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Old May 24th, 2006, 01:57 PM   #1
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Canon Optura 50 vs Canon Elura 100 Question

Hello all. I've basically decided to go with either the Canon Optura 50 or the Canon Elura 100. I just have a question I'm hoping I can get some answers to.

When I read the reviews for these camcorders, these were the results:

Canon Optura 50 Video Performance= 7.0 Video Resolution= 14.4
359/257 lines of resolution in 16:9

Canon Elura 100 Video Performance= 7.6 Video Resolution= 15.5
599/250 lines of resolution in 16:9

My question is how would this translate in "real world" shooting? The Optura 50 has a 1/3.4" CCD with RGB, the Elura 100 has a 1/5" CCD. Which one will give me the BEST VIDEO QUALITY and which one is strongest in LOW LIGHT? I would like this camcorder to take me up to the (hopefully) new Canon HD camera. Thanks for the help!
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Old May 24th, 2006, 02:15 PM   #2
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Get the Optura 50. In the real world, it is the better camcorder in all categories.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 02:28 PM   #3
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Thanks Michael. What do you think about the image testing results having the Elura 100 ahead? They even have it performing better in low light. I always learn alot from your posts, I'm just wondering WHY and WHAT makes it better in the real world. Sorry for my ignorance!
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Old May 24th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #4
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To really get a handle on the differences, you should go down to the store and do some hands on tests.

In low light, the Elura 100 has a brighter image, but the compromise is a bigger increase in noise. The Optura 50's image isn't as bright, but the crisper/smoother image can be fixed better in your NLE. Depends on what you're shooting for and how much fixing you want to do after the fact.

The video noise in the image needs to be seen in person, it's very difficult to compare it online using numbers. And in the end, you need to see it for yourself, to see if it's acceptable to you.

In good light, the Optura 50 will produce a better image. Most probably because of the bigger CCD and RGB filter, but the images will be fairly close, with the Optura 50 having better color rendition. Once again, you need to see this in person, to see what's acceptable to you.

In terms of manual controls, the Optura 50 has better manual controls. Fairly close to the Elura 100, but just a smidgen better in both the video and audio control. You may not need that much control.

Finally, ergonomically, they're pretty similar, that will come down to you and whether one works better for you.

Once again, at this point, it's all up to you. You need to go down and get your hands on these cams and decide for yourself which one you can live with.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 04:52 PM   #5
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Thanks again Michael. I've gone to B & H video to see the Optura 50--they have them in the back but not up with the other camcorders. They refused to get one out for me to see, so I couldn't judge the size, etc of it. I did see the 100 which seemed pretty nice--a little cheaply built for my taste but it is under $300.00.

When you said:
"The Optura 50's image isn't as bright, but the crisper/smoother image can be fixed better in your NLE." Sorry, but what do you mean by NLE?

In your opinion Michael, for someone like myself just trying to get excellent quality video while waiting to get into HD, is the 50 the way to go? Or do you have another suggestion?

James
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Old May 24th, 2006, 07:44 PM   #6
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Well James, I see you're still at it :) But you've got it down to 2, so that's not bad.

I didn't catch (or forgot, I do that a lot) where you mentioned exactly what the main use of the camcorder will be, but if its just to shoot basic home videos of the kids in the living room, just save the money and get the Elura.

If you're planning to do anything more than that, you just really can't beat the Optura. Best of all, as your video skills grow the Optura will be there for you. The manual focus ring and manual audio control are just so cool and unheard of at this price point. Honestly, at 400 bucks the Optura is almost worth it as an audio gathering device. And the image coming off that CCD is really top notch - I watch my Optura 30 videos on my HDTV and it looks like a TV show.

The whole low light thing is just a non-issue. Yes, the Elura and many other cams will produce a slightly brighter picture in dark rooms. But honestly, I've actually found that my Optura 30 pretty faithfully reproduces about what my eyes see. So basically when I shoot indoors the video always comes out alright, because I flip on a light when it gets too dark for ME to see comfortably. If I can't see very well in a room, I don't expect my cam to either (unless its a Sony VX/PD series, but that's another horse altogether).

On the plus side, you've reached the point where you probably can't go totally wrong anymore. You could flip a coin and pick the Elura 100 or the Optura 50 and probably be pretty happy and make nice videos with either.

Good luck!

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Old May 24th, 2006, 08:27 PM   #7
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Thanks Philip--I really appreciate you taking the time to help me! I think the Optura 50 is, like you say, a great buy right now. It does seem to offer more creative possibilities for me and the 50/60 Optura camcorders were among the very best last year.

One final question, I hear about highlights being blown out with this camera and the auto white balance sometimes out of whack--is there any way to manually set that? What would I need--what would I have to do? Does this happen indoors as well as out?

Thanks, James
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Old May 25th, 2006, 08:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Dormer
<snip>
One final question, I hear about highlights being blown out with this camera and the auto white balance sometimes out of whack--is there any way to manually set that? What would I need--what would I have to do? Does this happen indoors as well as out?
I've never had a problem with the white balance, though of course it can be set to Indoor, Outdoor and manual. On bright days outside the Opturas do tend to blow out a bit. This can be corrected by adjusting the exposure level down a couple notches. This isn't an issue indoors of course.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 11:19 AM   #9
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Thanks Philip--good to know you haven't had problems. Do you know how bright a room has to be in order to get great video indoors? I'm just wondering if I was using a couple of floorlamps near my subject would that be sufficient?

James
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Old May 26th, 2006, 11:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Dormer
<snip>I'm just wondering if I was using a couple of floorlamps near my subject would that be sufficient?

James
I'd think that would be fine.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 12:02 PM   #11
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I appreciate your quick response Philip!

James
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Old May 27th, 2006, 10:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Dormer
Sorry, but what do you mean by NLE? ... while waiting to get into HD, is the 50 the way to go?
NLE refers to editing software like Final Cut, Vegas, & Premiere. It's an acronym for "Non-Linear Editor". If you're shooting in low light, you can brighten up your camcorder's image in your NLE. The Optura 50's image cleans up better than the Elura 100 because it's a much smoother image.

HDV vs. SD: Chris Hurd has a great saying to mull over "If you're waiting, you're not creating".
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Old May 27th, 2006, 12:11 PM   #13
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Hi Michael--thanks for the explanation. I wasn't sure what that meant.

I think that's a great saying--short and to the point! I have, as you know, gone back and forth looking for the elusive "perfect" camcorder--which I don't think exists. I've found myself reading every review and literally making lists as to the pros and cons of each camcorder. I guess it's good to research this when making a purchase, but I find its been paralyzing when I have to "pull the trigger" and purchase! As a result of the indecision, I've missed many chances to record moments that won't come again. The indecision stops today!!
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