Monday, 29 December 2008

Panasonic SDR-S7 Cardcam

I got a new camcorder for Christmas, a Panasonic SDR-S7. I've just been messing around with it so far but my initial reaction is that it's nothing special but it'll do. It's really small, records to SD card and the IQ is reasonable as long as you use the best quality setting. I can't use the highest setting for posting on Youtube anyway as the file size would be too big and thats all I want it for anyway. Unfortunately the supplied software is rubbish for a variety of reasons, it's not exactly intuitive. There are a couple of things that I really don't like, 1. you can't upload the files direct from the SD card via a reader, you need to use the camera as an external drive (not sure if all Cardcams are like that), 2. the software makes it unnecessarily difficult to save the files where you want and make them easy for the software to access. In fact unless you're prepared to let the software do as it likes then it becomes a bit of a chore. One other issue is that while it can record 16:9 format, if you output at the best IQ setting only the supplied software can actually display it at 16:9, try to view it on anything else and it gets squashed/distorted to 4:3. You can of course output at best IQ 4:3 or at a slightly worse IQ 16:9. Strangely if you output at 16:9 for viewing on 3rd party programs the file size is the same as 16:9 output for the supplied software but the IQ isn't as good.

Anyway, looks like I'll be needing to buy a decent editing program that gives me more options when it comes to encoding the files not to mention a better UI.

Oh well , at least it's an improvment on my old Olympus C5050 that I was using as a video cam.

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