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Thread: new baby coming and scared that our footage is going to be terrible

  1. Default new baby coming - worried that our footage is going to be terrible

    I know absolutely nothing about video and I don't have time to become an expert. However I need to video our forthcoming child to send regular videos on DVD to grandparents in another country and perhaps upload as YouTube HD depending on what kind of privacy they offer (I don't have a YT account yet).

    Living on a small European island, my choice is MediaMarkt or small electronic shops that rip off tourists. Also these things are much more expensive here than in mainland Europe, UK or USA. So I bought the best video camera I could afford in MediaMarkt which was closest to our 300 budget - a Canon Legria HF R106. They had an R16, but it was nearly 400.

    Several things are making me nervous about it though:

    low light:
    When filming outside in bright light it seems ok (yes, just ok... I'll talk about that quality in a minute). In the house, under what I would call 'normal lighting', the quality is absolutely terrible. It is so grainy, noisy, patchy and mis-coloured. Just awful. It's like looking at a 5 webcam. Considering the point of this camera is for filming a baby mostly in soft indoor light, I'm wondering if this is due to the particular camera I've bought, or are they all terrible in low light at this price?

    I'm filming in FXP mode at 1920x1080 resolution. Even with 'bright light' outdoor footage, when I put it onto our flatscreen TV (through the red/green/blue composite output) it doesn't look that great - kind of blurry and grainy. Is it supposed to look good on a TV? I don't understand why it doesn't look 'superb' or 'incredible', or any of the other adjectives used to describe the camera on the Amazon and Canon sites?

    Given that the raw footage from the camera doesn't look that great to begin with, I'm very worried about the processing of it in something like Pinnacle.

    Firstly, I've only got a cheap 2-year old laptop. It has 3Gb Ram, a T5750 2GHz Duo processor, and is running Win7. Will I be able to edit the FXP footage or is there too much data at that resolution?

    Secondly, how much will the quality suffer by being processed in software? Will my parents be able to watch a fullscreen DVD on their flatscreen TV, or will they have to make do with playing a 400x300 file on their computer?

    Thanks for any advice and/or reassurance.
    Last edited by -Anti-; 01-10-2011 at 04:02 PM.

  2. Default


    Right, these two jpgs represent pretty much what I'm seeing on my flatscreen TV, I think.
    These are screencaptures from frames of video footage taken, as opposed to using the 'photo' button on the camera.

    For 300€, am I wrong to have expected better than that?


  3. #3


    Congratulations on the baby. Sorry about the camera. It is a bottom of the range model and whilst it does record in HD it has a very small sensor which means it's never going to look amazing. I think THIS REVIEW says it all. The only advice I can offer is to turn off the stabilisation feature if you can and use a tripod. Don't forget to do a white balance before filming.

    Good luck.

  4. Default

    Thanks for your reply and advice.

    So for 279 (231/359$), I shouldn't have expected it to be good enough for a fullscreen DVD to be shown on a flat screen TV?
    By 'good enough' I mean that people are able to focus on what's happening in the shots without being distracted by the quality.
    If this kind of budget isn't good enough for DVD resolution/quality, what kind of application are they intended for, or best suited for?

    What about if I use XP+ mode instead of FXP? The resolution goes down to 1440x1080 in that mode. Maybe this resolution betters suits the CMOS and will yield better (sharper and lighter) results than using FXP mode? what do you think?

    BTW, I think MediaMarkt will accept the camera back within 14 days. Should I try to take it back and buy a cheaper one? If I can't make 'high definition' DVDs with this anyway, maybe I can get a better SD camera for cheaper, and the end results will be better than the Canon because it may have a better CMOS chip?



    OK, I've been looking at HD YouTube videos taken with the R106.
    This one looks kind like what I am getting, especially bearing in mind this is at 720p and compressed for YT:

    In fact, I'd say my quality (from camera direct to TV) is probably slightly worse than that.

    But then I saw these at 720p:


    and this guy took this shot in way lower light than I tried, but the quality is far superior:

    Now I'm completely confused. At 720p, I'm full-screening these videos and they are perfectly acceptable quality to me. The one with the cat indoors is beautiful.

    So an additional question is, do I have a dud camera, or am I the cause of the bad quality?

    Last edited by -Anti-; 01-09-2011 at 11:56 PM.

  5. #5


    The thing you need to look at is CMOS/CCD size you'll want to get the biggest you can afford.. a 3 CCD/CMOS will be the best..

    As for the videos you posted you need to keep in mind that quality of image on a TV will be diferent than on the web, I have never used this model but it mighy be better suited for posting videos to the web..

    Software Used:
    TGV Edius 6, TGV ProCoder 3, DVD Lab Pro. 2

  6. #6


    Chapman Photography is right in what he says. My way of looking at any camera is: The lens is the most important part, the sensor is next, the software/firmware that runs it is next. The amount and ease of use of manual control, The other whistles and bells follow after that. The way the camera is used is senior to the camera it's self.

    In life you usually get what you pay for, this has to be balanced with your budget and what you personally find acceptable. So it's hard to say for us if this camera is good enough for you. I wouldn't have bought it. Could you take it back and buy one on line. Take some time to read the good reviews before you buy.

    Hope this helps in some way.

  7. Default

    Thanks... all the replies have been helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Surrey, UK
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    I've probably come to this thread too late to be of any use, but DVD resolution is only Standard Definition. You'd be far better off at this price point getting a standard definition camera. You should get better results in low light and it will be far less taxing on your computer when you come to edit/process.

    If your target is DVD you are only "throwing away" about 3/4 or the pixels when you downconvert anyway.

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