Camcorder upgrade

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by Dad's Army, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. Dad's Army

    Dad's Army
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    I am currently using a Sony PC9e camcorder, its a year or two old now, it uses a 4.5mm(1/4 type)ccd approximately 800,000 pixels (effective:400,000 pixels). I have always been disappointed in the picture clarity/sharpness at long shots and in poor light conditions(i Know most cams do suffer this problem however).I am looking to upgrade to something that will give better sharpness/clarity over the PC9 and hopefully better low light performance. I have been looking at the new Sony 3mp chip cameras such as the DCR-PC350 and Panasonics 3 CCD cameras such as the NV-GS 400.I also see that Sony are releasing a 3 cmos chip camera, Ive heard that 3CCD cameras dont perform too good in low light ,my question is really should I go for a Sony 3mp chip camera or a 3 CCD camera or is it worth a wait for the 3 cmos chip camera, your views would be appreciated.I tend to edit footage on PC then output to DVD,I'm an amateur but still like to try and get the best quality I can........Many thanks.
     
  2. JayX

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    Yes, generally a 3CCD camera gives slightly worse performance in lower light. You could always get a big chunky battery and clamp a light on the front tho.. it all depends what you're doing really, and what kind of price you can spend.

    My friends just picked up the GS400, but I can't get on MSN for some reason this last week (problem on my PC with sockets) but if I see him I'll ask him how its going. It seems like a nice little camera.

    Unfortunately the lowest "good low level" cam is the VX2000. Maybe the VX1000 I've not used one, they would be fairly cheapish second hand now too.....
     
  3. Roy Mallard

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    CMOS = naffesque
    CCD is the only way to go, especially for the imense and rapid contiguous processing video requires.

    Panny GS400, smallish chips (although it's 3x, as the light is split 3 ways it only really adds up to 1 in terms of brightness).

    VX's have 1/3chips, yep better, but even a fast lens with a 2/3rd ccd block is only going to record dark if theres no light....

    Jayx's advice about the extra light is, I'm afraid the only way to go....

    Digital Zooms, colour viewfinders and supernightvisionscopeultra etc... systems are only there because some focus group in Japan liked the sound of them... the skinny is they don't work that well, lord Kelvin and Albert Einstein weren't wrong...
     
  4. JayX

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    I think its definitely worth building a page for people buying consumer cameras to show them what is just sales blurb and what is genuinely needed. I think people are starting to get the hang of the digital zoom thing now, nothing worse than a barrel showing off it has "800x". *shudders*.

    Regarding the CMOS/CCD thing, well I must admit I know nothing about CMOS. And I don't plan to start learning about it either! I think the best way for people to know what tech to use is, look at the expensive cameras. Look what they offer, then look at what you can afford and compare them. If a £5000 camera is using CCDs still, and the new cheap camera is offering CMOS... doesn't generally mean its the best way to go. Its why I'm not envious of anything with "true" widescreen on their cheapy cams (except the PDX10 kids, cos I have a TRV950 :p) because I can add real widescreen with a lens that'll blow theirs out of the water still!

    Its insane how many gimmicks there are on cameras still, even prosumer/professional cameras. The HC1000 is the best example, an example of a camera model going completely the wrong way! More gimmicks than ever before, and a worse camera for it. Sony, Canon, Panasonic et al KNOW everyone uses PC/Mac solutions to edit with these days, so crap digital effects etc do nothing but add price and buttons to cameras, when a camera that offers no editing features but a better quality build and lens for the same price would be a lot more popular amongst people doing their research.
     
  5. MarkE19

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    Sorry to disagree herre, but I know that most people don't use a PC/Mac for video editing. Yes, the majority of technical people such as those that visit this and other forums will. But many people just want a VHS of the grandchildren etc when they come to visit. Therefore no editing is wanted, just a straight copy to VHS.
    Take the above 'non techie' people and when they walk into a shop such as Dixons to buy a camcorder they are going to be looking for 'the one with the best features'. The fact that they will hardly ever use most of them has nothing to do with it as the sales person will push the more expensive model with more useless features. Therefore the features do create more sales, as 'Joe Public' perceive that they have got a better deal. Best quality will not be at the top of most peoples list of requirements as they are most likely to just buy what the sales person tells them is 'best'.

    Mark.
     
  6. Dad's Army

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    thanks for all your views folks. Re cmos I think they are cheaper to produce , it just seemed that Sony were hyping it as the first of its kind available to the consumer as though it may be a better alternative to CCD.My budget really is between £700 and £1000 ,you can get some decent deals the nearer to 3700 the better.Has anyone got any views of the 3mp single chip over the 3 ccd chip cameras ? The problem with camcorders is that you dont know how good they are till you try them..........Ta
     
  7. hao

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    Had A Sony DCR PC 120E for 18 months now and carn't fault it. Used it to transfer all my old VHS and 8mm tapes to DVD it takes first class recordings, costs about £750.
     
  8. Timse1981

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    What is CMOS? And how does it compare to CCD?

    Thanks

    Tim.
     
  9. MarkE19

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    CMOS = Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor
    CCD = Charge-Coupled Device

    There you go, that just about explains it all doesn't it :devil:


    What do you mean - NO!

    Ho hum, then you had better have a quick read Here although this relates to CCD vs CMOS in a digitasl stills camera, but does explain the differences between the two technologies.
    A bit more reading Here.

    Both the above sites were found with just a quick Google search for 'ccd vs cmos' and brought up a lot more sites if you can be bothered to read them all.

    Mark.
     
  10. Timse1981

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    Thanks

    Mark.
     

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