Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
The pros and cons of the new Canon Camcorder
Published on August 21, 2003 By Draginol In Gadgets & Electronics

The Canon Elura is quite fantastic so far but I've only had it a few days.  It is tiny. Really tiny. The screenshot doesn't do it justice. It's not much bigger than my Little Elph camera that Canon makes (sheesh, you'd think I worked for Canon, I guess they're just on the ball). What I don't like about it is that it is a bit too complex. It's a little awkward to control since it's so small.  My biggest gripe with it is that it is not easy to record video to the computer.

I was naively expecting that it would include a Firewire cable (it has a port) that I could just hook up to my computer and immediately create a .MPG file or something of my film to archive. As you can already probably tell, I'm a total newbie when it comes to video editing. But I can tell you this, it's a mess. A gazillion little codecs with no in your face standard.  As a casual user, I want to be able to hook a cable to my computer, choose my resolution and have it save as some friendly standard modern video format. .AVI just seems so primitive today. What's the deal with MPEG?

What bummed me out was that I could not save my video at a higher resolution than 320x240. I only was able to do that because I happen to have a WinTV USB that I could hook up the S-video to (that I got from my aborted Snapstream experiment). 320x240 wasn't what I had in mind. I want whatever the maximum I can do.

I went to a useful site called http://www.vcdhelp.com/ that made me realize that the whole video on the computer thing is still in its primal stages. It'll be years before someone like my wife is going to mess with this. It's still far more convenient to just save it to a VCR. And that's a real shame because I would much rather have this stuff on the computer. 


Comments
on Aug 27, 2003
I have a canon camcorder, and I use Pinnacle Studio 8 for video editing. Captures just fine on XP. It's pretty much point & click; all I have to do is connect the camera, make sure it's set up to capture to the big disk, and press the 'record' button. I can come back an hour later (it doesn't transfer faster than realtime), and it's done. I suspect (although I haven't tried it) that Windows Movie Maker 2 should be able to capture as well. (Windows Movie Maker is capable of editing the .AVI files that Pinnacle saves.) It does save as .AVI format, but AVI is just a container format (like TIFF format for still images), and I'm pretty sure that the data *inside* the AVI is MPEG-encoded.
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