Best PQ / Lowest Price - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-26-2007, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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What I want in a camcorder is the best possible picture with the lowest price. I don't care about the recording format/media (hard drive, tape, flash), what connections it has or doesn't have, or any extra features or software. It just needs to be able to transfer a 1:1 ratio to the computer, be as cheap as possible, and have a great picture.

It will be mounted on a tripod for most things, so even image stabilization isn't a priority.

For example, if a $500 hard drive camcorder has the same picture quality as a $200 tape drive, I would want the tape drive. If a camcorder with a 640x480 resolution captures the same level of quality as a camcorder with a 1280x720 resolution then I would same as above. Quality being a sharp, clear picture with good color reproduction. Any help would be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-26-2007, 09:00 PM
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By 1:1 ratio, you mean it must record a format involving square pixels? I guess that would rule out all HDV, MiniDV and SD MPEG-2 cameras (90% of what's out there). If you'd be happy with 640x480 and want easy transfer to a computer at a very low cost, the 30 fps movie mode of most current Canon digital cameras might be worth looking into. Even in models costing less than $250, the movie mode produces surprisingly good quality and the AVI files are extremely easy to work with. They look great on a computer since the frames are captured as 480p - no interlacing artifacts. You can easily convert the MJPEG clips to XviD or whatever format you need. (The audio quality of Canon's movie mode is NOT so good, but you didn't mention that as being a deciding factor.)
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-26-2007, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for replying so quickly.

What I should have said as opposed to 1:1 was that I didn't want composite video out, it needs USB 2.0/Firewire, some type of digital out. I should have been more specific.

As for sound, your right, it's not that important to me. Picture quality over everything else. 480p would be great. If you could name some model numbers of Canon in the sub-$300 range that feature a great picture, especially for Internet use, it would be very useful.

Another quick question, lets say I bought a hi-def camera 1280x720 or 1920x1080 and converted it's picture to a 480p size. How much of a quality difference would there be between the cheap Canon at 480p and a cheap ($700-800) hi-def camcorder converted down to 480p, a whole lot or almost the same?
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-27-2007, 02:40 PM
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If you need only 480p and are trying to spend as little as possible, then don't bother with an HD camera. Not only will you pay 3-4x more upfront, but the time and hassle to scale down the clips for Internet use will add time to every project you do.

If you describe the application, we can provide some better advice on what sort of camera would be appropriate. What are you shooting and how will it be distributed (web, DVD, etc.)?
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