Best compact camera with HD video?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SSSpain, May 6, 2010.

  1. SSSpain macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #1
    Hey guys!

    Can you recommend a compact camera with good image quality and HD video recording abilities? I'm not looking for a DSLR — I've had one for two years but never really got to use it (I had a serious leg injury and I couldn't possibly carry it around during the still–ongoing rehabilitation period). Please let me know which high and mid-end cameras you can recommend.

    Thanks!
     
  2. G.T. macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 12, 2008
    #2
    What would u like as a price range? This would help to get a better match for you :)
     
  3. SSSpain thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 9, 2010
    #3
    I would probably grab one immediately if it's in the €500 range, but I'd like to know the good available options for now, even if they are a lot more expensive. I'm setting up a new graphic/webdesign work studio — my first serious one — and I'm hoping to have everything I need in a month or two. I just don't want to spend more than that for a camera now because I won't be able to take full of advantage of it immediately (I'm an amateur at photography/video) and I have already spent/will be spending a pretty penny on the computer/accessories/furniture this week.


    Oh, and in case it helps, I'm not necessarily looking for anything insanely compact — just a small-sized camera I can carry anywhere without much hassle.

    Again, thanks for the help. :)
     
  4. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 1, 2008
    #4
    I'm a big fan of the very compact Sony TX7. It does full HD and has quite a good sensor for a compact, as well as (a first for me) a useful scene mode, the so-called "Handheld Twilight" that shoots a quick series of exposures that are combined into a single one, to compensate for low light conditions. Its larger (but still rather compact) sibling, the HX5, has the same sensor and features with a lens that has a bigger zoom range.
     
  5. SSSpain thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 9, 2010
    #5
    Thanks! The two models look very promising and are very affordable. I've found some reviews listing a few annoying cons, but both look good overall.

    I'm hoping for a camera that takes great pictures (preferably out of the box) and great HD video in a compact package. I really hope that a camera with the capabilities/quality I'm hoping for exists, even if it's expensive.

    Please keep the recommendations coming.
     
  6. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #6
    This one:

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 / ZS3

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAqZeYjqy0A

    http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_TZ7_ZS3/

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0901/09012706panasonictz7.asp

    http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC...2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1273199856&sr=8-2 Check out the reviews....

    I bought it a month ago, and I love it. Very easy to use, lots of features, and takes fantastic photos.

    It's a Compact Super-Zoom with 12x optical zoom.

    The HD video is fantastic, AND you can zoom while filming.

    I did A LOT of research before settling on this camera.

    Here's a shot I took with it the other day. I had to shrink it down in order to upload it....
     

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  7. SSSpain thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #7




    What an extremely helpful post! I appreciate it. That shot looks WONDERFUL — it's the camera I'm looking for if that's the quality it produces in most situations. However, the focusing while zooming issue in the video mode is a little annoying, and — while by no means a dealbreaker — I'd prefer FULL HD instead of ''just'' 720P.

    I'm now researching both this and the Sony models recommended by El Cabong above. Looking forward to more recommendations! :)
     
  8. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #8
    FTR, I haven't noticed the focusing problem while zooming with my ZS3. I took a 2 minute video of the Hollywood Hills zooming in and out, and I didn't have any focusing issues.

    For me, the still photography quality was far more important to me than full HD video (is Full HD even available in a compact camera?:confused:). However, I did want the camera to include HD video, and 720p is more than enough for the videos I want to shoot.

    I have even been impressed with indoor shots in low light (both photo and video).


    Good luck with your research......

    Here's another shot.....macro mode, indoors, some light but not overly bright.
     

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  9. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 1, 2008
    #9
    The two Sony cameras I mentioned (TX1 and HX5) have full HD (30 fps 1080p mp4 and 60 fps 1080i AVCHD), and are to my knowledge the only compacts that do. I also believe that the Exmor R sensor is better than any sensor of comparable size in other compacts.
     
  10. SSSpain thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 9, 2010
    #10
    That's another nice shot! Very helpful. The still photography quality IS more important to me than full HD (which seems to be available in compact cameras like the Sony HX5V), but I'm hoping for a camera that's the whole package — great photos and great video in a compact form. I'd love the ability to take stunning photos/shoot good-quality video suitable to use in professional web projects without having to carry a DSLR. But I'm probably just dreaming. :)

    Please keep the recommendations coming!
     
  11. heliuscc macrumors member

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    Oct 1, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    I'm in the same boat

    There are only really three to consider in the price range:

    Sony HX5 with Full HD, GPS tagging (good for iphoto places), panoramic sweep and long zoom. Also has 10fps burst mode. 10MP

    Canon SX210IS with 720p, very nice photos, even longer zoom, but is a bit slow in my opinion, infact I am just sending one back and getting a HX5. 14MP

    Panasonic DMC-TZ10 with 720p, GPS probably better than the HX5, but for me I'd rather have the Sony as I feel it has the edge with it's panoramic sweep feature. 12MP

    For stills I think the Canon gives the best shots, and has the best screen as it's widescreen for video, but it's not a fast camera, and with my small kids it misses shots my older IXUS 960IS doesn't. I also feel it starts too wide if anything, and I feel I have to zoom for every shot, which again takes time. So I would say the panasonic or the sony, whichever floats your boat. All the reviews I've seen are different as all people are; so maybe buy both from amazon and send one back?
     
  12. jonkun227 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 8, 2010
    #12
    I sell cameras by day, and do fine art photography by night.

    I bought the ZS3 in December (Costco had it for the crazy low price of $249). Since then the Sony HX5V came out and I'm wishing I had waited. Not only does it do full HD, but it adds full manual controls (PASM modes) which the ZS3 lacks.

    I have really loved my ZS3, but as a professional photographer I miss aperture priority and fully manual modes, even though this is just my pocketable camera.


    Good luck finding the HX5V in stock, though!


    - Jon
     
  13. kudukudu macrumors regular

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    Oct 24, 2007
    #13
    I beg to differ with some of the others in this thread about the picture quality of the Panasonic ZS3. While the video wasn't bad, the picture quality is horrible and can't produce photos half as good as a 4 year old canon point and shoot I have with half the rated megapixels! I was so disappointed that I returned the camera. I am still looking for a compact camera with HD video to replace my old canon.
     
  14. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #14
    Perhaps you had a faulty unit. The vast majority of reviews/opinions have been extremely positive.

    The only standout complaint that I've seen is its ability to take photos in low light. However, I've been happy enough with its low light performance.
     
  15. kudukudu macrumors regular

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    Oct 24, 2007
    #15
    here is a detail from a photo I took with a canon SD850IS and a Panasonic Lumix ZS3. Note in the canon the detailed ribbing in the blue shirt and the detail in the skirt and pavement. Compare this with the total lack of any definition in the Panasonic. Both units were programmed to take pictures on P or auto (I can't remember) and this isn't a case of the canon being in focus since the Panasonic exhibited this lack of detail throughout the photo.

    Maybe you are right that I just got a bad unit, but I am skeptical since the 720p video on the panasonic was clearly better than the SD video on my canon, but when it came to still pictures the panasonic fell flat on its face.
     

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  16. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #16
    I'm leaning towards you getting a faulty unit. My ZS3 would not take such a crap photo as yours did. Even in iAuto mode, my ZS3 takes clear, crisp, detailed shots. Look at some of the photos I've posted above- much different than what you posted.

    I could understand why you didn't like it.

    In fact, I took the best photo that I've ever taken a couple of weeks ago with it. People have commented that it looks like a professional took it (as much as I'd like to, I'm not posting it here, as it's a photo of my wife and son).
     
  17. giors macrumors newbie

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    Sep 9, 2010
    #17
    Best camera

    May I suggest Kodak Zi8 It cots only 117$ and mades HD video in QTime format. It has optional rear audio input too.
     

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