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Old Jul 11, 2006, 12:27 PM   #1
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Now that 640x480/30fps movie mode is becoming more common on Digital Cameras, what is the advantage now of getting a hybrid? Especially when cameras such as the Casio EX-Z60 which can be had for not a lot more than a cheap hybrid can also record MPEG4 640x480/30fps unlimited length movies. It even has image stabilisation plus it a CCD whereas most cheap hybrids have CMOS which helps in poor light situations. It is only when you get to models similar to the Sanyo Xacti range that they have CCD's.

Just wondering what peoples thoughts on this are.
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 2:22 PM   #2
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Well, the hybrids still offer the MP3 feature that none of the regular digital cameras do except for the Samsung i6. And some, like the MPVR, are able to record directly from the TV/VCR/DVD for playback later. Those two things are the main reason I wanted a hybrid rather than a regular camera.
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 4:43 PM   #3
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I was thinking in the sense of photography and video. I consider the other features such as mp3 gimmicks really.
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 5:41 PM   #4
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A traditional digital camera will probably always take better photos in comparison to a typical hybid. But I've heard that hybrids have better quality video than a lot of digital cameras on the market. A lot of the cameras now have video clips, but many still can't compete in frames per second and audio capabilities of the hybrids, although a lot are catching up lately. Still love my hybrid, though. I've heard it compared to a swiss army knife of technology. If I was serious about super high quality photography, I'd get a traditional camera, and for videos, a minidv recorder. But I just want basic quality amatuer for both with additional fun features, instead of lugging around a whole bunch ofstuff; mp3 player, camera, video recorder, audio recorder, VCR... I have it all in one little package and the cost is very, very reasonable for the quality, as in the MPVR.
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 7:06 PM   #5
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raerae. I agree with you all the way

Just have to say

vaca or work.

I carry a major camera a desposable, and a aps as well a underwater desposable.

Now I carry a hybrid, a digital camera, a aps

When I wen taway for work , I have carried 3 of my hybrids and my digital, left the aps home,

Bikedaround all over instead of MP3 or radio i taken in the scenery andsounds ove blaring or repeated music.

Battery life is most important on nay hybrid to listen to the mp3 and "hey lets get that on vid pooped batteries.

Now I have a amcorder a hybrid a digital camera to lug

yes I will lug my hybrid for quick shots and video on the go. and grab vid from the home camcorder

It is a hard choice to decide what is best suited in hybrids. I rather spend and carry a few extra neccesseties over one thatmay fail and have back up.


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Old Jul 11, 2006, 8:46 PM   #6
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I bought a digital camera last week. I did a lot of research and ended up purchasing a Panasonic TZ-1. I got it for around $320 at the local Circuit City.
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/pa...mc_tz1-review/
You can find some incredible stills here:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/tz1/

The quality is many, many times better than the Aiptek MPVR that I was using previously.

It records video at 848x480 (16:9) 30 FPS. It writes to a .MOV file using MJPEG compression. So the file size is huge since that codec doesn't compress much. On a 2 GB card, I can fit about 20 minutes of video. This can be a bit of a problem but I have 2 2GB cards so I can shoot about 40 minutes of video in one outing.
It also has 10x optical zoom and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). This is huge. I don't think I will ever buy another camera unless it has OIS. I never take a bad shot and it's especially nice when shooting video. The low light performance is much better than the Aiptek but still not that great compared to normal camcorders.
The physical size isn't all that bad either. It's the 2nd smallest 10x optical zoom camera on the market. It can definitely fit in your pocket. It still has moving parts so it's not something I would take to the beach. I'll still use my MPVR when I go fishing.
One thing I like about the MPVR is the how it's designed. It doesn't look like a digital camera. You can use both hands to take footage and having the swivel LCD screen helps a lot.

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Old Jul 11, 2006, 10:44 PM   #7
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Rodfather,

I have been looking at the Panasonic Lumix cameras for a while and have been reading how well thought off they are especially with that OIS 12x zoom. I had a look at the FZ7 in Circuit city. Gorgeous camera for the price. I can't believe how cheap digital cameras are becoming. It wasn't that long ago I paid more for my Minolta F300! It would be fantastic at our local wildlife refuge with that zoom.

The only thing that put me off was the lack of MPEG4 recording. If it had MPEG4 instead of the usual MJPEG then I'd have probably bought it then and there!
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 11:59 PM   #8
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This issue has been well covered in other topics here, and it is a good question.

Hybrids with CCD sensors can be had for between $100 and $150. My latest hybrid, the Digilife DDV-920 has CCD. But CCD comes with problems that make it a mixed blessing: the vertical bleeding from bright subject matter, and light flashes from reflections.

Hybrids continue to have a big edge on equivalent digital still cameras for versatility. The pivot/rotate screens are missing from equivalent dsc's, and that feature also protects the screen when not in use. They can be used either right- or left-handed. Many of the relatively cheap hybrids have, besides mp3 players: remote controls, video image stabilization, and video-in ports. Dsc's rarely have those features. On the other hand, the hybrids are just getting around to featuring optical zooms, and I think their tiny lenses are liabilities as they expose the center of images far more than the corners.

Dsc's without Mpeg4 compression use up memory so fast they're useless, and some have other problems like exposure issues in video mode.

Cheap hybrids are appealing to more and more people. The other day, a flyer came to the door for a local high-tech superstore. To my amazement, it has a version of the Digilife DDV-720, which has been on the market for 1.5 years.

That said, I expect to have my Samsung i6 in a couple of weeks, and I look forward to reporting if it was worth the extra money compared to the Digilife hybrids. Oddly, the i6 looks like much better value than Samsung's Miniket hybrids.

Soon, expect to see the hybrids get optical zooms and move up to higher resolution than 640x480.

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Old Jul 12, 2006, 1:18 AM   #9
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The problem with hybrids at the moment is that the pace of change is much slower than digital cameras at the moment but I am sure this will speed up as they get better and more mainstream.

Currently hybrids are looked down upon as mere toys but they already have the same memory capacity for recording as a MiniDVD recorder, but then they are also looked down upon.

I would rather see the optics improve first rather than higher resolutions as 640x480/30fps is already good enough for most purposes and they are already moving towards DVD standard of 720x640 so I don't see the need for anything higher on a TV. Often when they first introduce a higher resolution video capability it seems to be at the expense of framerate. This can be seen in the Canon S80, which has a new XVGA movie mode but at 15fps. We put up with 15fps in the past as a trade off for expensive flash memory but now it is cheap.

We need cheaper hybrids with a proper autofocus lens rather than fixed focus as this makes a big difference in the clarity of the image. Aiptek seem to be the first so far for fixing my other want, that is adding an LED video light. While this isn't sufficient for proper low light video recording, it may be enough for close ups which is better than nothing and you can't expect a powerful lamp in a small lower power device anyway. After all even miniDV camcorders only have LED lamps these days.
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Old Jul 12, 2006, 5:55 AM   #10
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I don't mind that my camera records using MJPEG. I'd rather have a cleaner image with less compression artifacts than MPEG4. But if it used the MPEG4 h264 codec, that's a whole different story.
IMO, the MP3 player, video recorder, and video player in hybrids are just throw-in features. I will never use them. I would use my computer's TV tuner to record video and use my MP3 player to play MP3's/DRM tracks and play video.
As for the image stabilization in my MPVR.. it's total crap. I would never turn that on. The image ends up looking wobbly as if I've smoked 3 joints. Night mode reduces the framerate to a crawl and ends up producing video with too much noise. It just seems like whoever wrote the firmware is pushing the chip way too far for what it is.

As I've said in earlier posts, hybrids are great because they are dirt cheap and allows you to beat them up and take everywhere. Being able to capture a piece of history in an instant just because you had the camera with you is priceless. I have absolutely no problem letting little children run off with it. In fact, I had a 2 year old run around and take pictures. I even let a young down syndrome kid run around and have fun with it, taking photos of everyone.

Just don't expect them to be the holy grail. You won't get spectacular quality footage but you will get decent footage in ideal situations (sunny/outside). I only paid $88 for mine and I don't regret it for one second. It's a blast to use.

But if you want quality, get a real digicam.

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