The 30GB Choice

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    • #42800


      Another Newbie thread about which camera to buy!

      I did a little browsing and couldn’t find another thread close to what I was looking for. I am on the search for a Hard Disk Video Camera and have hit a road block. It’s time to get some advice from some folks who have been using these cameras. I need a 30gig HD camera with OIS and good low/no light shooting.

      It seems that I have to trade some options for other options…that no camera has exactly what I want for a good price. If I go with Sony(DCR-SR42) I get night Shot, but No OIS, If I go with Panasonic (SDR-H18) I get OIS, but no light/IR shooting mode, if I go with JVC I get a light for night shooting, but no OIS.

      So…what I am leaning towards is the Panasonic, but what am I not seeing? Is there a better choice?

    • #179287

      <p style=”margin-bottom: 0in”>Optical Image Stabilization is nice but most video cameras are either on a tripod or on a steady cam so if it were me, image stabilization would not be a big issue. Moreover when your camera is on a tripod you should not use image stabilization. But you know what you need more than I do.
      <p style=”margin-bottom: 0in”> 
      <p style=”margin-bottom: 0in”>Low light lux ratings are important for most video cameras because you’ll get more detail in the shadows even when you are working in well lit areas.
      <p style=”margin-bottom: 0in”> 
      <p style=”margin-bottom: 0in”>In the end however I think you’ve all ready answered your question with the “trade offs and price comments.
      <p style=”margin-bottom: 0in”>I think once you pick a camera and start working with it you’ll learn what the “shortcoming are and you learn how to work around those.

    • #179288

      I’m not sure why my reply posted that way…..

    • #179289

      Most of what I plan to do that is not on a birthday/family memory level will be shot by hand….walking around/documentary style interviews. So, in that vein, I need something that can handle compensating for movement.

      Can anyone tell me their experience with non-OIS cameras and possibly give me an example as to why I may not need it?

    • #179290

      I have the panasonic sdr-h18. The first time I used it I thought the video looked bad when played from the camera to the TV, but it comes set to record and playback in widescreen. I have a 4:3 TV, so the image was being blown up and squished on the side. After I set it 4:3 mode it looked much better. On the computer it always looked ok. The OIS works very well. I know most family events, vacations, etc you not going to have a tripod so this is a very useful feature. You can be zoomed in quite a lot and have a good solid picture, unless you are walking or something like that. I found the close up shots look better than the wide angle shot.

      We used it on vacation this summer. I have a larger battery and we shot several hours on several days with out charging the battery. It was nice to be gone a week and never worry about filling up a tape.

      Here are 3 videos I recently made on the h18. The first 2 are in a little club (part of a music school) that was very dark and the lighting was always changing. The close up shots and the shots on your left are the h18, the right side my old jcv mini-dv.

      The 3rd video was inside a school gym, that is also kind of dark since no ones pictures ever come out unless they have a big external flash on there camera. You can see the zoomed in shots look sharper then the wide angle ones.

      Also, these are about 1/2 quality of the originals since youtube compresses the videos down alot. The color and brightness are better on the copies I have.

      I also have this video, it was made just before sunset. It was actually pretty dark outside but you can hardly tell. A warning, if you have sensitive children there are bad words used in this video. So turn the volume down. Its because everyone was shocked after I exploded an air bag and they let some words slip out.

      If you have any question on it mail me.

    • #179291

      How many hours of film can be stored on 30 GB camera?

    • #179292

      For the panasonic, in best quality mode 7+ – hours. Because the video uses a variable bit rate you could get more or less. When I used it on a week long vacation I had 5 hours used and 3 hours left, so I was getting about 8 hours in HQ. In standard quality mode I think its around 14 hours and 27 hours of low quality. Low quality does look grainy, its only good for youtube or web videos,where the size is cut in half. Or something like recording long meetings, conferences or something where picture quality isnt of importance,

      In the next day or 2 Ill try to post some short raw files from the camera, showing full zoom & close up & inside & outside & dark & fast motion & High, Medium and Low quality samples. That way everyone can see for them selves what it looks like, and even how they work your favorite video editing program.

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