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Old Apr 20, 2007, 3:10 PM   #1
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I'm new to this forum and I would appreciate any opinion that would help resolve my query.

I'm interested in a digital camera which will offer me decent still AND video pictures. My options are restricted to $200-$300.

I am interested in the Samsung L60 or S850cameras as they feature MPEG-4 quality video clips,as a result of which, lengthy video clips can be recorded on comparatively shortermemory space that other formats offered in other cameras.

Now, howis the quality of video clips available on the MPEG-4 format?Are they sufficiently clear enough to be viewed on a 21"-29" TV? If the quality is below average, can one improve the quality of MPEG-4 video clips using some software?

Can someone tell me if MPEG-4 is a preferable format or should I switch to another format, as offered by other camera manufacturers. Any reference material on this would be gladly appreciated.

Please let me know as soon as possible as I'm planning to buy a camera in the near future.

Many thanks,

Melvyn

Goa-India
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Old Apr 21, 2007, 2:27 AM   #2
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Usually the mpeg4 videos are worse than the usual mjpeg videos. Because I convert my videos later to DivX I prefer mjpeg.
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Old Apr 21, 2007, 6:53 AM   #3
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Many thanks for your reply. But is it possible for me to convert MPEG4 to another format (thereby increasing its quality) by using some software?

Melvyn


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Old Apr 21, 2007, 10:07 AM   #4
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Most MPEG4 cameras take very good movies if you use best quality. Some of the Kodaks were exceptions but I don't know whether they are still applying too much aliasing correction or whatever was causing their problem. I have a Casio with MPEG4 and they look quite good on my large HDTV.

Once you have image quality loss due to compression artifacts or just reduced size you can't get that quality back by converting to a higher quality format or increasing the size. But if you shoot at full size and best quality I don't think you will find problems with the movies on most MPEG4 cameras.

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Old Apr 21, 2007, 10:25 AM   #5
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Thanks, Slipe, for your informative reply. I'm planning to buy the Samsung S850 digital camera, which claims to offer video clips ata maximumquality of 800x590 @ 20 fps. Would this be considered a sufficiently high quality to ensure good movies on a 21"-29" standard CRT television? Is your Casiocapturing movie clipsat 800x600 @ 20fps resolution or is it the standard 640x480 @30 fps?

The main reason why I'm drawn to a MPEG-4 video clip format is because of the low memory space it needs to capture moving images. I was initially interested in the Canon A 570, but I read that it can record only 8 minutes of high quality moving images on a 1 GB SD card. Contrast it to the S850 which records about 8 minutes of high quality moving images on a256 MB SD card.

Many thanks once again for your take on the MPEG-4 format.

Melvyn
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Old Apr 21, 2007, 2:07 PM   #6
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My Casio is two years old and takes only 640 X 480 @ 30fps.

There are several newer small cameras that take larger wide format movies at 30fps. Download some of the 20fps movies and see if they are appropriate for you. I find them a little jerky.

I personally don't see enough difference between well executed MPEG4 and uncompressed formats to compensate for the space used.

One thing I really like about the Casio cameras with decent compression is the past movie mode. You aim the camera and wait for something worth filming to happen. When it does you start recording and it includes the previous 5 seconds from the buffer. So you don't have to grind away waiting for the kid to do the cute thing again or the fish to jump. It saves a lot of editing and card space. Not all Casio cameras have the past movie mode – just those with MPEG4 or greater compression.

Samsung makes decent cameras. Displayed on a wide screen you wouldn't get that much more movie pixels than the wide 848 X 480 Casios. But if you want to display in a standard 4:3 TV you will get better quality, albeit with more jerkiness. The 5X zoom is great for the price range and I like that they went with a 1/1.8 sensor. Too bad they didn't stick with the 7Mp 1/1.8 sensor – it is a better sensor for both stills and movies.

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Old Apr 21, 2007, 2:41 PM   #7
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Thanks again, Slipe. For some time, I did consider a Casio digital camera -- specially the EX-S600 --but didn't pursue the matter simply because I am reluctant to purchase a camera that is not powered by the readily available and economically priced AA batteries. Hence, I had shortlisted the Canon A 570 and the Samsung S850.

But the "Past Movie" mode is, indeed, an interesting option in your Casio, just as the "Photo stitch"facilityoffered by Canon. I suppose every camera manufacturer will include a special -- if not unique -- feature to make their cameras special. If wishes were horses, I would have had a suitcase fillwed with a dozen cameras of different shapes and sizes.

Thanks again.

Melvyn
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Old Apr 22, 2007, 8:08 PM   #8
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misquitas wrote:
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Many thanks for your reply. But is it possible for me to convert MPEG4 to another format (thereby increasing its quality) by using some software?

Melvyn

Yes, it is possible. The doom9 forum is a good address for such questions.
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Old Apr 23, 2007, 12:44 AM   #9
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Thanks, Kassandro, for your post. will check up the doom9 forum as soon as possible.

Regards,

Melvyn
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Old Apr 23, 2007, 2:48 AM   #10
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misquitas wrote:
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But is it possible for me to convert MPEG4 to another format (thereby increasing its quality) by using some software?

Melvyn
To convert is no problem at all, but the quality can not be increased. When you convert the MPEG4 quality will allways at least slightly decrease.....

Rudo
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