say, they would use the extra pixels when doing a digital zoom.

But it appears that these cameras only use a 300K pixel subsetfor video and zooming! Even if you lookat a digital camcorder that has great image and video quality, the Sanyo Xacti C5,it has the same limitations.

Check out this mini review of the C5 on Akihabara, near the bottom of the review there is "Video shot with the SANYO C5", look at that video (Quicktime supports the MP4 format). That video zooms in on a tree, at first the zoom uses the optical zoom lensand it looks good, then the zoom switches to digital zoom and it looks like crap (you can tell better when the zoom backs out, the pause denotes the digital to optical zoom switch). Why does it not use the high megapixel count for digital zoom?! Arrrg!

fishycomics Sep 23, 2005 2:11 PM

The Video looked awesome till it was digitally zoomed he person was standing on a two way street, and filming a tree from the other side, as well as the moto scooter, but if he or she had taken a better shot of a statue or non moving object, then we would be able to tell what the camera really was offering us. optical zoom yes indeed excellent, no problem on that and forcing digital zoom in , not priceless at all. excellent pick up Coe....... you are reall helping the site out:cool:

mediaddict Sep 23, 2005 4:59 PM

wow - that is incredible - great explanation.

this is interesting, b/c I've been trying to decide between this camera and the Deo 3210 ($129 at, also known as the Ennyah DV320 - - and maybe a clone of the Digilife DV660) which is only 3.1MP. I was leaning towards the microtek b/c I thought the sensor might improve the digital zoom, not really b/c I want the higher MP for pics (I have a nice-ish 6MP Olympus which I use for quality pics, and I want this mainly for quick vid clips). however, I like the Deo because it encodes in xvid format instead of asf - i really don't want to have to deal with asf files, since my primary computer is a mac.

sgspirit Sep 24, 2005 12:17 AM

mediaddict wrote:

....The higher MP don't seem to make any difference to the video resolution (640x480 is still the max) but I was thinking that at 5.1MP the digital zoom might be a bit sharper than it would be at 3.0MP. Does that sound right?
Yes, the higher the pixel count, the more you can zoom in and still have "sufficient quality". With a camera with a 3.1Mp sensor, I don't go beyond about 2x for stills, and never use the zoom for videos. With a 5.1Mp sensor, I'd go up closer to 4x for stills, and still have the same results. I think....

Old HACer Sep 24, 2005 12:36 AM

Great price, Mediaddict :D

A lot cheaper than what they're asking atShop NBC. :X

Does the price include the Li-ion battery and A/C adapter?:?

Sure hope the MV500 works out better than the MV300.

Caelum Sep 24, 2005 11:30 AM

sgspirit, I didn't think about zooming for stills, but that makes sense. Although my own thoughts on digital zooming for stills is that it's best done on the PC since good graphics software can do cropping and/orhigh quality resampling better than what the cameras can do themselves. For video, though, it would represent too much work.

What's your experience with video zooming sgspirit? I was talking about my very limited experience with these hybrid camcorders and that sample C5 video. Does it appear to you that the cameras do not take advantage of the extra megapixels for video when zooming?

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