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joejany Jun 20, 2006 10:11 PM

I want a 12x zoom camera that would take decent short video as well. Reviews indicate that the Canon S2 IS does this very well. How about the Kodak P850, the Panasonic FZ3, FZ5, or F27, or the Sony H2?

rfortson Jun 26, 2006 11:35 AM

I own the Canon S1 IS and the Kodak P850. I can't comment on the others. One of the features I wanted in my camerawas good video. I think the Canon S1 has a little better video than the Kodak simply because it's slightly less compressed. However, the P850 video is still good. I believe the Canon S2 has the same general video that the S1 has, so you shouldn't be dissappointed.

One plus about the Kodak video being a little more compressed is that you don't need a high-speed card to capture it like you do with the Canons, so you can use cheaper cards that are easier to find. The Canon requires high speed cards or it will stop capturing once the buffer fills up. Whichever camera you pick, make sure of the write speed of the cards you'll need with it or you may run into problems with video capture.

Also, format of the video is something to consider. The Kodak uses a Quicktime format (which I don't really like), but I can edit it with Adobe Premiere Elements, so it was okay. The Canon saved it in an AVI file that could be edited with Windows Movie Maker (included free with Windows XP). Whatever the format you choose, you'll need some software to edit it.

Good luck!


slipe Jun 26, 2006 2:04 PM

The S2 has wind buffered stereo mics. I'm not sure stereo sound is that big a deal to most people, but wind noise can be a nuisance.

Clashman Jun 26, 2006 5:44 PM

I don't know about the S2, but what I've been reading about the S3 indicates that the highest quality settings eat up about 2 mb per second, and if that's the case with the S2, you might want to consider that if you are going to be shooting large amounts of video.

Also, the newer Kodaks, (the V610, Z612, and the forthcoming p712), are supposed to feature MPEG recording, and at least the Z612 also features stereo mics, although it also reportedly creates noise when the zoom is being used in movie mode.

joejany Jun 29, 2006 8:36 PM

Thanks for the advice

joejany Jun 29, 2006 8:37 PM

My main aim is to shoot pictures of people skiing. As long as the wind doesn't drown out my comments, I can live with it.

Clashman Jun 30, 2006 3:59 AM

If you are going to be doing sports, the Canon is probably your best bet. I've seen it reported in a few places that the Kodak loses focus when zooming, and if you are going for sports, that could be a problem. The only problem with the Canon is that it eats space like no tomorrow. Around 2mb/sec at high quality settings. The Sony H2 is supposed to be decent as well, although that requires Memory Stick Duo for the highest settings.

DigitalNewbie Jul 1, 2006 1:06 AM

Clashman wrote:

<snip> The only problem with the Canon is that it eats space like no tomorrow. Around 2mb/sec at high quality settings. <snip>
The Canon S2is DOES consume a lot of memory for movies, but it does a good job, and has excellent stereo sound. Maximum movie length is 1GB, which is just under 8 minutes at max. resolution (640x480 @ 30fps). Maximum time is over an hour (just under 72 minutes) at minimum resolution (320x240 @ 15fps). Runtime can be increased slightly by lowering audio quality. Here are the times for my specific memory cards:

On my S2 IS, only my hi-speed cards (512MB SanDisk ultra II and 256MB Transcend 80x) can shoot movies at 640x480 30fps until the card is full, but even my slower cards can do so at 640x480 15fps. Likewise, my slower cards display the 'buffer warning' icon after a dozen (?) or so shots in hi-speed burst mode, but my hi-speed cards cards can shoot in HSBM until they're full.

DigitalNewbie Jul 1, 2006 1:16 AM

DigitalNewbie wrote:


<snip> Maximum time is over an hour (just under 72 minutes) at minimum resolution (320x240 @ 15fps). <snip>

OOPS! :?Cut that in half -- I meant to say just under 36 minutes at min rez. Sorry!

zygh Jul 2, 2006 9:05 AM

joejany, you may know it already but there is no dSLR that has movie capability. And besides, none of the cams you quoted above are dSLRs anyway... :?

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