General Question

wundayatta's avatar

A compact camera that does video, or a compact video camera that does still photography?

Asked by wundayatta (58571points) June 15th, 2009

My ideal is to have one machine that does both video and still photography. I want it to be small enough to fit in my pocket. I want it to have good optical zoom, maybe wide angle too, HD, large solid state memory, high quality imaging, 8 or more megapixels for still photos. Image stabilization. Good low light capabilities.

Which way should I go? Should I look at cameras that do video? My daughter has one, but the zoom sucks and the video is impossible at a distance (no stabilization). Or should I be looking for a video camera that can take stills? Do they all take stills these days?

Can you suggest any models that might meet my needs? I’d like it to be under $300, if at all possible.

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8 Answers

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

I think it’s going to be hard to find a quality camera that does all of that for under $300. I would suggest looking at Nikon cameras. They have lots of features, and are very reliable. I’ve had lots of good luck with them in the past. Hope this helps.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Fuji has some nice ones, I’ve been looking at one that retails at about $225 or so at a local store. The zoom is awesome, and it seems pretty easy to use, and has many great options. It’s a camera that does video. It looks like a darn nice camera.

SirBailey's avatar

I have BOTH types. The video camera only takes 3 mp stills! I think the still camera that does video is the better option UNLESS you want to take LONG videos, then you don’t have much choice but to go with a video that does stills. I have a Canon still camera that does video and I love it.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra For that price, the Fuji looks like a great camera.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

The still quality I’ve seen from digital video cameras isn’t too good, even at the 3mp limit SirBailey mentions. If I had to have only one camera, I would get a still rig that shoots video, and get a big memory card. If you shoot a lot of video, get a pocketful of big memory cards. I have an oldish Canon S1IS that makes pretty good videos, and it does have a stabilizer. Newer Canon P&S cameras should be comparable.

simpleD's avatar

I’ll echo @SirBailey and @IchtheosaurusRex. In my experience, still cameras that take great stills can also take good HD video (I have a Canon G9). I haven’t seen a great video camera that takes good stills.

It’s also a question of form factor. Are you comfortable shooting motion holding a still camera? To me it seems like a natural posture. I’m not comfortable taking stills with a video camera. Maybe that’s because my roots are primarily in stills.

wundayatta's avatar

Thanks for the advice. I did choose to get a still—Nikon Coolpix S630. It has image stabilization, which I hope is good enough for the kinds of situations I find myself in (far from kids doing performances, so when I zoom in, the frame jumps around all over the place). My daughter’s camera is the one we’ve been using, so that’s where I’ve experienced these problems.

SirBailey's avatar

But one caveat. A video camera will take better quality VIDEO then the still camera will.

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