video quality of ~$400 camcorder vs digicam

Started Oct 14, 2012 | Discussions
madbucky Junior Member • Posts: 33
video quality of ~$400 camcorder vs digicam

I'm debating on getting a ~$400 camcorder vs digicam, and wanted to know the pros and cons of video quality. My most frequent usage will be taking videos indoors of a baby, and I would like the video format to be mp4, at 720/1080 and 30p/60p (no interlaced). An sample comparison would be Panasonic HCV700K camcorder vs DMC-LX7 digicam.

These are my current assumptions, please let me know if they are correct or not:

Lowlight video: camcorder is better?

Image stabilization in video mode: camcorder is better?

Focus during video: camcorder is better? Does the digicam focus quickly during video mode?

Zoom: camcorder is better. 25x vs 5x

Wide angle: about the same. 28mm vs 24mm

Sensor size: digicam is larger. 1/1.7 vs 1/2.3

FPS: camcorder is better 60 fps vs 30fps at 1080p

battery life for video: ?

portability: digicam is more portable.

In summary, I'm trying to determine whether a camcorder is much superior than a similarly priced digicam for video quality. If so, then I'd get a camcorder. But if they're not that different, then I'd rather get a digicam, which is more compact, and takes better photos. I appreciate any insight, thanks!

Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 16,977
Re: video quality of ~$400 camcorder vs digicam

i dont have a digicam. but a month ago i shot some video with my fz150 of my daughters dance concert and had the pro video arive a week later that was taken that night. and the fz150 left it for dead. and it wasnt a cheap camera the pro was using.

cheers don

Ronomy
Ronomy Veteran Member • Posts: 4,062
Re: video quality of ~$400 camcorder vs digicam

I have the FZ200 digital camera and last years TM90 camcorder and so far I like the IS better in the camcorder.  The TM90 video is very stable and might be a tad sharper too but not by much.  For some reason the video is not very stable on the FZ200 when zoomed in at 600mm hand held.  Its still watchable though.  I need to experiment more...it may just be that how I hold the camera is not as stable as holding a camcorder.  I think the auto white balance may be better in the FZ200.  The TM90 needs to be set to one color for each shot.  Not always just in some lighting conditions it can be way off.  I have not seen the FZ200 do this yet but I need to experiment more with video on this camera.  The FZ200 sees to refocus too much while panning and zooming.  It just always seems in focus with the camcorder.

Ron

 Ronomy's gear list:Ronomy's gear list
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Canon EOS 7D Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM +6 more
waysted Forum Member • Posts: 60
Re: video quality of ~$400 camcorder vs digicam

My own experience is with a Panasonic SD700 (camcorder), TZ7 and Canon S100 camera, filiming bands in low light venues.

madbucky wrote:

Lowlight video: camcorder is better?

For me, the Canon S100 takes better low light footage. I would expect the LX7 to be even better as the lens is faster.

Image stabilization in video mode: camcorder is better?

Hard to tell. Both seem OK.

Focus during video: camcorder is better? Does the digicam focus quickly during video mode?

The camcorder is much better. Both camera tend to take longer to zoom and focus, plus they are more likely to lose focus.

Zoom: camcorder is better. 25x vs 5x

Yes, although the zoom on the TZ7 is good and you could look at the FZ200.

Wide angle: about the same. 28mm vs 24mm

24mm will come in hand for indoor shooting. Fond it a big plus of the Canon S100.

Sensor size: digicam is larger. 1/1.7 vs 1/2.3

Should be but you have to match that also to the speed of the lens. Your camcorder starts at F1.8, the LX7 is 1.4, that's 2/3 stop faster and has a bigger sensor so it should be better in low light.

FPS: camcorder is better 60 fps vs 30fps at 1080p

Technically 60 fps should be better for motion but you will have 1/2 as much light as 30fps.

battery life for video: ?

Not sure.

portability: digicam is more portable.

Digicams are more portable, although the LX7 is bigger than most. For portability, you could look at the Sony RX100. The lens is slower but the sensor is much bigger  so I would say it edges the LX7 for stills in low light (don't have either but just looking at stills comparisons on line) and is smaller so it should easily fit in your pocket.

As well as portability, also consider ease of use. Try and shoot some video in the store for 5 minutes with both and see which is easier to use. I find the Canon S100 easy to use, where as the SD700 takes a bit more practice.

OP madbucky Junior Member • Posts: 33
Re: video quality of ~$400 camcorder vs digicam

Thanks everyone for your inputs! Still a tough decision, though. I think the faster video focusing on the camcorder may be the deciding factor for me.

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