Help!! Optura 60 vs. Optura 600 vs Panasonic 3CCD at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > The Archives > Canon Optura Junior Watchdog

Canon Optura Junior Watchdog
High-end affordable consumer 1-CCD camcorders. PAL users invited!


 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 24th, 2006, 11:05 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 23
Help!! Optura 60 vs. Optura 600 vs Panasonic 3CCD

Hi everyone, great site. I'm going on vacation in a week and am looking to purchase a new camcorder. I've narrowed it down to these three and am wondering if someone might help me.
I'm interested in a compact camera with excellent clarity, warm color and a crisp picture. I know the 600 is a bit more, just wondering if its worth the extra $$$. I'll probably do most shooting outside in decent light, but will shoot indoors once in a while.
I'm sure fairlly soon (year or two) I'll move to HD, so I'm just looking for a nice camera to "fill in" until that time.
Any opinions on this is much appreciated! Thanks for reading my thread.
James Dormer is offline  
Old February 25th, 2006, 04:12 AM   #2
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
I'd pick the Optura 600 for a vacation camera. It's more consumer oriented, so you'll miss out on a few features, but it makes up for it with a very nice image. Plus it doubles as a still camera.

In my eyeball tests against my old Optura Xi, the Optura 600 had a sharper image all around, with slightly better low light performance. It was a slight jump in performance, not enough to make me switch, but enough to recommend it if someone asked me a question like yours. The still photos are the best I've seen from any camcorder, very usable.

The Optura 60 is designed with the camcorder enthusiast in mind, and is much more useful if it will serve double duty for low/no budget film making. The Panasonic 3CCD cams also fall into this category. The Optura 60 has some extra features that might be important to you, specifically:
  • top loading cassette so it's tripod friendly
  • advanced accessory shoe which allows you to mount & power the Canon DM-50 or Canon light.
Otherwise, they're both excellent consumer camcorders, and have basically the same features. You can't go wrong with either one.

One last thing, It's best if you can go down to a store and play with both Canon camcorders to see how they feel in your hands. You may find one form factor is better for you.

As for me, if I was bumming around on vacation, enjoying the sand & sea, the Optura 600 is what I'd bring along - mainly because it's just a slick, very good looking camcorder to have when you're on vacation.
__________________
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
Michael Wisniewski is offline  
Old February 25th, 2006, 08:09 AM   #3
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 23
Thanks Michael for the reply. I guess my question would be if the 600 is worth the couple hundred more than the 60 (or an even bigger jump going with the similar 50)...I'm certainly not a pro, and although I'm using this primarily (right now) as a camera to take on vacation, I'd like to use it to record family memories--home movies.
This is where I would like to ask you if I would miss the extra manual features on the 50/60 over the 600 OR does the image quality/clairty/better low light aspects of the 600 still make it the choice. If I were looking at videos between the two, what would be the difference?
Also, do you feel the 600 would hold its own against, say, the PV GS300?
The still feature of the 600 is a nice addition, even if they aren't as strong as a dedicated digital camera and the size is wonderful--but for me, it all somes down to video quality.
Thanks again for your help!! James
James Dormer is offline  
Old February 25th, 2006, 02:21 PM   #4
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
For the money, the Optura 60 is the better bang for the buck. It has more functionality and is more usable.

You're mainly paying for the styling and looks on the Optura 600. It has a slight edge in terms of image quality, but the difference is so small you won't miss it. Cool looking camera though.

I'm not familiar enough with the Panasonic cameras to compare in depth, but they are direct competition with the Opturas, and have very similar performance.
__________________
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
Michael Wisniewski is offline  
Old February 25th, 2006, 02:44 PM   #5
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 23
Thanks again Michael. Would you choose the 60 over the 50 (is there enough to justify it)? Also, what do you think about the idea that the 3CCD technology is far superior to Canon's system? Sorry for all of the questions!
James Dormer is offline  
Old February 25th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #6
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
Main differences:
Optura 60: 14x zoom, hot shoe mount that can power Canon accessories.
Optura 50: 10x zoom, cold shoe mount that can accomodate battery powered accessories.
__________________
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
Michael Wisniewski is offline  
Old February 25th, 2006, 04:47 PM   #7
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Dormer
... what do you think about the idea that the 3CCD technology is far superior to Canon's system
Just different methods to achieve the same thing at a certain price point. It's not a big factor in deciding which camera to purchase and it won't tell you which image will be better.

Better to focus on the features that will affect how you use the camera, and then go down to the store and get some hands on to see which image you like best.
__________________
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
Michael Wisniewski is offline  
Old February 25th, 2006, 05:18 PM   #8
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 23
I agree Michael. I guess that picture quality and compactness are the two most important to me. The 60 seems compact (maybe not as much as the 600), but still fairlly small.
How poor is the low light ability on the 60 when used indoors? Does the room have to be bright to get a decent image? Thanks again!
James Dormer is offline  
Old February 26th, 2006, 11:21 AM   #9
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
Low light performance is sufficient, meaning it works, but it's not great. You can get decent images, but if you're just pointing and shooting, it will be hit or miss.

Generally, to get decent low light images with any camera at this level:
  • turn on/add some light
  • get your subject closer to the light
  • get your subject to face the light
  • ride the shutter at 1/60, 1/30, or lower
So, you do have to be more aware, if you're shooting in low light with these cameras.
__________________
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
Michael Wisniewski is offline  
Old February 26th, 2006, 04:46 PM   #10
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 23
Thanks again Michael for the information. I've really decided on the 60 or the 600. I just keep asking myself if the extra $$$ is worth it especially if I want to jump to HD in a year or two. If you don't feel that the image is THAT much better, it may not be. On the other had, the stills are better. WHAT TO DO???
James Dormer is offline  
Old February 26th, 2006, 06:09 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Snellville, Georgia
Posts: 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Dormer
Thanks again Michael for the information. I've really decided on the 60 or the 600. I just keep asking myself if the extra $$$ is worth it especially if I want to jump to HD in a year or two. If you don't feel that the image is THAT much better, it may not be. On the other had, the stills are better. WHAT TO DO???
The Optura 50/60 has one more advantage that I think may have been overlooked in this thread: manual audio levels.

Honestly at this point in time I think the Optura 50 is the best bet. Its dirt cheap (low 400s last time I checked) and produces great 16:9 video with lots of manual controls. The manual focus ring and manual audio are not available on any other camera close to this price point (well, excepting the Optura 60 of course). It's quality 16:9 video will transition nicely to HD sets too. I've burned my Optura 30 videos to 16:9 DVDs and played them back on my 30" HD set set and the quality is impressive.

So you'll shoot great video and not feel goofy for spending a grand on an SD camcorder when you're upgrading to HD in a year or two.

www.philipwilliams.com
Philip Williams is offline  
Old February 26th, 2006, 06:58 PM   #12
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Williams
... Optura 50/60 has one more advantage ... manual audio levels.
Whoo! Feature police! - The Optura 600 does have manual audio controls, same as the 50/60. It also has shutter & aperture priority modes, but it can't go fully manual, like the 50/60. And no manual focus ring or shoe mount.

But I do agree with Philip the Optura 50 is an amazing deal right now, at around US$400 it's a steal. In fact, I picked up one last week, the price is so good.
__________________
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
Michael Wisniewski is offline  
Old February 26th, 2006, 09:16 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Snellville, Georgia
Posts: 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski
Whoo! Feature police! - The Optura 600 does have manual audio controls, same as the 50/60.<snip>
Doh! How embarrassing...
Philip Williams is offline  
Old February 27th, 2006, 08:55 AM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: new york, ny
Posts: 121
i own the 50. the big decision for me was 50 vs 60 vs cheaper panasonic 3 chip. (the optura 600 wasn't out when i was shopping.) imo, the 50 is a real steal. the only meaningful difference between the 60 for my purposes is the zoom range, and i never find myself wishing i had the longer zoom. if you were doing some kind of work where it was impossible for you to get closer to the subject (for example nature docs where you're shooting birds or something,) then the extra zoom might mean a bit more to you. the accessories that the hot shoe allows you to use are mediocre consumer-type accessories. i use a real mic with a beachtek power adaptor/preamp so the accessory mic is moot for me.

as i recall (but i can't get too specific here,) the 3 chip pannys don't compete with the opturas for features/controls until you get up to the top of the line (the 450 i think?)

so my vote would be for the 50. last i knew, there was a rebate on either the 50 or 60- b&h had the info on the site. if the rebate is still available and brings the 60 down to a similar price point to the 50, then go for the 60. otherwise, the 50 is a great camera.
Nate Ford is offline  
Old February 27th, 2006, 09:19 AM   #15
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 23
Thanks Michael, Philip and Nate for the helpful information. Nate, I think there is a 100.00 rebate currently on the 60, which brings it to around 625.00. I can get the 50 for around 450.00. The extra zoom is nice, I just don't know if it's worth spending 175.00 for.....One isn't better optically or in low light correct?
James Dormer is offline  
 

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > The Archives > Canon Optura Junior Watchdog

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:38 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network