Video Cam with stabilizer - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 11-11-2008
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Video Cam with stabilizer

Has anyone tried a video camcorder (with image stabilizer) in place of a bino ?
The camcorder even has a >50x zoom. So will it work?
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Old 11-11-2008
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Interesting idea. The only negative I could see is the battery on the camcorder going bad and you having nothing at all. But I'm assuming that you don't have a spare set on bino's on board but that's a silly assumption.

Anyway, I don't see why it wouldn't work.
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Old 11-11-2008
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Just got a Sony Handicam and love it.If you had a small flat screen tv on board and had them connected it would be a "good thing" for viewing distant objects.I think binoculars would be better though.
With the handicam you could record a fleeting glimpse of a buoy and replay it in slowmotion to pick out detail.
Phil
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Old 11-11-2008
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The problem is that even stabilized, trying to find anything with a zoom factor over 10x, is almost impossible. The field of view is too small.
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Old 11-12-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philsboat View Post
Just got a Sony Handicam and love it.If you had a small flat screen tv on board and had them connected it would be a "good thing" for viewing distant objects.I think binoculars would be better though.
With the handicam you could record a fleeting glimpse of a buoy and replay it in slowmotion to pick out detail.
Phil
hmmm, interesting. never thought of the tv. I do have one onboard btw, and running on 12V.
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Old 11-12-2008
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The zoom feature could be helpful. You find the object you are interested in on the wide and then zoom in to see the detail.

BUT, holding anything steady at long telephoto is very difficult with ro without stabilization. And stabilization only has so much flexability. When you reach the end of the stabilizer, it 'bounces' and makes things worse. I never use stabilization, hate it, very unpredictable.

I've never used it but perhaps the still frame feature could come in handy. zoom in to your object and then grab a still and look at it on the LCD. Of course that brings up other issues. Viewing LCD is sunlight can be poor and the screens are so small that reading detail is difficult.

Experiment with it, you may find something useful.
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Old 11-12-2008
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It's All About Optical vs Digital Zoom

I agree... interesting idea. Here's something to think about though: Unless you have a high OPTICAL zoom (vs. digital) it will be a poor quality image even if you patch it into a flatscreen as mentioned earlier. The digital zoom takes the maximum optical zoomed image and just blows it up. So really it just turns into a very poor pixelated image.

Not a very good explanation but this may clarify what i'm saying:
Optical vs. Digital Zoom - Photoxels

Good luck!
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Old 11-12-2008
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Well, I just checked to see how a camcorder would compare to binoculars and the camcorder comes up way short.

I'm sitting here on the beach on Skagit Bay. Just took a look at some crab pot buoys with a pair of 10x42 cannon stabilized binoculars and can easily differentiate between each buoy. Then I looked at the same buoys wth a little sony digital camcorder with stabilization. No comparison. The binoculars are way better. The optics may be fine on the camcorder, but the little screen is very pixilated. Might work to plug it into a high def t.v. afterwards, but I'm thinking not.
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Old 11-12-2008
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I have a 400x zoom, and what I find is that if you look on screen at the zoom slider or gauge, it gets smaller in low light. In other words if it is darker it will not stay in focus at farther zooms. Same object in full light, no problem. A little darker and you can't focus on it. As for tv monitor, it is better to go through a computer. Your options for viewing, editing, and cleaning up the video are better.
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