Day: September 23, 2016

CCD vs CMOS? Looking for a new Hybrid Cam

I’m looking for a new cam.. Thinking of the Sanyo Xacti HD700 or the HD1000.

I’ve been playing around with the Aiptek A-HD and a bit with the Flip Video Ultra and I’m disappointed with the CMOS sensor. It creates the typical ‘wobble’ effect. characteristic of digicams. I know the higher end HD cams from the big 3 (Sony, Panasonic, Canon), don’t have that effect with their CMOS sensors, but we’re talking about cheap webcam parts strung together and hope the chip is smart enough to figure it all out.

What appeals me with the Aipteks are the technical features, solid yet cheap build, and price to go with them. For $130, I have a 720P cam that produces H.264 video at around 4Mbps. I won’t feel bad bring an Aiptek along while surf fishing. If I end up catching the big one and have to sacrifice a cam to the Ocean, then so be it, I could always grab another.

I will always strive to be at the place where I can have a nice balance of a solid build, high tech, and portability. So, now, I’m looking a step up. Sanyo’s.. Or perhaps a Panasonic HCD-HD9 (not very durable or portable). I’m leaning toward the Sanyo HD700 though. Pocketability (!) is fairly important.

The Sanyo E1 is very appealing as well. It’s freaking water proof. You can submerge the MoFo 5 feet deep and it’ll record all that in at 640×480 using the H.264 codec. It’s a bit bulky though. I cruised over to Fry’s and compared the E1 to the C6 , which has the same build as the CG65 and HD700; the E1 is pretty huge in comparison, but it does look durable.

What’s lacking for these cheaper hybrid cams.. are the essentials to compete as a heavyweight in the camcorder field.

Let’s see:

Opitical Image Stabilization (OIS). Much better than EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization).
Auto/Manual Focus. Fixed lens cams have their use. For day-to-day use, autofocus is convenient. The option for manual focus is gold.
Optics. The big players (Sony, Panasonic, Canon) all focus on their optics #1 priority. They don’t bother with cheap webcam parts. I love the pistolgrip form-factor, but it’s tough to combine a huge lens and portability. The big 3’s solution for their flash based cams are bullet shaped. House the best optics and ergonomics goes out the window.
Standard? This is one to argue about. Sony and Panasonic are going AVCHD which has caused a bit of trouble for those trying to edit video with both Mac and PC. Every format seems have trouble working with your favorite video editor though. Basically, most people have trouble even playing 1080p/720P H.264 footage since it’s so demanding. The thought of them even editing HD footage is a shiny new computer, long, far.. away.
For me, Sony Vegas has worked well. For you videographers/vloggers using digicams, MP4Cam2AVI has been gold for converting video to an editable format.
Installing ffdshow also helped in viewing/editing video with the preinstalled Windows Movie…

Akihabara News Hands-On with Sanyo Xacti C9

Sanyo has been leading the way producing flash based, compact hybrid photo/video cams.

Now, they are trying to focus on marketing to women with their new, easy to use, compact, and stylish Xacti C9 hybrid cam.

It contains a whopping 9.12 MP CMOS sensor and encodes video to max 640×480 at 60 FPS using the H.264 codec. I don’t know about you but H.264 and ‘easy to use’ don’t exactly go hand in hand.

This should be a great alternative if you are looking into the Sanyo VPC-CG65 but want something slightly more bulky and the option to shoot at 60 FPS.

The C9 will be aggressively priced as an entry level camera. I’m guessing around $300.

Specs from Sanyo’s site:

MPEG-4, H.264 Digital Video
9.12 Megapixel Still Images, CMOS
2.5″ LCD Display
5.0x Optical Zoom
Video and Still Image Stabilization
Real-Time Interpolation (12MP)
High Quality Audio Recording (AAC-LC)
Wind Roar and Red Eye Reduction
Web Cam Function
PictBridge Compatible
USB 2.0 and S-Video Output
Built-in Flash
SDHC Flash Memory, Compatible, 40 MB Internal Memory (approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes video recording per GB)…