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Friday, December 4, 2009

Canon Powershot Sx10 Is Digital Movie Mode Explained

By Peter Sneckint

With the Canon PowerShot cameras, you can be assured that you hold in your hands what is among the greatest video capturing tools available to man. When you want to record, you have to use what is called Movie Mode. The only flaw it seems to have is that it stops recording after you have reached one gigabyte, but we'll talk about that in a second.

You can chose from two resolutions in movie mode. The first is probably recognisable by most people these days, its called VGA and the size 640 x 480 pixels. The second is called QVGA and sized at 320 x 240 pixels. Let me just explain these sizes a bit more. VGA stands for Video Graphics Array and is a well known term for a computer monitor with a 640 * 480 resolution. Most computer monitors these days have a much higher resolution.

Then there is QVGA which stands for Quarter Video Graphics Array. This runs at 320 x 240, which is the screen size of a VGA resolution. Often this type of resolution is located on mobile phones and Personal Data Assistants. VGA was created by IBM during the days of the first personal computers, long before Microsoft Windows was a mere background application.

When you decide to make use of the Canon PowerShot, you will be able to make the choice between 15, 30, or even 60 frames per second in movie mode, and this is dependent on the resolution you picked. The only problem is that eventually you are going to hit that one gigabyte limit which will annoy some people to no end. You will only be able to record until the card is full or until it reaches that one gig limit.

You will reach the limit in about nine minutes when you are recording in VGA 640 x 480 at 30 frames per second. You can store several one gigabyte movies in your card if you wish, but it will simply shut off after you reach the one gig limit.

If you're using a Canon PowerShot for video, you will probably be uploading your content to the web. YouTube still has a 10 minute limit on video length. And frankly the attention span of most people will wane considerably sooner than 9 minutes! If you want longer movies, you have a couple options. Reduce the frame rate to 15 fps. That may work for you but remember that the slower frame rate will give you a lower quality image.

You could also go to QVGA quality which will reduce the resolution. If you want, you can try lowering the quality of the audio as this will guarantee a smaller file size. A faster frame rate will also do well, as it will give you a high quality video even at the lowest resolutions.

By doing this you could indeed record for a bit longer than the normal nine minutes, and you would even retain decent video quality. Make sure that you check the results of this before you actually use it however. One thing that you need to know however, is that the Canon Powershot will definitely outdo any other handheld video camcorder on the market. This is a combination of both the lens and the technology integrated into the PowerShot.

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