The last couple of days in Amsterdam. It rained, and then the cold, cough and VERY sore throat caught up with me, so much so that I was off sick for a week after a came back and I still suffer from it. Even after two visits to docs and a couple of shots and a bucketful of medicines. Never mind, I’m alive.
The quality of these clips should be familiar to you now.. all through my Nokia 6630 phonecam… the picture is ok, the sound is crap. Ok ok, both are crap…
I saw a fantastic Samsung flash-memory based camera in Dubai the day before yesterday and fell in love with it. Very thin and slightly better quality pictures than the phonecam, but not so much better for me to flash my card and buy it. That’s coming soon I think as I do need some handy, little, light camcorder to continue vlogging (yes the bug is deeply ingrained now.)
I also saw some really nice Sony HDV camcorders at the Gitex exhibition in Dubai a couple of days ago, one in particular shows a lot of promise, a cheapo HDV model: the HDR-HC1 and it was listed at 7,000 Dirhams ($1,866). The picture quality was definitely better than any DV camcorder I’ve seen (single CCD ones) but the pictures were washed out, with a lot of colour smearing especially at ambient indoor light.
Sony were running a side-by-side comparison footage shot using the HDR-HC1 and a normal DV camcorder, the exercise shows quite clearly that the quality of the HDV produced by the HDR-HC1 is much better. However, when compared with the HDR-FX1 “proper” consumer HDV, it pales in comparison. The reason I think is not only because of the optics, but also the CCD blocks, the HDR-HC1 uses a single CMOS chip for image acquisition, which is a new technology as far as I can gather, rather than the 3 individual CCDs as in the case of the FX1. The technology shows a lot of promise.. but I would hold off and pay the approximately $1,000 difference and get the FX1 instead if I was looking for image quality.
BUT (yes, there is always a but somewhere) judging by my experience with the Canon EOS 20D, it is a large camera, not easily portable, and is not really a “point-and-shoot” type. It totally discourages you from simple “lomography” if you like when compared with the IXUS for instance. Throw that in your pocket and shoot anything that moves. In fact, that is one of the main reasons that I shoot with my phonecam rather than bring out my Sony PC9E DV camcorder. Convenience. The Sony PC9E is bulky and unwieldy compared to a mobile phone of course, in addition to it being a bit threatening. However, the picture quality is infinitely better.
But I’m getting to be lazy. I want small and fast. That’s why I’ve been looking more and more into the new mobile telephones with particular emphasis on their image acquisition engines! Top of the heap at the moment seem to belong to the Sony Ericsson W800i. The newer Nokia N90 is a total disappointment. Although the camera is just as good as the Ericsson model, the design is total and utter crap. Whoever designed the N90 should be shot, because I think he’s done a lot more damage to Nokia than any competitor could. It’s big, bulky and total and utter crap.
Anyway, I guess I have to make some sort of decision regarding camcorders. I would really love to just get a small and cheerful camcorder for instant shooting, even if it records on memory sticks (though that would be restrictive in the length of the movies it can store) or even better a smaller format than DV. Didn’t Sony bring out those MPEG4 camcorders a couple of years ago? Whatever happened to them?
I’d like to hear from you if you have or indeed use such a small camcorder and let me know your experiences with it. I’m looking to buy something immediately, but need to hear some opinions first…
Enjoy the movies!