Digital Video Forum

Digital Video Forum Discuss camcorders, HD video, HD DSLRs, video editing, DV software, and video techniques. Your DV forum moderator is Skyman.
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  1. #1
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    Question quality of still photos from digital video cameras

    I am wondering if someone can tell me if there are any digital video cameras out there that can take higher resolution still pictures.Most models I have checked out are around the same res. as a 1meg. digital still camera. Sure would like to find one that could take still photos at about the same res. as a 3 or 4meg. camera.

  2. #2
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Technical limitations

    A video camera's CCD has to take 30 pictures a second, and since video resolution is 720x486, there is no need to add more resolution, and there are technical limits to doing so.

    If they add a higher-res chip, it has to either be able to scale down the image after it hits the chip, or the chip itself has to be able to selectively not use all of its photosites. Both are not easy to do, and since the digital camera function of video cameras is nothign more than a gimmick, you won't see them fight to improve that anytime soon.

    BTW, it is one of the worst gimmicks, don't ever think that a video camera will give you stills as good as a still camera. Two different beasts for different jobs.
    -Seb

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    How to tell the most experienced shooter in a group? They have the least amount of toys on them.

  3. #3
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    quality of still photos....

    thanks a lot sebastian, that was exactly the info I was looking for.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nert
    I am wondering if someone can tell me if there are any digital video cameras out there that can take higher resolution still pictures.Most models I have checked out are around the same res. as a 1meg. digital still camera. Sure would like to find one that could take still photos at about the same res. as a 3 or 4meg. camera.
    Nert there is a video camera out that can take still images I think it is above 1meg, I can't remember which one it is, but it is one of the newer ones. It takes DV and you can turn half the camera over on itself and it becomes a still digital camera. I haven't seen it, or used it, but I sounded interesting for video/still image takers looking for something on the market. It is one of the better known brands as well.

  5. #5
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    My Baby

    I have a Panasonic NV-GS70 3ccd mini dv camera that takes 1.7 megapixel still images. as far as i know there is nothing higher than 2mp. realistically if you want stills get a still camera if you want video get a video camera. having said that i can get an acceptable 8x10 inch print off my panasonic and a great 5x7. i can acheive better than this if i tweak the image in photoshop. i do find however that there is a major problem with red eye when using the flash as it is way to close to the lens. there is also a significant shutter lag that whilst being a problem on earlier digital still cameras has been all but eliminated on newer models but is still a problem with video. Also i tend to go to different headspaces creatively when shooting stills or video and try not to do them both on the same day.

  6. #6
    Member Jezz's Avatar
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    Digital videos actully dont use the same ccd for stills as it does for its movies, not sure what the correct term for them is. I suggest you get two cameras, a decent video and even just a 3mp camera with limited functions. Or decide which you really need, a video or a still. What will YOU use more and have more fun with, they are very different tools for very different things.

  7. #7
    DIGITAL MASTER camcorderman's Avatar
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    DV STills DONT BOTHER!

    Quote Originally Posted by nert
    I am wondering if someone can tell me if there are any digital video cameras out there that can take higher resolution still pictures.Most models I have checked out are around the same res. as a 1meg. digital still camera. Sure would like to find one that could take still photos at about the same res. as a 3 or 4meg. camera.
    I've owned quite a few camcorders, and I can tell you, stills are not something that should be high on your list of features. As everyone else has said, a camcorder is designed for video, not stills. The lens was crafted for video. I have countless customers who think they are killing 2 birds with 1 stone by buying a combo cam. I'll tell you, my Sony TRV38 is a 1 MP camcorder, so it can take 1 MP stills. I never use it because the stills aren't good compared to a real digital camera. As well, when you look at a spec sheet for a camcorder, you will see GROSS and EFFECTIVE Pixels. Gross pixels, on my TRV38 for example is 1 MP, effective pixels recorded to tape is just 690,000 pixels. Those extra pixels are used for the digital image stabilization or as Sony calls it, Steadyshot. For stills, my TRV38 uses the entire 1 MP CCD because steadyshot is disabled while in MEMORY or Still picture mode. Alot of camcorders out there now feature a 1 MP CCD or better. Sony, Panasonic and Samsung all have 3+ MP camcorders, but at a super high price, just not worth it. I recommend you purcahse a lower end digital camcorder with the standard 680,000 pixels (which is 350,000 pixels effective) instead of the 1 MP+ cams, you save money to get a seperate digital camera. Those extra pixels only really effect stills, not video, so there is very little difference between a camcorder with 680k to a camcorder with 1000k. MiniDV can only go up to a certain resoultion, and that is 720x480, and that resoultion only needs to have 350,000 pixels to look clear and accurate. Those extra pixels really do nothing. Hope this helps anyone who has questions about this...

    James

  8. #8
    Junior Member MikeG's Avatar
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  9. #9
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    Talking Best of both worlds

    New Camera out that takes 4 megapixal stills and video Samsung SC-D6040

  10. #10
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    Modern camers now take high quality still pictures. But be sure to take some test on the store, if possible.

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