Does Want: Video Camera in Camera
April 10, 2008 6:32 AM   Subscribe

I need a digital camera with support for video. I don't know about cameras OR video, please advise.

I desperately need a new digital camera to document my awesome life with pictures of cats, and graffiti, and things I eat for dinner. I would also like to be able to take video clips of this quality.

I am assuming that around $200 will get the job done. Size is kind of a factor (wants small camera) or else I'll never carry the thing anywhere. Decent battery life would be good, as would linux/cross platform support.

Bonus: How do you edit videos and put them online?
posted by shownomercy to Technology (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Bonus: Picasa

First question
posted by Burhanistan at 6:38 AM on April 10, 2008

The Canon Digital ELPH series is where you want to go. Quality cameras, cheap prices. You can definitely find one that fits your budget.

As for editing, your operating system -- depending on what it is -- most likely has something built in to do this. Windows Movie Maker on Windows, iMovie on Mac. They're pretty basic, easy to use, and have the ability to export into a format that can be easily uploaded to YouTube and the like.

You transfer video to your computer just like images, and instead of opening up a photo in Photoshop (or whatever), you open the video up in Movie Maker and edit away.

There are tons of guides online that will get you started depending on your OS/available software.
posted by nitsuj at 6:39 AM on April 10, 2008

Seconding Canon Elphs. Mine's 2 years old, and on the highest video resolution, videos look fantastic when transferred to DVD and played on a standard-def TV.

As for editing and posting video, I use Sony Vegas (you can download a free trial to try it out), save the file as an mpeg and upload directly to Youtube. The ELPH also records video in a format that can be uploaded straight to YT.
posted by puritycontrol at 6:58 AM on April 10, 2008

Wow, thanks to you all so far!

So basically, any elph can take video and then you can upload it direct? That sounds pretty sweet to me.
posted by shownomercy at 7:16 AM on April 10, 2008

I have the Canon PowerShot A560, which also takes videos. I use special digital camera batteries (drug store brand). They last a super long time compared to regular AA batteries. I always keep an extra set with me just in case.

The camera comes with software. All you do is plug the camera into your USB port and the software opens up. It tells you what button to push on the camera. Then it transfers them automatically. The software has easy-to-use editing features, including a Movie Edit feature (select the movie file in the view, then select Edit, Movie Edit...). The sound and image quality are both excellent for a hobbyist/newbie like me.

I'm betting all the other Canons come with similar software and features. You can also create images for email, downsizing them to any percentage of the original that you want. It puts them in a special folder and saves the originals in folders by date.

I upload my still pics to Picasa and it's easy as pie. I also upload them to Wordpress very easily. Wordpress won't let you upload videos w/out a space upgrade, fyi, which is $20 per year for 5 GB and on upwards of that. But jpgs are free.

My OS is Mac OS X and getting Leopard next week w/a Mac Mini w/a flatscreen cuz this iBook gets too hot to work with huge image files and watch videos.

Whatever camera you get, you are gonna want an additional memory card or two, as the cards they come with don't hold a lot of pics. You can get them at any drugstore that sells camera supplies, a big box store, or via Amazon. A nice case with a neckstrap for keeping your hands free while climbing or walking is a nice addition as well. I like the A560 because it has the curve on one side, which is easier for me to grip, but any of the others mentioned are good too.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:19 AM on April 10, 2008

I just bought a Kodak V1253, and it's pretty good. I wanted a device that would take both quality video and decent pictures. The video mode is 1280x720 @ 30fps, which is aka 720p- a HDTV resolution. No, the quality isn't as good as broadcast HDTV, but for taking videos of my kids, it beats a camcorder by a mile for ease of use. It's very pocketable, and the stills are good, but not incredible. For being 12 megapixels, they're not 3x better than my 4megapixel Canon.

googling for it comes up with some < $200 prices. I have the refurb from been shooting with it for a month without major issues. Had one or 2 lockups- fixed by pulling the battery. Annoying, but not killer.
posted by Steve3 at 7:29 AM on April 10, 2008

Canon s3 IS or S5 IS both take very very very nice video. The s5 IS can take up to one hour I believe. This may be fixed with the chdk firmware when they finish it for the s5 is.
posted by JonnyRotten at 8:10 AM on April 10, 2008

I did a lot of research on this because I wanted a couple for my kids as well. I bought three Canon A570 IS cameras for $150 each, and they are amazing. 7.1 megapixels is all you'll ever need. Video is better than your example. They run on two AA batteries (I use NiMH), but in an emergency you can buy alkalines at any store. The image stability (IS) really helps. I vote against buying the Elf--you're paying more for fewer features (no IS or manual control) because they're tiny.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:24 AM on April 10, 2008

I use an elderly Canon Powershot S2 IS -- it's fantastic for video; has a dedicated video button and can video for as long as you have space at 30fps, 4 megapixel because that's the resolution of the sensor. I haven't used the later models but unless they've made some dramatic changes they should be just as good. An excellent all-round camera.
posted by katrielalex at 1:39 PM on April 10, 2008

I ultimately decided on an elph with IS.

Thanks for everyone's input! I got the extra memory card too. Managing images is no biggie for me (I'm actually pretty technologically adept for having no idea about cameras or videos) and hopefully the vid tips work out ...
posted by shownomercy at 9:21 AM on April 11, 2008

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