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(MPG4) Sanyo Xacti (all models)
A compact 720p MPEG4 digital media camera recording to SD Card.


 
 
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Old April 11th, 2006, 09:57 AM   #1
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HD1 vs SD miniDV or DVD camera

I've been looking at tapeless cameras for a 2 years, and was drawn to this forum by the awesome information on the HD1.
I'm looking to purchase a camera that does a minimum of 640X480@30FPS, because I'm mainly into streaming/online video. (read compressed to death)
The HD1 looks cool, cuz its HD, and its tiny, its got a nice digital camera, and its got an external mic port.
I've won video competitions with borrowed pd170s, and with my own webcam, but I think its time to actually get a real camera.

What I'm wondering is if this Sanyo camera will be better than a $500-$800 mini DV, microdrive, or miniDVD camera.
If its not better than some tapeless camera, could you point me in that direction?

Every online reviewer has had tons of fun comparing this camera to cameras that cost $2000+ and have all happily noted that (would you believe this?) the HD1 isn't as good. Not a supprise to anyone who knows anything about the price/quality ratio of cameras. I'm not going to spend $2000 on a camera, and $600 on a 2gig p2 card, but if anyone has an old viper filmstream cam, I'd be give it a nice home =D.

I'm sure since a lot of you have the HD1, and probably some older SD miniDV cameras you'd be able to give me a review from the perspective I need.

Thanks for all your great footage!(anyone wanna get uploade arial footage from an RC plane?) =P
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Old April 11th, 2006, 11:57 AM   #2
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Paul,

It think you are bang on..!

While the reviews have been bagging on the cameras HD, it also did note significant resolution in the SD setting. ;-) The camera itself is easy to work with and dumpable to your laptop. My laptop actually have a SD card slot so its as easy as it coule possible be to dump the data.

For me the biggest issue right now is the MPEG4 compression as Im having a hard time getting it edited. But Im sure this will be solved shortly.

Say, where do you post your videos...?

Bo
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Old April 11th, 2006, 05:41 PM   #3
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I play my videos back on a 720p projector and a computer screen. I want video that looks good on both, but the $1199 DVD-RW camera I bought this February wasn't up to the task. I bought the unit because the reviews said it was one of the best units on the market; it didn't hold a candle to the HD1.

After researching my experience, I've learned that miniDVD units don't have enough scanlines to produce the quality I expect. Additionally, low-light performance of the mini-DVD I tried wasn't any better than that of the HD1 and battery life was poor. In a nutshell, if you find a good alternate to the HD1 out there, it probably won't be a miniDVD.

Knowing what I know now, I'd suggest you look to either the HD1 or a hard-drive cam. I personally love my HD1, but the hard-drive cams might be good to.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 07:45 AM   #4
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Thanks a ton guys!

I'd rather not get a HDD(hard disk drive) camera for 3 reasons.
#1... Its just a miniDV camera with a hard drive instead of a tape. When the HDD breaks, yer doomed. When you wanna transfer to your PC, your camera MUST be connected the whole time(you can't even get a tape deck like for miniDV). Although they don't need tapes, they are more of a pain to deal with.

#2. Its just a miniDV camera.

#3. The don't use nice video formats. They use evil exotic things that may not even play on anything but the camera without proper software. (All I have to do to get HD1's footage is install slow.. I mean quicktime)

/me buys hd1 =D
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Old April 13th, 2006, 03:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Lorentzen
For me the biggest issue right now is the MPEG4 compression as Im having a hard time getting it edited. But Im sure this will be solved shortly.
I don't want to make publicity (i've nothing to gain lol) but i wrote a little software that can help you to use HD1 shots in any NLE that support AVI... nobody seems interested though :/
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Old April 14th, 2006, 01:15 AM   #6
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I appreciate you writing software its just it does not do anything so far that I want it to.

All I want to do is chop up video. I dont want to transcode to different formats. I just want to pick a start and end point and say hack it up. :-)

TMPGENC does a fine job of making a DVD put of it for me (the results are amazing)

I WOULD PAY for software that let me just pick a start and end point and hack a file up without recompressing. also let me "join" files.

I would pay even more if the software did this in such a way that I could PUT these files BACK onto the camcorder and have them play nice with the camcorder (IE the HD1 take them as its own and PLAY them)

Chris Taylor
http://www.nerys.com/
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Old April 14th, 2006, 02:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Taylor
I appreciate you writing software its just it does not do anything so far that I want it to.

All I want to do is chop up video. I dont want to transcode to different formats. I just want to pick a start and end point and say hack it up. :-)
Hey it transcode the file in a format that can be _easily_ edited in any editor that support AVI (and there is quite a bunch of them, including free ones, like virtualdub that can do exactly what you describe) So it's just a step in the right direction.
(for native MP4 cutter, i believe i can find some of them... like YAMB, it can cut and join mp4 files but just one at time...)

Quote:
I WOULD PAY for software that let me just pick a start and end point and hack a file up without recompressing. also let me "join" files.

I would pay even more if the software did this in such a way that I could PUT these files BACK onto the camcorder and have them play nice with the camcorder (IE the HD1 take them as its own and PLAY them)
I'm pretty sure that MP4UI can remux mp4 files with the correct tracks so the HD1 will accept them. I don't own an HD1 so i let you test that...
But what you want is somewhat a pain in the a** to program, and not possible without recompressing in some case (not starting on a keyframe), so don't count much on me ;)
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Old April 14th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #8
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I did look at some of the lower end editors (read less money) and was first shocked to see that the word "editor" is applied pretty liberally to almost anything which will splice two snippets of material together. with the objective of burning a DVD, most of them were far more sofisticated in the department of making animated DVD menus than actually "editing" the video content.

My minimum requirements is insert editing (video or audio overlay) to this is really one of the core functionalities of a useful editor.

So far at less than $100 I have been most pleased with the MoviePlus from serif.... naturally that does not mean I will not shortly find a problem with it. Ha Ha.....

http://www.serif.com/MoviePlus/MoviePlus4/index.asp


Bo

www.bophoto.com/HDV
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Old April 14th, 2006, 07:57 PM   #9
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Well remember most of the programs your probably looking at do a good job of editing exactly what they intend to edit. DVD's what you want to do and what they have minimal ability to do is edit the VIDEO contained on the DVD :-)

How hard would it be to make an editor that would allow me to cut up clips if it DID use key frames to do the editing ? (ie for lossless cutting etc.. ?)

Chris Taylor
http://www.nerys.com/
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Old April 16th, 2006, 01:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Taylor

All I want to do is chop up video. I dont want to transcode to different formats. I just want to pick a start and end point and say hack it up. :-)

Chris Taylor
http://www.nerys.com/
Chris, Give MPEG Streamclip a try:

http://www.squared5.com/

You can mark in/out and trim losslessly. cmd-k (ctl-k in Windows) gets you to the nearest keyframe. I've mostly used it on the Mac.

If you remux to avi, VirtualdubMod can probably handle the AAC audio in "direct stream copy" mode. Virtualdub will probably complain about the audio.

Now loading a video back onto the HD-1 is a problem for Sanyo to solve!
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Old April 16th, 2006, 01:53 AM   #11
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would it not be possible if we can figure out what makes the videos differently ? or what the camera looks for to determine if it will play or not ?

IE right now the only way I have to play HD is with the camera :-) Hopefully eventually someone will make a DVD player that can accept play and truly output 720 woth the mp4 files we create. (ie with no transcoding)

I got the streamclip and dismissed it. I tried again but I can not figure out a way to output without recompression ?? every method I have so far tried recompresses the file ???

What am I doing wrong ?

Chris Taylor
http://www.nerys.com/
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Old April 16th, 2006, 02:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Taylor
would it not be possible if we can figure out what makes the videos differently ? or what the camera looks for to determine if it will play or not ?

IE right now the only way I have to play HD is with the camera :-) Hopefully eventually someone will make a DVD player that can accept play and truly output 720 woth the mp4 files we create. (ie with no transcoding)

I got the streamclip and dismissed it. I tried again but I can not figure out a way to output without recompression ?? every method I have so far tried recompresses the file ???

What am I doing wrong ?

Chris Taylor
http://www.nerys.com/
1. Open the mp4 file in MPEG Streamclip (note new revs released recently).
2. Click on the timeline to position the cursor.
3. cmd-k (ctl-k in windows) to snap to a keyframe.
4. "i" to mark in / "o" to mark out.
5. after marking in and out, "trim" to keep what's between, or "cut" to remove it.
6. then file >> save as (don't "export" or you'll be recompressing!)

Windows version saves as mov. Mac saves as mov, avi, or mp4. There are several ways to (losslessly) remux the mov back to mp4. Let's work on that later, if you need mp4.

Finding a hardware player (DVD player) that can handle the video of the HD-1 is not a problem. In fact, the DivX certified HD models should play the 1280p just fine. However, there are few players that can handle the AAC audio--at least in the US where I live. I've heard there are some Nero certified DVD players (Ahead/Nero). They should handle the AAC audio because that's what Nero mp4 uses in their Nero "Digital" product. However, I don't know if there are any HD-capable versions. Probably the easiest way to get HD playback to your HDTV is to get a Mac or a HTPC. VLC is the easiest player to setup. Windows Directshow players, like Windows Media Player, can be problematic because their performance varies greatly with what's installed on your Windows system and how it's setup. It's complicated to customize the setup too!

I need to stop by my local Apple Store and try some HD-1 clips with VLC or mplayer for OS X (forget the Quicktime player) on the new Mac mini solo model. For $600, it may be the best playback and editing solution available. It has DVI output too. I tried HD-1 clips on the core duo model and it worked great, but I neglected to try the less expensive solo model. If you visit and Apple store, you are welcome to download VLC or mplayer and some HD-1 clips for testing. Just BYOURLs (bring your own URLs! ;).

Now that I think about it, you could get a DivX HD DVD player and simply recompress the audio to mp3 but leave the video ("directstream copy" mode). Several aps can do this. Still, I like using a PC (or Mac) for playback.
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Old April 16th, 2006, 02:51 AM   #13
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you might be able to losslessly go from the resultant mov back to mp4 but is not the act of saving it in the program recompressing it ? (when I open a clip change NOTHING and just save it the file is a DIFFERENT size than the original ??? (16.9mb after 17.1mb before)

Also I can tell the files are VERY different in that I can play the orinal mp4 PERFECTLY without a hiccup but the mov file it makes is VERY jittery on playback constant pauses and jumps etc..

So its definately making significant and detrimental changes to the file. ?? suggestions ?

goto http://www.nerys.com/sanyo

goto the 04092006 folder download both contrails files. one is the original right from the camera the other is this file opened in mpeg streamclip and then simply saved with no changes at all.

if you read this withing 6 minutes of me posting it give it a few minutes to finish uploading.

I am uploading a contrails.mpg that shows me doing these things and the results (I heavily compressed it but it gets the information across the origina 77mb file was just too big to upload right now)

Chris Taylor
http://www.nerys.com/
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Old April 16th, 2006, 03:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Taylor
you might be able to losslessly go from the resultant mov back to mp4 but is not the act of saving it in the program recompressing it ? (when I open a clip change NOTHING and just save it the file is a DIFFERENT size than the original ??? (16.9mb after 17.1mb before)
/[/url]
No, simply remuxing the streams is not lossy. The differences is filesizes are due to the differences in the media "container." A container is a method of organizing and storing different types of media in the same file--along with various metadata (aspect ratio, framerate, etc.) The original streams are not affected.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Taylor
Also I can tell the files are VERY different in that I can play the orinal mp4 PERFECTLY without a hiccup but the mov file it makes is VERY jittery on playback constant pauses and jumps etc..

So its definately making significant and detrimental changes to the file. ?? suggestions ?[/url]
Yes, the smoothness of playback depends greatly on the demuxer or splitter (which has nothing to do with the decoder). First, I'd suggest another decoder or player. Tell me about your computer and the players you've tried. I'm checking out your clips now. Be right back......
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Old April 16th, 2006, 03:07 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Calin Brabandt
Be right back......
While I'm downloading the clips, Chris, check out these players. The KiSS 600 would probably do the trick!

http://ww2.nero.com/nerodigital/enu/..._Recorder.html
http://ww2.nero.com/nerodigital/enu/Kiss_DP_600.html
http://www.engadget.com/2006/01/05/k...on-to-the-u-s/
http://www.kiss-technology.com/?p=600en&v=users
http://www.infosyncworld.com/news/n/6447.html
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