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Old Jul 7, 2007, 8:48 PM   #1
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I am looking to buy a new digital camera. Thetwo things I am looking for is the BEST video quality (most important)andportability. Any price... I would perfer under $400.

Thanks, I do appriciate any advice on this.

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Old Jul 8, 2007, 1:32 PM   #2
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Old Jul 8, 2007, 7:25 PM   #3
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The major problem here is that for most of us still pictures are the priority and videois a nice to have feature.

Check Steve's Best Camera list: http://www.steves-digicams.com/best_cameras.htmlor you might try asking the Hybrid forum: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...orum.php?id=92

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Old Jul 9, 2007, 9:27 AM   #4
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have you looked at the canon S3-IS? it has excellent video quality, is under $400 and i've noticed that most reviewers like it as do most people i know who have one.

good luck finding your camera!
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Old Jul 11, 2007, 5:37 PM   #5
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I too like the S3IS for video. I would look at the Panasonic FZ8 as well. Hard to miss with either one.
Both take the new SDHD cards, current up to 8GB but promising 32GB in the future.

Good shopping,

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Old Jul 13, 2007, 1:09 PM   #6
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BEST video quality (most important)andportability

Take a look at the "lesser" brand Sanyo Xacti series hybrid camera/ camcorder (use SD cards):


I have a C6 (now sold and replaced by) anda CG6, and I have played with the CA6 and CG65. All the "6" and E1 models use the same 6 MP sensor, and captures 640 x 480 pixel video resolution. The Xacti series use advanced MPEG4 video formats (MP4 and H.264) -the newest CG65/ E1 models use the latest H.264 format to make video of similar quality (so they claim) for smaller file size compared with older models. The HD series capture to HDTV (surprise, surprise) resolution. All Xacti series camcorders canoperate the optical zoom (not digital zoom)during vido recording. In the highest quality setting, the "6" series cameras can store up to 42 minutes of video on a 1 GBmemory card, much better than the video mode of most other digital cameras that use less efficient MJPEG video format (5-10 minutes).

In my opinion, the C6/CG6 models make good videos in bright light, better than VHS-C camcorders, andcomparable tolow-end miniDV camcorders. The videoalso performsdecently (I mean you can get a bright enough recording with some/ a lot ofnoise but enough details)in low light situation (see my sample clips below)

(C6, CA6 and CG6 low light comparison)


(CG6 and CG65 low light comparison)


The still picture quality is mediocre (poor light) to good (bright light), but not as good as major brands like Canon or Panasonic (the lens quality makes a lot of difference!) I only use this as a digital camcorder.

The price of the "6" series right now is under $400. In my opinion, this series of hybrid cameras has the best combination of value ($$) for video quality and portability. I must say the "video quality" is not top notch, but there are not many hybrid cameras with a small size that can produce such good quality video.


If you can afford more, definitely take a look at the Panasonic SD card camcorder (eg. SDR-S150, but you can probably still find the older models SDR-S100):


Leica lens, 3CCD sensor. Video quality is bright light is comparable to average consumer miniDV camcorders and definitely better than the Sanyo (see review below)

http://www.*********.com/d/Reviews&level_b=Camcorder&level_c=Panasoni c&level_d=SD.htm

NOTE: the word that got asterisked is

cam corder

(all three of the above in one word, without spaces)

(it seems that this is not a welcomed name in Steve's forum here, I wonder why???)

This camcorder uses MPEG-2 (DVD) video format, which means the file size is much larger - 25 minutes per 2 GB in the highest setting. Price is $600 +


A third option is another "lesser" brand hybrid camera/ camcorders - the newest Aiptek GO-HD hybrid has good review in the "hybrid" forum here:


Records in modern efficient MPEG4 format similar to the Sanyo, in HDTV resolution. 3X optical zoom (can operate during video). Users report very good video quality. This one won't break your bank (around $200).

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Old Jul 21, 2007, 12:29 AM   #7
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Based on your requirements I would recommend the Canon Powershot SD700 IS. It is utltra-compact, has had excellent reviews, takes outstanding video from my experience, and is within your price range. I have usedthe cameraextensively for videos the past several months withoutstandingresults -- the image quality is awesome. Although lackinga specialized video button and zoom while you film feature of my new Canon S5 IS it appears to prodcue equally good video PICS. Good luck.
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Old Jul 22, 2007, 1:19 PM   #8
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What's the purpose of this camera. As far as I know there are no digital cameras than are going to be as good as a dedicated camcorder. If high quality video is a prioity I would get a camcorder that can also take stills. I think the Panasonic GS series would be a good choice.

For cameras take a look at the Casio's like the EX-Z75. I have a friend with an older Casio and the video wasn't too bad. Casio Just announced two new "Youtube" ready cameras. The EX-S880 and EX-S77. It's part maketing hype but they do encode video in H.264 which is way better than the motion JPEG AVI format you see in a lot of digital cameras.

Another really cool device is the Flip Video, theflip.com
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 12:46 PM   #9
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The canon tx1 would have the best video performance but only for clips under 14 minutes and only with an 8gb SDHC class 6 card. The clips max out at 4gb but you might want room for pics. Price is around $450 now. It's small but check out the reviews to see if the odd camera format would bug you.

I decided against it due to the idiotic use of MJPEG for a video format but if all you want is short clips you would be fine and the caera is quite small. Most cameras are limited to 640x480 for video and those like the z8 that have 16:9 848x480 video don't let you use the zoom during video.

The canon tx1 can do longer video but the 14 minutes is for 1280x720 video and it does allow full use of the zoom during filming. The lens starts at 39mm so group shots will be very tough.
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