Compact camera with good video capture

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by James Varty, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. James Varty

    James Varty Guest

    Just wondered if anyone could recommend a digital camera which also has very
    good video capture capabilities (or visa versa)? I was just about to
    purchase a digital camcorder when our digital camera broke. Having something
    that can do both jobs would therefore be ideal. Don't want to spend more
    than £300. Would a very small camcorder that takes good stills be the best
    way forward?

    Any pointers appreciated


    James Varty, Mar 3, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  2. James Varty

    Trev Guest

    A £300 camcordor will take low res stills with lots of noise. A £300 still
    will take only very short movie clips.
    Trev, Mar 3, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  3. James Varty

    Vance Guest

    Take a look at the Canon Line of compact digitals. Several of them
    take very good videos and also produce very good quality stills for
    most consumer uses. How long your videos would be depends on the
    memory card. I think you can find reviews of several of them on including comparative opinions on the video quality
    and some videos.

    Whether these cameras would be an option will depend on your needs and
    the compromises that you are willing to make. If your emphasis is
    video, then a camcorder is better. Video, by it's very nature,
    produces lower resolution images than a still camera, but the
    camcorder will be optimized and feature rich in that direction. The
    converse is true for a still camera with video capability.

    Vance, Mar 3, 2008
  4. James Varty

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    what is the main purpose you want the camera for?

    Most digital cameras that also take videos will not produce videos
    comparable to an actual video camera. For instance, I have a Canon A720
    which takes video clips that look really nice on the TV screen, but the
    sound is not that great. Also, you cannot use the optical Zoom feature
    while you are filming the video. You are limited to using the digital zoom.
    Moreover, any little movement of your fingers on the camera while filming is
    picked up by the microphone so the noise level is unacceptably high.

    On the flipside, if you get a video camera that also takes stills, the
    videos will be good but your still pictures will be limited in size. The
    sensor size of video cameras is not usually as big as the sensor in a still
    camera, so you won't be able to blow up the image as large should you get a
    nice shot that would look good on your living room wall.

    If you want a good video camera and a good stills picture camera, get one of
    each. If your preference is for a still camera and you want to catch the
    odd video clip, then the Digi cam is a good idea. Or, if you mainly want to
    take videos with the odd snapshot thrown in, a digital video camera with
    stills capability should fit the bill.

    The best trade-off I know of is the Canon Powershot S5. It does 8Meg
    stills, and has stereo sound with the video clips. But, the clips are
    limited to 4Gigs (about 33 minutes at high quality).

    Good Luck,
    Dudley Hanks, Mar 3, 2008
  5. James Varty

    BackPacker Guest

    It also has 12x zoom that you can use while recording, unlike many digicams.
    You can zoom at one of two speeds, depending on how hard you pull the zoom
    lever, and it's completely silent (and it records in stereo). Of course,
    some videocams zoom to around 30x.

    The older Canon S3 is a cheaper alternative to the S5 but has a smaller LCD
    screen. Both the S3 and the S5 are good bridge cameras with most of the
    features of the DSLR but with a smaller sensor. Their only drawback IMO is
    that you get a fair bit of noise at 400 ISO and up. There is a hack you can
    load that can perform in-camera noise reduction, and it gives good enough
    BackPacker, Mar 3, 2008
  6. James Varty

    Zimmy Guest

    Although many still cameras can take good quality video, the sound quality
    isn't always great, you get a lot of wind and 'finger' noise and zooming may
    be noisy or may even be disabled. They generally don't work well in low
    light either. You'll also need quite a few high capacity memory cards.

    The still resolution is normally limited in video cameras, so you takes your

    Zimmy, Mar 4, 2008
  7. James Varty

    James Varty Guest

    Dudley Hanks wrote
    Cheers for the advice. I'll have a look at the Canon. A friend has suggested
    the Sony CyberShot DSC-N1. I'll primarily be using it for photos and short
    videos, so I suppose a camera with good video capabilities the best option.
    Is an external mic a good idea?
    James Varty, Mar 4, 2008
  8. James Varty

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    Depending on the situation, it can be.

    If you are filming a group of people who don't move a lot, a nice
    omni-directional mic strategically placed will probably out-perform the
    built in mic of whatever camera you are using. But, if the action is moving
    around and you don't have the budget of MGM to hire a film crew to do the
    sound for you, external mics will probably prove more annoying than useful.

    Regarding the Canon Powershot S5, I'm not sure if you can actually plug an
    external into it. If you want to go that route, that is one of the things
    you'll need to check.

    I can't use an external with my A720, and its built-in isn't that great, so
    I employ a Sony mini-disk (mzm 10 pro) to record audio and then I overlay it
    with the video using a program called Multiquence (available at For special effects, narrative overlays, video
    editing, title / credits, etc, I either use Multiquence or Adobe.

    It takes a bit of time to get things sequenced properly, but the end result
    is quite good.

    Good Luck,
    Dudley Hanks, Mar 4, 2008
  9. James Varty

    monopix Guest

    The Gadget Show on 5Life at 9.00 tonight (wednesday) is reviewing cameras
    that do both.
    monopix, Mar 5, 2008
  10. PreVisite (PVS-7030)
    7.0 Mega Pixels
    3.0 inch LCD screen
    3X optical zoom
    comes with a "fish eye" lens for visual tour photos, metal carrying case,
    recharger for the batteries. Great for real estate agents or anyone wanting
    to take wide shots. Comes with software. $150
    George Harold Hartshorn III, Dec 4, 2008
  11. Why do you post to a UK newsgroup and then quote a price in dollars.
    Are you stupid or what?
    William of Baskerville, Dec 7, 2008
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.