[thechat] more advice on buying a digital camcorder, please

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Sun Oct 19 13:46:25 CDT 2003

On Sunday, October 19, 2003, at 07:02  pm, rudy wrote:

>>> will movie frames be suitable for still pics?
>> Check the maximum resolutions for each one...
> for each frame?  frames have different resolutions?

No, but the movies may have a diff max resolution from the stills.

My Sony Cybershot takes good still pics (up to 2048x1600 or so), and 
poor movies (320x240 max). It's a stills camera that does semi-crap 

>> I would expect that you're getting a mid-range stills camera.
> no, i'm getting a movie camera
> oh, do you mean, built in to the movie camera?
> well, if i can grab frames off the movie, what's the point of the
> movie camera *also* being able to take still pics?

Because when you do movies, the data absolutely has to be off the CCD 
and on its way to storage within the framerate, whereas with stills, it 
can take a bit longer to get better quality.

Single frames from movie cameras (except the really high end) generally 
suck, but as they're going past at ~50/sec, you don't notice. Which you 
*would* if you considered them individually. If I were building a 
'stills too' movie camera, I'd also take a lot more care with the lens 
for the same 'no-one would notice at ~50fps but if they're looking at 
single shots they will' reason.

If the 'stills too' camera takes good stills, it's probably worth the 
$150. But if all you're getting is a similar quality to the movie 
frames, it's not, and you're absolutely right.


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