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Old December 24th, 2010, 07:23 AM   #1
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Camera suggestion for everyday use?

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on a good consumer HD camera? I'm talking along the lines of going to a big box store, like best buy, or something of the type, get a good HD camera to film the kids, or walk around with. Not necessarily for production purposes, but everyday use. Looking for small, but well featured, small enough to carry around in a cargo shorts pocket. Can't always carry around the 7D, or (when I can afford to get it), a larger 3 chip camera. Just want something for pulling out fast, and getting a shot of something, when I happen to be doing other things, but see something I wouldn't mind having in my stock footage bin.

Thinking something in the sub $800 area (or lower if possible), but featured enough to let me set white balance, and have good picture control, so I can flatten out the profile. Also smaller the better. I stop by the store, and get lost looking at the different selections, sony, canon, flip.

If anyone has any suggestions, to get me looking in the right directions, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old December 24th, 2010, 08:31 AM   #2
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Hi Jeff,

That is a really hard question to answer for someone else. There are a lot of good choices out there now. You'll see most consumer cameras are now using solid state recording. AVCHD is the format of choice for those cameras.

Which one to choose? My personal choice would be one of the Sony or Canon cameras.

A friend of mine has the Canon and one thing that is absolutely amazing on this thing is how good the image stabilizer is. To me that is one of the most important features for a company to get right on a very small and hard to control camera. Watching the "blair witch" version of your kids birthday parts isn't likely going to be what you are after. ;)

Get out and hold a few in the big box store of your choice. See how well they stabilize your handheld footage. Stay with a major brand and you should be happy with the image it delivers.

Hope this helps and Happy Holidays!
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Old December 24th, 2010, 08:38 AM   #3
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Oh. Forgot to mention one of the points in your post, most consumer cameras in this price range don't give you much if any control over recorded color saturation. The two above as far as I read won't let you flatten out the color but do have some manual control over exposure and white balance. You'll have to check out the article and see if its enough for your needs.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 09:00 AM   #4
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My vote

Canon S95, I do not own it but the reviews are good.

399. $

193 grams 6.8 oz
100 x 58 x 30 mm
(4 x 2.3 x 1.2 in)

Enthusiast Compact Camera Group Test (Q4 2010) Review: 18. Conclusions and ratings: Digital Photography Review

Newegg.com - Canon PowerShot S95 Black 10.0 MP 3.0" 461k LCD 3.8X Optical Zoom 28mm Wide Angle Digital Camera
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Old December 24th, 2010, 09:19 AM   #5
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I've always been primarily a stills photographer, and carry a canon G11 around a lot. I bought a Sony NEX earlier this year, and I've been astonished at how well it does both stills and video.
The nex 5 shoots 1080i and the system uses an APS-C sensor, so shallow DOF is very good. Video quality out of a package this small is really surprising; it does a superb job. Interchangeable lenses is an added bonus; I've been able to use all of my Nikon glass with an adaptor, and it does a great job.
the two lens kit wits your budget; camera body, 16mm and 18-55. Good gear
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Old December 24th, 2010, 10:01 AM   #6
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Panasonic HDC-TM700 - It might be a bit over your budget, but I like the fact that it's got a viewfinder, full manual control, 3 chip, 24p & 60p and a fast f1.5-2.8 lens.

It's been reviewed well.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #7
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Hi Jeff.
I would check out the little Flip HD cameras. There are a couple of different models, one shoots 720 @ 60fps with image stabilization. I wonder how these simple little cameras would be for casual use...
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Old December 29th, 2010, 07:10 AM   #8
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the little Flip's shoot nice footage if you can stabilize them. They're not easy to hold in a stable fashion, and despite claims of image stabilizaiton they're all over the place.That was one of the reasons I went with a NEX. I have a Flip, the "jitters: got to me, and the Sony IS is really quite good, especially with the 18-200 lens (the supplied lens with the VG10)
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Old December 29th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #9
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Panasonic SD600

1080p, 3 chip, great image stabilization, $399 at Amazon right now. I just ordered one. It is basically a TM700 minus the multi-function ring, accessory shoe and it has a slightly smaller LCD touchscreen. It's pretty small and light too.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #10
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Incredible

It is simply incredible how high the quality vs price ratio got. I bought a $220 Panasonic DMC-ZS6 still camera with 720P video for my wife for Christmas, and I can't get over the incredible quality of this little toy. No manual control other than exposure (I guess that would be iris in pro terms). Sure, it gets uglier under not-so-good lighting, but look at this video and let me know what you think.


It looks like the embedded version is SD only, so go to Vimeo to watch in HD. And for the next two weeks or so you can download the raw file I uploaded, after that, only the transcoded file.

Oh, and please excuse the mess in my house...
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Old December 29th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #11
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DMC-ZS6 is the US naming for the Lumix TZ series, and I cannot recommend them enough. Two friends recently have asked for camcorder recommendations, and both have got the Lumix TZ10 model and been very happy with it.

Plus it really does fit into a pocket, and it takes surprisingly good video under good light.

I carry mine pretty much anywhere, and while it will never equal the camcorder, it means I can get acceptable HD video and good photos at any time.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 06:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
DMC-ZS6 is the US naming for the Lumix TZ series, and I cannot recommend them enough. Two friends recently have asked for camcorder recommendations, and both have got the Lumix TZ10 model and been very happy with it.

Plus it really does fit into a pocket, and it takes surprisingly good video under good light.

I carry mine pretty much anywhere, and while it will never equal the camcorder, it means I can get acceptable HD video and good photos at any time.
I use the older Canon SX200 for 720p HD. If it's got a lot of manual controls like white balance, exposure and focus control. It's a point and shoot but great for HD video.
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