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Thread: Newb Q: USB or Composite?

  1. #1

    Default Newb Q: USB or Composite?

    Hi all. I'm a hobbyist filmmaker like many of you and I work with stop-motion animation. I have come to need a new camera, and I'm looking for something small (like a board level camera), as I work with small elements in my films. I have found only a few cameras that meet my needs for size, resolution, etc., and I have a question about the outputs from the cameras. The two that I am looking at are actually exactly the same except for is composite and the other USB. My question is will the USB model have *noticeably* higher video quality than the composite one when connected to my computer? The maximum resolution of both of the cameras is 768x492, though I will most likely be capturing in 640x480. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2


    Neither of them.


    Firewire (also known as i-Link or IEEE1394) wil give you the best. THe actual firewire connection is lossless, but the DV format that, erm, DV cameras write to, is ever so slightly compressed, but it is a far higher quality version of compression than DVD.

  3. #3


    I've heard that firewire is the best, but that unfortunately isn't one of my options. I'm just wondering if there would be any noticeable difference in quality between USB and composite coming into a PC.

  4. #4



    Having the choice of USB or composite for digital video transferring is a bit like having a choice of being poked in the eye or kicked up the arse.

    Neither is particularly great.

    Might I be nosey and enquire as to why Firewire isn't an option?

  5. #5


    I've often wanted a vid cam capable of stop motion, having done it years ago with cine.

    Been meaning to check on video cameras capable of frame-by-frame shooting - which ones are you looking at?

    It does sound unusual to have only a choice of comp or USB, so are these specialist cameras?

  6. #6


    Actually these are pretty much regular cameras, not anything specially made for frame-by-frame (I use software to capture individual frames). However, like I said in my first post, I am looking for a camera with an extremely small footprint, and these are the only ones that meet my needs. The output options are composite, USB, and now that I think of it, s-video. So I guess the question now is which of these three is the best? Thanks again.

  7. #7


    Can you post links to these cameras?

  8. #8


    Here. It's that camera available in USB (20K15XUSB), Composite (20K15X), and S-Video (20K15XYC).

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