Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Hybrid Still/Movie/MP3 Digicams

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 27, 2009, 9:32 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 46
Default Canon PowerShot SD780 IS, a camera that takes 720p video

I just purchased the “Canon PowerShot SD780 IS” 12 Mega Pixel point and shoot camera, about $278.00 US. Although not a hybrid camcorder, it does take 720p 30fps HD video at 23Mbps and has mono audio. This is a very small camera that can fit in your pocket. The video it captures to a SD card is of high quality, so this makes this camera a good choice for someone that wants to have a high quality camera, and HD camcorder with them at all times to capture any events that might unfold. It has a 3X optical zoom that cannot be adjusted while capturing video, but it can be zoomed before you start a capture. Anyone have any comments about this camera/camcorder?
bobcat56458 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jul 28, 2009, 2:59 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
subc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: California, Sac area
Posts: 261
Default

Like any other camera, I will say that it all depends on the operator.

From the SD780, I've seen some really good footage that truly makes the camera shine ( http://vimeo.com/5555021 ), and some crumy video that would probably put people off from buying this product ( http://vimeo.com/5210150 )

As I said... results with any camera depend mostly on the ability of the operator.
subc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 3, 2009, 11:17 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
Default

This camera records at a fixed 23mbps. Pity, I would have gotten it if it had more bitrate settings. Strikes me as strange that Canon wouldn't put in quality options...surely that's an extremely important feature to most people?

edit: If/when CHDK is ported to the SD780, it should become capable of bitrate changing. One or two guys in the CHDK are apparently working on it at the moment. Hmm, maybe I should get it after all...

Not to mention that it retails for US$199 on Amazon, with free shipping. Hot deal.

Last edited by creamyhorror; Aug 4, 2009 at 3:11 AM.
creamyhorror is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 4, 2009, 3:38 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by subc View Post
From the SD780, I've seen some really good footage that truly makes the camera shine ( http://vimeo.com/5555021 )
Nice colors on that video, but what's up with the horrible wobbling in quite a few scenes? Is it the stabiliser?

Too bad the video was encoded at 1760kbps, else it would look positively stunning. Also, the audio stream seems to be stereo, but the camera is mono audio if I'm not wrong?
creamyhorror is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 4, 2009, 10:05 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 46
Default

creamyhorror: Interesting info about the CHDK software, I'm looking forward to getting this when someone is able to port it to the SD780. It looks like not only will we have the ability to set the video bitrate, but also use the optical zoom while recording, and maybe be able to remote control the camera from a computer when connected with the USB cable, if and when it is ported to this camera. The video you viewed on vimeo had been edited with higher compression, and a stereo sound track added, so don't judge the quality of this cameras video capturing by this video. The optical stabilization works quite well, I did a test capture placing the camera on the dashboard of my SUV on my way back from work and it did a good job of making the video look fairly smooth.
bobcat56458 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 4, 2009, 10:20 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
Default

The price of this cam dropped to $150 on Dell so I jumped. Too tempting to resist, despite the wobbling in that video. Now we can both wait in hope for CHDK to be ported to it

Optical zoom during recording would be amazing. Along with the bitrate adjustment, that would make this camera worth much more than what I got it for.
creamyhorror is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 4, 2009, 11:11 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,084
Default

The camera seems to use a custom version of h264 as it doesn't compress the video anywhere near as much as it should when compared to other devices that use this codec. This kind of defeats the purpose of using h264.

Considering the 4GB file size limit of FAT32, this camera can only store a ridiculous 20-22 minutes of continuous video. Now you might argue that any more than that you shouldn't be using a digital camera like this, but I would disagree. There are many situations such as demonstrations at events etc that would need more than 20 minutes to record.
rgvcam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 4, 2009, 1:19 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgvcam View Post
The camera seems to use a custom version of h264 as it doesn't compress the video anywhere near as much as it should when compared to other devices that use this codec. This kind of defeats the purpose of using h264.
I think that's a bit of an incorrect way to look at it. It's the manufacturers who choose to specify what bitrates their cameras record at, rather than the encoder not compressing as much as it should (it simply does the best job it can in the given bitrate). It was definitely a very silly decision on Canon's part to force recording at 23mbps, which is very near the upper limit for 720p (24mbps) and in the majority of cases a pointlessly high bitrate.

I'm hoping that the CHDK will be ported to the SD780 so the recording bitrate will be selectable, but even if that doesn't happen, I should be satisfied with the (up to) 1.5hrs of recording time that a 16GB card will offer. At least I can reencode to a saner bitrate with full peace of mind that I'm not losing much quality.

One irritating thing about the camera's H.264 encoding is that it doesn't make use of some of H.264's most important features. It only uses 1 reference frame and disables CABAC, which brings it more to the level of XviD if I'm not mistaken. Still, at bitrates above 12mbps I'm quite sure it'll be acceptable in terms of quality preservation.

Quote:
Considering the 4GB file size limit of FAT32, this camera can only store a ridiculous 20-22 minutes of continuous video.
I've read that some cameras get around the filesize limit by producing a series of files as defined by the AVCHD spec; wonder if that's the case for this camera?

Last edited by creamyhorror; Aug 4, 2009 at 1:26 PM.
creamyhorror is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 4, 2009, 5:20 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,084
Default

That's what I mean, why such a high bitrate. The video quality doesn't seem to be that much better than other devices that use a much lower bitrate and there must be a diminishing rate of return as you allude to. It's probably why almost all standard definition devices seem to use a 3Mbps bitrate when using h264 as well ie you never see 6Mbps for instance, at least I have never seen one.

Yes some camcorders use multiple 4GB files and it is possible the Canon does this too though I was of the understanding that many devices often don't implement this.
rgvcam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 4, 2009, 6:08 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 46
Default

This camera\camcorder is not perfect, none are. What it does is give you a high quality camera that takes very good video that will fit in a small cell phone case so you have it with you when you need it. I remember on this hybrid camcorder forum where people were complaining that the current crop of hybrid cams captured video at to low a bitrate, I guess you can't make everyone happy LOL!
bobcat56458 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:10 PM.