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Old Jan 20, 2005, 12:11 PM   #1
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Dear fellows:

:shock:I am sick and tired of carryng any one of my old bulky but beatiful SLR cameras (two Minolta and aCanon) and also a separate video camera (Sony and Sharp). Therefore I am planning to go digital and also to combine the 2functions. I would also like to avoid mechanical moving parts like DVD's or tapes.

:idea:As a result the concept of cameracorders using MPEG4 and memory sticks seemed appealing as it also seems to be the path that will be taken in the near future (if no other innnovation appears)

As far as I have investigated only two such devices seem to be in the market today: Sony DSC-M1 and Sanyo VPC-C4. While Sony reputation in this field seems granted it doesn't seem to be the same with Sanyo. In fact I have found several well documented reviews on the Sony camera but very few (and scanty) on the Sanyo one. So what is the real situation?

The two cameras, when the crude specifications are read, are very similar in concept though not in design. Also their performance appears to besimilar (in paper). Pricewise and surprisingly the Sanyo one seems to be even more expensive than the Sony one.

:roll:Can any one clarify the whole issue to me?

I would be most thankfull
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 3:04 PM   #2
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I think you should wait at least until the end of this year. Only a few cameras have MPEG4 and [email protected]+ right now. I think there will be many more by the end of this year. I think you should wait until the end of the year...

In addition, the video on digicams is limited. You really don't have the same control. Sound quality is inferior, with focusing speeds very slow. Image stabilization and zoom, which are found on many camcorders, is rare in digicams. Taking hours and hours of video is expensive (even with MPEG4 and dropping flash memory prices). And so on. DV/camcorder isn't going to be replaced any time soon but digicam video is pretty good for short clips...
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 3:11 PM   #3
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thank you very much Sivaram, I appreciate your advise. The only problem is that cameras will indeed improve with time (and prices will go down as well) but that has been happening all the time and at a certain moment you have to decide.

In the meantime I was able to find also another model : the Pentax Optio MX4. Can you give some advise on which to buy from the 3 models mentioned?

thanks in avance!
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 4:39 PM   #4
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Here is a side by side comparison of those three. I would rule out the Sanyo since it looks like a very old camera (1999? 1 megapixel? :shock: )... Sony, as usual, is overpriced but very stylish and cool... Sony is an ultra-compact while the Pentax is larger so they are exactly comparable... I think the Pentax is "better" since it has 10x, manual features, and so forth...
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 9:45 PM   #5
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Robert,

I went through the same choice between C4 and MX4 three months. They are practically identical except for design, zoom and manual controls. I picked the C4 for the size, and accept the compromises it made to get there. C4 pictures is on the noisy side and white balance can be off at times.

Sony M1 was not available back then so I did not consider it. The M1 is very similar to C1 as well. It does have higher still resolution, lower zoom, no electronic image stabilization, and uses memory stick. The last two points would rule it out for me. While image stabilization is nice to have for still cameras, it is crucial for video cameras.

Have you investigated JVC Everio MC200? MC200 is a hybrid camera built from the camcorder manufacturer's perspective. It records MPEG-2 video, and as such, would remove the time-consuming transcode step if you intend to master to DVD. The still image capturing is weak at only 2 megapixels.

Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 21, 2005, 8:15 AM   #6
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Sivaram, again thanks you for the ample information. Based on the same it seems to me that Pentax is the winner (aside from Sony design hype) particularly considering price vs value.

The Sanyo I was refering to was the Xacti C4 launched end of 2004, with 4.23 Megapixels and 5.8 optical zoom, recording in MPEG-4. This camera has image stabilizing software, stereo recording and remote control; all features missing from Sony (except stereo recording)and Pentax. The only problem I have isit's high price and the lack of tradition in the photographic field that the other two brands have.

Thanks also to msbOb. I share your opinion regarding image stabilizing. It is crucial for video cameras particularly if they have a large zoom. I will also check the JVC camera, but to me 2 Megapixels are not sufficient for still photos

Life is full of compromises and the perfect solution does not exist. We can only get near to it and when we are close it runs away from us.

I will continue investigating and appreciate any further advise.


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