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Does such a HD camcorder exist…?

Lee James

Standard Member
Thinking about getting an HD camcorder, but don't know anything about the current market. Is there anything out there with the following specs:

• 1080p
• Compact (i.e., the size of a compact digital camera)
• VBR (variable bitrate) compression
• Unlimited file size

I ask because I love my little Canon digital camera (Ixus 850). I like a compact device, and the large depth of field you get with a small lens. But it's a shame about the built-in movie mode. It's CBR, and has a 4Gb filesize limit, making it extremely limited. If I film a stageplay with a static camera, the recording stops after about 45 minutes. With VBR, it would take up very little filesize at all since the action within the frame is minimal. I also can't stand the fact that my camera only records at 480 lines. I'm really crying out for an HD camcorder.

So, is there anything that uses VBR, with no file limit? And preferably small. (Either a small device, or a small lens, or both.)
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Thinking about getting an HD camcorder, but don't know anything about the current market. Is there anything out there with the following specs:• 1080p


Not quite
• Compact (i.e., the size of a compact digital camera)
They all are, though most certainly not down to the size on a Canon IXUS

• VBR (variable bitrate) compression
In general They will have fixed selectable encoding rate and denote this by "quality"
• Unlimited file size
No , the HDD or Flash cards are not Unlimited in size and unlimited file size would mean no size of HDD could be considered "enough". The File sizes are usually limited as "Clips" which record and playback continuously
I ask because I love my little Canon digital camera (Ixus 850). I like a compact device, and the large depth of field you get with a small lens. But it's a shame about the built-in movie mode. It's CBR, and has a 4Gb filesize limit, making it extremely limited. If I film a stageplay with a static camera, the recording stops after about 45 minutes. With VBR, it would take up very little filesize at all since the action within the frame is minimal. I also can't stand the fact that my camera only records at 480 lines. I'm really crying out for an HD camcorder.

Although by no means in the same class With HDD camcorders , some of the limitations of CBR albeit selectable, still apply. Also even with the HDD Hi def Camcorders the file sized are not unlimited but recording will not stop as the camcorder will simply create another file and keep recording

So, is there anything that uses VBR, with no file limit? And preferably small. (Either a small device, or a small lens, or both.)
No
I saw a micro HD camcorder at the video forums but it was more of a prototype.
For camcorders other than "gadgets" and say, mobile phones with video ability small size is not an advantage.
Small lenses will tend not to be "fast " lenses. As such the camcorder will always need optimal lighting to operate. There is no camcorder that will not benefit from more light. A small sensor and small lens = poor low light ability
A small camcorder with small sensor and small lens is technological challenge especially if you also want it to be HD.. I'm not sure any manufacturer is rising to that challenge and those which have tried have had their products received with mixed reaction. Imagine video from such product on a 46" HDTV..:suicide:
Google the Sanyo 720p Xactis.. They may be nearer what you want
 

redsox_mark

Distinguished Member
For filesize, your typical high def AVCHD camcorder (e.g the Canon HG10) doesn't have a specific filesize limit, but of course it is limited by the size of the HDD itself.

And they use VBR (at least the HG10 and the Panasonic SD5 do). The SD5 uses CBR in it's highest quality mode, and VBR in the other modes. The HG10 simply says it uses VBR, so I assume it does for all quality settings.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I know settop DVD recorders use VBR with all thier quality settings only varying the minimum and max bitrates of each setting ,depending on which you chose.
I wasnt as clear with The HDD camcorders which state a specific bitrate depending on quality setting, and no of hrs available
As such even with VBR as stated by Mark, the quality setting "resets" the maximum and minimum rates ( which are fixed) and the amount of time ( and space used) is selectable in a manner similar to CBR
There is always a file size limit but this doesn't mean the recording stops at that
 

MarkB

Established Member
No (consumer) camcorder uses the maximum 1920×1080×24p that AVCHD is capable of yet, but i should imagine that this is just a matter of time. I would think that the constraint on this at the moment is getting enough processing power into the thing at a price that would be acceptable. Encoding and decoding AVCHD is very processor intensive - perhaps it is time for sony to use that CELL processor in something other than the PS3 that they spent $400m develping!;)
I own and use the sony HDR-SR1 with NP-QM91D battery and i love it, i think it is great. It uses the same M type batteries as my Sony DSC-R1 camera and i can charge all my batteries on my AC-SQ950 charger, so if Sony were to release a similar unit with 1920×1080×24p and using the same M battery i would be very interested!
 

Lee James

Standard Member
Thanks for the replies.

Looks nice; thanks! :D

For camcorders other than "gadgets" and say, mobile phones with video ability small size is not an advantage.
Small lenses will tend not to be "fast " lenses. As such the camcorder will always need optimal lighting to operate. There is no camcorder that will not benefit from more light. A small sensor and small lens = poor low light ability
A small camcorder with small sensor and small lens is technological challenge especially if you also want it to be HD.. I'm not sure any manufacturer is rising to that challenge and those which have tried have had their products received with mixed reaction. Imagine video from such product on a 46" HDTV..:suicide:
I know what you mean. The thing is, my Canon digital camera is tiny, with a tiny lens, yet it takes very big photos that are three and a half times the resolution of HD. The photos look great on a big screen. I really don't think there would be much of a problem doing just the same thing with a camcorder that size. Yes, the shutter speed would have to be no slower than 30fps, but for the majority of shots, this would be enough exposure.

Right now I'm sitting in an extremely dark room. If I take a 7-megapixel photo with my camera, at 1/25th of a second, the camera needs a high film speed, so the image is very noisy. But it's by no means a horrible image. And it's not at all dark. Now if the CCD was just a bit bigger, and the resolution was 3½ times smaller (i.e., HD) then I think the image would look much better. So I think an HD camcorder of this size is certainly possible.

Google the Sanyo 720p Xactis.. They may be nearer what you want
Thanks. That model looks nice. :D
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I think it is far easier to produce a still camera , than a camcorder for the purposes of HD playback.
HD is less than 3 megapixel. however, to faithfully record motion and audio and retain the variances of colour, sharp focus on moving subjects suggests that the need for a careful use of aperture and shutter speed is used to avoid "tearing" , motion artifacts and generally poor quality video.
You can take a 10Mp picture at ISO 1600 at even 1/500 second with no noise with say a good DSLR with minimal noise but I would be wary of comparing them as such. I would suggest that your analogy is a bit simplistic TBH
With still cameras your Canon Ixus may give those images which are large but I suspect it would take more than that to get a motion image which may be projected onto a large screen with no visible juddering effects
Also camcorders benefit from a bit of size as imperceptible shake ( from ultrasmall ones) is magnified many fold on playback
Camcorder sizes have really shrunk in the last few years but apart from video capable mobile phones or security type kit, I dont see them getting much smaller for any serious or less than casual use
And even in the world of Stills Your Canon Ixus has "big brothers" ( Im currently playing with a 40D DSLR, lovely kit, though definitely not pocketable):)
 

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