More on the Canon SD780 IS

I wrote a few weeks ago about the Canon SD780 IS. How tiny and cheap it is, and how it creates very acceptable images for even professional work.

So, I shot a music video with the Canon SD780 IS, and here’s my experience with it:

– The camera holds less detail than the Canon SX2x0 IS, which is to be expected, as it’s got a worse lens. However, for half the price of the SX2x0, it’s acceptable.

– The encoder is 24mbps, as it is on all other Canon digicams, but it seems to be doing a bit less good than the more expensive models. It’s possible that the SD series use a slower chipset, so its encoder is not running with all the optimizations ON.

– It’s very easy to shoot with the cam, because it’s so small. Fits in jeans pockets.

– Color grading was very easy, when you have shot “flat” with the cam.

– Battery life is a bit less good than in my SX200 IS, but I bought a second battery for just $7 on Amazon.

– Great for music videos, since you can slow down from its 30p to 24p.

Unfortunately, the music video won’t be released, but I got a 30 second excerpt for all of you to see that it’s 100% possible to shoot a very good pro-quality video with this $160 camera. You can download the video on Vimeo, in order to view the video in higher quality on your computer.

Music by FiveNG, titled “Skin“. Music is used with permission, obtained by the artist directly.

If you’re wondering about the composite effects, I had a nice idea one night: I pulled out my Linux laptop, loaded xscreensaver, found some good OpenGL screensavers, and ran them one by one. In the meantime, I put my SX200 IS on a tripod in front of the laptop screen, zoomed-in enough so only the screensaver screen was captured, then pulled the exposure all the way down, and recorded the random effects, in “flat” color settings. Then, I slowed them down from 30p to 24p, and used them in the video.

8 Comments »

himanshu wrote on October 1st, 2010 at 8:01 PM PST:

It seems that not many people use canon poweshots for video 🙁 I searched vimeo and there were very few ixus/powershot videos.

I am planning to get a ixus 100, and a canon 60d when its released in my country.

I think powershots work really well outside with lots of light, but they are not good indoors. But at this price, there’s not much to complain about 🙂

And they work really well for timelapses. CHDK has some nice timelapse scripts. And you dont have to risk your expensive dslr’s shutter for creating timelapse 🙂

And why did you chose to use this odd way of compositing the effect ? 🙂


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Eugenia wrote on October 1st, 2010 at 10:25 PM PST:

There was nothing odd about it.


himanshu wrote on October 2nd, 2010 at 1:27 AM PST:

“There was nothing odd about it.”

You found a nice way of using the screen saver for video effects.Not many people use screen savers for video effects.

It seems that you are aiming for that chillwave kinda effect ?


himanshu wrote on October 2nd, 2010 at 1:35 AM PST:

Perhaps i can use some of the video effects from winamp’s great visualization plug-ins for green screen backdrops for music videos. The benefit will be that the animation will be according to the music depending on the beats etc …


Jim wrote on October 2nd, 2010 at 5:26 PM PST:

I wonder if two of these could be used for a cheap 3d video rig. If so, How could you make it work? It would make an interesting blog post to have a cheap 3d rig


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Eugenia wrote on October 2nd, 2010 at 7:34 PM PST:

Yeah, it will work well. An actual 3D addon for a tripod costs just $15 on eBay. And another $10 for a clapper, in order to be able to sync the two images in post.


Jim wrote on October 3rd, 2010 at 11:16 AM PST:

Do you think that it would be worth buying the more expensive Canon SD780 for video quality?
Then, I wonder if it has a remote that would trigger both cameras at the same time?

It seems to me that the clapper could have a stick on digital clock that would help with the video sync as well.

I use sony vegas 8


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Eugenia wrote on October 3rd, 2010 at 3:16 PM PST:

The SD780 is not expensive. At $400 you get 3D, which is very cheap, and at good quality. No, you won’t get a remote with any of these cams.


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