Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I clamped three still cameras together and tried out their video functions today.
Two of them are new and capture HD 720p high-def video. The Kodak Z1275 just came out and the Canon TX1 is still an infant. They both are small, Elph-sized cameras that take both stills and video.
The third camera was the Canon Powershot S3is, which shoots 640x480 video.
Both of the HD cameras have problems with video -- the Kodak's image stabilization is worse than useless and can't be turned off. It actually makes the video jump around. The Canon TX1 jumps in and out of focus. Both are too small and light to hand-hold steadily.
The S3is actually makes the best, steadiest video. And even though it's video is lower resolution, it looks better.
The Kodak shoots mp4 Quicktime .mov files which are one fourth the size of the .avi files from the Canons.
All three are pretty good still cameras. I love the 16:9 aspect ratio you can set on the Kodak and TX1. I don't like the almost-but-not-quite square format of the 4:3 aspect pictures you get with the S3is.
The Kodak actually has a useable 1600 iso setting that I think breaks new ground for small point-n-shoots. Unfortunately AA batteries only last about 15 minutes in this camera.
I clamped all three cameras on a c-stand arm and synched them up in post. You're hearing all three audio tracks at once, though mostly what you're hearing is the S3is -- it has the best and loudest audio of the three. I know you can't tell much from this video, but trust me, the HD from these cameras isn't ready for the big screen yet!