Why are camcorders limited to one recording mode? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-16-2012, 04:10 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
shaurz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Why are digital camcorders limited to one recording mode? For example, HD camcorders allow you to record in 1080p but have no option to record in 720p, 480p, etc.

Also, something that REALLY pisses me off is that every camcorder sold in Europe assumes I'm going to want everything in 25 or 50 FPS. Has someone told them what decade this is? All my video content is made to be watched on computer monitors, nearly all of which run at 60Hz, not some crappy PAL TV! Why do they not even have an option to switch to 60 FPS recording when the same exact camcorder is sold in America which records at 60 FPS! We're getting an inferior product.

While I'm venting, I want to just say that whoever thought it was still a good idea to use interlacing in this day and age needs their head examined.

It seems like my best option might be to get a regular stills camera, they seem to have a lot more options available, but I don't want to lose video quality.

So anyway, instead of complaining, can anyone recommend a camera or camcorder which allows me to record in 480p, 720p and 1080p (PROGRESSIVE ONLY, no interlacing bollox) at 30 and 60 FPS, with good low-light performance (most videos shot inside), budget around £500. Well it might be a bit much to ask for 1080/60p but at least 720/60p and 1080/30p. Could maybe spend a bit more if necessary. Also require a flip over screen or front-facing screen so I can see what is recording when in front of lens.
shaurz is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-16-2012, 05:31 AM
Newbie
 
Zoukiepper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
You are correct that, until 2010, many videocams allowed the user to shoot at various resolutions or frame rates. However, not many (or were there any?) allowed one to switch from NTSC to PAL, though you'd think this would be elementary. I vaguely recall that a Sony P72 camera allowed one to pick either format, but that was in 2003. Some editing products let one export to either format, to this day, though the conversion may entail some IQ loss.

People complained for a long time that some cameras omitted 24p. Some recent Canon mirrorless or compact models offer that only. That is a serious impediment if someone needs to blend 24p with video shot in 60i or 30p with another device.

Many recent dedicated videocams allow one to shoot at various frame rates or bitrates, but all at 1920x1080 resolution. The ostensible reason is that buyers are drawn to "Full HD" and don't perceive a reason to shoot anything else. 1440x1080i video is easier to edit, and looks quite nice on most screens, but probably rings no bells when the firms interview potential buyers. 1280x720 60p is arguably very good for action video, and (unlike 1080 60p) is compatible with the existing stock of BD players, but not a mode one hears people beg for.

Some Sony and Panasonic P&S cameras allow one to shoot in 1280x720 30p mode, either in MP4 or JPEG, which is easier to edit. This is an alternative to AVCHD. Buyers are probably naive to the issue at stake, though, and only a few probably discover the actual distinction, or take advantage of it, since lot of video never gets edited.

In brief, the answer to one of your complaints is simple "customer demand" for 1920x1080 and nothing else. Some buyers insist upon shooting only at 24mbps, even though a modest 9mbps might look nearly as good and edit more easily. Some people want 1080 60p video, despite the limited sharing options.
Zoukiepper is offline  
Old 01-16-2012, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
shaurz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I think maybe my best option would be to import from America. It'll probably be cheaper too, even after the extortionate import taxes.
shaurz is offline  
Old 01-16-2012, 11:14 AM
Senior Member
 
GI Joe Sixpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Not that I'm recommending them (as the models over the last two years have not impressed me) but many of Samsung's camcorders have always allowed both 1080i and 720p recording. So restricting recording to one HD format is by no means a universal limitation.

Regarding 50 vs 60 fps it's indeed unfortunate that consumer camcorders don't allow both. While technically it's probably easy to do I suppose it doesn't make sense wrt marketing (there's got to be _some_ reason they don't do it).

The situation today for still cameras is different. Unless I'm mistaken Canon's T3i (600D) can record 1080p at 24, 25 or 30 fps and 720p at 50 or 60 fps (also 480p at 50 or 60 fps). Doubtless there are other models that are equally as flexible. Coupled with a fast ($$) lens, a camera like this can do well in low lighting (the kit lens, unfortunately, does not).
GI Joe Sixpack is offline  
Old 01-16-2012, 11:54 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Suntan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 7,142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked: 49
I wasn't aware that cameras released today only offer 1080. My (decidedly consumer) camcorder is only two years old and still offers a range of res settings.

That said, if you start with 1080p content, it is pretty trivial to convert it to a lower sized video during editing. I'd rather have a good camera that can do good 1080p at 60, 30 and 24fps than have one that can do a bunch to different resolutions half way decently.

-Suntan
Suntan is offline  
Old 01-17-2012, 03:49 AM
AVS Special Member
 
flintyplus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: yeovil somerset
Posts: 1,296
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Liked: 23
What nonsense most hd cams and cameras offer different recording modes and quality options,my GH2 does asdoes my FZ150 http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/compa...fications.html
flintyplus is offline  
Old 01-17-2012, 07:35 AM
Senior Member
 
GI Joe Sixpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by flintyplus View Post

What nonsense most hd cams and cameras offer different recording modes and quality options,my GH2 does as does my FZ150 http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/compa...fications.html

The OP was complaining about lack of alternate resolution recording modes (but not quality options per se) with regard to _camcorders_, not cameras.

It's true that camcorders from two of the top companies (Sony & Panasonic) record only in 1080 (i and/or p) but not 720p or 480p. Some of Canon's camcorders can record in 720p as well as 1080 (p and/or i), but the 720p is a lower quality 30fps MP4 mode (not to imply that MP4 is necessarily lower quality than AVCHD - they use the same H.264 codec - but it is lower quality in this case). Some Canon camcorders can convert to 480 in camera.

But it's also true that the OP can't have done much research or he'd know that there ARE camcorders out there (like Samsung models and some Canons already mentioned) that do offer resolution options and he'd also know without having to ask that many cameras also offer that flexibility (three examples so far right in this thread). But let's cut him some slack - he's new here.

BTW, you just helped make his point about 50 vs 60 fps: The DMC-FZ150 you named can't do both in one model. You have to buy the "PAL" model or the "NTSC" model. I don't know about the GH2 - its spec sheet is ambiguous in this regard and I don't own one. Wish I did, though - nice camera. (For the record, PAL and NTSC aren't strictly correct terms in this context but everyone uses them anyway to denote 50fps and 60fps respectively.)

The OP also mentioned a budget of around £500. I don't the prices of any of the three cameras we named so far. Are any of them in that ballpark? Even if the bodies alone are (or bodies with kit lenses) by the time you add a decent lens that can do low light well, you're probably well over that.
GI Joe Sixpack is offline  
Old 01-17-2012, 10:02 AM
AVS Special Member
 
flintyplus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: yeovil somerset
Posts: 1,296
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Liked: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by GI Joe Sixpack View Post

The OP was complaining about lack of alternate resolution recording modes (but not quality options per se) with regard to _camcorders_, not cameras.

It's true that camcorders from two of the top companies (Sony & Panasonic) record only in 1080 (i and/or p) but not 720p or 480p. Some of Canon's camcorders can record in 720p as well as 1080 (p and/or i), but the 720p is a lower quality 30fps MP4 mode (not to imply that MP4 is necessarily lower quality than AVCHD - they use the same H.264 codec - but it is lower quality in this case). Some Canon camcorders can convert to 480 in camera.

But it's also true that the OP can't have done much research or he'd know that there ARE camcorders out there (like Samsung models and some Canons already mentioned) that do offer resolution options and he'd also know without having to ask that many cameras also offer that flexibility (three examples so far right in this thread). But let's cut him some slack - he's new here.

BTW, you just helped make his point about 50 vs 60 fps: The DMC-FZ150 you named can't do both in one model. You have to buy the "PAL" model or the "NTSC" model. I don't know about the GH2 - its spec sheet is ambiguous in this regard and I don't own one. Wish I did, though - nice camera. (For the record, PAL and NTSC aren't strictly correct terms in this context but everyone uses them anyway to denote 50fps and 60fps respectively.)

The OP also mentioned a budget of around £500. I don't the prices of any of the three cameras we named so far. Are any of them in that ballpark? Even if the bodies alone are (or bodies with kit lenses) by the time you add a decent lens that can do low light well, you're probably well over that.


the fz150 ishttp://www.pricerunner.co.uk/pl/29-2746027/Digital-Cameras/Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-FZ150-Compare-Prices is,720P/50i and 25-24p
all increase resolution up from 720 on the GH2.Never tested the FZ150
flintyplus is offline  
Old 01-18-2012, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
shaurz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Well I have been looking for a long time. All the Canons I've seen so far don't support 720p. I have a Canon Legria (I can't remember the exact model but it's a few years old) and it only supports 1080i at 50/25 FPS at various different bitrates.

I didn't know that Samsung made camcorders, though I should have guessed. Are they any good though?

Not interested in DSLR, too bulky, inconvenient and expensive.
shaurz is offline  
Old 01-18-2012, 02:33 PM
Senior Member
 
GI Joe Sixpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaurz View Post

I didn't know that Samsung made camcorders, though I should have guessed. Are they any good though?

Not interested in DSLR, too bulky, inconvenient and expensive.

Re no interest in DSLRs, you didn't say that in your original post.

Re Samsung camcorders, that's a good question. With regard to current product, the W200 is reportedly very good if that kind of form factor (pocketable) and lens (non-zoom) is acceptable. But I doubt it will be based on your stated requirements. You're looking for a more traditional camcorder with a screen you can swivel forward. I would not recommend Samsung's current offering, the H300. It's not so good in low light. I've been rather pleased with the H200 model that preceded it but it's still an entry level camcorder and £500 should buy you something much better. Unfortunately, I don't see anything better in Samsung's upcoming line-up. So forget them.

As I said before, some of Canon's models can do 720p at 30fps (or 25fps for "PAL" models - oh well). I think that's as close as you're going to get.
GI Joe Sixpack is offline  
Old 01-18-2012, 03:24 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Ungermann's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 3,956
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 118 Post(s)
Liked: 29
Why would you need 720p? What is more important is having full range of frame rates: 24, 25, 30, 50 and 60. I personally think that 50p rules them all, but alas most North American TVs and players cannot play 50p/25i content. Conversely, all European BD players and HD TVs can play 24p and 60p/30i in order to conform to HD Ready label.

The JVC HM100/HM150 can do full range of frame rates. A used HM100 can be found on eBay for around $2K or less.
Ungermann is offline  
 
Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off