Taking stills on tape: OK or not?




I want to buy a digital camcorder and I'd like to take stills. I know quality is not the same as a digital camera but it's mainly to transfer such stills to my computer (not to print them).
I am wondering if taking stills with a tape-only camcorder is OK, or if it is worth the extra money to buy a camcorder equipped with a memory stick or card to store the stills.
Thanks for your help

Hi ffnates

Get a camera with a memory card / stick. Still seems to take up a large amount of your tape (5-10 mins according to my mate who'se camera doesn't have a memory card).

Chris 'kiwiranger' Parke
My older JVC dv camcorder has no memory stick or smart media, and I have not found this to be a problem, on a 60 min tape on sp I the other day took some 60 odd stills and I had over 40 mins tape remaining, the picture quality wasnt of a dedicated digital camera standard but was better than my little samsung digimax 800k, so I would investigate your options further if I were you
good luck,
The amount of tape used to take a still is approx. 10 seconds.

And this duration could be something you could alter in a menu?!
Just bought mv-500i, having asked stores about software to download images only (My pc isnt upto full vid editing) have had two different stories.... help! which is true?

One person said - that taking still was just a frozen image spun out for 6/7 seconds at no high quality than normal video
another said that the 7 seconds allowed a proper jpeg file to be placed on tape and approparite software would then extract all the PHOTOS on a tape seperatley from video.

I though memory cards stored higher quality photos than normal vid (in jpeg) and believed that taking a photo to tape would be the same? Am I wrong

How should I get these images to my computer...?

Thanks in advance Ian
Possibly manufacturers have different ways of handling stills :confused:

BUT, the camerman at my wedding accidently took a 'photo' on his Panasonic NV-DS15B DV cam, and when I brought the footage into a NLE via firewire the 'photo' section was just a 10sec peice of frozen video.

So I'm biased towards salesman A :)
I have a panasonic Mx350 which can take stills to either tape of SD card. The SD card stills are far more useful, as you can download them like you would a normal digital camera, ie via the camcorder or by removing the card and putting it in an SD card reader.

Capturing stills to tape seemed a bit pointless, as you then have to capture the video and extract out a frame, as far s I can tell anyway. When you do the DV capture, yes, you just end up with a 5 second still image on the DV tape which needs to be edited out. It's a pain. Get a camera with a dedicated capture card.

BTW, I'm considering giving up using my digital camera because the camcorder is just as good. I get 1.8 megapixels on my camcorder and 2.0 megapixels on my photo camera. It's just not worth the extra of carrying my photo camera around any more.

I hope this helps.

Kind Regards,
Shane Cook.
I take it all back. The stills taken with a camcorder are grainy and the picture looks crap by comparision to a digital camera of the same resolution. Buy a digital camera.

Update: However, they can be improved by turning up the flash level. Still poor thought, by comparision to my digital camera.

Kind Regards,
Shane Cook.
Yeah, it's strange. My Panny MX300b takes stills at 1.8 mega pixels.
They look 'OK', but my daughters' 1 mega pixel Fuji digital camera's pics are much nicer. smoother, no 'jaggies'. But then, I've seen other digital cams (Kodak, Olympus etc) of much higher resolution that aren't as good as the Fuji. FUJI RULE OK!!
I think it has a lot to do with the light level. I just need to take some shots outdoors to try it. I think the MX350 is quite poor at taking photos in low light conditions.

Kind Regards,
Shane Cook.

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