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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if this isn't the right place to ask (would anyone know of a more suitable forum?). I remembered this board from a long while ago (and forgot that my username had been purged in the board changeover).


In the past week I've been hands-on evaluating those compact consumer digicams and camcorders for myself and a friend. These include the JVC GR-DVP7(U) and the Canon Elura 20MC miniDV-cams (unfortunately I couldn't find the new Elura 40MC in stock yet), all of which also shoot stills to SD card. I'm also trying the Panasonic SV-AV10 4-in-1 "toy" (low res MPEG-4 clips and stills to SD card). And the Minolta Dimage X 2MP digicam (comparing it to my old Canon S100 Digital Elph).


I also checked out the nifty Sony DCR-IP7BT camcorder in stores, but wrote it off due to proprietary MicroMV MPEG-2 cassette and MemoryStick (I can't afford to buy multiple media formats since I'm already standardized on CF and SD from the Pocket PC world). The Panasonic PV-DC252/352 also seem full-featured, but are a bit thicker than the Canon/JVC. With regard to other digicams, I briefly checked out the new Elph S330 and the Olympus C700uz and D40.



Anyways, it's been difficult locking down our specific needs. My friend insists on carrying just one all-in-one device, but isn't sure what his photo and video priorities are (he wants to shoot pics of design samples and vidclips of business meetings and associates, as well as vacations). Although I know the stills from these camcorders can't match those from most digicams (no flash for one thing), I was curious to find this out firsthand.


On paper, the megapixel JVC GR-DVP7 seems more capable than the Canon Elura 20MC/40MC (and might work better with my JVC SVHS VCRs). But I've read reviews where the old Elura 10 trounced the old GR-DVP3 in image quality (especially in still pics)...? I've shot with both the GR-DVP7 and the 20MC (hoping I can extrapolate the new 40MC's performance), but haven't had a chance to do a head-to-head visual comparison (being a novice, I'd have to bone up on what to look for anyways). The Canon does have faster autofocusing and seemingly a warmer/richer tone...


In general, the JVC is a bit lighter and thinner, with a higher-pixel but non-progressive scan CCD, and can even shoot 240x176, 400kbps MPEG-4 .asf "email" clips to SD card similar to the Panasonic SV-AV10. The sliding lens cover is nice, too. Then again, the Canon 20MC has better low-lux performance (JVC's Night-Alive mode handles motion very badly), though there's still no 0-lux IR. Plus it feels more solid and comfortable in your hand and has a slightly bigger 2.5" LCD (I've heard of owners using the Canon as a portable viewer on trips, though to be fair, both can record from -- but not pass through(?) -- analog A/V line-in).


I was wondering though, is the new Elura 40MC supposed to be a better upgrade model over the 20MC? Whereas the 20MC (and the JVC) have been selling for about $1100-1300, the 40MC is priced at just under a grand. The 40MC is slightly bigger while having a smaller 2" LCD (same as the JVC), and apparently uses a 1/6" interlaced CCD vs. the 20MC's 1/4" progressive-scan CCD. On the other hand, the 40MC does take higher-res XGA stills, have an even better 2.4-min lux rating, and support several new features (small MJPEG "email" clips to SD card, EXIF data, direct print, etc). Note that the two use different accessories.



On the flip side, the Minolta Dimage X digicam (though not as full featured as the Elphs) would definitely take better stills than the camcorders, and can shoot vidclips up to 35 secs (which may be enough for my friend). But I think I'd really miss the 10x optical zoom, though 3x is pretty decent I guess.


Also, even given the toy-like capabilities of the Panasonic SV-AV10, the novelty of such a cool, miniscule device is hard to resist. The 15fps variable-bitrate QVGA clips and VGA stills I've shot kinda suck , but I think good enough for casual emailing. Who knows, if I can get the flash for pics to work better, this may be enough of an all-in-one for my friend.



...The problem is that we're in a rush as he's leaving the country next week. :( I still have to buy extra batts and other accessories for whichever device(s) he's going to take with him. Any comments/suggestions?
 
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