Canon Digital Elph -- S-video Out?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Allan Jayne, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    I'm looking into buying one of the subcompact Canon digital cameras, either the 5 or 7 megapixel model. Was intrigued by the "movie" or camcorder mode of 640 x 480 pixels. Except the spec's say the video output is composite, you know, the kind where the colors are smeared due to only 50 or so lines of horizontal chrominance resolution and also the need to do comb filtering.

    Anyone have any experience with these cameras and know whether there is some better way to get video out, perhaps with the help of downloading to a computer?
     
  2. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    I've never tried it myself, but I'd think you should be able to find a way to transfer/convert the (most likely MJPEG) video to whatever digital format you prefer w/out needing to go D->A->D.

    Ok. I just did a quick search on dpreview's Canon Talk forum for you and found this thread that may help you:

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=9654286

    Looks like you can use Nero 6 to convert the video to MPEG2 and burn to a DVD, if you want to go that route. There were other suggestions there also, including some free stuff to be found at videohelp.com like TMPGEnc.

    _Man_
     
  3. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Also, if you just want to play the video back via your computer and not do any conversion, you probably only need to find a proper decoder/player for the video -- again, most likely an MJPEG decoder. Maybe the Canon cameras already come w/ the needed software for playback though it might be rather clunky software.

    _Man_
     
  4. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    As far as I know, all of the Canon cameras record in the OpenDML AVI compatible motion JPEG standard. Quicktime can play these back, as I'm sure other OpenDML compliant MJPEG players can.

    The limits of the composite out would only apply when playing from the camera. Of course, since these videos are compressed on the fly, expect to see compression artifacts on anything but the simplest of subjects. In other words, don't expect DV or Digital-8 quality from these cameras, since they are doing realtime compression at much more that 5:1. I imagine the color resolution is 4:1:1 as well (color at 1/4 the luminence resolution) - as you might expect at this price point.

    In general terms, the video I've seen from these cameras approximates VHS or VCD quality - any boost you get in resolution is negated by compression artifacts.

    A fun feature to play around with, just don't expect too much.
     
  5. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

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    I have a Cannon Poweshot 320 which is a 4 megapixal camera (and is also a discontinued model). I have always been amazed at the quality of the videos. They are in DVI format and look great. I just download the video to my computer using the USB cable and play it with Windows Media Player. I don't notice any digital artifacts and they look great even when viewed full screen. The big problem though is that it is hard to hold the camera still and the video is quite jerky. A tripod would be helpful I guess, but I'm not that serious of a photographer. In the end, I wouldn't make my decision based on the video capability. I bought the camera for the quality of the pictures which is very good, and for its small size. If you want great video, get a video camera. Just my two cents.

    Jeff
     

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