My main goals are family events.
So I would like a nice zoom & 1080/60p and a a wifi connection would be nice too.
and I am not comparing camcorders vs dslr (too bulky) only vs point & shoot.

At first I thought of buying panasonic v720.
Then I saw that many Point and shoots have my desired requirements.
Do I really need a camcorder or will a good Point and shoot will do?

It sounds like that the one intended to be a video camera will be better but how?

  • Many cameras with video functionality are limited to recording a few minutes of video at a time. It may not be a problem with any specific model, but it can certainly be a problem in the general case. – Michael Kjörling Sep 21 '13 at 19:55
  • This is a duplicate of avp.stackexchange.com/questions/2859/… – mattdm Sep 22 '13 at 1:21
  • Yes, but is is from two years ago. – Bick Sep 22 '13 at 7:17

It depends on the type of camcorder you get. Most point and shoots use a cheap CMOS sensor. The problem with this is that CMOS is read sequentially by line and results in an effect called screen tearing.

Basically, as you pan quickly, the lines at the top of the frame are in a different position than in the bottom so that you end up with a jello like effect where vertical lines become diagonal. A decent camcorder should use a CCD sensor which can capture an entire image at the same time and thus you get smooth panning.

While high end DSLRs have done a pretty good job at accounting for this issue by reading their sensor very quickly, low end consumer models, particularly of point and shoots, will have a substantial issue with this. If money is tight and you can only get one, then, yes, a Point and Shoot should do a passable job for home video, but there is certainly a lot to be gained by using a camcorder of similar quality.

Another factor to consider is that there are often time limits on how long of videos can be captured without stopping on still cameras. You can thank the European Union for this fantastic bit of idiocy because they decided to charge a significant tax on video cameras and defined them as anything that can shoot 30 minutes of video or more at a time. Due to this, most camera manufacturers place a completely artificial limit of 29 minutes, 59 seconds on continuous recording from any still camera. Some do make different versions outside of the EU, but others seem to be worried that it will make the EU come down on them if they only do it for the one model for the EU.

  • Thanks. I know that effect you mentioned. But looking on current PS models zooming and moving (as this vimeo.com/64054434) I think that's pretty much excellent quality. This is cheaper from Panasonic 720p, has similar spec and is also a decent stills camera. – Bick Sep 22 '13 at 7:21
  • @rails - it is actually pretty obvious there, but if it is sufficient for your purposes and you don't need the longer run times, then you may well be ok. – AJ Henderson Sep 22 '13 at 19:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.