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Old Mar 27, 2005, 7:26 AM   #191
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After reading all your comments, here are mine.
There are 2 things that are important in new digicams.
Picture quality depending on optics and noise and movie mode, all depending on size either.
For instance you've got everything you need in Sony T3, some kind of good pocket all things which stays with you wherever you are. However nothing great, only good.

Provided you are able to remaster your videos and make your pictures better in your computer, many considered bad quality results or lack of features on your digicam disappear.

For instance Olympus cameras are exagerating the crispness of their picture, including some noise. The 8080 isn't better than Nikon or Canon 8Mpixel provided you apply same kind of filter or reversed to make them match. Depends on what you like best.
For instance, you would like to make some digital copies on your camera including text. 8Mpixels and even lower may suit for A3 size documents. Olympus would take great pictures, but its size doesn't suit that need and you would prefer Sony T3 or Minolta Dimage X50. But the later have no good optics made for that purpose (and are 5Mpix) so you may keep on A4/letter size. Too bad !

Now what about movie optical or electronic stabilization ?
Electronic stabilisation, especially with mjpeg movie is worthless. Why ? You can do that in a better way as you can tweak that feature remastering the mjpeg movie with VirtualDub and anti-shaking feature. It's free. You may loose some pixels on the border of the movie but no more shaking. Optical system may provide anti-shaking for stills so it's better, but you may accept a bigger camera. No pocket size can do that today !

And what about movie files ? Mpeg is better for today as many DVD players can handle it. It is true about most Divx players and some Dvd players that can read files.
Everything mpeg4 is not the standard of today. It is not a completely stable standard. Your Divx player may not handle those mvies even converted to avi and look like they were Divx. So you may have to remaster everything and recompress. Why loosing so much time ?
So my point of view is that Sony is a winner in this case. After that I would stay with good mjpeg avis as mjpeg means separate jpeg frames. This is good and usefull for remastering. You can even mix frames and anti-noise the result to get rid of any jpeg artefact and near best DVD quality.
Other than that, some older cameras have reduced time of video sequence to some 180 seconds or less. Don't think that's small. You may never need them. This is unbearable in movies and it is recommeded to use shorter movie shots to no more than 30 seconds.
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Old Mar 27, 2005, 4:46 PM   #192
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Just to spare you some hopes.

Mjpeg will always be better than mpeg1/mpeg2 and really better than mpeg4.
You must know that good mpeg4 compression is done by compressing time details. So it needs to analyze a whole sequence of say 10 seconds to do a good job.
This is bad for remastering/cutting scenes and bad for trying to enhance picture quality since you loose time details that would have helped.
So mpeg4 will stay cheapo recording !!! Forever.
Then mpeg2 and even mpeg1 are partially using same kind of compression and so will have same disadvanges against mjpeg.

So you better hope sd cards get more Gbytes and always prefer CF cards which have room to be bigger for same technology. Then get USB2/Firewire cameras !
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Old Mar 28, 2005, 10:38 PM   #193
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@ firehand

any sample video for the C5? :?
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Old Mar 29, 2005, 3:30 PM   #194
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firehand,

Thanks for sharing your C5 impressions with us. I am curious of C5's lens and sensor performance. Those are the major change going from C4 to C5. The video codec ASIC should be unchanged so the video quality should be similar.

I agree with the importance of having the equipment to record a spontaneous moment. That's why I picked the C4 over Pentax Optio MX4 six months ago. I am glad I did.
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Old Mar 31, 2005, 5:07 AM   #195
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I'm happy to post some sample video, but is there anywhere I can post it?

Roughly speaking, I think the video performance is basically comparable to what I've seen re c4 footage online. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think the slower lens makes too much difference. Performance of the camera function seems roughly comparable with a 5MP Kyocera I just picked up on the cheap - which had generally good reviews at the time of its release in 2003. Doesnt touch a digital SLR (of course).

A few more early impressions (keep in mind I've been shooting much more video than I have been watching)...

1. no horrendous zoom noise

2. but intrusive autofocus hunting noise

3. battery life is terrible compared to the AV30 - I think we'd regularly get 1.5hrs out of that, but about half that from the C5 - somewhat handily, by the time you've filled a 1gig SD card with video, the battery is just about to run out (it would have been frustrating+++ if it were the other way around...which I guess may happen as the battery starts to degrade). Having a charged spare battery is always important - for the c5, it's critical! The capacity of the battery is smaller for starters, and I would suppose the processor has toburn up more processing juice ?workingabout about 8x harder (QVGA @ 15fps vs VGA @ 30fps).

Overall - if you have a c4, I wouldnt be running out to upgrade unless you really want something smaller. If you dont have a xacti fullstop, and youre in the market for an MPEG4 recorder - c5 is certainly worth a look. But if there's a substantial (maybe 35% plus) discount on a c4 - and size is not a major issue - I'dprobably get that in favour of the c5.

All things considered, as far as our situation goes,the C5 isa keeper.
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Old Mar 31, 2005, 5:29 AM   #196
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Just an few generalthoughts in response to some comments above...

I think this whole solid state video recording thing is generally very immature. Which means that no matter what you buy, you're looking at some sort of compromise - includingvideo quality vs recording time vs size.

Everyone will have varying assessments of what level of compromise they see as acceptable- and will basetheir choices on that. Even with our MiniDV camcorder and Xacti C5, I'm not throwing out the AV30. Despite the jerky low resolution video performance,it still fills a nicherole due to its compactness.

Until the day we have a matchbox size camcorder that will shoot movie length broadcast quality HD video and costs <USD1000, for the informed consumer there are few truly bad choices to be made - only different ones.

Keep in mind that one of those choices, of course, includes not buying a solid state video recorder at all!
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Old Apr 3, 2005, 11:46 PM   #197
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I just got the SD300 and I'm definitely impressed with the video, this is from a Video8 user standpoint.

Even at 320x240 resolution 30fps, quite acceptable for me. Less noise and smooth. I just need a 1G card to pack more
video and of course...more fun
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Old Apr 4, 2005, 11:04 PM   #198
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@ firehand

try imageshack www.imageshack.us
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Old Apr 8, 2005, 8:07 AM   #200
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Hi,

Does anyone know where I can download some sample movies from the Nikon 7600/7900 or Fuji F10?

Thanks,

Rod
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