Pistol Grip V's Standard Hand Held & 5.1 Sound Gimmick Or Worthwhile?

MeanDorris

Well-known Member
I'm looking to plunge into the HD camcorder pool and am just trying to get to grips with what I should be looking out for spec wise.

A couple of queries to start with though as per the thread title:

a) I quite like the idea of the Pistol Grip style corders as something smaller and lighter to carry around is likely to get used more, however, those things aside, what comprises/main differences are there between these and standard hand held models?

b) I've seen some models that are able to record in 5.1 surround sound, which appeals to the AV fan in me, but is it really worthwhile and effective or just more of a differentiating gimmick?
 

MeanDorris

Well-known Member
OK, I've moved on from the pistol grip side of things and am looking at probably the Canon HF200 or the Panasonic SD200.

Still interested in any comments on the 5.1 side of things as the panny has this?

Other than that, can anyone please comment on low light performance between these two models?

The only other main differences I can see are:

Optical Zoom - do people think that the panny's 12x will be sufficient or are users with 16x etc often filming at that level?

The panny has 3MOS, how does this compare in performance to the Canon single CMOS?

The Canon as higher max bitrate and progressive mode (I am confused by how it outputs this though, AFAIK there is no display that can receive a 25fps signal?) - Is this going to provide a better PQ above the panny and outweigh any 3MOS benefits?

Any help and advice would be very much appreciated :lease:
 

MeanDorris

Well-known Member
If anyone is interested, I went for the Panasonic SD200 in the end :)

Things that swung it for me were:

a) Intrigue regards the 5.1 audio
b) The touch screen interface
c) Even though the Canon recorded at higher bit rate, have read that it's probably hard to tell the difference
d) Assuming that 3 CMOS is going to better than 1 at the same size and hence better low light performance

Had a quick play with it at the weekend, already like the 5.1 sound side of things, low light performance is certainly acceptable so far...

Also bought a copy of Vega MS Platinum and have been busy importing stuff from my old DV camera and "making movies" - good fun and fairly easy to get to grips with.

Oh, well, enough talking to myself, back to my usual threads then where there seems a better of chance of actually, you know, getting a reply ;)
 

7ofnine

Well-known Member
Oh, well, enough talking to myself, back to my usual threads then where there seems a better of chance of actually, you know, getting a reply ;)
I don't think anyone actually reads this forum, except for Senu. Seems odd, considering the purpose of this site.
 

7ofnine

Well-known Member
Ha, and yourself, obviously :hiya:

At least that got a reply :D
:hiya:
I'm here because I asked a question about my TG3 a few days ago, and got no replies.
Actually, the TG3 is a pistol grip camcorder, with 5.1 sound (IMO it is a gimmick). There are newer models available now e.g. TG7. I can give my opinion on the TG3 if you're interested?
 

MeanDorris

Well-known Member
:hiya:
I'm here because I asked a question about my TG3 a few days ago, and got no replies.
Actually, the TG3 is a pistol grip camcorder, with 5.1 sound (IMO it is a gimmick). There are newer models available now e.g. TG7. I can give my opinion on the TG3 if you're interested?
Thanks, but I've made my bed with the SD200 now.

I looked at the TG3, a bit put off on the Sony cams to be honest because of the proprietary memory sticks, bit of a lame point I know, but there you go...
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Ha, and yourself, obviously :hiya:

At least that got a reply :D
Actually it gets a few reads ( apart from Senu..)
Some topics get heated very quickly and tend to be side stepped
But Actually a Title like Panasonic SD 200 Vs Canon HF200 would have got more replies

To answer your question belatedly as you have parted with cash now,. I think 5.1 is fine to have but I dont think it is essential for 2 reasons

As you know The 5.1 we hear on commercial discs are created by clever audio mixing to create the illusion of depth or ambience, sometimes by the careful placement of mics
To do this in a camcorder would involve highly directional and distance sensitive mics..how well they do it is a matter of specific scene ect
Also in the more recent past many editing software could not " keep" the 5.1 although they could " create" one.
Recent software keep the 5.1 but how useful is it in say a school play.. do you really want to hear conversation in the audience?

Also given how good modern AV amps are at using stereo to create Surround ( DPL IIX ect) .. a lot of stereo can be turned into perfectly decent surround

So ( IMHO) it is far from must have, but not quite a gimmick

Problem is folk who already have it or want it ( or trying to talk themselves into wanting it) may read this, decide they prefer the marketing speil and decide Im just talking out of my rear end..:rolleyes:

As for pistol grip, it is a matter of personal preference. Given that most camcorder footage is better of a tripod anyway , Im thinking it is an " experiment" in form factor. I dont like it but loads of folk do

Now to your Sd 200 vs Canon that would have got you a few replies had you not buried it in this thread

The 5.1 is fine but not essential ( as above) you can tell us how wonderful it is ( I actually have a Sony XR200V which has it but dont really " hear 2 it)
3mos is not nessessarily better than one .
Dubious low light and debatable color gain
However the Panasonic just happens to be a good model in that:smashin:

You are right about higher bitrate ( up to a point)
The gain would be smoother handling of movt especially viewed on a 46" - projected screen
Otherwise high bitrate encoding tends to yeald big file sizes, more hard work for the PC to decode with no real percieved improved definition ( given that resolution is identical)

Touch screen .. Is here to stay. I have 3 camcorder with it and I dont likeit much. You cannot change settings while recording ..you will shake the camcorder!
A few more dials and buttons, thank you

So.. Congratulations.. when you have a minute just post your " award winning " test footage:rotfl:
 
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senu

Distinguished Member
:hiya:
I'm here because I asked a question about my TG3 a few days ago, and got no replies.
Actually, the TG3 is a pistol grip camcorder, with 5.1 sound (IMO it is a gimmick). There are newer models available now e.g. TG7. I can give my opinion on the TG3 if you're interested?
TG3 is abit old now though
There was a thread with several hundred posts when it was the new kit around
It is well liked but Sony have moved on... Not nessesarily with " better" just that they dont do Pistol grip in the main and they are now more keen on Exmor, Bionz technology , GPS, face recogniton and Big HDDs ( and big price tags)
 

7ofnine

Well-known Member
TG3 is abit old now though
There was a thread with several hundred posts when it was the new kit around
It is well liked but Sony have moved on... Not nessesarily with " better" just that they dont do Pistol grip in the main and they are now more keen on Exmor, Bionz technology , GPS, face recogniton and Big HDDs ( and big price tags)
TG3 is great quality for my requirements. I love the pistol grip and compact style of this camcorder. Price tag was also within my budget.
My only complaint is with the battery life.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
TG3 is great quality for my requirements. I love the pistol grip and compact style of this camcorder. Price tag was also within my budget.
My only complaint is with the battery life.
As I said, it certainly was very popular at launch and thereafter , and many current owners love it
but It is not current and in the fickle world of electronics, posts on it have been very few lately
Doesnt mean it is any less " great" just that the flurry of interest it generated has cooled off as its owners use it
The Pistol grip is also employed by Sanyo and it really is an aquired taste
New is not= better but Sony have moved on...
 

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