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Thread: 3/240k CCD vs. 1mb CCD??? Need a video guru!

  1. #1

    Default 3/240k CCD vs. 1mb CCD??? Need a video guru!

    Hey folks,
    I hope someone here can help me.
    Trying to figure which mini DV camcorder to buy. I am thinking about either:

    Sony DCR-HC42 ( 1mb CCD with 7lux)
    Panasonic PV-GS65( 3/240K CCD chips with 12 lux)

    Currently I have a Sony TRV330 digital8 (800K with 7lux)

    I record our family a lot and shoot mostly indoors. I'm looking for a unit that will have better resolution than what I have now. Don't care about still shots. I just want clear video, thus only my listing of chip sensor and lux rating. Before I started doing research I tried the Canon ZR100. Outdoors was about the same as what I have now, and the indoor shots were REALLY horrible! Then I realized that it only had a 640K CCD chip. Now I'm trying to learn more about what's out there.

    Questions:
    - Which will produce a better picture? 3/240K CCD OR 'single' 1mb CCD?
    - If it is the 3/240K, would the 3 chips record indoors better EVEN with a 12lux rating?


    Thanks folks and happy new year!
    -D

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Go with the tri-CCD! If you're not interested in the stills resolution, then you don't need 1 Mpx CCD, and the results will probably be better with that 3-CCD Panasonic. Careful, though, that's a lowest-end 3-CCD and Sony are said (and I support that from my own experience) to perform the best in low-light.
    So test them both in a store, if you have the opportunity. If I couldn't test them hands-on, I'd read some reviews and then probably buy the Panny.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks svhs.

    Yeah, it's difficult to test in the stores because they are usually leashed to the counter.
    Thanks for your advice on the 3CCD. I wasn't sure if the 3 chip would be better because the chips are only 420K each, oppose to the 1mb.
    About 70% of the footage I shoot are indoors. So would you then lean towards the sony? just curious.


    Thanks again!
    -D

  4. #4

    Default

    OK, that settles it!
    The specs I was using for the panasonic was from a magazine. It listed the pana with a lux rating of 12! I thought that seemed high. I just went over to the panasonic site and it lists a lux of 1!!!!!
    I did other spec searches and they say the same!

    Thanks for your help again. I'm getting the panasonic!

    -D

  5. #5
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    Apr 2005
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    OK. Good luck with that.
    And remember, don't be impressed by megapixel ratings in camcorders! To render the PAL SD resolution (720x576) in standard quality, calculations show that a CCD of 400 kpx is enough. A little above that (680 or 800 kpx or so) help improve the image stabilization. But camcorders that boast 2 or 3 mpx CCD's only use all those pixels for stills... so it's really marketing crap.

  6. #6

    Default

    THanks a lot! I really appreciate the help.

    I have noticed the reference to stills. OK, so how can I find out how much of that sensor is going towards video and not stills? Is there something in the tech-spec I should look for?
    Please don't tell me that my best bet is to go to the store and check it out?

    -D

  7. #7
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    No, it's in the specs. Look for "effective pixels" - e.g. 800.000 pixels gross, 400.000 effective.

  8. #8

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    OMG! It's amazing what you learn.
    OK, here is what I found so far. I looked up the "effective pixel" counts for the models.

    What I have currently:
    Sony TR330 (digital= Gross - 460K effective video and 290K still

    What I tried and returned:
    Canon ZR100= 340K effective video

    What I thinking about getting:
    Sony HC42= 690K video
    Panasonic GS65= 290K effective video and 280K stills.


    You are right! The Pana does offer the 3CCD chips but only 290K is for video. Earlier you mentioned that 400K would be enough standard quality.
    This explains why the Canon was close to, but not as good, as my sony D8.

    OK. So does this also mean that the higher the effective count the better low light recordings?

    I REALLY appreciate you helping me. You are teaching me a lot! I hope this is helping others too!!

    -D

  9. #9
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    Yes the Panasonic has only 290 k effective CCD pixels, but multiply that by three!

    As for the Sony, as I said, it'a very good option too, because of good low light performance.

  10. #10

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    OK, I went back to the stores and tried to test out the camcorders in low-light conditions. Of course the cam's are tethered to the counter. When I bought the Canon ZR100 it viewed great in the store but when I got home I truly found out how bad the low-light was.
    By chance do you have any tips on a good way to test cam's at the store?

    BTW, just out of curiousity, do have an opinion on that JVC that records to a HD? It comes in a 20gig or 30gig, and has a effective pixel count of 690K.


    THanks!
    -D

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