Stills from video camera

3 replies [Last post]
Jim Blacklock
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Joined: Apr 29 2001

Using DV200 & Adobe Premiere I'm delighted with the videos I can create. However I would really like to be able to create stills from my video footage. I can do that using DV Studio and Adobe Photodeluxe but find that the quality is not acceptable. My camera has a stills facility (still not acceptable quality) but I really want to capture by freezing the video as this provides a source of very natural photos especially with people who don't like posing for a stills shot. It also has the tremendous advantage of only having to carry one camera. My camera is a Panasonic NV-DS5B and my printer is an Epson Stylus Photo 700. From conversations with a few camera shops I understand that the camera is the weakness. I've been told that the Sony PC110 would give a much better quality still both on still capture and video freeze. Would you agree that the camera is the problem and what camera would you recommend.

Jim

John Farrar
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Joined: Sep 13 2000

Hi Jim
You can capture/export stills from the timeline of Premiere but the quality is NEVER going to be as good as you would get from a digital camera. The information just is not in the video frame.
I tried this recently with my Canon XM1 and, having created a .bmp file from the Premiere timeline, printed the picture nearly filling an A4 sheet. Considering it was from video it was not bad but no where near the quality you would get from even a cheap digital camera.
If you want to use the pictures for a video cover/insert they may be good enough.
HTH

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

You have a great camera, a top editing programme and an ace printer. If the camera's tripod mounted and you take a bitmap image from the timeline (file-export-frame) into Photoshop for tweaks you should get very acceptable 5 x 7" prints.

In Photoshop it's best to go levels-auto. Filter-unsharpmask and leave it at that till you know more.

I say tripod mounted because you'll get the sharpest, most detailed prints from stills that combine both fields. So if you're printing from hand-held footage you need to carefully select the frames that you intend to print, frames that have no subject or camera movement. Photoshop does have a de-interlace filter, but it can't work miracles

If the above technique is NOT giving you sharp 5 x 7s then moving up a notch to a megapixel videocam won't help much.

tom.

Jim Blacklock
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Joined: Apr 29 2001

John/Tom,
Thanks for your replies - much appreciated if disappointing news. I would have thought taking stills using a camera with a memory stick would definitely give a better picture than my Panasonic but appreciate that stills taken from frozen video might not be as good, although I was told by the salesman at Jessops that it would be better on the Sony DCRPC110. Although not as good as a stills digital camera is there no chance that there would be some improvement with the PC110 or even the DCRTRV30 which talks about having a 1.5 mega pixel CCD.
I suppose the best way to check would be to take my camera down to the store & take an identical scene with both cameras & then print down from both.
Jim