Tue - May 30, 2006

Shooting paddling movies with Pentax Optio WP and W10 and Sisson Nucleus

I am exploring features of my new Pentax Optio W10 camera starting with the areas where I expect most of improvements over my old Optio WP. I guess I am trying to justify $255 I spent at amazon.com.

Here is a comparison of the old Optio WP and the new Optio W10 in a video mode. I shot and edited a short, 90 second, video clip with each camera. They were both recorded with 30 fps, but the Optio WP provides only 320 x 240 pixels resolution while the Optio W10 offers 640 x 480. The final movies available for downloading below were resized to the same resolution of 320 x 240. Therefore, the difference in quality is not dramatic but the Optio W10 is noticeable better.

Pentax Optio WP Pentax Optio W10
Next, I extracted three frames from each movie. The pictures below on the left come from the Optio WP. They are displayed at the original 320 x 240 pixels resolution. The Optio W10 pictures on the right were resized to 320x240, but you can click them to see the original 640 x 480 frames. No adjustments of any kind or sharpening was applied.

The quality of 640 x 480 frames shot with the Optio W10 is significantly better. I think that is sufficient for presentation on internet. Perhaps, the 640 x 480 video mode with 30 or better 15 fps frame rate can be used as an alternative to a continuous shooting mode which offers only up to 3 fps. Of course, in the case of the video frame you don't have much room cropping.

How long movie can be recorded? It depend on the camera settings and the size of memory card. It seems that with the highest settings (resolution: 640 x 480 px, frame rate: 30 fps, movie quality: ***) I can shoot 15:15 minutes of the movie with 1 Gb memory.

The first movie with the Pentax Optio WP was made on April 11. It was my first time in Sisson Nucleus after 5 month break. The second movie with the Optio W10 was shot on May 25 when I was more confident with a kayak and wing paddle.

In both cases cameras were mounted on a deck using a sticky pod with a cushion cup. The frames above were shot from a different camera position. The left side pictures were recorded with the camera mounted on the left side of the Sisson bow. In the second movie session the camera was mounted on a front deck, perhaps, 2' closer to the paddler. For the stern shooting both cameras were placed at more or less the same spot.

The new Pentax Optio W10 looks really promising in a video mode! I would like to have a slightly wider lens to better cover a paddler. Of course, another solution is to get a longer kayak. Something around 21' should work...

other paddling movie posts:

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