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Old Sep 14, 2008, 5:18 PM   #181
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brians238 wrote:
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I've only had this camera for a little while and, frankly, my expectations were pretty low. I thought about getting it as a cheap second movie camera. The sample movie files I downloaded from here looked terrible on my quad core pc--pixellated even as stills with huge motion artifacts and jerky panning. And the resolution looked bad, too. I had a cheap 480i camera that seemed to me to give better images.

But I bought the camera anyway. And I found out how completely wrong I was. The TotalMedia player was able to play the files with perfect smoothness; the resolution was exemplary at both 1080p and 720p and the color good in decent light. I took some macro movies of insects and projected them on my 120 inch screen at 1080p. Wow! The images are pretty darn amazing--great detail and excellent sharpness.

Yes-there are significant limitations to this camera, but if you make movies in good light, I think you'll be delighted with this unit.

Brian
But still no manual controls like adjustable shutter speeds? Do any of these cheap cameras allow this at all?
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Old Sep 14, 2008, 6:06 PM   #182
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that's why they are called Economy Hybrid camcorders ofa low budget. they do have a lowshutterspeed but only for the Night Mode andwebcam, not a manual control.

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brians238 wrote:
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I've only had this camera for a little while and, frankly, my expectations were pretty low. I thought about getting it as a cheap second movie camera. The sample movie files I downloaded from here looked terrible on my quad core pc--pixellated even as stills with huge motion artifacts and jerky panning. And the resolution looked bad, too. I had a cheap 480i camera that seemed to me to give better images.

But I bought the camera anyway. And I found out how completely wrong I was. The TotalMedia player was able to play the files with perfect smoothness; the resolution was exemplary at both 1080p and 720p and the color good in decent light. I took some macro movies of insects and projected them on my 120 inch screen at 1080p. Wow! The images are pretty darn amazing--great detail and excellent sharpness.

Yes-there are significant limitations to this camera, but if you make movies in good light, I think you'll be delighted with this unit.

Brian
But still no manual controls like adjustable shutter speeds? Do any of these cheap cameras allow this at all?
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Old Sep 14, 2008, 8:41 PM   #183
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Subaru,

It's pretty much point and shoot. The lack of flexibility is a real limitation, but it's one that I can live with. This camera gives a very good image in decent light; if you can live with the rest, it's a decent buy.

Best,

Brian
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Old Sep 14, 2008, 8:45 PM   #184
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Ok everyone. i am a preety good reviewer and just ordered it today. When I recieve it I will test it out a bit and then make a video review using it.
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Old Sep 14, 2008, 9:16 PM   #185
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This may be OT, but does anyone know of some decent editing software to work with the native file format of this camera? The bundled Presto package seems pretty good, but it "sees" the files as 1440 x 1080 (which is the native aspect ratio and is 4:3 format). My Quicktime software sees them as 1920 x 1080 (16:9 aspect); can I "fool" Presto to "see" them the same way? Right now, my solution is to convert my videos to xvideo 1920 x 1080 and to edit them in Presto and burn them to BD.

Brian
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Old Sep 14, 2008, 9:58 PM   #186
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brians238 wrote:
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This may be OT, but does anyone know of some decent editing software to work with the native file format of this camera? The bundled Presto package seems pretty good, but it "sees" the files as 1440 x 1080 (which is the native aspect ratio and is 4:3 format). My Quicktime software sees them as 1920 x 1080 (16:9 aspect); can I "fool" Presto to "see" them the same way? Right now, my solution is to convert my videos to xvideo 1920 x 1080 and to edit them in Presto and burn them to BD.

Brian
I think the actual files are 1440 x 1080, but it stretches the aspect ratio. Similar to how widescreen DVDs are still 740x480 but stretched. My computer is kinda old now, so if I play the 1080p files as they are natively from the camera it runs kinda jaggedly. But if I recode it to 1920 x 1080 as it displays then it runs much better.

I think software that detects it as 1920 x 1080 is just realizing that the aspect ratio is 16:9 and thus stretches it.
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Old Sep 15, 2008, 6:59 AM   #187
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Well I've been playing with the camera for a few days now... My overall impression is.. not bad for the price.

I should qualify this a bit. Obviously you need good lighting. It lacks manual features (but that's been harped on enough). But what it was designed for it does well - daylight shooting with sharp crisp picture (well relatively).

I'm fairly forgiving of low light problems - I'm used to working with film stock where it's simply the norm to meter and light properly. With digital I know most folks either don't need to or want to bother with this. My point is the DXG is actually a decent little camera, provided you know how it works and don't push it. Given that you can actually produce some rather nice results with a little effort. I think it's a bit of a problem that folks simply expect a camera to perform in all lighting situations. With attention to lighting this camera is suitable for simple productions.

The focus seriously needs a fix feature. I'm in contact with DXG right now regarding that. However it's not horrible as far as AF systems go and I think most folks will be able to live with it. The macro is fine. And yes it will hunt and peck in low light or in extreme difference lighting situations (background/foreground) it will "pulse". However this is to be expected. Attention to foreground objects can greatly minimize the issue.

Yes it will be jerky if you shoot handheld and wave it around. However with a bit of practice you'll find it's not that bad. Using a stabilizer will of course do wonders as will even a tripod head without the tripod attached.

In short the camera does what it advertises and does it well. The AF is not all that bad for simple shooting. The weaknesses are not surprising. Don't expect to be getting something that will compete with something $500-1K more expensive - it won't when it comes to features and flexibility. However it does capture crisp well lit scenes and that is not really all that bad of a claim for a $200 cam. I may even use it on a couple urban documentaries - the size being a major plus.
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Old Sep 15, 2008, 10:41 AM   #188
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ispn--great review! It captures my impressions of this camera perfectly. In decent light, it truly can produce very pleasing results and for $200, that's not too shabby.

Brian
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Old Sep 15, 2008, 11:22 AM   #189
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One thing I have noticed is the very significant loss of image resolution and quality when I switch from 1080p to 720p. At 720p, I notice more artifacting and noise with a really noticeable drop in sharpness. On my 720p native display, this is very visible; at 1080p, the image quality is very much better, even on a 720p display.

Brian
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Old Sep 15, 2008, 2:06 PM   #190
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Not really a surprise to me. The 60fps is nice but that comes at a greatly reduced bitrate. Personally I don't think the 720 mode is useful. The strength of this camera is the 1080 ability.

Here's a quick shot to basically demonstrate that the camera can do something more atmospheric than snap shooting (a nice light mist in the window); and that even with visible AF problems that doesn't counteract (you'll see pulse in the clip) the fact that this is camera that gives clear, sharp picture for a very low price. And to be honest that's the most important factor. Or at least it should be.

http://vimeo.com/1713543
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