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Old Mar 31, 2011, 7:33 PM   #1
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Default Help!! Need advice

Hi everybody, I am a noob--as you can tell by my post totals. I just discovered this forum after watching a whole bunch of fishycomics posts on youtube. Fishy, thanks for the hard work and massive contributions you've made.

Anyway, I am in the market for a pocket camcorder. I am not a blogger (yet), nor am I an avid videophile, but I want something that looks decent to good and has decent sound quality (this isn't the roaring 20's, I need audio to go with my video). My main camcorder is a Canon Vixia HG10, that I bought back in 2007. It's a little bulky compared to some of the cameras out there today, but since it has a hotdock--it's been a workhorse. However, I am having a baby in two months and the canon isn't the kind of camera you carry around in your pocket.

I have been looking at the Flip Ultra HD, Kodak Zx3/5, JVC PD2, CG20 and CG102, Sony Bloggie Touch etc. Frankly, they all have their pro's and con's.

Kodak Playsport:

I like the video on the Kodak playsport(s)--with a preference for the zx5 (the edge enhancement and autofocus really sharpen the picture IMHO). Unfortunately, the audio seems a bit weak from what I've seen on youtube tests (assuming those are accurate).

Sanyo Xacti PD2

The PD2 actually looks really good, has decent audio, but the poor battery life is a bummer. I was sort of leaning towards this because I liked the form factor and, for once, it has a real flash for stills. The menu looks a bit lame as well. I am still not quite sure why fishy sent it back--aside from the battery life issue. For me, that can be solved by ordering a couple of extra batteries from ebay. Yeah, changing out batteries isn't fun--but if I am taking hours of video at a clip, I am going to be using the Canon. This camera is meant for capture those precious moments (like my kid's first poop).

The Sony Bloggie Touch

First off, I really am not a fan of touch screens on cameras. The act of touching the screen causes movement which f--ks up the picture. Dumb. I also don't like the way the zoom is set up and you can't just change the zoom by tip of your finger---you actually have to look at the screen. Being stuck with an internal battery and no removable storage also sucks--although I started using apple products recently, I guess I can learn to deal. So, those are the negatives. On the plus side, the sony bloggie touch seems to have the best color reproduction in the bunch and the touchscreen isn't bad (as far as touch screens go--much better than the Kodak playtouch, JVC FM2 and Flip Slide--all awful imo). In the samples I saw on the sony, when the camera was still and focused, the picture quality was right there with the canon--start moving the camera around and there's major degradation. The real negative here seems to be the super slow auto focus. It seems to take a while to gear up. I might be able to live with this, but I want some ideas from you guys as to whether you find the bloggie touch to be a good camera.


Sany Xacti's CG20, CG102, CS1

There aren't that many real reviews out there that can give you a low down on the current lineups. I would love to play around with the sanyo's, because I have seen some clips that looked great and other that looked terrible. I don't know if it's a setting issue or just a youtube issue. Unfortunately, it's sooo darn hard to get your hands on one since none of the stores around here carry sanyo.

I am leaving out the flip minoHD--fixed focus, no macro, no removable battery or memory and---worst of all unnecessary capacitative buttons that go off when you don't mean to touch them---I HATE THAT!!!!

Well, that's what I have been looking at. Any advise and opinions are appreciated!!!
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Old Mar 31, 2011, 8:02 PM   #2
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Hi everybody, I am a noob--as you can tell by my post totals. I just discovered this forum after watching a whole bunch of fishycomics posts on youtube. Fishy, thanks for the hard work and massive contributions you've made.

Anyway, I am in the market for a pocket camcorder. I am not a blogger (yet), nor am I an avid videophile, but I want something that looks decent to good and has decent sound quality (this isn't the roaring 20's, I need audio to go with my video). My main camcorder is a Canon Vixia HG10, that I bought back in 2007. It's a little bulky compared to some of the cameras out there today, but since it has a hotdock--it's been a workhorse. However, I am having a baby in two months and the canon isn't the kind of camera you carry around in your pocket.

I have been looking at the Flip Ultra HD, Kodak Zx3/5, JVC PD2, CG20 and CG102, Sony Bloggie Touch etc. Frankly, they all have their pro's and con's.

Kodak Playsport:

I like the video on the Kodak playsport(s)--with a preference for the zx5 (the edge enhancement and autofocus really sharpen the picture IMHO). Unfortunately, the audio seems a bit weak from what I've seen on youtube tests (assuming those are accurate).

Sanyo Xacti PD2

The PD2 actually looks really good, has decent audio, but the poor battery life is a bummer. I was sort of leaning towards this because I liked the form factor and, for once, it has a real flash for stills. The menu looks a bit lame as well. I am still not quite sure why fishy sent it back--aside from the battery life issue. For me, that can be solved by ordering a couple of extra batteries from ebay. Yeah, changing out batteries isn't fun--but if I am taking hours of video at a clip, I am going to be using the Canon. This camera is meant for capture those precious moments (like my kid's first poop).

The Sony Bloggie Touch

First off, I really am not a fan of touch screens on cameras. The act of touching the screen causes movement which f--ks up the picture. Dumb. I also don't like the way the zoom is set up and you can't just change the zoom by tip of your finger---you actually have to look at the screen. Being stuck with an internal battery and no removable storage also sucks--although I started using apple products recently, I guess I can learn to deal. So, those are the negatives. On the plus side, the sony bloggie touch seems to have the best color reproduction in the bunch and the touchscreen isn't bad (as far as touch screens go--much better than the Kodak playtouch, JVC FM2 and Flip Slide--all awful imo). In the samples I saw on the sony, when the camera was still and focused, the picture quality was right there with the canon--start moving the camera around and there's major degradation. The real negative here seems to be the super slow auto focus. It seems to take a while to gear up. I might be able to live with this, but I want some ideas from you guys as to whether you find the bloggie touch to be a good camera.


Sany Xacti's CG20, CG102, CS1

There aren't that many real reviews out there that can give you a low down on the current lineups. I would love to play around with the sanyo's, because I have seen some clips that looked great and other that looked terrible. I don't know if it's a setting issue or just a youtube issue. Unfortunately, it's sooo darn hard to get your hands on one since none of the stores around here carry sanyo.

I am leaving out the flip minoHD--fixed focus, no macro, no removable battery or memory and---worst of all unnecessary capacitative buttons that go off when you don't mean to touch them---I HATE THAT!!!!

Well, that's what I have been looking at. Any advise and opinions are appreciated!!!
Hi I own (have owned) 3 of the models you mentioned.

1. Playsport:
Pros - Waterproof, really the only reason to get it, otherwise, video quality no better than other camcorders in it's class. Very good outdoors, underwater quality also very good.

Cons - 1080P mode very shaky even with EIS on. Not very good in low light, no flash, indoor images are useless. also useless digital zoom


2. Sanyo PD2
Pros - Good outdoors, flash, has optical zoom (one of the only ones it's size that has it).

Cons - Indoors not very good, images also not that great indoors even with flash, when you zoom in and out u can hear the motor and slightly mutes the audio

3. Sony Bloggie touch
Pros - Very good outdoors, probably the best indoors out of the 3.

Cons - You have to hold horizontally to film widescreen, if you hold upright, takes video like cameraphone. No Flash, digital zoom (a little bit better than Playsport), cannot replace battery and cannot replace built-in memory.

That being said I own the Sanyo VPC-FH1, which is awesome, great indoors and out, great images, a little pricey still.

I purchased a Sanyo GH4 for my sis but had a chance to test (similar specs to CG20, CG102, CS1, give or take some megapixels when taking still images) and it's quite awesome considering the price. Another difference between these models is pistol grip or football grip, depending on what you prefer. So based on the performance of the GH4, you can't go wrong with any of the Sanyo C series ones, and for the price ($120 - $150 on amazon) probably the best deal you can get out of all the hybrid camcorders. Most performance and options for comparable price.
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Old Mar 31, 2011, 10:22 PM   #3
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Hdfan, thanks so much for the detailed response! In your opinion is there a difference in quality between the pd2 and the cg lines of sanyo They are all around the same price, so, cleary, that's not the issue. Which cam of these options has the best sound quality?

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Old Apr 1, 2011, 6:44 AM   #4
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Sanyo xacti PD2.

If you want a External Mic then the Kodak Zi8
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These are Pc low Budget Economy Hybrid camcorders Great for the Daytime Outdoor shots
Light on the Object video made. No light No Video
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Old Apr 1, 2011, 12:40 PM   #5
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Hdfan, thanks so much for the detailed response! In your opinion is there a difference in quality between the pd2 and the cg lines of sanyo They are all around the same price, so, cleary, that's not the issue. Which cam of these options has the best sound quality?
Actually the C line's video quality is way better than the PD2, they perform much better in low light, both with video and images. I would say I was a little disappointed with the PD2 as far as video quality and some of the cons I mentioned, but I got it for under $100 so I guess it's ok. I don't pay as much attention to the audio side of things, but definitely your observations are correct, Playsport audio is weaker than the other models, but good enough for me because I have my speakers cranked up anyways.

But dollar for dollar Sanyo has the best value, although the PD2 somehow seemed like a rush job and a little unrefined. I wouldn't pay more than $80.
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Old Apr 1, 2011, 2:21 PM   #6
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I think I'll take your advice HDFan... I am going to stay away from the pd2 and I am going to skip it. I have been checking out some sample videos from youtube. on the GH2 and CG102 and they look pretty decent. Do the sample videos that I am watching on youtube accurately reflect how the images will look on my tv when I am viewing over HDMI, either from the camera or off a HDD through Western Digital HD media player??? I am not an expert on how youtube works, but I notice some blurs and jaggies on some videos that would seem to be an issue with potential down conversion of bitstreams on the fly from youtube servers.
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Old Apr 1, 2011, 2:40 PM   #7
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I think I'll take your advice HDFan... I am going to stay away from the pd2 and I am going to skip it. I have been checking out some sample videos from youtube. on the GH2 and CG102 and they look pretty decent. Do the sample videos that I am watching on youtube accurately reflect how the images will look on my tv when I am viewing over HDMI, either from the camera or off a HDD through Western Digital HD media player??? I am not an expert on how youtube works, but I notice some blurs and jaggies on some videos that would seem to be an issue with potential down conversion of bitstreams on the fly from youtube servers.

It gives you somewhat an idea but it definitely loses some quality. The GH2 and CG102 can both do 1080i 60 fps which is super fluid video but youtube does not have the ability to capture this. To truly appreciate the quality of any HD video is to view it on an HDTV (even viewing it on PC does not give it justice). I also have the WDTV player, 1st gen and it plays the video from my camcorders perfectly, assuming you have the 1st gen player (the later versions ironically do not do as good a job playing the Sanyo videos)
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Old Apr 1, 2011, 3:41 PM   #8
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It gives you somewhat an idea but it definitely loses some quality. The GH2 and CG102 can both do 1080i 60 fps which is super fluid video but youtube does not have the ability to capture this. To truly appreciate the quality of any HD video is to view it on an HDTV (even viewing it on PC does not give it justice). I also have the WDTV player, 1st gen and it plays the video from my camcorders perfectly, assuming you have the 1st gen player (the later versions ironically do not do as good a job playing the Sanyo videos)
That's kind of what I figured. Most computers consumer grade computers on the market (Dell Inspiron etc.) really couldn't handle 1080p playback--especially with intel integrated graphics--so I figured youtube dropped the bitrates on the files. I am getting really tempted to pull the trigger on the one of these sanyo's--I wish I could see one in person. Since these are essentially the same cameras in all respects except for shape, is one of them more "pocketable" than the other?
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Old Apr 1, 2011, 3:57 PM   #9
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That's kind of what I figured. Most computers consumer grade computers on the market (Dell Inspiron etc.) really couldn't handle 1080p playback--especially with intel integrated graphics--so I figured youtube dropped the bitrates on the files. I am getting really tempted to pull the trigger on the one of these sanyo's--I wish I could see one in person. Since these are essentially the same cameras in all respects except for shape, is one of them more "pocketable" than the other?
Yeah, although it's not necessarily the playback, my PC and laptop play back the videos just fine, but an HDTV just brings out the crispness and detail of the video. I've seen both of these camcorders in person and they are definitely small. My VPC-FH1 looks huge compared to these models and it's quite small already. I don't know if you have a Frys in your area but they have them on display. I'd say the CG102 is a bit more pocketable, of course not as snug as a phone but comfortable enough, assuming you're not wearing skinny jeans but both I'd say qualify as pocketable.

Personally I like the form factor of the CG102 better easier to hold still and your arms won't wear down as fast as the football grip. But as far as quality of videos, you can't lose.
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Old Apr 1, 2011, 4:05 PM   #10
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Compared to most here I am a novice when it comes to video -
however FWIW I have been an audio enthusiast for years and do a lot of still photography.

I personally think the Kodak Playsport Zx3 actually can record pretty reasonable/good sound - it is only Mono - but more than adequate/acceptable, and it is not as poor as some would make out.

During my photo gigs at live music, when I have time I do shoot mostly single song length.

While at a very dark jazz club I shot this clip (trumpeter on wah-wah - Miles Davis style) - I only have slow broadband internet connection so I apologize for the very short duration (22sec), and I also reduced it to 360p (with proportional reduction in bitrate) - but really this is more about the sound quality - original was 720p/30fps - conversion on audio was from AAC 128k 48khz to 128k MP3 44.1khz - so hopefully no loss in audio quality -
I am actually quite impressed that the Zx3 manage to capture this video at all - I have to shoot at ISO5000 at this venue and often light level in parts are actually below both the Auto Focus and metering limit of my dSLR.

anyway without further comments:

Direct Link to Video on PhotoBucket

or - (PhotoBucket doesn't seem to understand 16:9 aspect ratio in its thumbnail - but the video is in the correct ratio)

Last edited by UnknownVT; Apr 2, 2011 at 4:27 AM.
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