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kenton
11-08-2004, 03:32 PM
Any opinions on my plan to use my Sony DSC-W1 as my only (family/recreational) camcorder?

My thinking: I don't want to pay for/have to remember two different digital imagers. With 640x480 @ 30 fps I get better video quality than I'll ever care to use, and with some half-gig cards, enough storage (6 minutes per card) to take care of all my needs. I just dump to my laptop, burn to DVD when I get a critical mass, and keep going. By Christmas, I expect 1 Gb memory sticks to be in the low $100's.

By the way, I find frame rates below 30 fps to be too jerky. Any camera offer 320x240 @ 30 fps?

Digital camcorders with still photo option aren't what I want: the photos are still poor quality, and since I have long ago given up recording hours and hours of video of my family vacation (only to fast forward through most of it upon playback), I don't need tapes capable of large amounts of storage.

Any thoughts?
Kenton

Rhys
11-08-2004, 05:48 PM
Any opinions on my plan to use my Sony DSC-W1 as my only (family/recreational) camcorder?

My thinking: I don't want to pay for/have to remember two different digital imagers. With 640x480 @ 30 fps I get better video quality than I'll ever care to use, and with some half-gig cards, enough storage (6 minutes per card) to take care of all my needs. I just dump to my laptop, burn to DVD when I get a critical mass, and keep going. By Christmas, I expect 1 Gb memory sticks to be in the low $100's.

By the way, I find frame rates below 30 fps to be too jerky. Any camera offer 320x240 @ 30 fps?

Digital camcorders with still photo option aren't what I want: the photos are still poor quality, and since I have long ago given up recording hours and hours of video of my family vacation (only to fast forward through most of it upon playback), I don't need tapes capable of large amounts of storage.

Any thoughts?
Kenton


Loads of cameras now do 320x240 video at 30fps. The Canon S1 IS offers it as an option.

I'm here in the US and am amazed at the low camcorder prices. I looked into them and decided that I'd be better off with the equivalent value in 1GB CF cards. Then I realised that 1GB cards will drop in price soon so I'm holding fire on that and making do with my 256mb and 128mb cards.

haikai
11-08-2004, 05:50 PM
Any opinions on my plan to use my Sony DSC-W1 as my only (family/recreational) camcorder?

i suppose if you found the sample video found in the review of that camera to be of good enough quality then it may be a good idea. however, i think you may find that using a digital camera as a camcorder isn't as flexible as you might like it to be. for example, most digicams can't use zoom while recording videos. also, the sound is usually not very good. depending on the camera, even 640x480 at 30 fps doesn't necessarily look nearly as good as a digital camcorder would be able to achieve. there are also a lot of other little features that digital camcorders have that you won't find on a digital camera that make your life easier when recording movies (some kind of anti-shake/stabilization, built in light for night recording, etc.).

the technology doesn't seem to be there quite yet, but maybe if you don't mind these limitations then it may be worth a shot. just make sure you get a memory stick pro for that 30 fps capture rate :)

hai

kenton
11-08-2004, 08:17 PM
Thanks guys, good comments. I'm trying it today.
It turns out that half-gig/6 minutes isn't quite enough. Almost, but not quite.

Picture quality is as good as I care for (as good as DVD on NTSC TV, which is all I watch), and mono audio is fine, but Haikai is right, it also has a few drawbacks. Lack of zoom isn't really one of them (yet): most people including me use zoom way too much anyway. But I do notice significant jitter (I'm going to try things like leaning against a wall), and the focus shift/depth of focus is sometimes too noticeable. Also I'd like to have a date stamp. Most of the other camcorder bells and whistles I don't care about (again, yet) or can add in editing software I suppose: adding a title, fade in/out. The camera does have a decent review/split functions, so I can edit/splice before dumping to HD.

Later,
Kenton

Rhys
11-09-2004, 04:57 AM
i suppose if you found the sample video found in the review of that camera to be of good enough quality then it may be a good idea. however, i think you may find that using a digital camera as a camcorder isn't as flexible as you might like it to be. for example, most digicams can't use zoom while recording videos. also, the sound is usually not very good. depending on the camera, even 640x480 at 30 fps doesn't necessarily look nearly as good as a digital camcorder would be able to achieve. there are also a lot of other little features that digital camcorders have that you won't find on a digital camera that make your life easier when recording movies (some kind of anti-shake/stabilization, built in light for night recording, etc.).

the technology doesn't seem to be there quite yet, but maybe if you don't mind these limitations then it may be worth a shot. just make sure you get a memory stick pro for that 30 fps capture rate :)

hai


I have the Canon S1 IS. I find the video quality to be excellent. I tend to view DVD videos on my PC anyway so it's perfect for me.