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New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-17-2010

Digital Camera with Video Capability

Being the father of newborn twins, I've agonized over the pros and cons of having either a digital video camera that can take skills, or quality digital camera with video capability.  What digital cameras offer the best video options?

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,418
Registered: ‎08-28-2009

Re: Digital Camera with Video Capability

If you can afford it, get a camcorder that takes stills. The quality is on par with a point and shoot camera and you get better video than you'd get out of a digital still camera that takes video. 

New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-17-2010

Re: Digital Camera with Video Capability

We went to another store to look at ours... they told us that the digital video cameras took lousy stills.  Not to question your information, but do you know this to be fact that the stills are on par with the regular camera?

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,821
Registered: ‎01-12-2009

Re: Digital Camera with Video Capability

Its a tossup. A digital camcorder's primary duty is video. Its still ability (if equipped) more than likely will be adequate. Still digital cameras video is just mainly for short clips and most I've seen were just ok. Depends on which you feel you'd be more doing? Taking photos or taking videos. I'd go for the one you think you'd do more of.

 

Congrats on the twins.

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Recognized Member
Posts: 171
Registered: ‎12-04-2009

Re: Digital Camera with Video Capability

 


@TheLexMachine wrote:

If you can afford it, get a camcorder that takes stills. The quality is on par with a point and shoot camera and you get better video than you'd get out of a digital still camera that takes video. 



Camcorders take terrible stills.  I have tried all of the top-of-the-lines camcorders from Panasonic, Canon and Sony and none of them takes even a halkfway decent still.  A P&S will still take far superior photos to any camcorder.

 


@Rrrrrrr wrote:

Taking photos or taking videos. I'd go for the one you think you'd do more of.

 


I would agree with that.
If you can afford both, get both.  If you can't, then check out the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3.  It takes good stills and pretty good 720p video for about $240.  If you want a very good camera that takes better 1080p video than most (all?) consumer camcorders, then check the Panasonic DMC-GH1K, which goes for over $1000.  It is a DSLR so its stil capabilities will be well beyond any of the other cameras I mentioned.  If you decide to purchase 2 seperate pieces of equipment, then you could also check out the Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR for stills(about $200) and the Sony Handycam HDR-CX500V for video (about $750) or the Panasonic HDC-HS250 ($600).  I would avoid the Canon camcorders right now unless you can afford the S-series cams, as the lower models don't provide very good indoor video for the money.
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,418
Registered: ‎08-28-2009

Re: Digital Camera with Video Capability

 


@keeper110 wrote:

We went to another store to look at ours... they told us that the digital video cameras took lousy stills.  Not to question your information, but do you know this to be fact that the stills are on par with the regular camera?


 

That was true several years ago when the average digital camcorder had a sub-3 megapixel image sensor but the last few generations of HD camcorders have all used the same high-resolution image sensors as their handheld still counterparts. Put a memory card in one of them and see for yourself.  If the quality wasn't there, they wouldn't build the still function into the camcorders.

 

Recognized Member
Posts: 171
Registered: ‎12-04-2009

Re: Digital Camera with Video Capability

 


@TheLexMachine wrote:

 


@keeper110 wrote:

We went to another store to look at ours... they told us that the digital video cameras took lousy stills.  Not to question your information, but do you know this to be fact that the stills are on par with the regular camera?


 

That was true several years ago when the average digital camcorder had a sub-3 megapixel image sensor but the last few generations of HD camcorders have all used the same high-resolution image sensors as their handheld still counterparts. Put a memory card in one of them and see for yourself.  If the quality wasn't there, they wouldn't build the still function into the camcorders.

 


 

Megapixels have very, very little to do with image quality.  The sensors aren't even the same type in most cases let alone the same sensor.  The camcorders all use CMOS or 3MOS sensors while most of the P&S still cameras use CCD sensors.  Sony has 2 CCD P&S cams and 2 CMOS P&S cams but even the lowly CMOS P&S cams have bigger sensors than the highest end camcorder they make ($1500).  The DSLR cameras are a totally different animal and use sensors far superior to both consumer camcorders and P&S cameras.  Camcorder stills lack detail and are extremely noisy in even good lighting.  Most photos aren't even halfway decent for a standard 4x6 printout.  They put the feature there because people expect it to be there and because the competition has it.  It is a throw-away function on every consumer camcorder built to date and will not replace even a good P&S camera.

 

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 3,445
Registered: ‎01-15-2009

Re: Digital Camera with Video Capability

 


@keeper110 wrote:

Being the father of newborn twins, I've agonized over the pros and cons of having either a digital video camera that can take skills, or quality digital camera with video capability.  What digital cameras offer the best video options?


 

With a few exceptions, you will sacrifice one capability or the other if you use a single-purpose device.

 

 

Most still cameras don't have external microphone input and have horrible microphones - which means the audio component of your video will be awful.

 

Most video cameras don't have the exposure controls that still cameras do, and their optics are designed for video and not still photography, reducing quality of the stills.

 

There are exceptions - the "hot thing" right now is digital SLRs (DSLRs) with video capability.  Many of these are primarily still cameras, BUT as they target a more advanced audience, when they add a feature, they do it right.  Most DSLRs with video also have microphone inputs.  Cameras to look at include, but are not limited to:

Nikon D90

Pentax K-7

Canon 5D MkII - This one's the king of the hill as far as dual-use goes, but is VERY expensive.

(Maybe there are lower-end Canons that do video now?)

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