Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 25, 2004, 9:52 AM   #51
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 145
Default

jasonfj wrote:
Quote:
Other than the one mentioned earlier in this thread, what cameras on this list are capable of 25fps PAL - and is the resolution 768x576? I work both in the US and the UK and would ideally like one that was switchable.

If I had to make a choice I'd go for the PAL specs - are the Canon Ixus (UK) models PAL? I would think 30fps/640x480 is pretty useless for PAL countries.
The Olympus C-7000 is EITHER 30fps or 25fps, depending on what country you buy it in. Since I live in the USA and all of the people that I would send a video to use the same format as me, I have not paid any attention to which cameras are switchable to the PAL format. I know that some are, but can't tell you which ones they would be. However I am pretty certain that even on the cameras that are PAL format (other than the Olympus C-7000) they still record at 30 fps. Likewise none of the cameras are going to be at the 768x576 format - that is higher resolution than the cameras can produce. Even 640x480 is not up to the resolution of the format used in the USA (which is one reason why camcorder videos are still better than what these cameras can produce). The only possible exception to this is the Minolta Z2 that can do 800x600 at 15fps.
Beverly W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2004, 11:11 AM   #52
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
Default

Beverly W wrote:
Quote:
mar_isa did you look again at the videos frame by frame looking at the dog (especially the tail)? Do you still not see the large color squares? I'm asking this since sometime it is the fault of a person's computer (not powerful enough) that causes problems in viewing a video. I'm trying to narrow down if the fault might be my computer (not likely - only a few months old and fairly powerful) or if you just didn't notice it.
Yes, I've seen it frame by frame, and yes, you're right, fast moving subjects show pixelation. But I think it is not a big problem, it's not noticeable in normal viewing. The high compression mpeg4 does with constant bit rate necessarily means a image quality drop in fast moving scenes (you have more info, but the same bits to deal with). This is true for all CBR encoders, maybe just more noticeable the more you compress. Haven't you seen DivX (mpeg4) movies? They deliver a high quality despite their great compression, but may show the same deficiencies with fast scenes if they are CBR.

And for the movie format... well you can not trust in the filename extension. For instance the avi files can hold many formats, from old Cinepak or Radius to modern mpeg4's DivX. I don't know much of MOVs, but may be the same.
mar_isa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 25, 2004, 4:21 PM   #53
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
Default

The slower frame rate is usually what allows for the higher resolution. (720x486 is full digital NTSC resolution, 640x480 is the old analogue NTSC - conversely 720x576 is digital PAL whereas 768x576 is analogue PAL).

I'd like to know what use the video capabilities of these cameras are on a PAL tv if they only record the one format... If anyone gets hold of either of the new Canon SD200/300's in a PAL country, please let me know.
jasonfj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 26, 2004, 4:53 PM   #54
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 28
Default

Thanks for collecting all this info! It just so happens that I am looking for the same thing- a good compact digicam that takes good quality video. A camcorder is of course better, but we have our digital camera with us far more than we do our camcorder (which broke anyways.)

I briefly tried out a Fuji F700, and found the results to be comparable to a analogue camcorder, and played very well on a television. I wasn't crazy about the xD cards though, way too expensive for taking video (even though I just want to take intermittent short clips of my daughter.)

I found sample images and video for the Canon SD200 and SD300-

http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/pssd200/index-e.html
http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/pssd300/index-e.html

The sample images all look great, as they should at ISO 50. I also prefer the Canon 'look' in general. It looks like the new sensor is pretty good, although I will probably be going with the 3 MP instead of 4 MP.

The video looks great. First, the 60 FPS format makes a bigger difference than I thought it would. I don't expect to use it often, but it's a nice extra. The 640 x 480 FPS video looks excellent as well. The 17 MB sample clip is 10 seconds long, so it is obviously packing in a lot of data to get those results.

The nice thing is that SD cards are so cheap now, I bought a 1 Gig card for $60 after rebate in anticipation of getting the SD200.

The only thing I am wondering is exactly how fast a card you need to get unlimited 640 x 480 30 FPS video.
madmaxmedia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 26, 2004, 10:56 PM   #55
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 145
Default

madmaxmedia wrote:
Quote:
...I found sample images and video for the Canon SD200 and SD300...
The nice thing is that SD cards are so cheap now, I bought a 1 Gig card for $60 after rebate in anticipation of getting the SD200.

The only thing I am wondering is exactly how fast a card you need to get unlimited 640 x 480 30 FPS video.
First of all, none of these cameras are "technically" unlimited. They are all limited to the capacity of the available space on your memory card. Some have futher limitations. Since the Canon SD200 and SD300 are so new, we don't know yet how long 1 Gig of memory will get you. If I remember correctly, the Canon site you refered to said it required a high speed card, but didn't give the definition of high speed memory card. On some OTHER cameras this meant 10MB/seconds or higher. Yet some users reported 9MB/seconds worked just fine. Also I think there might have been a 1Gig limit for each clip on these cameras. (Too busy to double check right now, but I think that is what I remembered from that site, but it was several days ago....)
Beverly W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 26, 2004, 11:25 PM   #56
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
Default

presumably if the 10sec clip is 17mb, the camera must be shifting 1.7mb per second to the card...?

Where did you get the $60 1gb card with rebate?
jasonfj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 27, 2004, 11:51 AM   #57
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 28
Default

Quote:
First of all, none of these cameras are "technically" unlimited. They are all limited to the capacity of the available space on your memory card.
Um, yeah, I thought we all understood this.

Quote:
Some have futher limitations. Since the Canon SD200 and SD300 are so new, we don't know yet how long 1 Gig of memory will get you.
As Jason mentioned in the next reply, the sample clip is 17.6 MB, and is 10 seconds long. I doubt that these cameras record with variable bit rate, so it's going to be around 1.76 MB/second.

The description was a little strange, one one hand it mentioned unlimited recording (until memory card is full), but it also mentions a 1 Gig limit. We'll see. It would seem strange to have a 1 Gig limit, as it's not like the camera buffer is storing that much data, it's all streaming to the card anyways. We'll find out soon enough...

As you mentioned, we won't know the exact details until these cameras are actually released. But I think this one looks really promising as an ultracompact that shoots good video.
madmaxmedia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 27, 2004, 11:59 AM   #58
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 28
Default

Quote:
Where did you get the $60 1gb card with rebate?
I got it from www.techbargains.com (a site worth bookmarking!)-

Quote:
Lexar 1GB Secure Digital $67, Sep 26

Last day. Amazon has the Lexar 1GB 32x Secure Digital SD Card for a low $67.44 after rebate, free shipping.

$30 rebate Exp 9/26/04
Unfortunately the rebate offer expired yesterday...I also bought a high speed 1 Gig card from newegg.com for around $90 (I also have a Palm PDA that uses SD cards.) Of course, I am taking a small risk buying a card BEFORE the SD200 actually comes out, as I don't know the card speed requirements for shooting unlimited (til card is full) video.

3 years ago I was buying 48 MB CF cards for my Casio digicam for $60 or so, I can't believe how size/value has ramped up! Without such cheap storage, shooting video would be very impractical on memory cards.
madmaxmedia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 29, 2004, 10:36 AM   #59
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 145
Default

Just added Contax U4R (4mp, 38-115mm, 140g w/o b+c, $595 est) and Contax i4R (4mp, 39mm, 90g w/o b+c, $447 est).
Beverly W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 29, 2004, 12:01 PM   #60
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 28
Default

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!
madmaxmedia is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 6:50 PM.