tek, thinks & la strada ☯ॐ☢ csmr@kapsi

Camera Dreams 2020

I have been dreaming of a camera lately. Just an typical compact electronic camera that could shoot decent video in decent light. You know, Full HD or even 4K onto a SD memory card, batteries, backfacing display - the usual.

No OS, no updates, no phone calls

No need for extra puzzlepieces, like a operating system (laptop), no phone calls (smartphone). Just a hdmi-in monitor and a USB-ppwer-brick.

The camera should have live 1080p-video through HDMI-out, without the in-camera menus visible on the output video. So this enables one to stream image directly from the camera, and precision real-time monitoring of the shot.

Another required thing is USB-power, the camera should be able to run and shoot while being USB-powered. Cause USB-power-bricks are available, cheap and can be huge.

Of course, the camera should have a proper tripod mount, where it does not interfere with HDMI or USB connectors.

Aside from these requirements, a certain standard of image quality can expected in 2020, as even the cheapest cameras can bring FHD at 30 fps, electronic/software image stabilization. FHD at 60 fps would be nice, maybe even 4K resolution at 60 fps, but not necessary for my personal art projects.

Oddly enough, none of these features seem to be present in the budget or mid-price compact cameras.

Fun with cameras

I've been using cameras since 1983, mostly for film-photos. In early 1990's I did a lot of videography for video art projects, and macrophotography during millenium. All those cameras have been dead for years as I've worked on work-projects or dabbled in basic watercolor painting and clay-fiber-sculpting. So I've been looking for a new videocamera for last few weeks, sadly most are not made for demands that I have.

Somehow the camera-market ignores the practicality of USB as power source, and the simple efficiency of HDMI for monitoring shots and streaming video. Neither the "action camera" products, nor the "photo camera" products seem to provide these requirements. In fact, HDMI may be soon history!

So, even if this spec seems trivial, its not easy to fulfill, at all. Most cameras simply do not give live HDMI-out when recording.

Looking at them

GoPro Hero 7 and 8 seem to offer this function. They have street price around €300, about hundred more than I planned.

GoPro Hero 7 Black ⛔ - no 1080p/FHD-HDMI-out while recording - only 720p. source

Canon GX80/GX85 can supposedly send live HDMI-out at recording resolution, while recording. Street price around €350. source

Canon SX530 may have this function, seems like a photography-format camera (entry level) and has received good reviews. The street price is around €200.

Some photogeeks recommended Nikon D3500, but there is no way of knowing if it can do live hdmi-out image. The street price is around €500.

Sony ZV-1 seems to offer something like this, along with vlogging related functions, but costs up to three times the price limit at around €800.

Copyright 2020 Casimir Pohjanraito

Copyright C. P. - Last Updated - All Rights Reserved - Ask permission to republish.