Budget camera with good quality video?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Hello.there, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. Hello.there macrumors 6502a

    Hello.there

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    #1
    I've given up my Canon Powershot (with video) for a Nikon D40 - no regrets at all, really enjoying using it. But I do miss having the video facility, just for short clips of family, etc, when the opportunity arises.

    I'm not so in to video that I want to buy a camcorder, but would be interested in buying a small/compact budget digital camera with good quality video. Is that a contradiction in terms? Any ideas on a solution? Thanks.
     
  2. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #2
    I don't have one yet, but I'm looking at the Panasonic TZ-5. It replaces the TZ-3.

    It's a 10x optical zoom and has 1280x720, 30 fps video mode.

    ft
     
  3. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

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    #3
    How about you help us by defining "good" video. What sort of resolution are we talking? And just for good measure, how about a $$$ range? :)

    A digital camera will generally shoot average video.
    A video camera will generally shoot average photos.

    I have a Fuji FinePix S6000(?) camera from 2001 which does pretty decent video. Though it probably a little too big based on your description.

    I don't have any particular brand affiliation but just checking the FujiFilm website something like the "FinePix F100fd" might be of interest. It can go up to 640*640 video and with a 2GB card you can probably get a good 30-60 mins without too much worry.

    start here: http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/index.html
     
  4. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

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    #4
    Another option is the Canon PowerShot TX1 7.1-Megapixel Digital Camera

    "HD movies: Enjoy the clarity of 1280 x 720 high-definition movies at 30 fps with the TX1. Plus, the camera's Face Detection AF feature for still images is also available in movie mode and sound is recorded in stereo, for a true HD experience."

    You should be able to carry it in a jacket pocket at least, maybe not a pants pocket. Looks to retail around US$500.
     
  5. Hello.there thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hello.there

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    #5
    Ok, well I'm not really qualified to talk about what resolution I'm looking for, to be honest. By 'good' I mean.....err, good. For this price range I'm not expecting superb quality, but I think most of you might guess what I'm hoping for - crisp, clear, pleasant quality video, if not quite as smooth as your average 1980s Duran Duran video. :)

    Budget: E200/US$300/£150, give or take 20/30 Euros/Dollars/Pounds.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions (and thanks for the ones offered already).

    PS Didn't realise the lowest end camcorders were so cheap - see here. Maybe that's what I should be looking at instead?
     
  6. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #6
    I would take a look at the Samsung Digimax S830 that on paper looks like a well rounded digicam if you're looking for video mode.

    - 3 video modes, the best is VGA resolution at 30fps. Records in MPEG-4 (256MB suffice for 13 minutes in this mode, while with the M-JPEG of the Canons you have to count 1GB for 8 minutes)
    - Optical zoom in video mode. Mic mutes when the zoom operates (as usual)
    - One of the most reasonably specced sensors for current cameras: 8MP in 1/1.8" type size.

    You can download the manual from Samsung's site. It costs about 80 pounds in the UK.
     
  7. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

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    #7
    I can't say this for sure on all models, but at least some digital cameras that offer video recording do not allow adjusting functions such as zoom once you start recording, ie set it up press record and what ever you started with is what you get, so if you need to zoom in for a special moment or zoom out for the group shot you need to stop, adjust, start etc.

    Going with a basic camcorder might be your best bet, it may cost a few $$ more but it can be worth it to have the proper functionality.

    The other thing is, do you really plan to use the device to take photos or were you more aiming for the camera because of cost?
     
  8. cube macrumors G5

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    #8
    Yes, if it's only for video MiniDV is the way to go at those prices.
     
  9. Hello.there thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hello.there

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    #9
    Thanks everyone! That Samsung Digimax looks exactly like what I had in mind at the start of the thread but I am beginning to feel now, like cube said, that it might make more sense to go for a camcorder.

    I really don't need another camera (for photographs), I have my Nikon D40 and (for quick snaps) Canon Powershot, really all I'm looking for is a lightweight, compact 'machine' for video, so maybe a budget camcorder is the way to go. I'm guessing there might be 55,372 threads on this topic already, but if you have any tips let me know! Thanks again.
     
  10. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #10
    If a compact camcorder is what you want, then miniDV is not the way to go. I wouldn't call any miniDV camcorder as being compact, but if you remember the analog days ...

    Anyways, Panasonic makes a neat SD camcorder that records onto SD cards. I think it's the SDR something. Samsung makes a couple of flash based SD camcorders as well.

    If you want really inexpensive, Aiptek has a nice 720p MPEG-4 camcorder for about $150. Circuit City has them. I saw a video clip sample and it's pretty nice. The whole thing fits in a shirt pocket.
     
  11. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #11
    Those cheap SD camcorders have either only digital zoom, or the ones that are a bit more expensive, add 3X optical zoom.

    That cheapest Samsung miniDV has 34X optical zoom (at such magnification, don't forget to check that it also has at least an electronic stabilizer).

    But I wouldn't go for the cheapest one, but for one with a LED light.
     

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