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Old Dec 21, 2005, 7:04 PM   #1
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First of all, a big hi to everyone. I'm new here, but totally obsessed with my new C6. As the birth of my first child approaches, I wanted to ditch my small but heavy JVC DV camcorder in favor of a flash-based version. Hence the C6. I've had mine for a few weeks now, and I love it! However, I shot some lower light indoor footage yesterday, and noticed how washed out the colors were. Then I noticed how much video noise there was. Not horrible, but not great. I then fired up the DMC-FX9 in movie mode as a test, and I was surprised: the video shot with the Panny was MUCH better than my C6! The colors weren't washed out, and and video was much crisper. Since both claimed 640x480 at 30fps, I set about trying to figure this out.

I noticed that the FX9 movies are recorded in Quicktime (.mov), while the C6 records in MPEG-4 (.mp4). The file sizes for comparable clips are much larger for the FX9, so I'm guessing there is less compression going on in the FX9. Also, a 1 GB card gives you only around 650 seconds of recording time in the FX9 vs. 41 minutes in the C6.

My questions is this: as card sizes increase, I would happily trade less recording time for higher quality video. I don't want to use the FX9 for video....no zoom, bad form factor to taking movies, and 10 minutes per GB is not quite acceptable. Are there any flash based camcorders like the C6 that record in less compressed Quicktime files like the FX9?

Thanks!
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Old Dec 21, 2005, 7:29 PM   #2
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The FX9 records in Motion JPEG, many other cameras do... As mentioneda fewtimes here previously, cameras like the Canon S2 IS will give you great photos, zoom and video, of course you will only be able to fit about 7 minutes per GB.

Now this "washed out colors" you are referring to, you wouldn't happen to be looking at your .MP4swith Quicktime for Windows would you? If so, just look at the thread in the Sanyo forum discussing this issue. Beyond that, quality issues aren't becausethe C6 is usingMPEG-4, it's because it's encoding MPEG-4 in real-time, which is very difficult. As camera processors become faster and encoding engines improve so will video quality.

If you want a "high-end" flash based camcorder then look at the Panasonic SDR-S100. 3CCD, OISand all the fixin's,recording about 20 minutesper 2GB (MPEG-2).
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Old Dec 21, 2005, 7:59 PM   #3
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I'm a Mac guy, so everything is viewed in Quicktime Pro 7.0.3 and iMovie HD 5.0.2. Which leads me to another point: the SDR-S100 records in MPEG-2, doesn't it? Can't use that footage in iMovie without a ton of converting that I don't want to do.

As for the washed out colors, it is only apparent indoors in lesser light. Not low light, but lesser light. In bright light it looks pretty good. Maybe I have the C6 set wrong.......I thought I just put it in "Automatic," but I've got a lot of learning to do with the settings. Maybe I'll post a couple of samples to show you guys what I mean.
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Old Dec 21, 2005, 8:28 PM   #4
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Does anyone know of any links to reviews for the Toshiba Gigashot V10 camera? This camera was introduced in October r but I can find no information except for the press releases? This camera is equipped with a 4G drive to take MPEG2 videos(480x640; 30fps) as well as pictures (5.2Mp). There are no posts here on Steves site nor other popular camera sistes. I'm especially interested in the specs for the Gigashot.
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Old Dec 21, 2005, 9:15 PM   #5
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Yeah, we've discussed the Gigashot V10 here before. There is a Japanese review of it where you can find sample videoshere and here, the samesite that hasa C6 reviewwith sample videos. If you compare their Gigashot videos with their C6 videos, you'll notice the Gigashot videos blurorget blocky as soon as there is movement. Also the Gigashot videos display pixel staircasing, whichmakes them look lower resolution than the C6's,but I suspect it's that the C6 does a better job anti-aliasing because of the 9-mixed pixels technology. Here is an example taken directly from those review videos, given similar video from the Gigashot and the C6 (full frames reduced to post here):


[align=center][/align]Herearesame size magnification zoomareas ofboth videos, untouched:


[align=center][/align]
[align=left]I'm not saying the Gigashot V10 isn't good quality, I'm just thinking that considering it consumes more than double the bit-rate (thus twice the file sizes) than the C6, is it worth it? And the 4GB microdrive must eat batteries faster, no? And wait, does the V10 even have any stabilisation?![/align]
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 1:43 AM   #6
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Interesting......the washed out indoor colors disappeared when I switched from "Auto" white balance to "Incandescent!" The colors now look very similar to the FX9.*I guess I assumed that Auto would take of my settings. Is this normal, or is something wrong with my Auto white balance?
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 6:34 AM   #7
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I don't have a C6 but looking at the C5 manual it originally says: "The camera automatically adjusts the white balance under most lighting conditions." But then in the troubleshooting section it says: Problem: "The colors of the images captured indoors are not correct", Cause: "The white balance setting is incorrect", Action: "Set the white balance setting correctly". SoI guessyou do need to set it manually under certain lighting conditions?
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 10:13 AM   #8
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Yes, the C6 manual still says this under "Troubleshooting." One of the great things about the C6 is that it's a quick point-and-shoot, especially when you keep it in Standby mode.....it's too bad that you have worry about where you are and set the white balance accordingly.
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 11:07 AM   #9
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Yes, as I stated in my initial review the auto white balance is a little off, maybe on the warmer (orange) side when indoors. If you change it to the preset indoors white balance, the video looks more natural, however, any stills you take indoors with this setting turn out too cool (blue). This is just something you have to remember while shooting.
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 2:12 PM   #10
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Andif the white balance is the last thing you set, pressing the Menu button takes you right back there, making quick white balance changes easy......a nice touch!
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