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Old Mar 1, 2005, 10:41 PM   #181
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madmaxmedia,

C4 has two settings for recording video at VGA resolution.

The better one is called TV-SHQ. It outputs MPEG4 stream at 3 megabit per second, or about 375 KB per second. A 1GB SD card can store about 40 minutes of video at this setting. The quality is roughly equivalent to a medium bitrate DVD MPEG2 around 5 to 7 megabit per second.

The other setting is called TV-HQ. The output MPEG stream is 2 megabit per second, and about 1 hour of video can be recorded on a 1GB SD card. This setting can also deliver good quality but is prone to blocking when there is fast action on screen. The quality is comparable to low bitrate DVD MPEG2 at about 3 to 5 megabit per second or Hi8 video.

For my needs, the video C4 records are good enough. Sufficient for mastering to DVD-R, and the bundled software makes it very easy. I have used my C4 at TV-HQ to record an hour-long seminar, transferred it to a DVD and distributed it among my colleagues. They were very happy with the quality and content.

For comparison, DV camcorders recording quality is roughly equal or better than high bitrate DVD MPEG2 at 9 megabit. The tradeoff is the file size as you have mentioned.

My criteria when I got the C4 are small size, good still and video quality and tapeless operation. The camera has met every expectation. If your requirements are similar, then I think the camera will do very well for you.
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Old Mar 2, 2005, 12:17 PM   #182
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Thanks for the info-

I will definitely be looking out for this camera. Perhaps after the C5 is available, the C4 will go down in price.

For the time being I will use my new Nikon 3700, which as I mentioned is only $115 after rebate. I'm sure I'll be able to sell it later for more anyways.

EDIT- I have done some basic tsting with the Nikon 3700, and am sufficiently pleased. I am guessing that the video quality is very similar to the Canon SD cameras (which I got good results burning to DVD.) The data rate is about 1 MB per second of video.

PS- Can you hear the lens when it autofocuses or zooms during movies? I saw a sample clip, and didn't notice any significant noise interference.

Thanks!
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Old Mar 3, 2005, 11:40 AM   #183
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If the price history in the Japanese market is any indication, the C4 price is fairly consistent. The price has been at about 40,000 jpy or $370 usd since January, and the grey market importers--like the ones on e-bay--are selling at this price.

My C4 makes almost no sound. The focus mechanism is practically noiseless. The already quiet zoom motor is slowed down during videoing to further reduce noise and make the effect smoother. Additionally, there is a setting in software to reduce wind noise picked up by the microphones. I leave it on since it seems to help reducing the overall noise.
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Old Mar 11, 2005, 3:54 PM   #184
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Hi guys, my first post to these forums.

What do you guys think of the difference between the video quality of these two cameras, the Sony p150 and the Minolta z5. Both are 640x480 30 fps, the z5 uses .Mov and the Sony .mpg. To me the Sony one looks a lot better in both image quality (seems sharper)and smoothness of frames, even though reports say that the sony uses a lower resolution interpolated up to 640x. It still seems to look a lot better even though the bitrate appears to be similar if you compare the filesizes by the seconds of video. The bitrate of the z5's movs appear to be just over 1mbps but I don't know what the sony one is. The z5 seems very jerky when playing back the video, though this might just be my old PC. Might be different for you guys? These 2 cameras are completely different and I understand the benefits of both, cheaper cards for the minolta and zooming during video etc. So leaving all that aside what do you think of just the quality of videos. Incidentaly the new Casio 505 can do what the call 'DVD quality' at over 4 mbps in mpeg4.

Anyway, heres links to 2 video from the sony, these are big files so hopefully you may have downloaded them already at some stage in your search for quality video.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_...s/mov00127.mpg
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/so...w/MOV00027.MPG

And heres 2 from the Minolta, the first is from the z5 and the second from the z3 which I think use the exact same system anyway:

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/mi...w/PICT0060.MOV
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_...s/pict0038.mov
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Old Mar 11, 2005, 4:35 PM   #185
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After further testing, I think the Nikon 3700 is not quite as good as the Canon SD200. The color is not as rich, and the sound is definitely not as good. Still great for the price, but I willl probably pick up an actual camcorder at some point.
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Old Mar 11, 2005, 5:06 PM   #186
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Those aren't real movies,THIS! is a movie: http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/fu...w/DSCF2305.AVI

Better even then the S1 IS, which is still better then the Sony P150, or Z3, from my own personal head, to head, test against an S1 IS.
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 8:54 PM   #187
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Beverly, you mentioned earliersome doubt about the Minolta Z1's ability to record 640X480 at 30 FPS, in .MOV format...it does. Or at least mine did until I dropped it in a creek last week. It no longer records anything. For its replacement I'm going to get the new Canon SD400 which sounds pretty good. I found the Minolta a nice camera but I wished for the "shirt-pocket" size after hauling it to a few events. Only question about the Canon is its AVI movie format, this might prove to be a bit of a space hog on the card. Your reasons for wanting a decent still camera that can do 640x480 vidsare the same as mine, I soon tired of carrying two camera bags around..maybe I'm just lazy but I findthe 640 vids are fine for most family-type occasions. ( The attachment shows the lamented Minolta's Waterloo.)

Jim
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Old Mar 22, 2005, 11:55 PM   #188
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madmaxmedia wrote:
Quote:
One interesting technical tidbit I learned today was about the MJPEG codec. It uses spatial compression, but not temporal compression. What that means is that the codec compresses image data within each frame (like a regular JPG), but does not compress image information between frames like most video codecs.

For example, if you look at the Samsung V50 sample movie (uses MPG4 compression) at dcresource:

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/sa...ew/index.shtml

You'll see significant artifacts as the codec is trying to deal with a fast pan resulting in a lot of data that has to be compressed (basically the entire background is moving.) I imagine that if the camera was panning more slowly or was completely still the image quality would look a lot better. If the codec was better optimized or the bitrate was increased we'd also see better results. The benefit is that the 2.6 MB file is able to hold 10 seconds of video.

With cameras using MJPG, it really makes no difference as the camera is basically shooting 30 individual JPEG images a second. It doesn't matter whether there is a lot of motion or not during the video. This takes up a lot of space, but the results can look very good.

With card prices as low as they are, I personally prefer maximum quality, even if movies take up more space. I'm going to transfer them to DVD so the better the quality the better.

But in a year or so, I think MPG4 in digicams will become widespread, and with better codec usage image quality will increase. By then a 1 Gig memory card will cost about $20, and you'll be able to shoot about an hour of pretty high-quality MPG4 video on it!
hi my first post. actually a newbie in digital photography and camera stuffs. first off, congrats to Beverly W for this very interesting and informative thread.

i also prefer cameras using mjpeg (AVI format)codec

so far the camera that has the largest data rate is the Canon S1 IS. also has the best audio sampling rate. as a comparison using VirtualDub, i checked the data rates as shown below
---------------Video-----------Audio--------FPS
Canon S1 IS---15002kbps---22050Hz(16-bit)--30
Canon SD300--14963kbps---11024Hz(8-bit)---30
Canon A75------7456kbps---11024Hz(8-bit)---15
Fuji E550--------6911kbps---16000Hz(8-bit)---30
Fuji F700--------9218kbps---16000Hz(8-bit)---30
Fuji S5100------9216kbps---16000Hz(8-bit)---30
Fuji S7000------9218kbps---16000Hz(8-bit)---30
Kyocera M410R--16531kbps-----8000Hz(8-bit)---30

i will try to DL more sample video to compare

so far imo only the Sanyo C4 can go against these cameras with a great saving on file size


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Old Mar 23, 2005, 12:35 AM   #189
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Kyocera has the best data rate but craps on audio :-)

it seems the SD300 is a good toy for all occasions

i just dont know how the small lens will affect the video quality if ever it does

video quality will also depend on which MJPEG codec were used by the cameras
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Old Mar 25, 2005, 8:14 PM   #190
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The Xacti C5 (in silver only) was released at Yodobashi Camera in Japan yesterday (other colours to follow, with demo models of bronze and white out on the floor). Not exactly a flood of people waiting to buy them, but I did get one. First impressions are good - compact, nice zoom, good picture quality, moderate video quality. Low light video quality is poor. Nice design,and the kindpeople at Yodobashi threw in a matching silver case and English manual.

Re picture/video quality, this is in comparison to a Canon Digital Kiss/EOS300D and a Sony MiniDV camcorder.

Its far and away better than the QVGA 15fps video we were shooting with a Panasonic AV30.

For the task it will fufill (living in my wifes handbag for photos/video of our kid) it will, I am sure, be great. The AV30 was fufilling that functon before - despite the poor video quality, we've shot about 10 hours of footage with it over the last few months, compares to 2 hours of miniDV - simply from an availability point of view, if you can't carry it with you easily and conveniently, you ain't going to have have it on you for those Kodak/Panavisionmoments.
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