I've been looking at different Digital8 and Hi8 camcorders online, viewing the specifications in all of their manuals and I've noticed something strange but I'm unsure if I understand it correctly.
The manuals for most of these list two things when it comes to the CCD - the size, which is simple enough to understand, and the pixel count, that's the one confusing me.
They list two numbers, the first one is a large number and underneath they list the "effective" pixel count which is usually 100k or so lower.
I've got two questions when it comes to pixel count :
1. What does the effective number mean, why is it different from the first number?
2. On most of these cams, the pixel count is usually less than the number of pixels in a 720x576 frame, does that mean these are lower resolutions than their respective standards?
720x576 is for capture, but even if we use something like 720x400 (400 being the number of lines for Hi8), we get 288k which is more than most of the newer Hi8 CCD pixel counts (the older ones like my now broken CCD-TRV77E do have larger numbers). If we use the 520 lines that the brochure
for the DCR-TRV840 mentions for Digital8, we get around 370k - the only CCD with a larger pixel count is the TRV840's (it's a megapixel model with a HAD CCD).
If my reasoning is correct and these do indeed have less pixels than their standards, I'd also like to know if this is visible in picture quality. I need to know as I'm looking at two Digital8 models - a DCR-TRV840 and 330E and I'm wondering which one is the better buy.
I'd take the 840 any day but it's an NTSC model so I could only use it with the iLink output and it wouldn't play back my analog tapes, but if the quality of the 330 which has 290K
effective pixels (so around 80K less than 520 line Digital8) is noticeably worse I'm willing to make the sacrifice as I'm looking for best picture quality when recording tapes in Digital8.
It's also important to note that the 840 is being sold for around $25 whereas the 330 is going for 65! I may be able to talk the guy down to 50 but not much more.
I'm not sure if my wording is understandable so feel free to ask for clarifications!