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Old May 8th, 2006, 09:56 AM   #1
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Digital still camera with the best movie mode capability

I was looking at the Canon S2 IS awhile ago. It can do 640 X 480 @30FPS. The size of the movie is only limited by the size of the SD card on that model. Now Canon has the S3 IS, still the same 640 X 480 @30FPS, but max movie size is 1GB. I wonder why they changed that? My question is which digital still camera with big lens has the best movie mode capability?
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Old May 8th, 2006, 10:50 AM   #2
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I think you'll find all the Canon's have the 1 gig max rec limit, inc the S2.

The Canon A620 camera has a superb movie mode, however there is no way to lock the exposure. If you can live without that you'll be very happy. With a 4 gig SD card you'll get around 32 mins recording time.

I went with the S80 in the end, it has more manual controls and an XGA movie mode, alas only 15 fps. I plan on shooting a music video with it later this month.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 02:43 PM   #3
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With some cameras you can zoom in/out during recording, while others lock out any focal length changes. That's well worth looking into.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 10:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Fenton
I think you'll find all the Canon's have the 1 gig max rec limit, inc the S2.

The Canon A620 camera has a superb movie mode, however there is no way to lock the exposure. If you can live without that you'll be very happy. With a 4 gig SD card you'll get around 32 mins recording time.

I went with the S80 in the end, it has more manual controls and an XGA movie mode, alas only 15 fps. I plan on shooting a music video with it later this month.
Good luck on your video. I am interested to see how it turns out. To me a compact digi camera with a good movie mode is a fabulous tool. I hope the manufacturers will have wide screen movie mode soon.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 10:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Porter
With some cameras you can zoom in/out during recording, while others lock out any focal length changes. That's well worth looking into.
Thanks, I think the Canon S2 IS has that.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 12:52 PM   #6
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Canon S1-is

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Chan
I was looking at the Canon S2 IS awhile ago. It can do 640 X 480 @30FPS. The size of the movie is only limited by the size of the SD card on that model. Now Canon has the S3 IS, still the same 640 X 480 @30FPS, but max movie size is 1GB. I wonder why they changed that? My question is which digital still camera with big lens has the best movie mode capability?
I have used the Canon S1-is for a little over 2 years and purchased it specifically because of its amazing video abilities. In fact, that little camera has served as a backup camera for one of my weddings. The camera's sound is ... lacking... but its video is amazing.

First off, the S1-is has an optically stabalized lense. This is a great advantage to non-trip filming.

Secondly is the 30fps. Unless footage is slowed down you will like the quality of video smoothness.

Resolution. 640x480. A little bit smaller than the standard MiniDV of 720x480, but this only adds two small black bars on the side of the picture.

Battery life: Very very good. I can go through 300-400 pictures (no flash) on a single set of 4 high mAmp batteries (I use >=2200mAmp rechargables). A single pack of batteries might run you $20, but I have used the same pack dozens of times, saving many dollars over the constant purchasing of throwaway E2 batteries.

Zoom while recording. This was the single most important feature I considered when looking at still photo cams that also do video. Few other cameras have this feature and I consider it vital in order for the video functionality to be remotely usefull. With out it any camera with video is nearly useless in dynamic / changing filming.

The S2-IS is no doubt even better in most regards. Bigger zoom is one of them. Have you considered the S3-is? Not too many upgrades when compared to the S2, but significant upgrades (still photo only) when compared to the S1. Regarding their video functionality, nothing has changed sincethe S1 so I would expect them to perform about the same. Check out <a href="http://www.dpreview.com/">this site</A> for some good reviews of all digital still cameras including the very valuable side-by-side comparison of features / specs.

jason
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Old May 9th, 2006, 12:56 PM   #7
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15fps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Fenton
I think you'll find all the Canon's have the 1 gig max rec limit, inc the S2.

The Canon A620 camera has a superb movie mode, however there is no way to lock the exposure. If you can live without that you'll be very happy. With a 4 gig SD card you'll get around 32 mins recording time.

I went with the S80 in the end, it has more manual controls and an XGA movie mode, alas only 15 fps. I plan on shooting a music video with it later this month.
I ruled out any still photo camera that only recorded 15fps. Just not usefull. I would rather have a camera that did not do video if my only other options is choppy 15fps video. It just seemed like doign video 1/2 way. Literally.

jason
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Old May 9th, 2006, 07:04 PM   #8
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Sanyo Xacti

I think Sanyo has the most versatile option for digital still/video cameras. I think the best choices are the C6 (6MP/640x480 30fps) and the HD1 (5MP/1280x720 30fps, 640x480 60fps).
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Old May 9th, 2006, 09:55 PM   #9
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Panasonic has a 16:9 stills camera with movie mode limited to the capacity of the card. Don't know about sound capabilities...
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0507/05..._lx1.asp#specs
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Old May 9th, 2006, 09:56 PM   #10
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The Canon S2 IS has a 1/2.5 inch CCD. Does that mean even in video mode it has good DOF vs. high end prosumer video cameras which has smaller 1/3 inch CCDs.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 09:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valeriu Campan
Panasonic has a 16:9 stills camera with movie mode limited to the capacity of the card. Don't know about sound capabilities...
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0507/05..._lx1.asp#specs
Wow, that could be the ticket. Thanks for the info.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 03:18 AM   #12
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Stephen - No matter what digital still camera you choose, the key requirement is the mjpeg data rate. The Canons rec around 1.8 mb/sec, which is currently the best on the market, I would say go with the new S3 IS.

For those interested in editing the canon movies on FCP, get a free utility called "Divxdoctor 2" - this will convert the AVI to a MOV without losing quality, it's superb!

Jason - the S80 does 640x480 30 fps also - I'll most likely use this mode to shoot the video.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 03:18 AM   #13
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The Panasonic LX1 it doesn't seem to allow you to zoom during filming. A sample file can be found towards the bottom of this page:
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/pa...ew/index.shtml
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Old May 10th, 2006, 05:00 AM   #14
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I am looking at the Panasonic DMC-FZ30. It has OIS and is supposed to zoom in and out while recording (and a caution was mentioned to zoom slowly when I found a review at Steve's Digi-cam). Steve's list it as 1300+seconds with 2GB card.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 09:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Fenton
Stephen - No matter what digital still camera you choose, the key requirement is the mjpeg data rate. The Canons rec around 1.8 mb/sec, which is currently the best on the market, I would say go with the new S3 IS.

For those interested in editing the canon movies on FCP, get a free utility called "Divxdoctor 2" - this will convert the AVI to a MOV without losing quality, it's superb!

Jason - the S80 does 640x480 30 fps also - I'll most likely use this mode to shoot the video.
Thanks Simon, the data rate, I didn't think about that!
I need some baseline reference, what's the data rate for regular DV and HDV?
And what about something like the Samsung SC-X210L?

http://www.samsung.com/Products/Camc...C_X210LXAA.asp

or what Carlos mentioned, the HD1?
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