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Old Aug 21, 2004, 8:15 AM   #21
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I'm caught in this trap too. My primary interest is in still image quality. But, gosh, wouldn't it be nice to ALSO have VGA movies, and be able to leave the camcorder at home...

My question is are all VGA 30fps the same, pretty much? Or, is the real level of detail, smoothness, noise, compression artefacts all variable? And, if so, which models do it best?
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Old Aug 21, 2004, 11:18 AM   #22
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hdburnham wrote:
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My question is are all VGA 30fps the same, pretty much? Or, is the real level of detail, smoothness, noise, compression artefacts all variable? And, if so, which models do it best?
Unfortunately you do need to look at all the videos to determine their quality. The Kyocera S5R had too much compression artifacting that Steve didn't even bother putting a sample video up. Just said that other cameras do better at 640x480 and even 320x240. Personally I was very impressed with the video of the Canon S1 IS, but I did see some vertical lines of color discoloration due to sun glare. I am having a far amount of trouble with that exact same problem with my Nikon 3700. I wish there were more sites that showed sample videos. One video is really not enough to judge by.
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Old Aug 21, 2004, 12:52 PM   #23
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I just corrected the weight on the Pentax Optio 750Z to be WITH battery and card.

Also added Sony DSC-93, Sony DSC-100, and Sony DSC-W1 to list of cameras that take additional lenses and/or fiters.
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Old Aug 22, 2004, 2:33 AM   #24
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Thanks for that reply. It sounds like the mere numbers (VGA at 30fps) don't tell the whole story by any means! It would be nice for there to be a page that ranks digicams against a 'standard' camcorder result, so that someone interested in a digicam with video mode could build a shortlist quickly.

It may be that I'll just give up on digicams doing video! I'd probably spend nearly as much on big, fast memory cards as on a camcorder anyway.




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Old Aug 22, 2004, 12:05 PM   #25
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hdburnham wrote:
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Thanks for that reply. It sounds like the mere numbers (VGA at 30fps) don't tell the whole story by any means! It would be nice for there to be a page that ranks digicams against a 'standard' camcorder result, so that someone interested in a digicam with video mode could build a shortlist quickly.

It may be that I'll just give up on digicams doing video! I'd probably spend nearly as much on big, fast memory cards as on a camcorder anyway.
Ideally you would want to have a separate camera and a separate camcorder, however many of us are unwilling to carry both. When it comes to quality of videos, a camcorder is going to do a better job than any camera. When it comes to still pictures, almost any digital camera will do better than a camcorder. That said, the gap between the two is getting narrower every month.

Most cameras with a movie mode will not allow you to zoom or change the focus once you have started taping. Most of the ones that do, you will be able to hear the camera making the adjustments. I have the Nikon 3700 that lets you continuously focus, but I usually leave that feature turned off since I find the clicking noise more annoying than having it mildly out of focus occasionally.

If you are thinking of going with the camcorder instead here are a few sites besides Steve's that I found helpful:
http://www.dvspot.com/
http://www.camcorderinfo.com/
http://www.simplydv.com/
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Old Aug 25, 2004, 6:58 PM   #26
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Beverly W wrote:
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Personally I was very impressed with the video of the Canon S1 IS, but I did see some vertical lines of color discoloration due to sun glare. I am having a far amount of trouble with that exact same problem with my Nikon 3700.
I just solved the vertical line discoloration in high light contrast problem on my Nikon 3700. I got a tripod mount filter holder and a polarizer filter. This got rid of most cases and in one case (bad glare off of a car) greatly reduced the problem. The Canon S1 IS probably has less problems with this since Steve's video of the race cars starts out much better than a similar video with my Nikon. With filters on the Nikon 3700, I got the glare to have about the same amount of discoloration as the Canon (which was taped without filters). Without taping both cameras at the same time however, it is really hard to know for sure if this is a fair comparison. Sun glare is hard for any camera to deal with. Best to try to avoid the situation when you can.
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Old Aug 29, 2004, 9:47 AM   #27
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sjms wrote:
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i have a question. with all this interest you have with movie capability*why don't you just use a quality video camera?
Somehow I missed your posting until now. I like to carry a tiny, light weight camera in my fanny pack so I can get the pictures and videos that I would miss otherwise. In addition to my ultra compact Nikon 3700, I have a compact camera and a old huge VHS camcorder. I can't tell you how many times I have been someplace and said, "Oh I wish I had my camera with me" and occassionally the same thing with the camcorder (all previous to buying the Nikon). Now I have only issued the phrase, "Oh, I should have used the voice recording mode" for an awards banquet in a situation it would have been impossible to record using either the still pictures or video modes (several hours in star light with no clear view). Just not used to having a 5 hour voice recorder with me.

Since pictures are more important to me than the videos, I going with the tiny cameras with high quality movie modes. I know that there are small camcorders now, but none of the truely tiny ones take high enough quality pictures to be my one devise.

I started this thread after trying to see if there was any camera that would be better than the Nikon 3700 for me. Jury is still out on that question.
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Old Aug 29, 2004, 10:08 AM   #28
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JimC wrote:
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[b]
Beverly, Steve does not normally include the full specs of a camera in a table format along with the press releases.** Most likely,*because these specs are subject to change before a *model starts shipping.* *However, if you read through the press release from Pentax that Steve posted, you can see things like the 640x480 30fps movie mode, lens range, type of sensor used (which will determine the resolution the camera can shoot*in), type of LCD monitor, type of focus system with focus modes, macro mode info, shooting modes (aperture priority, shutter priority, etc.).

Steve also included more photos of the camera in his copy of the press release.***

http://www.steves-digicams.com/pr/pe...4_750z_pr.html

Steve also reviews far more cameras, so you are likely to see more about new models*here first.

Full (and likely updated) specs of the camera will be on Pentax's site before it's ever shipping.* Steve maintains a database of manufacturer links from the main menu so that users can get to the information*about*models*easier.** Here is the link to the Pentax models (Pentax has not*posted further information on it's web site yet for this*new model):

http://www.steves-digicams.com/cameras/pentax.html

*
I agree that Steve's is a better place to find reviews of cameras. Also anyone can get membership to these forum, something many (myself included since they can't send me a password) can't get over at dpreview. I can't tell you how many times I wished to post an answer over there and couldn't - very frustrating (especially if no one else answers it).

However there was information in the dpreview spec table that you could NOT get anywhere else. They must have called the Pentax to get the extra information and that extra information contained things that some people (including me) are interested in. I find using many different sources to be important, otherwise many of the cameras on my list would not be on the list.
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Old Aug 30, 2004, 11:54 AM   #29
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Just added Sony DSC-L1, Sony DSC-T3 and Sony DSC-V3 which were just announced.
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Old Sep 9, 2004, 11:23 AM   #30
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Just added the Sony DSC-M1, an unusual looking 5.1 MP camera. It has a range of 38-114mm and does not support any additional lenses or filters. It does however have an AF lamp. While it does not have a viewfinder, it does have a 2.5" transflective swivel LCD that some reviewers says works really well. It uses MPEG4 for the movie format. It weighs 215 with batteries, card and strap.

This camera is really aimed at those who want a hybrid of a camera and a camcorder. Besides taking standard stills and movies, it has a hybrid mode that continously records to the internal buffer up to 5 seconds of 320x160 movie prior to the pressing of the shutter, and if desired, and additional 3 seconds after. When played in camera, it then displays this all together. However there is a 1 second break before and after the picture is taken (at least in the pre-production model). This allows you to get a high quality picture and somewhat lower quality movies at the same time. I can see some advantage to this. Just the other day I ended up with just video of my daughter meeting her new teacher when I really wanted both stills and video.

The camera also has stereo sound, which I think is a first for cameras with high quality videos.
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