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Old Apr 29, 2008, 8:09 AM   #1
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I'm looking to record more video of my kids and we're trying to decide between buying a new point and shoot with video or getting a new point & shoot AND a separate camcorder. Thoughts? We don't want to spend a combined fortune but also don't want to compromise quality. We stopped using our old Sony Camcorder because it was too much to lug around tapes and the camera and batteries. Someone suggested looking at something like the new Nikon P80 but we're open to anything. Even though the alternative is a separate camcorder and point & shoot, my wife would prefer to not have a huge camera (we already have a Nikon D50)in case she just takes the camera with her.

Are there any cameras that shoot good quality video or arewe deluding ourselves?

Thanks.
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Old Apr 29, 2008, 12:53 PM   #2
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Really depends on your definition of "good". If you're demanding of both video and still images then buy two cameras, each optimized for the intended function.

Steve, in his reviews does include sample video clips from those capable of video so you can get an idea of the video capabilities of the P&S cameras that include a video function.
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Old Apr 29, 2008, 1:49 PM   #3
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I am not sure which digicams shoot the best video now, but for a long time the Canon S3 IS and S5IS have been touted for high quality video. They're not tiny, but they are a lot smaller and lighter than a D80.
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Old Apr 29, 2008, 5:27 PM   #4
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I am also thinking of buying good hybrid camera/camcorder with high quality, but problem is there are only few in the market. I just bought Aiptek AHD200 hybrid while ago but it has quite low quality in sound and bad rolling shutter effect without stabilizer and even camera features are lacking (no ISO/aperture/timing settings) so I am considering buying something better. I used to have Canon S2 IS, which was broken with lens error, maybe becouse I was taking skiing pictures in too harsh weather, Canon had good video but only VGA quality. I also don't want to mess with tapes, it is too tedious to rewind to find some clip you just filmed two days ago. Flash cards are more expensive but you don't need to rewind to search something, they are also smaller and more light weight than tapes. Tapes has one good advantage you can archive them easily, but copying them is really pain and you need to have camcorder with DV in. I have thinking buying one of these cameras/camcorders below. I already have Aiptek AHD 200 which is HD camera/camcorder so I would prefer HD quality in my next camera also.

* Casio EX-F1
+ two in one package
+ you can shoot like point and shoot camera and you have all camera settings
- if you take lots of video you need lots of big memory cards or laptop with you
- maybe you need good tripod or accessory grip to get good ergonomics when taking hours of video (I usually take 1-10 minutes video freehand at one time otherwise I always use tripod.)

* Canon HF100
+ excellent video
+ not made for taking pictures/ small flash and no usual camera settings (ISO/aperture/timing)
- shooting is always like camcorder
- if you take lots of video you need lots of big memory cards/laptop with you

Sony HDR-UX19E
+ excellent video
+ not made for taking pictures/ small flash and no usual camera settings (ISO/aperture/timing)
+ you can archive your HD videos to DVDs (not in DVD format)
- shooting is always like camcorder
- if you take lots of video you need lots of big memory cards/DVD's
- uses Sonys own flash cards ( down side if you already have lots of SD cards)

Canon Powershot S5 IS
+ cheap
+ two in one package
+ you can shoot like point and shoot camera and you have all camera settings
- only VGA quality video
- video takes lots of memory card space
- if you take lots of video you need lots of big memory cards/laptop with you

Kodak Z1285
+ cheap
+ two in one package
- no full HD quality
- needs docking station for HD video output
- not sold here


Casio is perhaps my first choice of these cameras/camcorders, becouse I need new digital camera which can also shoot video and prefarably HD quality video. Canon S5 IS is much cheaper but it is as bulky as Casio EX-F1 and doesn't offer much more than my previous camera Canon S2 IS. Then I am wondering what kind of lens structure there is in EX-F1, it looks solid just like in camcorders, I really don't want lens errors anymore, there will be always problems with extracting lenses and automatically sliding lens covers, I only need simple lens cap. I read from specifications that Casio can record about 40 minutes to 4GB memory card, that is about same as other full HD camcorders, Sony takes 3 hours to 16 GB memory card. How about if you need to film in bad weather and you sometimes accidentally drop your camera just like me. What I really need is shock and water proof HD camcorder/camera but there isn't any available yet. I wish Panasonic will expand their line of shock proof camcorders to HD also.
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Old Apr 30, 2008, 2:25 AM   #5
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The new Casio EX-F1 has to be the way to go if you really need a hybrid.
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