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Old March 29th, 2004, 02:28 AM   #16
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I bidded on one tonight from eBay and won for a measly $425. So that's a bit better than $900 at Sears. I also ordered an X-Drive to offload my memory card to.

When I recieve it, I'll try to post a review and some clips for download in SHQ mode.

That Japanese review is very interesting. The stills look quite amazing for such a multifunction device. The SHQ video sample looked alright, focusing seemed to take some time. So we'll see what happens.

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Old March 31st, 2004, 12:31 PM   #17
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<<<I also considered the Panasonic AV-100 Dsnap. It records MPEG2 on a memory card. However now it seems that even that video would be losing quite a bit of quality.-->>>

the way to look at it is that the dsnap records at ~6mb/s, vs. ~9mb/s max data rate for dvd... it's a simple cut 'n paste to burn dsnap mpeg2 onto dvd.

the fvd-c1 maximum 375Kbp/s mpeg4 data rate is a lame joke when it comes to dvd... you'd have to recompress it to make it dvd legal... yuck :-)

you might be able to get away with putting mpeg4 on a dvd data disc, and seeing if it'll play back on your dvd player... the new dvd players will play back darn near everything these days.

the other thing to look at is that a trip to asia could be the trip of a lifetime for some people... why bring back garbage mpeg4 internet video for something that important? of course, if it's a business trip that you do all the time, no problem.

i have the av100, there are always issues and compromises regardless of price, but one thing you can be sure of is that the mpeg2 recorder end of it is actually superior to the 1/6th inch ccd pickup... as you might expect, there is a noticeable difference when i plug the xl1s signal into the av100 recorder input.

it's pretty hard to wrong for $425(!), but just for drill, you might also want to check out this review:

http://www.pcmag.com/print_article/0,1761,a=119717,00.asp
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Old March 31st, 2004, 12:42 PM   #18
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Yeah, I changed my mind about video quality. Seems price and dual function ability won me over with the fisher. There is no other device on the market that takes decent video with stereo sound, 3.2 megapixel pictures with a flash, stereo audio clips, and is small enough to be easily pocketable, all for less than $500.

Also from what I hear, the AV100 is a nightmare to upload clips, using some sort of weird software to transport the clips to your computer. Then you have to convert or rename the clips just to use them. The fisher just shows up as a drive right after it's plugged in. I'll wait for the second gen AV100.

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Old March 31st, 2004, 01:10 PM   #19
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the still photo capability of the fisher appears to be clearly superior to the av100... plus you get the flash!! i have not done any stills on the av100, i got it just for video.

i did manage to finally find some real-world specs on the fisher camera: http://www.fisherav.com/specs/CameraCorder_brochure.pdf

they claim a max data rate of 3mb/s, not the 375kbp/s i posted earlier :-0 i was unable to edit my post to correct it.

you are sure right about the av100 software! fortunately you do not need it... i use the x-drive pro to copy the data over to the pc, it appears as just another hard drive under windows explorer.

i posted some of my editing experiences with the av100 to the forum at: http://www.jackbrown.us/camera/index.php ...maybe some of that will help if you ever do any editing with the fisher camera video files.
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Old March 31st, 2004, 11:27 PM   #20
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Dan,

I figured the data rate was better than 375, I just didn't know the exact figure.

I ordered a 40gb Seagate Momentus hard drive for the X-Drive Pro, so I should have plenty of storage for my trip.

Thanks for the forum link, I'll give it a look.

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Old April 1st, 2004, 01:54 AM   #21
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For anyone interested, here is another link of sample videos. The page is in Japanese, so just click on the images. I'm very impressed by the quality of this footage. Can't wait to get mine in the mail.

http://www.sanyo-dsc.com/dsc/sample/c1.html

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Old April 3rd, 2004, 04:08 PM   #22
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hi scott,

thanks for the link... i really liked the stills on that page!

i downloaded the largest-sized windmill video, but could only open it up in quicktime... premiere 6.5 did not understand it, neither did avicodec: http://avicodec.duby.info/ ...how would you transcode it into mpeg2 for dvd?

not including the quicktime stuff, i have 23 video codecs loaded on my machine, so i'm kinda bummed that i can't handle whatever mpeg4 the fisher is using, lol... the microsoft mpeg4 codecs that i have are of course different.

the data rate that quicktime listed for that file was 381kb/s, and it looked good... the japanese lake video tommy linked to had a data rate of 310kb/s, and it was listed as "tv-shq" quality(??).

i would really like to see a video file that was shot at the 3mb/s that fisher claims the camera is capable of.

maybe what we need to do is to adapt the camera front end off of the fisher to the mpeg2 recorder on the panasonic :-) the best of both worlds!

fyi, i posted some raw mpg's off of the panasonic av100, here is the link info: http://www.jackbrown.us/camera/viewtopic.php?t=54
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Old April 3rd, 2004, 05:21 PM   #23
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The files should play fine with the current version of Quicktime, worked on my machine anyway.

I'm so angry at UPS right now. Apparantly they delivered my package without a signature yesterday and then when I got home it was gone. So who knows how long I'm gonna have to litigate with UPS to get money to order another one.

I'm making a statement right now... I will NEVER use UPS again!
They have screwed up almost half of everything I have ever shipped or had shipped with them. FedEX from now on!

Scott Wilson
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Old April 4th, 2004, 11:11 PM   #24
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i was also able to open the fisher mpeg4 up with quicktime, but that was it... nothing else worked.

sorry to hear about the package dilemma! that stinks.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 03:58 AM   #25
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The Review

I finally recieved my FVD-C1 today and in the time I've had to play with it, I'm very satisfied. The build quality is top notch, feels like I could throw it against a wall and it would still work fine.

The interface is pure genius. Every function can be accessed with your thumb (if you are right handed). The menus are simple and to the point. By far the easiest device menus I have ever used!

Stills are very nice, especially for a multifunction device.

The video quality is pretty good, about what I expected, not DV obviously. I'll post a link to sample videos and pics once I have time to upload some.

The sound quality is quite horrible. Like other reviewers, I found that it captures the zoom motor noise. However this is not a real issue for me since I hardly use zoom. I sent an email to Sanyo Customer Support asking about another sound issue I cannot understand.

quoted below:

___________________________________________________

I have owned this unit for a few days now and overall I'm quite satisfied.

One annoyance I have had however is a random but constant hissing sound when playing back footage. Your brochure stated "CD-Quality Stereo Sound (AAC Audio)", and this is nothing like CD quality.

When I was shopping for this cameracorder I downloaded some sample videos and the same hissing sound was in these samples. I thought maybe the unit they had was defective, yet now it seems they were all manufactured like this. Are there any plans to have a firmware upgrade in the future, maybe tweak the sound codec or whatever to not capture a hiss?

Thanks for any information you can provide!

____________________________________________________

I'll post Sanyos reply.

It comes with a nifty docking station, remote control, carrying case, and some extensive software. Something I haven't tried yet is the panoramic stitching software that is included, need a tripod first, which surprisingly this small thing actually has a mounting thread on the bottom.

So that's it for now, I'll post more results soon.

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Old April 9th, 2004, 06:05 PM   #26
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glad to hear that the fisher camera arrived safely.

somebody on the av100 forum found this mpeg player that works great with your fisher camera mpeg4 files... much better playback than quicktime offers:

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
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Old April 9th, 2004, 11:06 PM   #27
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Funny, I had that one already installed, but had never tried it for the mp4 files. Seems more flexible with no nag screen like quicktime.

Thanks!

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Old April 23rd, 2004, 08:42 PM   #28
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AV100

As one who produces backpacking videos, I've also been intrigued by small camcorders. The Panasonic AV100 seems to be the best quality by my research so far. It has a MPEG2 fine mode that is considered DVD quality. Now the catch is that you use an SD card to capture and the largest available currently is a 1GB card holding about 20 minutes worth. This may or may not be a problem as some are also carrying (in my case, shipping in a box for pickup at a PO) an X-drive or other types of digital wallet storage drives. The X-drive apparently has receptacles for many types of memory cards so no PC required. Just dump your footage and continue shooting.
What this reminds me of are the old days of film shooting for me. With Super 8 films we used 3 minute rolls of film. Same for 16mm cameras. Meaning that we'd compose our shots carefully. Nowadays with tape, we roll the camera even before we're locked down on a tripod. Who cares?
So I'd encourage you to check out the AV100. It's priced as low as $600. Cards are about $180 for the 1/2 GB or $400 for the 1 GB. Hey, you only need one or two cards!
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