Video and Audio Quality on New Camcorder vs iSight

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by bluesguitar65, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. bluesguitar65 macrumors newbie

    bluesguitar65

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    #1
    Just got me a Canon ZR960 miniDV camcorder. It is an entry level camcorder so I really didn't expect much. Prior to the Canon ZR960, I was using the built in webcam of a Macbook laptop.

    Check out the video and audio comparison and was the purchase worth it or return the camcorder?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLYJ8omcCrQ
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #2
    The text at the beginning is hard to read due to its fast rolling and blue background.

    Also, the iSight gets more direct light (the window) into its lens than the DV camcorder, and as the iSight has an automatic aperture the image seems darker as the iSight compensates for the bright light.

    Also the bigger the lens and the bigger the chip that captures all the light the lens collects, the better the image quality.

    Even if the DV camcorder you bought is an entry level one, the picture quality will be better than with any built-in webcam on Macs.

    I didn't listen to the audio, as my currently in-use computer digitizes DV tapes with time code in its audio, which is a horrible sound.
     
  3. bluesguitar65 thread starter macrumors newbie

    bluesguitar65

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    Oct 2, 2009
    #3
    So I guess the camcorder is a keeper then. Too bad you couldn't listen to the audio, as I was also comparing the audio between the camcorder and the macbook. The camcorder's audio recording is set to 16 bit, don't know what the macbook is though.
     
  4. xStep macrumors 68000

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    Less lost in L.A.
    #4
    To find the audio specs of the iSight movie, open the file in QuickTime Player and do a Command-I to get info on the file.

    If you are going to compare picture quality, you should record from both at the same time without that bright back lighting which will throw off both sensors. I would expect the Canon to be more impressive.

    I believe the Canon has stereo audio, doesn't it. It looks like the iSight is mono. As for quality of sound, I was surprised by the iSight. Still, most post casters buy an better microphone for their voice work. This may be of concern to you.

    As for the Canon quality in general. I wouldn't buy another ZR model. Over the years, I and my two brothers have had various versions of that model and 2 out of 3 times the transport mechanism ends up eating tapes. It isn't heavy duty. The camera ends up being useful only as a fancy webcam. Count me as not impressed.
     
  5. arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

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    #5
    I see you work with an amplifier. You could do the following:

    -Connect camera with firewire
    -Connect your guitar to the input microphone off your macbook. (easiest way is when you would have the option off a headphone output on the amplifier, and connect that with your macbook through Jack(or mini jack, just whatever the headphone output is) male, to mini jack male.
    -open quicktime 7 (preferably pro, you get it free with snowleopard I believe)
    -set your preference for recording, select the camera as input video, and the microphone input as the sound
    -start your recording.

    So how it works.
     
  6. bluesguitar65 thread starter macrumors newbie

    bluesguitar65

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    #6
    When you stated you were surprised by the iSight was that good or bad? Did you expect it to do better or worst?

    The canon ZR960 has a external microphone input, but when I plugged in my Shure SM57 dynamic mic it sounds very thin and trebly. Also, very noise.....hissing noise. I like to use a USB Audio interface, the M-Audio Fast Track for better sound quality. I use with Garageband and it sounds great, but when I try to use it with iMovie, the audio is only being recorded on the Left Channel due to the Shure SM57 mic being a mono. In garageband I can configure it to play on both left and right channel. Any idea how to do that on iMovie'08?
     
  7. bluesguitar65 thread starter macrumors newbie

    bluesguitar65

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    #7
    Unfortunately, I don't have Quicktime pro, I have Leopard OSX 10.5.8. The options in the quicktime 7 does not have to option for me select my Canon ZR960 as the video source as well as to choose my Fast Track interface for audio source.
     
  8. xStep macrumors 68000

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    #8
    I was thinking the iSight audio would be overwhelmed and blown out.

    I'm not sure what you can do about creating separate channels. You could create a output video that is mono though by using the Export QuickTime option.

    Look at the audio adjustments panel to see if you can fix it. There is an option under the Edit menu to detach the audio. I suppose you could do that, export the audio, fix it, and re-import it.
     
  9. bluesguitar65 thread starter macrumors newbie

    bluesguitar65

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    #9
    Ok, I made another youtube video comparing my Macbook's iSight with a Canon miniDV camcorder. This time, the ligthing condition is much better so both cameras will have similar exposures. So which do you think has better video image qualities and should return the Canon ZR960 based on the video quality comparison?

    What do you suggest?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf7p0zjXsPw
     
  10. xStep macrumors 68000

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    #10
    I thought the skin tone what better with the ZR.
     
  11. bluesguitar65 thread starter macrumors newbie

    bluesguitar65

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    Oct 2, 2009

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