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Camcorder with best quailty stills ?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Guys can you recommend camcorder with best guilty stills. I want to buy a camcorder that doesn't require me to carry extra camera to take photos when Im on vacations.

Im looking into Panasonic v720 that will be available soon so my budget is around $600. I know v920 will be better but price is just to high.

If there is something older I could be used one too so Im open to any suggestions.

Thank you
post #2 of 10
Welcome to the forum!

You might consider looking at the Panasonic FZ200 ($600) as a "does it both well" camera/camcorder. I don't think there is a dedicated thread on this forum, but you can read a long review and find a forum here: http://www.dpreview.com/search/?query=fz200&terms=fz200. They don't give out their "Gold" award very often.

Panasonic also has the LX7 ($450) and there is a thread running here that extols the virtues of that camera used for video.

Another favorite for many is the Sony HX20V ($290) or HX30V ($320)

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for reply. I already have Rebel t3 but I wanted to buy camcorder that would have great video quality but also good quality photos if I need to take. They don't have to 12mpix as long as they are not grainy when on the paper. This camcorder will be more to take kids but also some picts along the way. Would you know any camcorders with that kind of capability ?
post #4 of 10

If you want the look, feel and form factor of a camcorder, you won't go wrong with the V700.

What I'm trying to say is that the world started changing a few years ago. As iPhones became known for doing both video and photo, the camera manufactures had to compete with equipment that would be better. They started putting both the features of video and stills in to the same unit. Sometimes they are called "hybrids" and sometimes "bridge" cameras. Even the V700 does both.

After I bought a Panasonic SDT750 camcorder for $800, I became fascinated by what I read about the Sony HX9V, the old version of the HX20V I mentioned above. I spent about $340 on the HX9V and took both to Hawaii for 10 days. While there I shot everything twice. When I got home and played the video clips on my TV I could not tell the difference.

In fact, the small Sony is more likely to get good video for two reasons. One is that it fits in my pocket so I'm more likely to have it with me and handy. Second is that it does not "put people off" as much as a video. This is especially true when I get to play tourist.

Since I bought those two cameras, my wife said she wanted a camera with enough zoom for wildlife. I bought her the FZ150, the old version of the FZ200 that I mentioned above. She does not shoot video, but likes it alot except it was too "bulky" for her purse. On her own she bought the LX7, mentioned above. She loves that too.

So, by some strange quirk of fate, we have bought more cameras in the last two years than the previous 30! The four "cameras" all shoot glorious 1080p60 HD video footage. The one that gets used the least is the one that looks like a camcorder. The two that take the best photos are the LX7 and FZ150 that belong to my wife.

In your original post you wrote you wanted something "that doesn't require me to carry an extra camera to take photos when I'm on vacations." My wife and I are going to Europe next summer. She will take her LX7 and I will take the HX9V so we can get both good photos and good videos. The camcorder, that will take photos, will stay home.

Good luck and have fun shopping.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
sorry for misunderstanding. I want to get a hybrid but i need it more for video but If I have a Kodak moment I want to be able to take a nice photo too. I read a lot about v700 and I already ordered it from Amazon but then I noticed that v720 is coming out this month and price difference will be $30 so I decided to wait fro v720 since it will have slight improvement on stills. I have also seen good reviews on Canon VIXIA HF G10 that I can get off of ebay.

It's hard to find any info on cameras that would have high guilty photos. I dont expect camcorder to have SLR cam pict quality but decent enough that I can print out without any major noise on them.
post #6 of 10
I have used my Panasonic TM700 3MOS 1080p60 camcorder to shoot a few stills and it was ok . Go on Flickr and search for some. My Sony NEX-VG900 full frame camcorder shoots the best stills but
is out of your price range.

post #7 of 10
The photos from camcorders are faked. Yes, they use digital interpolation to up-rez very low pixel stills.

The V700 takes stills that are only 2.3 megapixels, and then digitally processes the picture to make it 6 or 8 megapixels. Almost all decent stills cameras take at least 10 real megapixel pictures. You simply will not get stills from consumer camcorders, such as the v700 (V720), that rival those from even the cheapest P&S cameras.

There is a camcorder just as good if not better than the V700 that takes excellent real 12 megapixel stills (jpeg and RAW), no artificial uprezzing.

Its video quality is similar to the V700: it shoots 108060p at 28mbps (unlike your Canon), has a 24X silent powered zoom, starting at 25mm (better than the zoom of the V700 at the wide and tele end). It is f2.8 even at the long end (better than the V700). It has an external mic input, manual and automatic modes. It even does 720p at 120fps - yes, 120fps (for HD slo-mo in-camera). It has the same resolution 460k pixels 3" LCD as the V700, but it also has a viewfinder that is better than that of any any consumer camcorder (and most cameras) and 1.2 million pixels. Stereo sound (Dolby) with zoom mic, just like the V700. Same OIS. same size sensor as the V700. It has more controls in video: film modes, controls in each film mode of sharpness, contrast, saturation, noise reduction.

Here is a sample video from this camcorder:


It costs the same as or less than the V700. You could use it as a really good stills camera or just as a really good camcorder, with pro video features.
Edited by markr041 - 2/8/13 at 12:26pm
post #8 of 10
Yep. I am second to that.
V700 is pretty pathetic in stills - I had it. TM700 is a wierd creature -sometimes I could get really good stills even at the bad light. In 95% of the cases stills were horrible.
FZ200 is a pretty big rig - closer to DSLR size than POS. LX7 is pretty small. I have a privilege to have them both. - V700 vent back to Amazon.
FZ200 my action working horse - mostly videos. LX7 a vacation companion. No more dedicated camcorder for me.....

Take a good look at those option.
post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by Luke Duke View Post

Thanks for reply. I already have Rebel t3 but I wanted to buy camcorder that would have great video quality but also good quality photos if I need to take. They don't have to 12mpix as long as they are not grainy when on the paper. This camcorder will be more to take kids but also some picts along the way. Would you know any camcorders with that kind of capability ?

You can buy a Canon lens with an EF mount for your T3 with stabilization and autofocus so you can use it more like a camcorder.

The T3 shoots 1280x720 HD. From what I've seen the footage looks very decent.

You already have it and it also shoots 12MP stills.

Of course, if you feel like buying a camcorder anyway, the V700 or newer Panasonic model are small and good choices as are the other suggestions posted here. You may also consider the small and rugged Sony GW77 camcorder and bring along that pocket cam you mentioned for stills. A lot of options.

I know I'm stating the obvious; It's really a matter of spending money for whatever you decide.
Edited by xfws - 2/8/13 at 2:48pm
post #10 of 10
Hi Luke - I have taken pretty good 16MP stills with the Sony VG20:

But, sadly it is a little out of your price range at $1599 body only.

I have also taken pretty good 14.2MP stills with my Panasonic TM900:

The TM900's JPEGs may be composited from lower resolution images, but they look darned good to me. As good as the 12.1MP stills from my FZ150 (please see my blog post on this here).

That said, I agree with Mark, R. Bill S. and Bob K. that the FZ200 is a great still/video camera for the price. But if you want to stick with the camcorder form-factor, the Panasonic 900 series camcorders do a good job too. If you can stretch your $600 budget a little, you can get a used Panasonic X900 from Amazon Warehouse Deals for $603 smile.gif

Hope this is helpful,

Hybrid Camera Revolution
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