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Old Jul 9, 2008, 1:28 PM   #11
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Unfortunately for indoor use you are not going to find the current crop of solid state camcorders good enough yet. Like anything, how you perceive the quality depends on what you are going to use it for. For instance, the video clip you just showed as an example, I would find perfectly acceptable for filming my 3 year old indoors but I can appreciate that with concerts and performances you want the very best image quality you can get. Also the tape devices you have record in stereo, as does the Sanyo, but the brands such as Aiptek etc. only record in mono.

There is no technical reason they can't be as good as the tape machines but until recently solid state camcorders tended to have the stigma of being amateur consumer camcorders that weren't taken seriously and of course this has been reflected in their development. That will change now as they are becoming mainstream since for consumers at least, tape is already effectively dead.
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Old Jul 9, 2008, 5:35 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone. Tape is great for things I care about - a cheap, long-term storage solution; very high quality recordings without the need for much compression; etc. But solid state sure is convenient. I'd love to be able to use it for events I'm not so invested in and don't want to spend much time on.

Nice to know I'm not really missing out on too much. But maybe I'll pick up an A-HD on ebay and give it a try.
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Old Jul 9, 2008, 6:04 PM   #13
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Ok britalb, I see you got your audio covered pretty good imo. The problem with these small cams are basically small sensors and lens, therefore not so good in low light. I wish I could lend you my Aiptek AHD Z500/Action HD hybrid cam, so you could test it out for yourself in your own enviroment. The best would to buy one and do some testing cuz they aren't expensive anyway. I agree with you as of ease of use. Shoot and when finished, connect your cam or insert SD card in your PC and voila you have your video clips ready for editing.
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Old Jul 9, 2008, 6:06 PM   #14
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locations sometime helps members to meet LOL

yes a instore purchase return :idea:
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Old Jul 9, 2008, 7:00 PM   #15
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Brit, Adalfa,
The microphones on the HF100 are much better than on the HV20. In fact, I haven't bought an external mic for the HF100 accessory shoe, although I can use my Rode SVM (which is almost as big as the HF100 :lol Because of the new, smaller, HF100 mini-shoe, I had to grind down the sides of the flange on the SVM shoe mount, and I found a width which fits both the HV20 and HF100. You will be happy with the sound from the HF100, I think. With both Auto Volume and Manual Volume selectable from the joystick it is a dream to use... The clicks from the joystick do come through the mics in a quiet environment, of course...

In practice, the HF100 does very well at low light. It activates a "Movie Mode" when you select 24p, which really does an incredible job on colors, even at very low light levels. Only when you put the HV20 and HF100 side by side will you notice any difference in noise, and the HF100 is superior in color fidelity and intensity, IMO.

I did a recording last week with an HF100, and a colleague was using a Sanyo HD700 for highlight footage. We threw away the footage from the HD700, it had too much noise, too little color, I couldn't process it, even with Virtualdub, to anywhere near matching the image from the HF100.

Having the 2 hours 50 minutes non-stop record time at full 12Mbps quality (with a $50 16 Gig SD card) is a real luxury. The HF100 seems to have hit the market at the right time, with every feature it needs, including the availability of reasonable-cost memory cards.

But I would still love there to be a tiny AIPTEK for me to always have in my pocket. Like the C6 used to be (before I accidentally crushed it)...


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Old Jul 9, 2008, 7:44 PM   #16
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Trevmar, I have to admit that the Canon HF100 is starting to look attractive now its coming down in price. I am a still looking for a better decent solid state camcorder that has a much better bitrate than the minimal 4Mbps. I have also been looking at the Panasonic HDC-SD9 since it's it's almost down to $500 now and it does have the better OIS system but Canon always seem to have the best image quality. The rolling shutter issue still concerns me on the Canon though to be honest it probably won't affect me much. Just got to make sure I don't use it film in the car it seems! :-)

At least now Canon are finally on board with AVCHD it helps make the format more mainstream.

The HV20/30 are nice camcorders but there is no way I will ever go back to tape. I don't need the last word in image quality for the stuff that I like to film.

hmm maybe this coming xmas I may treat myself LOL

Can't beat the cheap cameras for general use though. I have to say that had I not bought my very first solid state camcorder, the Aiptek ISDV, I wouldn't have those spontaneous wonderful clips of my son in his first year of life!
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Old Jul 9, 2008, 8:34 PM   #17
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Rgvcam,
Exactly! My trusty Sanyo C6 was always in my pocket and I have all sorts of video memories of the last few years. Unfortunately I crushed it, and it is now unreliable:?

I tried the HD700 (limited width of view, lots of noise) and the HD1000 (can't keep focus, poor at low light, doesn't fit nicely in my suit pocket) and sent them back because I just couldn't see when I would use them. I have been spoiled by the C6.

I bought one HF100, and have just bought another (one in hand, one on a static tripod). They really do seem to have gotten it just right with this model.

To increase its stealth (and make it look smaller and less obtrusive) I have applied black gaffer tape to the lens surround and the back of the LCD housing. That makes it look a lot smaller when nestled in the hands. Obviously I also removed the silly strap, and typically use it from chest height, like I do with the Xactis.

AVCHD is a standard, but it is a pain in the neck. I transcode to H.264 24p near-lossless (q<10) Progressive using AviSynth, x264, and MeGui. At that point the files are compact and easy to use, although the 1440x1080 pixels take longer to load and process in Vegas than 1280x720

Right now I am using a Kodak V1073 as the pocket cam (shirt pocket). If you can take a 2 f-stop drop in sensitivity, the V1253 is preferable, as it is quicker to get into HD mode, and has stereo sound. On the other hand, the V1253 does tend to overload in loud environments, the V1073 does not.

I keep thinking that the Aiptek-like manufacturers ought to be coming up with smaller cameras, but I haven't seen it yet. I bought a DXG-567V, and that was a disaster, IMO

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Old Jul 9, 2008, 10:13 PM   #18
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I recently used my Samsung NV15 while on vacation on a cruise and did quite a bit of indoor filming. I must say, the video results were suprisingly good in low light conditions. In fact, editing was simple using Mircosoft Movie Maker and the end result burned to a DVD and viewed on my 37" LCD HDTV looked great. Not HD but I think the superior optics of the camera made up for the lower resolution. I also have a new HD model on order (same as the DXG HDV-595 but another brand) and will report back my opinion once I receive it and test it out.
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Old Jul 9, 2008, 11:29 PM   #19
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Trevmar, yes I agree on the HD700. I tried one out for a couple of months as a HD replacement for my Sanyo C40 but I have to say I have never been as dissapointed as I was in this camera. Not because it was a terrible camera but because it could so easily have been a great camera. Not only did it have noisy video indoors but I found even flash pictures were noisy!! They looked worse than my C40 and I thought it was either me or I had a defective camera until someone else said they noticed the same problem. Also I didn't like the barrel distortion and limited field of view either.

My $99 Jazz camera puts it to shame noisewise for indoor video. Of course in full daylight the HD700 video was definitely nicer than the Jazz. For a start it has twice the bitrate.

Still it always amazes me how good the video is on these cheap camcorders that only have a bitrate of a mere 4Mbps. The solid state camcorders are starting to reach maturity and I really think the next couple of years are going to be exciting in this area.
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Old Jul 10, 2008, 12:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
because the HD700 could so easily have been a great camera
My thoughts exactly. And the same goes for the HD1000...

I think innovation is going to come from the Aipteks and DXGs of this world... That's why I am here in this forum:-)


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