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Old May 19, 2008, 4:31 AM   #11
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OK, guys, thanks for the advices!
Maybe the right question in this case would be: what is a good consumer level HD camera that doesn't have auto-exposure or has the ability to manually turn it off?
Seems that Aiptek don't have such a toy.
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Old May 28, 2008, 8:07 AM   #12
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There are very few small camcorders in your category. I have been searching these kind of cameras myself, but price vs quality is limiting factor for me. I don't want to pay huge prices for mediacore camera/camcorder which records only 15-29 minutes of video.

Here are few models, but they are expensive and video quality is mediacore, becouse of small sensor size. If you look for small inexpensive high quality hybrid camcorder, I think you have come to dead end, just like me. Its impossible to get good low light quality (big sensor) and optical stabilizers and everything fitted in very small package.

Here are few pocket size models to consider, which has manual ISO settings also:

+ pocket size
+ fullHD
- only 4 MP stills
- expensive
? don't know if it has noisy zoom
? don't know about video quality
? what about low light quality

Sanyo HD700
+ pocket size
+ HD
+ 7 MP stills
- not fullHD
- noisy zoom in silent enviroment
? some say video quality is bad others say it is good, who you beleave?
? quality vs price, is it reasonably priced compared to quality it has

I think you are searching holy Grail of hybrid camcorders, just like me. Keep searching and hoping, maybe someday we will find it. Inexpensive, pocket size camcorder which has about everything what you can ask for, Full HD video, 10 MP stills, optical stabilizer, silent noiseless big range zoom, records many hours and all other features you have ever dreamed, but until that day will come we have buy real size camcorder or buy small hybrid pocket size camcorder with lacking features.

There are many cameras/camcorders which have all features which you have described, but they certainly aren't pocketable and are more expensive. I am really afraid that I will broke them by dropping them or filming in too humid/cold environment (rain/snow). So they are bit too expensive for me to use everyday, these cameras are also bulky to carry and they are probably used only in big family occasions or similar big events.

Casio EX-F1
+ FullHD
+ high burst 60 fps stills
+ high speed video
- no 1080p mode
- bulky
- only 6 MP stills, though fairly enough for me
- 29 minutes video limit in EU
- price vs 29 minutes limit, no choice for me I need atleast 40 minutes capacity
- need to buy from abroad to get around 29 minutes limit

Canon HF100
- only 3 MP
+ FullHD
+ optical stabilizer
+ ISO settings
- no viewfinder for this price, big minus
- price
- bulky

Sony HDR-SR12E
+ all features you will need (10MP, OS, ISO, FullHD, 120GB HD)
- bulky
- price
- price really doubles minus points

So my choice was Aiptek A-HD 200, until I can decide what is good camera/camcorder to buy and I really need both, but don't like carry both with me. Search for Holy Grail of cameras continues... :yawn:
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 2:51 PM   #13
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Hey, Quenaelin, thank you for the great post.
very informative.
yes, i am searching for the Holy Grail of hybrid cameras. Chances are that one will never be manufactured - it will kill the big camera industry, I guess.

But hope dies last, they say.
I guess I will go for a simple HD Aiptek.
One WITHOUT autofocus which automatically makes it "digital zoom only".
Sad but true - autofocus is cool for still photography but I hate it when it keps blurring out your video while it is trying to find the object.
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 7:17 PM   #14
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I'd look into a Canon TX1 as well. It records 720p and takes awesome still photos. As for your needs..

1. Has 10x optical zoom

2. There's an 'exposure lock' feature. You can also manually set the white balance.

3. It doesn't have a manual focus but you can do a 'focus lock' so it will.. lock the focus.

Some issues with the TX1 are:
MJPEG compression: huge files!
Tiny LCD
Smearing and purple fringes from CCD sensor.
A lot of noise in low light.

Huge plus is it's compatible with the custom CHDK firmware. It's a lot of fun doing timelapse and having a lot more access to manual controls.

Check out the TX1 forums. It has been getting a lot of activity.

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Old Jun 26, 2008, 4:29 AM   #15
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Wow, sounds like a great toy, Rodfather.
The exposure lock and the auto focus lock are the best options on this camera.
Too bad that the video quality is poor, though.
Can you compare it with the video quality from a HD Aiptek?
I mean, if the Canon introduces those purple artifacts in the video, then doesn't the Aiptek do that too?
Also, the blurry image of the Canon sound slike a big drawback. It would be strange if the Aiptek shoots sharper video than the Canon!
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 3:29 PM   #16
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In some situations, the Aipteks can produce better video.. but overall, the TX1's image quality is much, much better.
It has much better lens and there's very little compression since it uses the MJPEG codec.

The purple lines don't show up on Aiptek's since they use a CMOS sensor.

It costs a few hundred more than the Aipteks but the engineering and build quality is excellent.

I think of the TX1 as a camera first, camcorder second. It's my main still camera at the moment but can produce good quality 720P video. Sound quality is good too. It has a stereo mic on the back of the LCD.

Very pocketable. It's smaller than the Aipteks but has much more weight to it.

I still use the A-HD+ more for video though. I love the 60FPS mode. It's much easier to carry around since it's lighter. Much better battery life. Produces smaller files. No worries taking it to the beach. Can attach a magnetic wide angle lens.

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