Archive for February 8th, 2011

Which 24p camera to buy?

Disclaimer: Nobody is sponsoring this article in any way. I suggest Canons just because they offer the most control and features in terms of video than any other manufacturer.

These are my suggestions about artistic videos (experimental video art, music videos, short films). Not about random family/travel/sports videos.

– Price scale 1, $110: Canon A1200. 720/24p, 21 mbps, AA battery-powered. Get this if you can’t afford another camera. Video sample.

– Price scale 2, $200: Canon ELPH 100 HS. 1080/24p, 720/30p, 38 mbps, small cam. Get this if you’re after a tiny camera. Update 3: Avoid the 100 HS or 300 HS, they apparently don’t have lock exposure in video mode! Get the SX220 or SX230 instead for $300.

– Price scale 3, $300: Canon ELPH 500 HS. 1080/24p, 720/30p, 38 mbps, large display, fast lens. While its sensor is not as big as the S95’s, overall it’s a better camera for video. Update 4: Avoid the 500 HS, it apparently doesn’t lock exposure in video mode! Get the S100 instead for $400.

– Price scale 4, $800: Canon T3i dSLR. 1080/24p/30p, 720/60p, 48 mbps, swivel display, audio levels. If you can, get this one. But don’t forget the cost of lenses too.

I did not include any camcorder between scale 3 and 4 because none of them at that price range shoots in true 24p, but in PF24, which is a hassle to deal with. If you don’t mind spending hours removing pulldown, then there are plenty of camcorders to choose from, but personally I wouldn’t mess with PF24 again even if my life was dependent on it.

Update: Here’s a video off of the ELPH 300 HS (beware, it’s without any exposure compensation/locking, or “flat” colors taken into account, so most of it is over-exposed). If you pay close attention, you will see the rolling shutter on these new CMOS Canon sensors. Still, if you’re careful how you shoot, you can get great results out of these small cams.

Update 2: This and this are the best Canon S95 videos I’ve seen so far. Too bad that more people don’t use their small HD digicams in the same way — vast majority of digicam videos out there are just handheld crap.