Why Include Still Capture on Camcorders?

Shoot the Still Shot?

I have had a Canon Elura for two years and have yet to use the still-photo feature, except to see how it works.
I find that I can get very good stills from video clips by selecting and deinterlacing a good frame. When I want really good quality stills I use my multi-megapixel still-image camera.
Do other Videomaker readers agree? If so, camcorder manufacturers should drop the still-photo features, flash, memory card, megapixel CCDs and related controls and menu items from all but low-end consumer models and focus on making better camcorders. This can simplify operation, improve quality and reduce price.

Ben Crutchfield

Arlington, VA

I Spy

I clipped out your Quick Focus article on the Miniscule Spy Cam (January 2002). The article briefly described the Che-ez! Spyz digital camera. I have wanted a digital camera for some time, but have not yet been able to find the budgetary means to pick one up. The Spyz, however, had a couple of uniquely appealing features: small size (like a lighter) and a low price. The article suggested about $70.
Sure, the quality, even at the highest setting (640×480), varies depending on the brightness of the environment (as it has no flash), but for pure recreational fun, I have found it to be quite the wonder. Small, easy to carry, and with a USB cable to import the pictures, I have had a good time with it. Thanks for informing your readers about some of the lesser-known gadgets available around the world.

Lonni Steven Wilson

Columbus, OH

Carry a Little Stick

I wanted to follow-up regarding your review of the (Sony) DCR-TRV17 (February 2002). Overall it was a great review but there were a few points I wanted to clarify.
While the Memory Stick format was developed by Sony (much like the CD and the 3.5-inch floppy disk), it has been widely adopted by more than 200 supporting companies, including HP, Samsung, Pioneer, Lexar and SanDisk. To date, more than 300 Memory Stick-compatible products in over 50 different categories have been announced or placed on the market.
In your review, you note that you wish that a memory format would be interchangeable between PDAs, MP3 players and digital cameras. The Memory Stick media does just that. The same memory card used in the TRV17 can be used in a HP printer, a Clie handheld, a recently announced Samsung portable DVD player and many other products including adapters and PC peripherals.

Rosemary Flynn

Sony Electronics Inc.

Audio Visual

We were very happy to see your terrific review of our Casablanca Kron stand-alone video editing system (March 2002). We’d just like to point out that your editing experience would have been even better if you had discovered the scrub audio waveform button in the split and trim windows that lets you hear and see (via a waveform display) the audio that accompanies each clip. Of course this allows you to visually line up video media with audio much more easily than you found in the review.
Also, the highest quality DVD setting does not play back on most consumer DVD players, but our medium quality does. At your recent Videomaker Expo West, we demonstrated our DVDs playing on an $88 DVD player we bought for the show.
Aside from that, we found the review to be excellent and appreciate this valuable service your magazine performs.

Rick Barron

MacroSystem US Inc


A number of Videomaker readers pointed out that our criticism of Ulead MediaStudio Pro 6.5 (February 2002) for not having scene detection during the capture process was unfair, since it does actually have it if the proper options are selected in the capture dialog. We wish this feature had been turned on by default, but this is an important omission from the Media Studio Pro review and we regret the error.
— The Editors

The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.

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