Camcorder still pics vs digcam pics

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Jessica, Sep 25, 2003.

  1. Jessica

    Jessica Guest

    In several reviews of camcorders, it has been stated that
    even though a camcorder can take, for example, 3MP stills,
    (giving a size of 2048 x 1496), the quality of camcorder stills
    is nowhere near as good as those produced by the equivalent
    digital still camera. For example, can the Panasonic PV-DV953
    produce as good still pictures as a 3MP dedicated still digital
    camera? Does the PV-DV953 use interpolation / digital
    addition of extra pixels to increase the size of its still pictures
    to 3MP?

    Similarly, can the new Sony DCR-PC330 produce as good 3MP
    still pictures as the equivalent Sony 3MP digital camera? Now
    that camcorders can take 3MP still pictures, these hybrid camcorders
    are becoming more attractive because you need only one camera
    for both your movies and stills.


    This article says that Sony switches from a CMY filter array on its
    CCD to RGB, which provides a better scheme for color reproduction.
    I wonder if this would improve the quality of this camcorder's digital

    Can anyone explain why the quality of stills from camcorders may not
    be as good as the equivalent sized stills produced from digital still
    cameras? This is becoming an important issue because people are now
    being asked to pay a considerable amount extra for camcorders that have
    2MP and 3MP stills capabilities.

    Jessica, Sep 25, 2003
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  2. Jessica

    Ed Guest

    There's more to a picture than pixels. Also consider quality of lens, CCD,
    No. of CCD's, Zoom capability, low light ability, etc. etc. My $2500+ VX2000
    video camera takes much better 640 x 480 stills than my old, el cheapo
    640x480 still camera I used to have for $99. I also have a Sony 5 Megapixel
    still camera that does much better. The video camera has a limited number of
    pixels but they are really good pixels.

    Also consider the final destination. The Sony 5 Megapixel camera does a much
    better job when printing an 8 x 10 glossy, but when doing a slide show on
    DVD for watching on TV, you really can't tell much difference between it and
    the VX2000 video camera.

    Assuming you have some experience with manual controls, there are also a lot
    of factors that control your ability to get the proper focus, depth of field
    and lighting that affect picture quality. Pixels are just one of a number of
    factors and not not necessarily the most important.

    Ed, Sep 25, 2003
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  3. Jessica

    Jessica Guest

    Thanks Ed for these comments, I agree there's more to a picture
    than pixels. I think there is also quite a difference in the CCDs
    that are available for use. See for example this article:,3973,1157575,00.asp

    Some people have told me that a 3 megapixel still from
    a good camcorder would probably only be the equivalent
    of a 2MP picture from a dedicated digital still camera. I guess the only
    way of really knowing is to compare the output of a selected camcorder
    with that of an equivalent digital camera and see if there is a noticeable
    difference. I have found that enlarging a very small part of a photograph
    to quite a large size soon shows up the quality of the digital image.
    I wondered whether still cameras use the same type of CCDs as camcorders
    and whether they process the image in the same way. For example, there
    are progressive CCDs and interlaced CCDs.

    Jessica, Sep 26, 2003
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