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Old Oct 29, 2008, 2:12 PM   #1
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So, I spent many hours last night trying to figure out what are my options on buying an HD camera.

I do not need (nor want) a 1080i/p camera. I dont have the horsepower to edit/transcode, nor the display to view it, nor the permanent storage medium for it (not to mention all over the air HD transmissions are 720).

Most of the content I shoot is downsized anyway and for some reason 720P seems like a more robust option.

So the thing i was looking for was a 720P camera, with an actual CCD, with 30fps, with perhaps OIS, with some 5-8 megapixels (for imgs), with SD memory slot for storage, perhaps with a mic input, with a decent zoom (6x?), etc

All I found was the Sanyo HD2 with a hefty pricetag for a 1 year old camera.

In all honesty, the rolling shutter that comes with almost all the CMOS sensor cameras is a deal breaker.. and it should be a deal breaker for anyone! The footage is complete garbage and it is not the way video is supposed to be.

I'll take lens glare and blurry motion any day, over rolling shutter.

It is the main reason why I still hold to my dearly beloved CG65 --> a precious CCD.

Isn't there an alternative for a digicam with a CCD and h.264 compression in the market yet?
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Old Oct 29, 2008, 3:17 PM   #2
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From a practical standpoint, the manufacturers seem to be trending almost exclusively these days toward CMOS because it's so much cheaper.
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Old Oct 29, 2008, 3:47 PM   #3
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CMOS is great!... for static traffic cameras or extreme closeups... in static cameras :?

wobbling video is usable... like a car with tires made out of wood and no suspension.
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Old Oct 29, 2008, 4:10 PM   #4
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My Sony HDR-UX1 is a CMOS camcorder, but Sony has employed some techniques in the manufacturing to keep the wobble from happening.

So I know it's possible for CMOS camcorders to be designed around the issues, but -- of course -- that increases the cost.
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Old Oct 29, 2008, 11:35 PM   #5
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There are many options. You could also try the regular digital camera market, some manufactures would be releasing cheap digital still camera with HD video (maybe Kodak). In most ways CMOS sensors can match or exceed, except many have chosen not to implement global shutter like features.

If you really want to go the CCD path, your low end options are limited in hybrid/video. At dvinfo . net's alternative imaging sub forum I think there is a couple of guys (one maybe in the technical thread) doing CCD for home made/digital cinema camera. that is quiet expensive, and you maybe able to pick up a large secondhand broadcast POV for the price. A number of industrial cameras come with the necessary software to do unlimited recording.

However, on the cheaper end. Even CCD will do rolling shutter, unless they have the required circuits. The chip[ used in the Sony sr12/11 is good, and I don't know if it has much rolling shutter or not, but that might be one of the best bets in low end CMOS, but it is not 720p (you can clip it down to 720p). the chip is also used on the Casio F1 digital camera.

Now back to cheap 720p, try and look at the footage from the Aiptek AHD600 (there is a different name in America) and in particular the Aiptek HSHD thread. The AHD600 footage looks a bit like a Sanyo HD2, interpolation fly-screening, probably less latitude, and other things that look old style CCD, high reds, and maybe no rolling shutter (but not certain, gave up after I saw the old Sanyo like interpolation crawl. The HSHD, might potentially haver no rolling, has bigger pixels (lower res, 720p only), and maybe less latitude and noise. We really need somebody to test this out in bright sunlight, low light and close rapid movement. Have a look at the samples in the thread and see what you think. Camera makers have a habit of not telling you what sensor they are using, so it can be hard to know wherever it is CMOS or CCD, except most of the HD hybrid are cmos.
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Old Oct 30, 2008, 6:28 PM   #6
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well, thanks for your replies.

I think I will get me a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3K.

I've seen pic and video samples and I am truly loving the results.

In the video side of the camera, is 1280x720 at 24P using a 25 megabit bitrate (Quicktime Motion JPEG), which is ok since I can always re-encode.

Only 10 minutes and 30 seconds in one shot at full resolution (you know, because of the 2GB limitation thing), but you can always record a bunch of clips on a 32GB card. I also read that you cannot change focus nor use the zoom functions while recording HD, but you can set it 1st and then start recording.

No audio input of course, but that's what external recorders are for.

It's a bit pricey, but the quality is amazing, not to mention that it takes excellent still images.

Until a decent hybrid challenger shows up. :|
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Old Oct 31, 2008, 2:26 PM   #7
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You might like to test before you buy. 25 mb/s Quick time is pretty lowish for Jpeg at that res. Jpeg is often worth half as much as Mpeg2, and half as much again than amberalla based h264, in quality at the same bit rate. It can do better though, with lots of motion or noise though. A camera with the new Microsoft derived photo standard, or wavelet, or H264 intra, is supposed to do similar to mpeg2 at the same datarate, apparently (depends on how good their implementation of those codecs are too).
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