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Old Jul 22, 2007, 1:13 AM   #1
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Hi all, been quite confused the past month and I'm hoping some of the members can help out. I''ve been through a lot of the posts on the Sanyo Xacti's but theres still a few general questions I have which I'd like answers to in laymens terms.

I'm considering either the (Sanyo Xacti)CG65 / CA65, CG6 or HD2 and my main priority is video quality.
  • CG65/CA65: Other than the CA65 being waterproof, these are identical right? [/*]
  • How would video from this camera compare to video from a mini-dv camera? [/*]
  • How would it appear on a 42 inch plasma? (I tried this out at the store.... had the cg65 plugged into a plasma screen and the video filled up the entire screen. I had expected it to have vertical black bars on the side)[/*]
  • How would this 640x480 video differ from the 640x480 video of my Sony H5 whichI've found to be very noisy in low light. [/*]
  • Would this H.264 format be easy to transfer to a dvd and do dvd players generally recognize this format? If they don't recognize this format, does that mean that I should be considering the CG6 instead?
[/*]
  • HD2: I like the fact that this can film in widescreen mode (although if the cg 65 video fits completely on a widescreen tv then I don't see the difference). I've read reviews that said the low light ability of the HD2 isn't great. I'd be doing a lot of filming indoors and its not that bright....... would the HD2 be able to cope? How would it fare in comparison to the CG6/CG65/CA65? [/*]
  • How about camera shake? Is that an issue compared to the CG6/CG65/CA65?[/*]
Thanks in advancefor taking the time to read through my questions.
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Old Jul 23, 2007, 11:30 AM   #2
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St_Anger wrote:
Quote:
[...]
  1. CG65/CA65: Other than the CA65 being waterproof, these are identical right? [/*]
  2. How would video from this camera compare to video from a mini-dv camera? [/*]
  3. How would it appear on a 42 inch plasma? (I tried this out at the store.... had the cg65 plugged into a plasma screen and the video filled up the entire screen. I had expected it to have vertical black bars on the side) [/*]
  4. How would this 640x480 video differ from the 640x480 video of my Sony H5 whichI've found to be very noisy in low light. [/*]
  5. Would this H.264 format be easy to transfer to a dvd and do dvd players generally recognize this format? If they don't recognize this format, does that mean that I should be considering the CG6 instead?
    [/*]
  6. HD2: I like the fact that this can film in widescreen mode (although if the cg 65 video fits completely on a widescreen tv then I don't see the difference). I've read reviews that said the low light ability of the HD2 isn't great. I'd be doing a lot of filming indoors and its not that bright....... would the HD2 be able to cope? How would it fare in comparison to the CG6/CG65/CA65? [/*]
  7. How about camera shake? Is that an issue compared to the CG6/CG65/CA65?
[...]
[/*]
A quick stab at these:

1: Internally they are similar in terms of specs and technology but they are physically very different and this does make their functionality different. For example, due to the waterproofing the E1/CA65 is larger (192cc vs 144cc for the CG65), access to the battery and ports is different, no lens cap and the audio may be different (due to the waterproof seal).

2: Depends on the mini-dv camera, really. But don't expect the video from these cameras to compete with a good mini-dv camera. The advantages over a mini-dv are that you get true high-megapixel digicam (hybrid) functionality, ultra-compactness and random access, solid state (no moving parts) recording medium (SD cards). Of course the HD2 also has the advantage of recording high-definition video.

3: Since theCG65 camera only outputs composite video, the quality on your 42" will be limited to the best composite video can handle, which isequal toa clearstandard definitionTV broadcast. The HD2 outputs a high-definition HDMI signal so it will appear much better on a 42" plasma, assuming it has HDMI input.Althoughusing a Media PC digitally connected to a 42" you could get good results from playback of the CG65's MP4 files. But only the HD series record and playback in 16:9 (widescreen). The others, like the CG65 only record in 4:3 (fullscreen). Many16:9 TVs today have a "smart zoom" feature that allows a 4:3 image to be expanded to 16:9, butit causesdistortion or image loss to occur at the edges, it's never a true representation of the original. The TV at the store you saw probably was in zoom mode.

4: The Sony H5recordsvideo using the MPEG-1 codec, which is an older,much less efficient and lower quality codec than the MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) codec used by the latest Xactis. That being said, noise in low light is mostly caused by the sensor and the Xacti's only real advantage here is the video pixel-mixing feature. The CG65does 9 pixel mixing (3x3 sensor pixels = 1 video pixel), I'm not sure about the HD series, but itcannot mixas manypixels and therefore does not perform quite as well in low light. But don't expect noise free recording in very low light, these are still cameras with sensors. But it should be an improvement over the H5.

5: Most DVD players onlyplayback MPEG-2 video formatted for DVD players.Few can play MPEG-4. Bottom line, if you want to makeDVD videos that anyone can play you will always need to convert your videos takenwith the Xactis. How easy this process is simply depends on your software, or you could use a DVD recorder. The Xactis come with software that does this, but notfull video editing suites.

6: see point 4.

7:Because the Xactis are all light ultra-compacts, it's easy to shake the cameras too much. The built-in digital stabilization is really only good for holding a fixed steady shot, not really to prevent true "shake". You need to hold the cameras steady to get good video, but this applies to all cameras.
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 3:16 AM   #3
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Caelum,

Thanks for addressing each one of my questions. I especially hadn't thought about the TV in the store being in zoom mode .........

This is all very useful input. (I've always felt that my mini dv was quite competent.) Based on the feedback, i'd say that the xacti will serve its purpose though as a camera that I can carry with me wherever I go. I'll have to hold the E1 myself to see if it will be too much larger than the cg65 for my liking. Can't wait to get my hands on one next week. Theres also very few pictures that show what it looks like from the battery compartment side.

Thanks again
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