Monday, March 03, 2008

Gee, ya think?

So I want a new camcorder (It's almost a hobby of mine to want things I can't afford).

Don't get my wrong, my RCA 'Small Wonder' is great in most respects, the fact it runs on double A's, is extremely easy to use, fits in a pocket, one-click file transfer to the computer etc...but as you'd probably expect with a camcorder that's only slightly larger than a pack of cigarettes, it leaves a lot to be desired.

In other words, great to carry around for those Youtube moments, but after editing some video of the new baby and watching it on a full sized TV, the picture quality could be a lot better. There's just too many artifacts.

So, of course, I decided to do some research in case I find two hundred dollars in the street.

During this research, I stumbled across this little customer review gem:

The video looked great on the camera, but when I played it on my 1080p Hi-Def TV, the picture quality dropped considerably. I'll be returning this camera as soon as possible.

Gee, ya think, fella? Standard Def footage from a camcorder looks worse on a big screen Hi-Def TV than it does on the 3" screen on the back of the camera? What did you expect?

Ok, let me break this down:

TV pictures are made up of 'dots' called pixels. The more pixels your screen can display, the sharper the picture. Simple, right?

So a standard definition TV picture is made up of 480 rows of pixels. (Just for clarity, I'm not mentioning the number of pixels across because that changed depending on how wide the screen is)

That's what 780p or 1080p means on a HD screen. For example, a 1080p screen has 1080 vertical rows of dots.

So, what do you think happens when you put some footage that's made of 480 rows of dots onto a screen that shows 1080 rows of dots?

I'll tell you. You're stretching that picture to two and a quarter times its size.

Ever looked at a picture in a newspaper with a magnifying glass? Same effect. Ever watched a youtube video full screen? Exactly the same thing.

So, long story short, this guy was actually surprised that 480 footage looked like ass on a 1080 screen.

What did he expect? That the camera was somehow going to invent those extra pixels between the video and the camera?

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Don't badmouth a product in a user review, just because you don't understand a single thing about it.

1 comment:

Sunny said...

Hmmmm......I thought the vids of the baby looked wasn't 3-D mind you, but I saw nothing wrong with them.

Definition looked sharp, color was good, I said- looked fine to me.