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Old Dec 25, 2007, 9:38 AM   #1
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We've all discussed on this board from time to time the benefits of having a "backup" camera. As most of you know, I keep an Aiptek IS-DV2 as a backup. Well, last night I left my nice camera, the Sanyo CG6 at a relative's house. I didn't realize it until this morning when it was time for my daughter to open her presents. So, I had to grab the Aiptek camera. As usual, it is with mixed emotions. One one hand, I'm sad that I won't have quite as good of video quality for this event. But on the other hand, I'm glad I got to get some video of it.
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Old Dec 26, 2007, 1:41 AM   #2
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adric22,

Hmm, I see Sanyo CG6's are selling on eBay for the same as Digilife DDV-730 and 7300's. Is the CG6 "head and shoulder" better at video than the typical Mustek/Aiptek/Digilife hybrids? Do you happen to know the data rate for their best video?

Thanks
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Old Dec 26, 2007, 9:34 AM   #3
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Sgspirit, I don't have any hard numbers for you right now. But I do know that on the CG6, when using the highest quality setting it can record 45 minutes onto a 1 GB card. So you can calculate it from that.

I can't compare to the digilife as I don't have one. But I can compare to the cheaper musteks, the Aiptek IS-DV2 and MPVR+. In these case, the video quality is 300% better. I can sum it up with these reasons:
  1. Low Light performance - The CG6 has a HUGE CCD and the rest have a very small CMOS.[/*]
  2. Framerate - the Aipteks promise "up to 30 fps" but with my experiments they typically only achieve around 18 fps. The Sanyo actually produces 30 fps all the time, except in lamp-mode which is purposefully designed for 15 fps.[/*]
  3. Framebuffering - the Aiptek's (even the newer ones like the A-HD) suffer from wavy video when you pan left to right.. the Sanyo does not.[/*]
  4. Sharper detail in the actual image - self explanitory.[/*]
  5. The sanyo is not built like a child's toy and has a better reliability rating.
[/*]
I think that amount sums up the really important points.
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Old Dec 26, 2007, 10:40 AM   #4
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This is the same reason cameraphones are useful to have. Obviously not for video, but they can come in handy in adhoc situations where you need a camera but don't have one with you. The still image ability is still better than nothing and some phones now take quite reasonable photos in my opinion. Having said that I still take quite a bit of video with my Nokia even though it's a pathetic 176x144/15fps simply because I always have it with me. In some situations I think a poorer quality video trumps a higher quality still image, though of course I try to take both.
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Old Dec 26, 2007, 11:06 AM   #5
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Oh.. By the way. It seems my IS-DV2 is now suffering from the same problem as the broken one I bought from ebay for $1 a few months ago. Just to refresh your memory, on that unit the problem was essentially that it would reboot itself or shut itself off while in use, even with brand-new batteries. Whereas operating it while conencted to USB was not a problem. Well, my IS-Dv2 was getting a lot of use yesterday since I still haven't retrieved my CG6 from my Aunt's house. Fortunatly, it only did it one time, but I was recording somebody opening a present and it just rebooted on me. I hope it doesn't make a habit of that.

Of course. itkind of gives me an excuse to go buy an Aiptek A-HD to play with using some of the of Christmas money I got. Then I could make one of my reviews.. trouble is, I have a suspicion that I'd never be happy with the A-HD after what I've heard on here about the audio, firmware trouble, quality issues, etc..
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Old Dec 26, 2007, 11:11 AM   #6
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my next video is goingto be Poormans Hybrid.

the sd card take note, where you were on it how much info etc. an see ifi t happ's again same card

A-Hd will do this as well. it happ'ed on the 1.6 fw 05.

99.99 was the tme to purchase.
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Old Jan 4, 2008, 1:43 AM   #7
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Thanks, adric22, for the observations.

As a result of advice from you and extensive discussions on the Sanyo forum, and falling prices for advancing technology, I've ordered a slightly used CG65. I'm also getting a Digilife DDV-730. After I get both, and get around to it, I'll post a comparison of them. The CG65 is coming with two 4Gb sd cards. That should do me for a while. I got the impression that the CG65, besides using H.264, has other subtle improvements over the CG6 that make it worth choosing the CG65.

The main things the CG65 brings to the table as improvements over my current cameras are: sharper videos, 5x optical zoom rather than 3x, and wind noise reduction. I use the cameras mostly on the water, on mountains, in parks etc, and end up with a LOT of wind noise. The price to pay for going to the Sanyo is the absence of the mp3 function, and the complications of dealing with H.264 video/movies. That's a price I'm willing to pay as I barely use the mp3 function in circumstances where I'm filming a lot, and the only aspects of my movies I'm not satisfied with are the video detail quality and wind noise.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 6:15 PM   #8
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I also have the Sanyo VPC-CG6.

And I have the Aiptek ISDV2.4.

Adric22 observations... I can verify them.

The Sanyo VPC-CG6 is much better and I got mine on sale at Wal-Mart for $200.

The only issue I've noticed so far is that the Sanyo has too much audio gain in quiet environments.

So when you play the recorded video/audio... you get too much "hiss."

I've not explored all of the menu options to see if one can manually control the audio gain.

When I get some time, I will.

On the other hand, the Aiptek ISDV2.4 suffers from another audio issue... lower quality recording bandwidth.

I need to open one of the files to look again at the properties of the audio because I can't remember at this moment what the properties of the Aiptek audio were.

But I seem to recall the "KHz" reading was way below what one would expect for a digital camcorder.

A digital camcorder should record -- at the very least -- 16 bit, 48KHz audio.

Build quality on the Sanyo seems far better.

Both are made in China.

I only paid about $80 for the Aiptek.

It does work; it just doesn't do anything particularly well.

The Aiptek grade of camcorder -- made in China -- needs to improve in the audio area, primarily.

If they manage to improve in that area while maintaining their price advantage, they'll challenge the Japanese.

If not, they never will be regarded as much more than fun curiosities.

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Old Jan 5, 2008, 8:26 PM   #9
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I just re-checked the Aiptek ISDV2.4 file properties.

Each video file recorded by my unit carries the .ASF (Microsoft Windows Media Video) file extension.

The properties, then, should not come as a big surprise.

Video:

Windows Media Video
MPEG-4z
24 bits, 720 x 480
30.000 frames/second

Audio:

ADPCM_MS
11.025KHz, 16 bits, Mono

That's right.

Instead of 48KHz, the Aiptek ISDV2.4 records audio at a paltry 11.025KHz!

And it's monaural... not stereo!

So you can see why the so-called Aiptek "voice recorder" function isn't exactly the greatest.

Now I don't have the Aiptek A-HD to test.

But my guess is that the audio recorded by that model might be equally bad.

With the SANYO camcorders, one gets stereo sound recorded at higher bandwidth.

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Old Jan 5, 2008, 8:32 PM   #10
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I use tiny Sony MiniDisc recorders to record audio while I'm shooting video.

Then I synchronize that audio with my video in Apple "Garage Band" on my Mac.

On my Windows machine, I use Corel's Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus.

But with the video quality actually getting to be almost acceptable with the Chinese camcorders -- notwithstanding the "wavy" video issue described by Adric22 -- I think I might take a close look at the DXG-566V.

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