Canon ZR800

So I went around my home today and shot some flowers with the ZR800 (update: review posted). I wanted to showcase that today’s cheap cameras are good enough for the general population and people should not flock into HD without even thinking if they actually need it.

The footage was color graded (of course), while it was shot in “neutral” color mode. You see, these consumer cameras (like most TV sets) are over-saturated by default, because that’s how they attract customers who don’t have a clue about video (“wow, ooh, look at the color of this TV honey, we should get it for Christmas”). Finally, some of the shots are not steady as I couldn’t fully use my tripod with that specific camera (I can’t remove the pin hole that gets in the way).

The full review of the camera will be published in two weeks time on Tuxtops. For now, check below the kind of quality achieved with this $200 camera. Click here to view the video in higher, 480p, resolution, or to download the original .mp4 file.

Of course, not everything was rosy with the ZR800. Here’s a shot below that looks absolutely dreadful. Yes, that’s how the ZR800 shot that whole scene. It seems to not like it when it’s cloudy and you are shooting towards the water.

9 Comments »

Ivan wrote on December 1st, 2007 at 9:33 PM PST:

Nice!
I suppose you used maximum zoom to achieve the depth of field with the flowers? How did you go about filming the rose like that, as it seems you filmed it from above?


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Eugenia wrote on December 1st, 2007 at 11:46 PM PST:

>I suppose you used maximum zoom to achieve the depth of field with the flowers?

Not always. If you use manual focus you can get a similar effect with less zooming.

>How did you go about filming the rose like that, as it seems you filmed it from above?

I am taller than the flower. 🙂


mikesum32 wrote on December 2nd, 2007 at 4:35 PM PST:

I think the floor model tvs have the colo(u)r saturation cranked up, but I doubt it come like that in the box.


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Eugenia wrote on December 2nd, 2007 at 4:53 PM PST:

They do.


mikesum32 wrote on December 2nd, 2007 at 5:14 PM PST:

Well unless we both go out and buy a bunch of tvs and compare them, I don’t think we’ll reach an agreement.


BobC wrote on December 3rd, 2007 at 4:04 PM PST:

Why didn’t you go with a progressive scan mini-dv camcorder? (if they still are produced)
I still use my jvc GR-DVL9000. It’s great except for the fact that it developed quite a few dead pixels over the years. It is probably my most favorite mini-dv cam. Nice big F1.2 lens, and of course it’s progressive! I’m going to ebay right now and see if there are any.


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Eugenia wrote on December 3rd, 2007 at 4:16 PM PST:

Because the idea is to have the cheapest miniDV camera out there and get a good image out of it. I already have an HD camera, I don’t need a better one.


BobC wrote on December 4th, 2007 at 5:06 PM PST:

Well I just looked into the zr800 and I see it has a true widescreen ccd. Not bad for $299. Good choice afterall.


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Eugenia wrote on December 4th, 2007 at 5:46 PM PST:

Actually, it’s sold at $190 these days. I got mine at $199.


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