F700 and S2 Pro

Started Aug 3, 2003 | Discussions thread
Donald Lam Regular Member • Posts: 191
Re: F700 and S2 Pro-WMV encoding

Agreed. I think windows XP movie 2 also uses the same encoder. If you are archiving, movie 2 provides a few more features in editing.

I am glad to hear you are happy with the F700 video. It's handy to have a compact P&S for good stills and reasonable video clips. I don't own a 602 or 700, but I am considering a miniDV for taking videos. On the other hand, the F700 or Sxxx maybe alternatives.

**********

Jonathan Usher wrote:
For streaming, I absolutely agree. You can play around with the
resolution settings in the encoder as well to get the best mix of
resolution vs perceived quality at a certain bitrate.

However I was really encoding these more for "archival" level
storage - for local playback on my PC. There I am very happy with
bitrates in the 1-2 Mbps range, preserving the native resolution of
the motion JPEG original. I can also then store 1-2 hours of video
on a CD-R. Though of course it may take me a LONG time to
accumulate 1-2 hours of video on the F700!

Donald Lam wrote:
I think it is better to encode at ~ 500 kbps, not all broadband
connections can sustain a continuous 1 + Mbps stream. I did not
find significant degradation at 500 kbps. BTW, the windows encoder
also did a much better job than the QT mpeg4, with QT the rendered
video was poorer in quality.

*************

Jonathan Usher wrote:

While this is certainly not an "apples to apples" type comparison I
thought folks may be interested in an (ISO 160) shot taken with the
F700 in 6MP mode alongside the same scene taken with the S2 Pro
(and a Nikon 24-85G lens). Both shots are direct from the camera
(no add'l sharpening or color/contrast adjustments have been made).
The two photos are at http://www.pbase.com/jusher/f700_images

Some initial thoughts on the F700 (after about a hundred shots):
dynamic range does indeed seem quite strong. I've given the camera
some challenging exposures with a mix of strong daylight and
shadows and the vast majority of histograms are nicely spread
between lowlights and highlights without big spikes at 0 and at 255
(on luminance).

Color seems very nice indeed on auto white balance (the setting
used for both photos above).

Resolution seems ok for a 3MP camera. But it's not up to a 6 MP
native CCD's resolution.

Images are quite sharp at the center but exhibit noticeable
fall-off towards the edges.

Movie mode - not sure honestly how often I'll use this. But for
those times I do use it, the results are very good. I take the
output (which is a very high bitrate motion JPEG - about 1MB per
second in 640x480 mode) and use Windows Media Encoder 9 Series to
transcode to WMV 9 at 1-2 Mbps (resulting in savings of 80-90% of
file sizes).

Speed seems quite good - especially from power-on to first shot,
considering this is a camera that needs to extend the lens on
power-on.

LCD is nice and sharp - used it in bright sunshine yesterday and it
was fine.

Just some early thoughts... others also seem to be liking this
camera based on the feedback on this Forum. Overall I am
pleasantly surprised. Shame xD is so expensive (at least now)
though.

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