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Old Nov 25, 2009, 5:14 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info on the GVS. If it can only be mono even with a stereo mic then it's out of the running for me.

Do you know if there are there any other simple flash-based recorders I should be looking at?
It sounds like you would prefer the CG10. I just did a quick search on youtube and funny enough came across this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlINQhU-2ws

While he doesn't explicitly say what camera he is using, he has the Sanyo Xacti CG10 in his tagline. If this is true, then this sounds pretty good and may be what you are after. I'd see if you could either contact him or post a comment to verify this though.
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Old Nov 25, 2009, 6:00 PM   #12
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It sounds like you would prefer the CG10. I just did a quick search on youtube and funny enough came across this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlINQhU-2ws

While he doesn't explicitly say what camera he is using, he has the Sanyo Xacti CG10 in his tagline. If this is true, then this sounds pretty good and may be what you are after. I'd see if you could either contact him or post a comment to verify this though.
Heh, yeah I did find this in my youtube searches today. Not my style, but that's the right idea. It sounds OK, but again I can't tell the absolute quality without access to the original sources. It does seem that the CG-10 will have better audio than the built-in mic with the ZI8; it's just a question of how often I'll wish I had access to the even better audio quality of the ZI8 and an external mic. I'm sure that combo would sound fantastic; I just don't know if it would be too annoying to bring out with me.

I wish I could find a local store where I could buy a CG-10 without the restocking fee. :\ I could then figure out if it's good enough with just a few short tests and that would solve all of this.
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Old Nov 25, 2009, 6:13 PM   #13
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Heh, yeah I did find this in my youtube searches today. Not my style, but that's the right idea. It sounds OK, but again I can't tell the absolute quality without access to the original sources. It does seem that the CG-10 will have better audio than the built-in mic with the ZI8; it's just a question of how often I'll wish I had access to the even better audio quality of the ZI8 and an external mic. I'm sure that combo would sound fantastic; I just don't know if it would be too annoying to bring out with me.

I wish I could find a local store where I could buy a CG-10 without the restocking fee. :\ I could then figure out if it's good enough with just a few short tests and that would solve all of this.
haha when I said it sounds pretty good I was of course referring to the fact that it didn't sound distorted. I have no opinion whatsoever on his drum playing!

If the sound from the CG10 is adequate then it would make the better 'all round' camcorder even though it's only 720p. Personally I think 720p is adequate for most people and still a decent step up from VGA.

I agree it would much be better if you could try out the CG10. If you are here in the US, then amazon would be your best bet as they have an excellent return policy and are likely to be cheaper too as they currently have it for just under $170. Good luck in your choice!
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Old Nov 25, 2009, 7:08 PM   #14
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You are a musician. Sound is more important than video. Given your primary use -to record your playing - the issue of manual audio control is critical. You want to hear your dynamics, not the processed dynamics that the CG10 and almost all other video cameras provide with "autoleveling.". For drums, especially, dynamics are important.

There is another alternative - which is to record yourself with a second device while using the video camera. There are many cheap devices now with built-in stereo mics of good quality, that have the appropriate configuration (let's face it the "stereo" mics of a camcorder are not spaced according to any sound audio principles) and record uncompressed audio (Zoom H2, for example). Then you can synch with software *automatically* - you are synching the audio from the audio device with the audio from the camera. This means that the audio of the camera is irrelevant and you can choose the camera based on other criteria.

Last edited by markr041; Nov 25, 2009 at 7:18 PM.
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Old Nov 25, 2009, 7:26 PM   #15
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The CG10, by the specs, should have poorer low-light video than the Zi8. Why?

1. The lens is smaller (smaller opening) on the CG10 - the CG10 is f3.5; the Kodak is f2.8. That's a full stop more light-taking ability for the Kodak.

2. The CG10 packs more pixels onto what is about the same size sensor - 5 megapixels for the Kodak and 10 megapixels for the CG10. Now, the only way to get more pixels on the same-size sensor is to make them smaller. And, smaller sensors have worse low-light absorption. The pixel density of the Kodak is among the best of all consumer camcorders, including those costing much more.

So, the Kodak can do 720p at 60fps and 1080p at 30fps; the CG10 can do neither. In favor of the CG10 - the optical zoom - worse videos and limited sound capability, but you get closer!
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Old Nov 25, 2009, 7:35 PM   #16
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You are a musician. Sound is more important than video. Given your primary use -to record your playing - the issue of manual audio control is critical. You want to hear your dynamics, not the processed dynamics that the CG10 and almost all other video cameras provide with "autoleveling.". For drums, especially, dynamics are important.

There is another alternative - which is to record yourself with a second device while using the video camera. There are many cheap devices now with built-in stereo mics of good quality, that have the appropriate configuration (let's face it the "stereo" mics of a camcorder are not spaced according to any sound audio principles) and record uncompressed audio (Zoom H2, for example). Then you can synch with software *automatically* - you are synching the audio from the audio device with the audio from the camera. This means that the audio of the camera is irrelevant and you can choose the camera based on other criteria.
Heh, the more I read the responses here the more conflicted I get. I kind of like this latest option of going with the CG-10 + an external recorder. That way I'll have the best audio when I play in my studio and have the video recorder I want when carrying it around for day to day life. The sound quality of the H2 is pretty fantastic. Hmmm.

What would you use to sync the audio and video from the CG-10 and an external recorder? I know I could use something like virtualdub to listen and merge them manually, but is there a way to make it a simple single-step process?
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Old Nov 25, 2009, 8:52 PM   #17
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ecb, have you read fishycomics review thread for the Kodak Zi8?
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Old Nov 25, 2009, 11:27 PM   #18
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If you use either FinalCut Pro (Mac) or Vegas Pro (Windows), you can use a plug-in program called PluralEyes, which syncs automatically. It works well - no effort - it lines up the external audio with the audio from the camera with one click. You can even have multiple cameras - lines them all up.

For info on relatively cheap recorders, there is a forum www.taperssection.com.

The devices are made by Samson (Zoom), Olympus, Sony, Marantz, Tascam and others.
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 1:08 AM   #19
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If you use either FinalCut Pro (Mac) or Vegas Pro (Windows), you can use a plug-in program called PluralEyes, which syncs automatically. It works well - no effort - it lines up the external audio with the audio from the camera with one click. You can even have multiple cameras - lines them all up.

For info on relatively cheap recorders, there is a forum www.taperssection.com.

The devices are made by Samson (Zoom), Olympus, Sony, Marantz, Tascam and others.
Hah, PluralEyes would run about $150. Think I'll have to pass on that.

Still trying to decide. If I got the Zoom H2 I probably wouldn't get a video camera at all; I could just use my G11 to film the video and then sync the video and the audio.

Any thoughts on whether the ZI8 and a ~$50 mic could come close to the sound quality of the Zoom H2? The H2 has some nice features that make me kinda want one regardless, but if the ZI8 plus a mic could sound as good for basically the same money then that would be tempting too.

Thanks everyone for answering my questions. I really appreciate it.
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 1:20 AM   #20
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i have the cg10
i dont have a footage of a concert yet, well not really, i just tested it for 2minutes in a little party with big sound system.
i was really impressed by the sound quality, honestly i never thought it could record loud sounds like this.
the problem is that u get some pro and cons with both zi8 and cg10

the cg10:
- u aint got a mic input (that may be good to record concerts)
- no mic gain control, its all automatic, but it do the job
- but hey, u get some manual controls (some settings dont seems to work at all, for example iso 800 and 1600 may not work on video, but maybe on pics, not sure, but i can tell you, those arent working on vids(i wil never use the cg10 for pics, coz i find the grain horrible)
- and 5x optical zoom (and 5x times is really great, maybe u'll find it nice to zoom at the singer or guitarist ...)
zoom is definitely better than the zi8
- and something that may be good for concert is the immovable and very bright lcd, that will hep u to get more angles easily.
- the cg10 ISO only seems to work up to 400, and with sensitivity on (it helps in low light), i must say its kinda noisy in low light situations, but now with some manual controls like adjust white balance, shutter speed, may help u to get good results.

now u must understand its a cheap cam, u wont get anywhere near a canon cam.

now the zi8, i dont have one, i cant really help you, but with the mic input u will certainly get good results too.

i bought the cg10 over the zi8 because of the manual controls mostly, and i dont regret my choice, even if i would be happy with a zi8 too.
but i still have in mind to get a better cam, with a better sensor and better lenses that all these cheap cams have.

note also that u'll have very shaky footages with all those cams because they very light, so u may have to think about purchasing a monopod, a tripod or stabilizer.
i find the shaking very annoying, even if u really pay attention not to move much, u'll get the shaky vids.
i added a little weight at the tripod screw to help, but i will definitely get a monopod.
well hope it helps.
feel free to ask more help, or maybe some examples if i can, i'll be glad to help more.

Last edited by chkn; Nov 26, 2009 at 1:23 AM.
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