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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

new here and I guess I am looking for a camcorder, since a slr camera ain't going to fit my needs. I have tried to research and found that I "probably" need a 720p instead of a 1080i and am getting bogged down in details. I have had a sanyo HD 1000, samsung HMX10, Canon HF100 all suggested to me and really don't know where to go.

Here are my requirements:


I need the best digital STILLS I can get from the movement footage (I think this is why a "p" is better than an "i" ? This is my most important factor.


no cassette tapes, I want the camcorder to record it and be able to download it onto my computer (I have heard some 1080's will not download on a normal computer as the files are too big)


Autofocus (I'm a camera idiot), good stabilizer (I have hand tremors)


Easy software, downloading and editing.


Easy to pick stills from footage


Hopefully works well in low lighting situations


Very simple to use


rechargeable batteries (I don't want to constantly have to buy batteries)


Need about 30 min video time minimum


Under $1000


I am using this to film horses for sale.

Hope you guys can help

Thanks

Suzy
 

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My vote is for the Sony SR12/SR11.


Best Still Images for a camcorder at over 10 Megapixel.

120 GB Hard drive (SR12....SR11 has 60gb)

Images/Video can go to memory stick or hard drive

Outstanding Video Quality.

Simultaneous Stills and Video


~850 bucks at amazon for the SR12

~$690 bucks at amazon for the SR11


TRaymond
 

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Hi Suzy,


This is an ongoing debate here and some of us are still in the decision phase. However, I would say that you have a few good choices, but unfortunately I am only familier with Canon and Sony. Here is the list:


Canon:

1. HF11 - 32gb Flash Based, can also record to SD card, no view finder

2. HG21 - 120gb HDD, can record to SD card, viewfinder

3. HG20 - 60gb HDD, can record to SD card, no viewfinder


Sony:

1. SR12 - 120gb HDD, can record to Memory Stick

2. SR11 - basically the SR12 with a 60gb HDD


There are a multitude of other manufacturers, but over the past 15 years (starting with the Hi-8 area) I have only had Canon or Sony video cameras.




Good luck,

Pam
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy Fisher /forum/post/15472193


I need the best digital STILLS I can get from the movement footage (I think this is why a "p" is better than an "i" ? This is my most important factor.

they all shoot in "p" mode, but the quality of the stills you get from video footage will be marginal on all of them... you might be able to use it for web stuff, but don't expect much for prints.


are web pictures what you wanted?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy Fisher /forum/post/15472193


no cassette tapes, I want the camcorder to record it and be able to download it onto my computer (I have heard some 1080's will not download on a normal computer as the files are too big)

a big concern for editing is the speed of the computer... do you know how fast the cpu on your computer is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy Fisher /forum/post/15472193


Autofocus (I'm a camera idiot), good stabilizer (I have hand tremors)

canon has the superior autofocus, but i've seen reviews where it's claimed that sony has the better image stabilization... bottom line, you'll probably want to use a monopod for shooting, regardless of which camera you get.
 

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HF100 should be top on your list. As Canon has just announced new models, HF100's already low price may go down further; and it is really the best bang for your buck. The HF100's replacement, HF200 has smaller sensor; so the new model may have worse low light performance.


Don't worry about 1080 video, the transfer should not be a problem. You can shoot in 30p mode if you want frame capture from your video.


The only part which may concern you is your requirement of "Easy editing". HF100's AVCHD format is quite demanding for your PC, and you may have to try it out to see if it is a problem for you. The bundled software with Canon should be enough for basic editing.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by osv /forum/post/15474446


they all shoot in "p" mode, but the quality of the stills you get from video footage will be marginal on all of them... you might be able to use it for web stuff, but don't expect much for prints.

are web pictures what you wanted?

I disagree. Each frame is 1920x1080, that's almost 2M pixels, more than adequate for 6"x4" prints - 320dpi if you fit to width, or 270dpi if you fit to height. That should give you very good quality 6x4 prints.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRaymond /forum/post/15472975


My vote is for the Sony SR12/SR11.

Best Still Images for a camcorder at over 10 Megapixel.

You misunderstood. Suzy wants to be able to capture a single frames as still from the video. And only Canon allows you to that with full resolution without de-interlacing.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalak /forum/post/15474787


I disagree. Each frame is 1920x1080, that's almost 2M pixels, more than adequate for 6"x4" prints - 320dpi if you fit to width, or 270dpi if you fit to height. That should give you very good quality 6x4 prints.

i'm judging it relative to my k10d, and the prints that i sell from that... if she is using prints to sell horses, i think that she needs better than video frame grabs.


maybe somebody can post up some 30p frame grabs, let her print 'em up as a test? if she needs prints... all i have is interlaced footage.


i agree with the hf100 recommendation, it's the most cost-effective balance between quality and $$$.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You guys are all being very helpful, so let me clarify better


I need to get the best stills that I can get off VIDEO footage. Horses are not cooperative creatures and when you need body position, leg movement postion, ears up, lighting good, background good, you just don't get exactly what you want with a sport drive on a SLR, you would just have to take the best of what the SLR captured.


I tried the SLR route research and really liked the new Nikon D90 attributes as it is doing SLR type video now, but it is NOT autofocus and I gotta have that. I was directed to try camcorders instead, so here I am


I heard that "i" shows more movement blurring, so I should use "p" mode (whatever that is). This is mainly for web posting, but a super picture would be worth the color advertising costs, so that is why in a few cases, I would still need the best resolution I can get. Usually I think that is at least 3mb(?), but I don't think I can get that from anything as a still off video footage, so again, the best resolution I can get for video stills


Lastly, I also actually use the video footage to send to prospective buyers to show the horses' actual movement. People buy from acorss the country sometimes, sight unseen, just on photos and video, so that aspect is necessary also.

I am an "older" person LOL, so not lots of computer savvy and things have to be simple. I have a regular Dell PC with some extra storage space (don't ask me how much, I have no idea) and like to use the little flash usb thingees. I would prefer to be able to connect the camera to the computer via a usb port, download the video, cut and splice as necessary and be able to send it to buyers via the computer. Thus, stories about 1080i video crashing computers scares me. That is all I need as far as software.


One additional thing and I haven't ever found it on a camcorder. It would be really nice if I could turn-off or mute the microphone. I've tried tape and nothing works. It would be a real benefit to have no sound as horses whinney and I sometimes have to yell/cuss at my helpers and then have to edit that out LOL.


I am using a Kodak easy share camera now that gives me stills and video footage, but would obviously appreciate a little better quality stills, although I did get one that was suitable for color print advertising and it came out ok in print and actually sold the horse. So I got lucky on that one


Thanks again for all your input

Suzy
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy Fisher /forum/post/15476546


I am an "older" person LOL, so not lots of computer savvy and things have to be simple. I have a regular Dell PC with some extra storage space (don't ask me how much, I have no idea) and like to use the little flash usb thingees. I would prefer to be able to connect the camera to the computer via a usb port, download the video, cut and splice as necessary and be able to send it to buyers via the computer. .

Hi, Suzy...


It would helpful, if you don't know your computer specifications, to at least post the model number; for example "Dell Inspiron 530" and, if possible, how much RAM (memory) it has or any other info.


The files from the AVCHD cams are going to need some "horsepower"
and you want to make sure you at least have that part covered or are willing to upgrade your pc or to purchase another pc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I can find the computer model number tonight. How do I find out how much RAM it has? Please be simple in your instructions

Suzy
 

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If Kodak Easy Share is not enough (although some of them are nice in photo taking) I conclude that you want some thing more substantial in video. Nikon D90 is a very capable dcam that shoots 720p video. Focus can be set before starting the video so while in recording the focus distance should stays more less constant. Or use widest angle then preset focus and then shoot. It would be near impossible to do long range shooting with fixed focus.

If that is not prefereable then a camcorder such as Sony SR series would be the ticket as it shoots 5+ MP natively (10 mp interpolated) that can be set to widescreen with 7.2 MP. I have tried its still photo capability and is very good. You can record on internal HD drive or Sony Memory stick. SR series has the best still photo capability and its video is competitive with Canon. Both are really nice. IF you want Canon which has a better focusing with motion such as horses then HG series with hard drive and flash drive is an excellent choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had a Nikon D90 salesman tell me to focus it and then put it to infinity and it would be fine and the SLR guys said it wouldn't work. Keep in mind these are loose horses (not with riders on them) so they are moving at liberty all around you, can come in close and then within seconds be 100 feet away, so to follow that with video footage, you would have to have autofocus. Lighting also changes as you follow the horse under the sun's position (although we try to shoot in overcast weather to help with that) Just too many things to deal with manually (at least for me)
 

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You would need a camcorder to do worry free video footage imo.

And if Sony's still photo is not up to your expectations then you will need a dslr (or better compact digital camera than the one you already have)) as well but most likely it should be adequate.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzy Fisher /forum/post/15477220


Well, I can find the computer model number tonight. How do I find out how much RAM it has? Please be simple in your instructions

Suzy

Ok, what do you have; Windows XP? Windows Vista?
 

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You can get all the info under system tools.
 

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Start-All Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Sytem Info.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaspianM /forum/post/15477881


Start-All Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Sytem Info.

Why are you interfering?

Please let her say what operating system she has and step-by-step instructions can be offered.
 

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Go ahead! Just tried to help.
 
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