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Old Oct 31, 2005, 5:12 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I have had a D490Zoom for about 3 years. I find photos fine but my videos are very poor quality even at best setting on this model- 320-240 and 15 FPS.

The videos are very grainy and edgesnot smooth. The same applies to continuous shooting mode photos

I was not sure if this applied generally to all digicams but I recently compared my videos with those on a friend's Cannon ( 3M ) and his were very much superior.

Are Olympus Digicam videos generally very poor ? Is is it just that model or is it just my camera.

I would appreciate other users comments, particularly of this model.

Thanks Phil

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Old Nov 1, 2005, 8:10 PM   #2
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No expert on these matters - however here's my 2 cents worth, your D490Zoom is only 1.9Mp and when you use continuous shooting mode it probably shoots in 640x480 resolution which is only about 1/3 Mp (307200 Pixels)so they will of lesser quality.

As for movies the main problem is again resolution 320x240 is only 76800 pixels and the next limiting factor is 15fps you need 30fps to get smooth video.

Your friends Canon may shoot at 30fps - you didn't give a model so we could check.

I have an Oly C760UZ 3MP it will take video at 640x480 resolution but at only 15fps and it is not all that great mainly the jerky movement - the next model up will take at 30fps and is supposed to be equal to a video camera.

Hope this helps!

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Old Nov 2, 2005, 10:04 AM   #3
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Hi Max

Thanks for your interest.

I have now done further tests and comparison's with my friend's Canon Ixux (3 MPixel ) digicam. Thanks Ted for your help.

Although both his and mine use a 15sec Frame Rate, he can use 640x420 as well as 2 lower resolutions. My max is 320x240. So, we have now compared virtual identical scenes at 320x240 and also with his better 640x480. I have just discovered Virtualdub and used it to extract and examine frames. Frames with a uniform blue kitchen unit door were very revealing.

Firstly, the 640x480 resolution on his has a very substantial benefit.

However, when we compare results both using 320x240 there seems to be another important factor. In my frames there are noticable "blocky" effects and I feel certain that these must cause the "mottled effect" in my videos. Presumably these must be due to the compressionalgorithms used.

Bothour cameras apparently use Motion JPG. However, using GSPOT to identify his Codec, it also says "...including Huffman Tables", which I guess effectively eliminates the blocky compression.

I am new to this forum and am unsure how to post an image showing my blocky frames but this is probably not necessary now.


PS I am going to post elsewhere ( Digicam Help ) to request help in selecting a new camera, which does not have this drawback.

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Old Nov 5, 2005, 6:40 AM   #4
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Perhaps I should wind up this thread myself with something of an apology for my original post.

After lots of investigation I have come to the conclusion that the problem with my camera w.r.t. video is its age - not very old compared to me but pretty old in digicam terms. I have discovered that things have moved on substantially over the last 4 years and perhaps the video quality on my old Oly 490Z was in keepig with others of its age.

I think the "Still" quality is still fine and the max resolution of 1600x1200 quite sufficient for most purposes.

However, I think I will treat myself so something which will give much better video.

Another Olympus ( the C-700 ) is a possibility and is attractive from its MP4 facility but the sample movies I have seen in MP4 mode look a bit "greyish". The MOV ones look OK but so do theAVI onesfrom a Fuji S7000, which I can buy in the UK quite a bit more cheaply.

My old 490Z might (?) be appreciated by one of my sons, who has a freebie digicam with max resolution of 640x480. It is surpring however what reasonable results can be achieved with that, especially in combination with PSP9 to enhance photos.

This has been an interesting exercise andI have learned a lot about this excellent site.

Cheers Phil

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