Steve's Digicams Forums

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-   What Camera Should I Buy? (
-   -   [Recovered Thread: 33736] (

labmax Aug 29, 2004 8:45 PM

Ive seen afew duel digital cameras and camcorders. The option to take both stills or movies with one piece of equipment would be nice. They dont seem to be real popular though, are they any good for both stills and video? do they do a good job of both? can anyone recommend them, or a certain make/model......thank you

Aug 29, 2004 10:14 PM

Almost all digital camcorders will allow you to make still images if you want. However, they are not very good still images. Some digital cameras will allow you to make short movies too...but they are not as good as a digital camcorder. Each does a speciality function & is optimized for that function.

Beverly W Aug 30, 2004 1:57 PM

I agree with Kalypso that camcorders and digital cameras each are best at doing what they are designed for. In the ideal world you would have the perfect camcorder and the perfect camera and use them each for what they were mainly designed for. Every month the difference between the best camcorders and the best cameras doing a good job in the others field is getting better (to the point where many people won't notice the difference). For me I know that I will only carry one small, light weight devise with me at a time, so finding the one best devise has sort of become a hobby for me.

Some devises are much better than others at multitasking. In the cameras that can do movies category, I recommend looking at the cameras that can do 640x480 videos at 30 fps. If you get below 24 fps, the movies start to look too choppy. You have to decide what your priorities are. If you decide to go with a camera that can do high quality videos, I have started a thread that gives some info on all 30fps 640x480 video capable cameras. That thread also contains several links to sites that reviews camcorders.

Beverly W Aug 30, 2004 2:27 PM

labmax wrote:

....can anyone recommend them, or a certain make/model......thank you
I failed to mention in my last posting to you that I can definately recommend using the better of the hybrids. I have a stand alone camera, a old VHS camcorder and a camera that does 30 fps videos and it is the last one that is always being used since it is always with me. However I am always on the look out for something better.

Before anyone can make any sound recommendations, you need to tell us what your priorities are. What type of pictures do you take (landscapes, sports pictures, indoor groop pictures, low lighting pictures, etc)? What size prints? What is your megapixel preference? Price range? Ideal camera size? You previous experience using cameras and camcorders, etc.

One additional consideration is how you are going to view your pictures and videos. Many older computers can't handle some demands put on them for higher quality videos. You need lots of processing power and hard disk space. You also have to have a good video graphics card with up to date drivers. If your computer isn't up to it, the higher quality videos will actually look worse on your computer than the lower quality videos. I'm not someone that can tell you any more than that regarding the computer side however. Just something to keep in mind.

labmax Aug 30, 2004 9:06 PM

Thank you both. i guess i was expecting to much from the "hybirds". so now i will stick with a digital camera thats capable of at least 24fps for video.
I used to take alot of film pixs (canon AE-1)
Ive had a Sipix SC-1300 (sad,yes thats 1.3) for several years
iam very familiar with computers and capturing video
i would take mostly landscape/group pixs,indoor/outdoor
and of course short mpegs
standard size prints,nothing big
at least 3 megapixels
price 250-350
i was going to stick with Canon brand simply because i liked the AE-1 i used to use. (i was considering the Canon Powershot 75, but its only capable of about 15fps).
I will follow the link you provided and keep looking, thanks again......

Beverly W Aug 30, 2004 11:07 PM

I really am not familiar with either camera you mentioned, however it doesn't sound like size and weight are a factor. With the type of pictures you take, you probably are best off with something that can do the wide angle range well (i.e. 35mm or less). However most of the digital cameras start at 38mm.

I forgot to ask what country you live in. Some very nice cameras are not available in some regions of the world. Japan gets the best selection, followed by Europe. I mainly know those cameras available in the USA. I am guessing you are in the USA since you get a price range in $.

Two extremely new cameras that might interest you are the Sony DSC-L1 (however it has no viewfinder) and the Fuji E550 (however the 6MP picture might be sharper than the 12MP pictures). Don't know much about them yet since there are no reviews for them yet. However both have an extremely nice wide angle starting points.

One of those cameras starting at 38mm that I wouldn't rule out is the Canon Powershot S1 IS since it has one of the best video modes (a few possibly better, but not in your price range) and great overall camera (for a 3.34MP camera). That high quality video comes at the price of using up more storage space than other simular cameras. Setting this camera apart from all the other camera in your price range is the image stablization and the quiet zoom that can be used in the video mode. It also has a huge zoom range, but this is something that is not neccessarily good if you would never use it. In general, the larger the zoom range, the lower quality picture you will get. This camera does have an available wide angle lense that you could eventually buy, but it will run you $140 or more.

The Minolta Z series also looks good on paper (Z10, Z1 and Z2 in your price range, Z3 really nice but too expensive for you)

I would avoid the Kyocera S5R despite having the 640x480 video at 30 fps since Steve thought the video was really poor quality.

Beverly W Aug 30, 2004 11:45 PM

I just did a quick check of the camcorders and couldn't find any that I could recommend with your requirements (combination price and minimum of 3MP). Actually I'm not sure if there is any at all that fit those two limitations. If you change either of these requirements, then I might have some recommendations in that area too.

Beverly W Aug 31, 2004 9:15 AM

I forgot to mention one MAJOR shortcoming of the videos you can take with a camera. You need to buy huge high speed memory cards to get a few minutes of video. If you need to tape anything longer (like a kid's concert) you will need a real camcorder.

labmax Sep 1, 2004 7:20 PM


ok, i was expecting to much from hybirds (maybe afew more years) i will go with a digital camera with these options:

3-4 megapixels
video @ 30fps
>3X zoom ok, but with "stabilization"
size and weight not important
range: $300-450

question: at what zoom is a tripod recommended, i assume built in stabilization replaces the need for a tripod?

looking at the Canon Powershot S1 IS right now, any recommendations for other similar makes/models will be appreciated.

propwash Sep 1, 2004 8:39 PM

If you stay with 3x optical zoom, you probably won't need stabilization. The Canon S1 IS has the stabilization because it has 10x optical zoom. It might be a little overkill for your needs, but it should be a good choice.

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