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Old May 11, 2008, 8:42 PM   #1
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I'm heading on a trip to China soon, and I was looking to pick up a fairly inexpensive camera/camcorder. I'm going to borrow a friend's camera as well, so I won't be stuck if I take some bad pics. I mainly want the video option to take some pictures at the Great Wall and in downtown Shanghai and Beijing.

I was considering the Canon TX-1, which led me to look at a number of ads, which led me to looking at the Aiptek A-HD+ that was on sale at Best Buy. Unfortunately, lack of optical zoom of any sort and image stabilization scared me off.

The Canon TX-1 tends to be more expensive, although a few places have it for about $300 (with shipping) online. The Action HD has a lesser still set, but seems like it will get slightly better recording rate to the SDHC card (the TX-1 uses motion-jpeg, which means it seems to get terrible space usage on the memory card). The codec on the Aiptek seems to be slightly better in terms of space usage.

The difference in price ends up being about 300 for the Canon compared to 199 for the Aiptek - I'd probably get a spare battery and at least an 8 GB SDHC card for either one.

I was wondering what people thought the main differences would be, and try to get some idea of which one people would recommend. Is the Canon really much better at 100 dollars in terms of video? ( I know the stills should be better on the Canon) Is the space usage "better" on the Aiptek?

Just getting some thoughts. Regardless of which one I get, I'll be sure to post some samples. Obviously, I am NOT an expert photographer - just don't want to overspend for a VERY negligable difference in features if that's the case.
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Old May 12, 2008, 1:40 AM   #2
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I will get the Canon TX-1 everytime if the price is $300. For a few more bucks over the Aiptek, you get a Canon Hybrid with 10x optical zoom. Where did you see this price? I get around $500 for it at bestbuy.com

I saw this at the last minute:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Canon-Powershot-...QQcmdZViewItem

The seller looks ok to me. For the DXG-AIPTEK-JAZZ group, you get around 30 megabytes per minute of 720, 30fps recording. I wonder how much the Canon does at the same 720p, 30fps settings.
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Old May 12, 2008, 6:33 AM   #3
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Price difference is 300$, Canon costs about $500 and Aiptek $200, so price difference is 300$. Canon-TX1 consumes huge amount of memory and you can't record so long videos to it and it too overpriced. Canon records about 14 minutes HD 720p video to 4 GB (which is limit) not good choice if you want hybrid even if it costs only $300.

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Old May 12, 2008, 3:59 PM   #4
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"I will get the Canon TX-1 everytime if the price is $300. For a few more bucks over the Aiptek, you get a Canon Hybrid with 10x optical zoom. Where did you see this price? I get around $500 for it at bestbuy.com"

It's roughly 280 + shipping from Butterfly Photo, which has decent ratings on resellerratings.com. Ironically, tristate, who does the ebay auction you mentioned, has worse ratings online ( Tristate is meritting a 4.81 out of 10 in the past six months, Butterfly gets a 6.20 out of 10 in the past 6 months).


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Old May 14, 2008, 12:37 AM   #5
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When I was looking at camcorders, I was up between the Sanyo VPC-HD1A, Canon TX-1, Sanyo HD700, and the Aiptek Action HD. I got the sanyo HD1A and was very disappointed with the video quality. I saw the HD700 sample footage and it didn't appear that they improved the video quality that much.

I was up between the Canon TX-1 and the Aiptek Action HD at that point. The deal-breaker for me was the HUGE space required for the TX-1. The Motion-JPEG codec in the Canon requires a very large memory card if you plan on doing any extended shooting (look about 2/3 down on http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_...n_tx1_pg2.html for card usage for video). In summary, an 8 Gig SD card will hold about 30 minutes of video and splits the video files in 4 Gig intervals. I'd rather get something that will allow me to get a lot of raw footage. The Canon does have a 10x optical zoom and optical image stabilization.

That's just my opinion though :-)
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Old May 14, 2008, 9:59 AM   #6
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Has anybody checked if noise performance on latest batches of TX1's has improved?

I've decided to get a Red Scarlet camera next year (nothing else coming up). But I am looking for a cheap camera in the meantime. Even though it is not 50 or 60fps, the 35mb/s adds greatly to it's performance (should be roughly equivalent to 9mb/s h264 and even more when handling noise etc).

The problem the camera had was image noise (/crawl I forget). I think the 35mb/s persecond is too low given the noise and codec. 50mb/s+ is preferable, or at least the latest intra codec (TX2/3 maybe). I was not entirely happy with latitude either, the HV20, Sr11/12 should walk all over it in most departments.

But manufacturers improve their product and sensors over time. So, it is possible it will have better noise and latitude. Another thing worth checking is wherever Sanyo has improved the codec performance of the HD1000, and got rid of that blue lens flare that radiates towards the outer lens from bright objects that we noticed in a review.
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Old May 16, 2008, 8:25 PM   #7
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I decided to hold up on getting a hybrid camcorder and wait until I get back from China - I'll get a standalone camera for now and go from there. It was just too hard to decide on getting a TX-1 or not, and there's not enough time to waffle. Now to decide on two standalones! Thanks all!
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Old May 17, 2008, 4:34 PM   #8
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I bought a Kodak V1073 yesterday
http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=9/11920/31/12425&pq-locale=en_US

It records 29 min of non-stop HD video, or 80 min of HQ 640x480. Excellent HD quality (14Mbps Divx5 MOV). Optical Image Stabilization (which works). But the audio is U-law. I won a prize for a paper describing (effectively) U-law back in 1974, so this is hardly leading edge technology. I therefore ordered a V1253 from Ebay ($99 shipped) so that I could get the stereo sound in that model. It does make a difference. See, for example (not my video, but..)
http://www.vimeo.com/655092

See also Steve's review of the Z1275 at http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_...dak_z1275.html
This also does HDV and can be bought for around $130 at the moment. No image satbilization in this model, however. There are two sample video clips at the end of his review.

Having owned a Sanyo CG6, HD700 and HD1000, a Canon HV20 and a (new) HF100, I am very impressed by these Kodaks. Lack of a swiveling screen is a slight problem. Lack of control is another. But for stealth they are OK. Ultimately, nothing compares to the HF100 in 24p when I have real video to shoot

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Old May 17, 2008, 8:14 PM   #9
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Drylnn wrote:
Quote:
I decided to hold up on getting a hybrid camcorder and wait until I get back from China - I'll get a standalone camera for now and go from there. It was just too hard to decide on getting a TX-1 or not, and there's not enough time to waffle. Now to decide on two standalones! Thanks all!

If you are the type of person who shoots a lot of video then I would at least see if you can try out the Aiptek. Personally I think video is more important for a major trip like this, since with video you can grasp the personalities and culture of the people far more than still images. The Aiptek takes quite good still images as well, so it's not as if you would be devoid of that ability anyway.

A colleague at work is going on a trip to Malaysia (mainly for his wifes School Reunion) and decided to buy an Action HD to try out, for very similar purposes that you are looking at. He seems to like it so far. He isn't going until beginning of next year so has plenty of time to try it out and of course others if he ends up not liking it for some reason.
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