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Old Oct 7, 2008, 6:33 PM   #1
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First of all I have a big confusion. I want to know what are the differences of the Panasonic S10 and the Panasonic SW20 quality and feature wise because I cant really understand which is better and in Panasonic compare page the SW20 that I believe is the newer version has a Leica Dicomar lens while the S10 has a Panasonic lens and I want to know which lens is better and which cam is better. The reason is because I want to buy a new pocket camcorder and these are two options I have. I am getting them about the same price...about 280 in a local store.

That is why I am asking too for the Sanyo Xacti versions because I want to know if it is a better choice to go for any of the Sanyo instead of the Panasonic... I am looking for the best video quality and sound....the outdoor ruggedness of the Panasonic is a plus or the Sanyo waterproof but is not necessary so please advice me.... Thanks...ohh by the way... I don't care for still photos..I just want to shoot video so I don't care if the panasonic is not that good in pictures.
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Old Oct 7, 2008, 8:15 PM   #2
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Well, I bought two (2) Panasonic SDR-S10s.

The imaging chip is the same.

The SW20 is "waterproof" as opposed to "water resistant."

And the better lens... hence... the higher price.

But they're basically the same camcorder otherwise.

They encode video using MPEG-2 at full DVD data rates (higher than 9 Mbps).

Guess what?

I also bought two Sanyo VPC-CG6s.

These encode video using MPEG-4 at much lower data rates.

This means you can fit more video onto each SD card, but the tradeoff is that the quality won't be as high.

I was very interested in how the Panasonics compared to the Sanyos when directly connected to a large CRT (tube) interlaced TV using the audio/video cables provided.

There was no contest.

The Panasonics produced much finer, sharper video.

Wasn't even close.

For fun, I then tried plugging in an Aiptek ISDV2.4.

Its image looked like crap on the interlaced tube TV screen.

The Panasonics are clearly designed for people who intend to burn DVDs and watch them on an interlaced screen. If you intend for the Panasonic video to be displayed on a progressive computer monitor, you might want to deinterlace the video so that no interlacing artifacts show up in your clips.

I think the Panasonic build quality might be better.

The two models I purchased are perfect.

With Sanyo, one of the models suffered from stuck pixels (two pixels stuck on a particular color) and this problem did show up in all recorded videos.

I've purchased three (3) Aipteks and one of them failed to properly record any audio so I returned it.

So...

1. Panasonic
2. Sanyo
3. Aiptek

...I generally rank them in that order although I believe Aiptek might actually be improving as they go along and it may not be long before they catch up to Sanyo. The Aiptek camcorders already are the most competitive when it comes to price.

A test I plan to do is to record video with the Panasonic SDR-S10 and then deinterlace it and up-convert it to 720p. I then want to compare that to the 720p video recorded by the Aiptek and see if there's truly a difference.

Should be interesting.

JVC is coming out with new AVCHD hybrids, but I can no longer purchase JVC products because too many of those have failed me in the past.

I would very much like to see Panasonic come out with a small, pistol-grip AVCHD hybrid with an external mic jack and a remote control.




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Old Oct 7, 2008, 8:18 PM   #3
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By the way, the Panasonics are "made in Japan."

The Sanyos are "made in Indonesia."

The Aipteks are "made in China."
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Old Oct 7, 2008, 8:22 PM   #4
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Here's an SDR-S10 promo video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuGqs1VpgP4

One drawback is that you can't rotate the SDR-S10 screen 180 degrees.

However, the SDR-S10 screen is "wide" and can show you exactly how clips will look when you record using the available 16:9 aspect ratio option.


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Old Oct 7, 2008, 8:49 PM   #5
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Resolution:

1. Panasonics = 704 x 480
2. Sanyos = 640 x 480 (VPC-CG6)
3. Aiptek ISDV2.4 = 720 x 480 (fake; it's interpolated, in my opinion)


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Old Oct 7, 2008, 10:40 PM   #6
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So if I can buy any of the ones I mentioned....which one would you recommend?
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Old Oct 8, 2008, 2:32 AM   #7
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I am still waitinf ro the magical 720P cam with 60fps and OIS or at least EIS (if CMOS). Ideally with a CCD and a mic input and made by Panasonic.

I too don't trust JVC with cameras. Some have failed me in the past too (miniDV's)

I have a CG65 (4:3 aspect ratio. Standard definition 640x480) and so far I am sticking to it.

Here's a sample reencoded from the original bitrate to only 1Mbps. The video is still in h264 MP4 mode.

http://s3dl.com/nana_h264/

Fully automatic. Nevermind the annoying clacking/vibrating noise... it was a stupid strap with a piece of metal that I had on the camera.

Bump the volume. The audio is untouched.
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Old Oct 8, 2008, 10:31 AM   #8
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I think if I were personally going to buy any of the camcorders you listed, I would buy the Panasonic SDR-SW20... with the Sanyo VPC-E2 being my second choice.

Now, if you're wanting high definition, then neither of those models offer HD.
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Old Oct 9, 2008, 2:35 PM   #9
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WOW!!!! what happened to your cat? I am looking for something that has around that quality.... I am not asking for much ......my friend works in the movie business and tells me Panasonic is a top brand. That I should go for the Panasonic..... I am probably going to buy the SW20, to me it seems like a good deal because I will pay 280...lets see what happens... I will post a video on vimeo when I get the camara so you can see the quality.
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Old Oct 9, 2008, 3:22 PM   #10
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Good choice.

I forgot to mention... the audio recording of the Panasonic is far, far superior to that of the Sanyo VPC-CG6.
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