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Old Sep 10, 2009, 6:06 PM   #1
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Default HD Camcorder that takes stills or Camera that does HD?

Hey guys. I'm so glad to have run across this forum. I have found more valuable info in this one forum than all others combined.Thanks! I have been looking for a solution to my neverending turmoil of toting my camera and camcorder to every function my daughter has. My question is this:
What is the better route to go? I see digital stills cameras that have 720p video capability and I see camcorders which have the ability to do multi megapixel stills. I do more filming than stills so I would assume a camcorder would be better suiting but if I can find a compact/ultra-compact camera which gives the same quality video I will definitely go that route purely for the size.
To give a little history, I have been using a canon powershot 3 megapixel camera for stills and a sony digital 8 sd camcorder for video. Obviously its been a while since I purchased a camera/camcorder! I swore I was not going to buy another until I found a good hybrid. I'm not worried about 1080p and huge megapixel stills. Just 720p and at least 3mp stills. If I can get at least any improvement over both of my old cams in one device, I will be thrilled!
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Old Sep 10, 2009, 7:56 PM   #2
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Sounds like either the Canon 780IS



or the newer 940IS may suit you:



They both do 720p HD video as well as having typical Canon Photo quality. The difference being that the newer model has a larger LCD but no viewfinder as well as a 4x zoom compared to 3x on the 780IS.

One minor downside is that they do not compress the h264 video as much as other cameras/camcorders with the result that you can only get 43 minutes on an 8GB card. Now I don't know if this camera can do continuous recording over the 4GB file boundary without a jump in the video, so this may limit you to 20 minutes of continuous video whereas you'd get almost a full hour with my Sanyo HD1010 for instance using the
equivalent 720p mode.

If you never record more than 20 continuous minutes at a time then it won't be a problem. The fact that the video takes up more space shouldn't be an issue since memory cards are very cheap now. Otherwise it seems to be a great camera.

Another possibility is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3:



This model uses AVCHD and records in Dolby Stereo unlike the mono audio of the Canon models.

There are at least a couple of posters on here who have these cameras and hopefully will post a followup to you a better idea about these.


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Old Sep 10, 2009, 11:16 PM   #3
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Thanks alot for the help. So how would the cameras compare to something like a sanyo cg10 or hd1010? Will they produce a substantially better still? How will the video compare as well assuming all devices are set to 720p. My priority will be with whatever one produces the best video and still have nice stills
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 12:03 AM   #4
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Thanks alot for the help. So how would the cameras compare to something like a sanyo cg10 or hd1010? Will they produce a substantially better still? How will the video compare as well assuming all devices are set to 720p. My priority will be with whatever one produces the best video and still have nice stills
Digital cameras generally produce nicer still images. That's not to say that the images from camcorders such as the Sanyo's are not that bad either.

Here are a couple of galleries of some random still images from my Aiptek GVS:

http://www.pbase.com/rgv523/aiptekgvs

and my HD1010:

http://www.pbase.com/rgv523/hd1010

I tend to shoot more video as well, and just prefer the pistol grip design of these devices for constant videoing.
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 12:17 AM   #5
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Those stills look pretty good. So should I see considerably better video from the sanyo over one of the digital cameras?
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 4:05 AM   #6
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Welcome Aboard Dj33.

I agree with RGVcam on the canon 780IS seen some footage and very thin.

I will say this
The Hybrid camcorders are camcorders primary, still secondary.

The Hybrids have Interpolated software enhancement on stills forexample the Aiptek MPVR isa 8 megapical camcorder. it is 3 megapixals default, and interpolated to 8 meg

Enjoy lookingaround and you'll find your answers enjoy
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 9:07 AM   #7
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Those stills look pretty good. So should I see considerably better video from the sanyo over one of the digital cameras?
You may want to search vimeo.com to compare the video between different models. While not as good as raw video shots it at least will point out those which are obviously different in quality.
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 10:23 AM   #8
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Thanks guys. Looks like I may just go buy a 780is and a sanyo, do some testing and keep the winner. From what you've said I think the sanyo may be more of what I need since my primary focus is video
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 1:58 PM   #9
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I find that hybrid Camcorders are better at taking stills than cameras are at taking video. I feel with hybrid camcorders you get the best of both worlds. I'm more of a video guy so that's my main priority, having still capability is a bonus. I bought over the summer a Sanyo VPC-FH1 which I think is the best hybrid out there at the best value, 1080P video 60FPS and 8 MP stills. I bought mine used for about $380 which I think is a steal, not much more than a lot of standard video camcorders. Video is awesome and stills are more than adequate. (Many more expensive HD camcorders only have 2 - 4 MP stills). The thing that stinks is if you go HD, everything has to be HD, TV, PC, but it's worth it. I have a 5 yr old HDTV and the video still looks awesome, and the stills are brought to life viewing on it as well.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dj33 View Post
Thanks guys. Looks like I may just go buy a 780is and a sanyo, do some testing and keep the winner. From what you've said I think the sanyo may be more of what I need since my primary focus is video

Last edited by HDfan23; Sep 11, 2009 at 2:00 PM.
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Old Sep 11, 2009, 6:10 PM   #10
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Filming is my primary focus as well so one of the camcorders will probably be what I need. If I can get one of the camcorders to take pics comparable to what I've been taking with my 3mp canon I will be more than happy. Although the size and great still pics of the 780is or lumix would be nice I'm afraid it won't have adequate video controls. Plus the xacti hd1010 or cg10 both are fairly small and I like the pistol grip.

I have all hd tvs and I already have a quad core computer set up to back up all of my blu-rays to hd h264 so I'm definitely hd ready. Thanks again for all the advice guys

Last edited by dj33; Sep 11, 2009 at 6:12 PM.
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