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Photo for HD Video (D-SLR and others)
HD from Nikon D90, other still photo cams (except EOS 5D Mk. II, LUMIX GH1).


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Old September 26th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #1
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Pocketcams for video

I find myself wanting a little pocketcam for still photo snapshots because I don't take the 5DII package to personal events, etc. I've noticed that the Canon S95 does 720p 24fps video. They have a new Elph SD4500 coming out soon that does 1080p/24, but it's more of an automatic camera. The 95 gives you decent manual control for something like that. There's also a Fuji model that does 720p/24.

There are other little cameras that shoot 1080p video but they're 30fps and I live in a 24 frame world. I'm thinking it might be better to have something like the 95 that's a better camera than the 4500 at higher resolution, but I'm undecided. Canon also has the G12 coming out that is like the 95 but with better control, longer lens, etc. But it's not quite a shirt pocket camera. Same 720p24 video.

Most people get a Flip HD or Kodak Zi8 when they want a pocket video camera, but I'm wondering if anybody has actually used something like the Canon S95 and if so what the video looks like.

My primary use would be still snapshots, with family video. But in the past there have been rare occasions where I've got a grabshot that made its way into a real production.

The SD4500 that's coming out does do 1080p24, but it looks to be without full manual overrides, and I'm wondering if the shutter and white balance and all stay on auto during video shooting. That would be a problem.

Obviously nothing like this would look anything close to 5D video, that's not the point. The idea is that on occasion there might be a shot I could get that would work. For example, I did a couple of sunset shots one time with a consumer video camera that I ended up using as chroma key plates. And once I had a night shot from a little camera shooting a driver from back through the steering wheel, mounted on the dash, and the angle was so different from other shots in the sequence that I could get by with the lesser quality.

Nikon is coming out with one, I think the 8100, that's 1080p, but it's 30fps. I guess I could buy conversion software to get that to 24fps, but that would be a hassle. Sony's appear to all be 1080i.

Anybody have any digital still pocket cameras that shoot video at 24p? I think the S95 has only been out a couple of months. Or doesn anybody use software to get from 30 to 24p?

Last edited by Bill Pryor; September 26th, 2010 at 11:30 AM.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 05:52 AM   #2
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Just arrived.

The start/stop lag is annoying. I couldn't find a way to adjust the ISO for video. The iris is just a graphic indicator at the bottom without the actual f-stop displayed. I had WB set to Tungsten but found the image a little warm (the dummy face should be tan not orange). Even tho I set it to manual WB, you can also see some WB shift with various light sources (overhead flo, halogen, computer screen).

Last edited by Les Wilson; September 29th, 2010 at 07:58 AM.
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Old October 4th, 2010, 09:51 PM   #3
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One thing I really like on the S95 is that it can take 16:9 stills. I like to do this to practice composition or if I am scouting locations.

One other fun thing I like to do is set the resolution to 1920x1080, hold the shutter button and make little time lapses.


All of the issues that Les Wilson mentioned are true and focusing in particular is a real pest for me, but I love the fact I can have a camera this powerful sitting in my back pocket!
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Old October 5th, 2010, 12:30 AM   #4
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I always love your videos.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 12:39 PM   #5
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OK, I got an S95 the day our local festival started this past Friday. I wanted to have a camera in my pocket for things like this:

YouTube - *SANTIAGO

Not great, but the guy was there and I goto a nice little testimonial and put up a Youtube link the next morning.

I have a question: The controls for still photography are fine and easy to manipulate (for a pocketcam), but so far I can't figure out how to get any manual control at all for video. The ring gives me zoom stops is all, when in video mode. And everything else is totally automatic. I could live with all the auto stuff, but it would really be nice to be able to lock focus. Apparently, though, the act of turning the knob to video mode freezes out everything manual. That sucks. But, having a pocketcam that can shoot video is worth it. Is there something I'm missing here?

The above link was shot in decent light, albeit flat. There's another video on the site from the previous night at the festival, shot in less than ideal conditions, so you can see what happens there if you want. Overall, I'd say the quality is acceptable for something like this. Better looking video than the Flip, and it's 24p. That part is good, the 720p part is not so good, but again, OK for home movies. I would like some manual control, though.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 11:20 AM   #6
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I had the same reaction. Just zoom and iris controls during video. Still good looking video.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 03:07 PM   #7
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I finally found it. There's the zoom, controlled by the ring, and then iris and manual focus. Iris is easy, but for focus you have to click the MF side of the wheel, then go to MF and you're there. It will let you use auto to focus, then you can go to manual and it will lock that focus in. A bit cumbersome, but if I had known how to do that when I shot that interview, I could have composed it better instead of having the guy in the middle of the frame, which I did to maintain focus.

I'd sill like to be able to set ISO manually in video mode, but I can live with the manual focus and iris. That makes it useable. In the first festival snapshot video I did, a number of shots were rotten because of the shifting iris. This makes the camera perfectly acceptable for why I bought it. Could be better, but I'm much happier now that I figured out how to use it than I was yesterday. Maybe we should do a training video on how to navigate the knob, since they don't tell you much about video in the manual.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 12:59 AM   #8
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Laurence, I love your videos.
I also love the objects you shot.
Your videos always have vehicles and people.
They seem to be short documentary films.
Your images are very clear, but don't have noisy BGM.
I guess you have got a good video camera!!
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Old October 9th, 2010, 11:05 AM   #9
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I just figured out the two videos I put on Youtube were shot SD, not HD. When you turn the camera to video mode, it defaults to SD, and you have to scroll down to the HD position. Duhhh. Wish they had put that in the manual. Maybe they did and I missed it.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 11:31 AM   #10
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Yeah, the controls are a little fiddly and I seem to always get slightly warm colours and the white balance seems to change even if you set it to a preset.

I am really loving the global shutter CCD sensor. Whip pans are great fun.
I am looking forward to having it inside a car so I can see how it handles vibrations.

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Old October 9th, 2010, 12:43 PM   #11
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I should start using Vimeo. Looks a lot better than Youtube. Here's a quickie thing in a coffee house yesterday, after I started figuring out the controls a little better.
YouTube - S95test

Auto focus on a wide shot with lots of people gets a little soft. I didn't redo it with manual because the person I was meeting showed up.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 11:43 PM   #12
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I think getting slightly warm colours is good.

In most videos on youtube people can capture clear images, but their objects look a bit mechanical sometimes.
They are cold and uncomfortable.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 11:44 PM   #13
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I have a little Flip video camera and am completely unhappy with its performance in lower light.

Still looking for other options for a small camera that shoots HD in CCD and at 30fps.

Looked at the Nikon 8100 but it is CMOS. Gotta get away from the jello in mobile applications.

One that has caught my eye is the Canon SD1400. Quite small and compact. Lowlight? Not sure.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 09:30 PM   #14
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I use an older camera for HD video. It's a Canon SX200 camera. If you can find one, it's got manual controls.
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