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Could lightning flashes damage a camcorder ?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Skybuck Flying, Apr 12, 2010.

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  1. Hello,

    I am thinking about purchasing/ordering an "expensive" camcorder... with
    sound option too ! ;) :)

    I might use it sometime to film a thunderstorm...

    I am wondering if such "thunder flashes" might damage the camcorder ?

    Like a human's eye staring into the sun for too long ?

    Can a camcorder be damage by filming the sun as well ?

    Currently I am reading the review of the latest and greatest "rave" ;) :):

    This camcorder does have a little sound issue with the "build-in-fan" but it
    doesn't seem to bad... ?!?
    (If I do buy it I hope I won't regret... maybe a piece of paper can be
    placed over the fan input air hole to temporarely reduce the noise ?;))

    Also some people were complaining about some kind of "gravity lock"... can't
    film in certain angles ? or rotations ?

    I hope that it can at least point it towards the ground and the sky ?

  2. I really like this part of the review:

    According to the reviewer this cam has the best "sound" options... (5.1
    digital dolby ! ;) :) and stereo) which is a little bit strange really
    because it does have a fan... but then again the fan produces very low sound
    ! ;) :)

    (The reviewer complains about DC input being inside the battery compartment
    while an inconvience... maybe it also protects the camera from getting
    damage if anything would be stuck in a DC input ?! ;))

  3. This is an interesting feature too:

    Time Lapse Record
    You set a recording interval and the camcorder will capture one frame of
    video each time this interval comes up. Interval options are 1 second, 10
    seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, or 2 minutes. With this mode, thirty frames
    make up one second of video and the maximum recordable time is 12 hours. We
    like this feature, but it's really only useful for recording things like
    sunrises, sunsets, or blooming flowers.

    I can imagine if I set it to 1 second... then that could be used to try and
    capture "ufo's" are people walking in and out.

    One frame per second should be enough to capture something interesting if
    it's out there ! ;)

    Thus the recording time might be 30x times longer ?

    So it could function like some kind of security camera or so ;) :)

  4. Hmmm..

    The humming is very noticeable at the end of this video:

    This goes to show that not all reviews can be trusted...

    I don't think I am gonna like this buzzing and humming sound.

    The fan is also a part that could fail and then what's gonna happen to the
    camcorder ? :(

  5. Me not liking the noise issue of the panasonic camcorder, I am now reading
    the review of a canon camcorder...

    So far it already seems a superior camcorder for just these two simple

    1. Internal memory + 2 flash card readers/writers... if one fails then at
    least other options should be available ?
    However it could also be a sign of poor flash card reader/writer ?

    2. It indicates how much recording time is available for different quality
    settings depending on space available:

    A neat feature which I saw on a very old device long long long time ago.

    Great to see it now in new devices too ;)

    Hopefully this camcorder doesn't have sound/noise issue's...

    I am also hoping it does 1920x1080 progressively for two reasons:

    1. First of all I want a camcorder which is ready for the future resolution
    of 1920x1080 for awesome resolution/image quality ! ;)

    2. Second of all I want it progressive so that still images/pauzes look good
    and not jaggy like with interlaced crap ;) :)

  6. Reviewer wonders why it is now more square and less round:

    This reminds me of the apple one button mouse that was round...

    It was difficult to know what way the mouse was facing...

    The same could be true for camcorders... if they round... maybe the start
    slipping and you start to record diagonal/rotated stuff.

    Maybe a square camera is easier to hold steady/straight ?! ;)

    (I do wonder if that big LCD might get in the way... but then again I could
    watch the LCD instead during recording.. or it could be tucked inwards ?!)

    (This camera has an optical zoom of 10x and a digital zoom up to 200x ? I am
    kinda curious about that ;))

  7. Something strange can be seen on that link though... the battery which is
    not enclosed... looks like it could fall out below ?

  8. Also I like the way the menu system looks... it looks much more user
    friendly and better... than panasonics fragmented and weird icons and stuff
    all over the place ?!?

    I can see why apple users might like it ;) more colorfull and nice blue x to
    close it or so ;) :)

  9. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Guest

    No unless you get struck by one while you're holding it.
    More than likely. There's nothing subtle about the damage suffered by a
    human eye from looking at the sun - it's the same effect as used by
    small boys to kill ants by way of a magnifying glass.

    The Apollo 12 astronauts destroyed their one and only TV camera by
    pointing it at the sun, albeit unintentionally.

  10. nospam

    nospam Guest

    We should be so lucky.
  11. Comparing these two video's:

    Canon Vixia HF S21:

    Panasonic HDC-TM700:

    The panasonic is more colorfull but also more blury...

    The canon is a bit dull but sharper...

    I saw a very depressing s11 canon movie from a misty beach which scares me a
    bit :)

    I like colorfull images... but maybe the sharpness of the canon is
    ultimately more important
    when trying to catch details, and I think catching details is very important


    I am now reading the full review of this canon model:

  12. I have an idea for these camcorders:

    The idea is:

    "Use two batteries/slots".

    Then the user can pull out the empty battery and continue with the full

    Meanwhile the empty one can be charged... and then plugged in back later...

    At least this would allow somewhat continous filming...

    If a helper is nearby he/she could take care of it... and the filmer could
    continue ;) :)

  13. Hmm interesting question:

    Can a thunder flash + a magnifieing glass actually burn an ant ? ;)

    Skybuck :)
  14. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Guest


  15. Well my final conclusion for now:

    Most people's comments seem to be about the "low light" flaw of the canon
    series... people definetly not happy about that.

    Also the number of people argueing about which resolution and mode p/i is
    better is pretty crazy... why formats and camera's cannot be more flexible
    escapes me ;)

    Both camera's seems to have sound issue's... though the canon only has the
    sound issue when it rotates/moves/skews... according to the reviewer... if
    not yet seen a video of it...

    Video camera's are mostly about video though/ofcourse...

    The sharpness of the canon is probably just slightly better... but the
    colors could be far worse... according to the reviewer the canon is pretty
    shitty with colors.

    The noise/fan issue with the panasonic is annoying but only hearably on loud
    volume settings... this means you can probably forget about recording music
    concerts are things like that... the humm will be shitty.

    The touch screen seems annoying...

    I don't like the humm from the panasonic, and I don't like the low light
    shit from the cannon... I will view some more video's... but I will probably
    postpone a buy until these issue's are solved... or maybe I will just get a
    cheap one so I don't have to worry about these issue's.. but I already have
    a cheap/crappy video option on my digital camera... so I don't need another
    crappy video camera ;) :) I want a good one.

    Also the panasonic records 1080i in some weird format which is difficult if
    not impossible to edit with todays software... that's also a major no-no.

    Though my PC might not even be able to play 1920x1080 video... it requires
    some real horse power to be able to play those video's smoothly. Though it
    would still be nice
    too have that option in a camera for my future pc.

    The panasonic has a more stable zoom.

    If I had to make a choice right now I would probably go for the panasonic...
    it has longer battery life too... less storage space though... but that can
    be solved by swapping flash in and out... shouldn't have to be a big
    problem.... I wonder if the cannon can do "hot swap" (swapping flash cards
    while it's recording ?) :)

    I don't understand yet what a viewfinder is... and why it's usefull... the
    reviewer was very found of it... to me it seems a bit weird but ok.

    Also I haven't reviewed to cannon software that came with it yet... but
    that's pretty much not a point if the camera is not so good.

    However it could be that the review is a bit biased because it didn't
    examine p24...

    24 frames per second seems a bit low to me...

    The panasonic also has 12 optical zoom and the cannon only 10x.

    The panasonic has more pixel sensors inside it ?!?

    The panasonic is even cheaper !

    And has 5.1 digital mic... which is kinda interesting... but I wouldn't
    expect to much from it... since it's tucked away...

    The uncovered external mic hole in the cannon is worrieing... what if rain
    fails in it... or a paper clip... or some metal dirt ?

    It might damage the cannon... not a pleasent thought... the reviewer seemed
    to be worried about that as well.

    My ideal camcorder would do:

    1. 1920x1200x60 fps (perfect match for my monitor ! ;):))
    2. Good low light properties.
    3. Good color properties.
    4. Good sharpness.
    5. Excellent motion sharpness... that's what I am buying it for after all...
    I can take pictures/slideshows with my digital photo camera ;) :)
    6. Good clean sound.
    7. Nice grip.
    8. Long battery life... (panasonic had longer battery life)
    9. Lot's of storage space.
    10. Hot swap would be a bonus.
    11. Easy and meaningfull/clear to use menu's.
    12. Good automatic mode.
    (I am newb though... but some did mention "shutter" speed... faster shutter
    speed might be less motion blur... but also more blockyness.. others said it
    should be automatic... people want to pick up the camera and immediatly film
    something so I agree with that mostly... but manually options can be nice as
    13. Manually manual modes.
    14. Nice look. (All black or black and silverish would be nice).
    15. Should be resistent against dust, sand, water, wind, rain, filth, grass,
    mud, dirt, hairs, and the usual junk in pockets ;) :)
    16. Scratch resistent lens ?!?
    17. Good zoom.
    18. Stable zoom.
    19. New recording formats if possible... potentially even custom made with
    specifications available online... current video formats not that great and
    even a bit shitty here and there.
    20. Place custom software on flash card and loading it into the digital
    camcorder might be a nice way to support new software/codecs without
    requiring any rom flashes...
    This way I might even be able to develop my own codec and try it out... that
    would be great ! ;) :)
    This would probably require some kind of general purpose processor and ram
    to be present... and some operating system or hardware interface and/or

    ^ This is probably where current camcorders fall short... there are many
    geeks out there who would like to be able to twiddle and fiddle with it...
    just like linux geeks... :) Make them programmable and who knows... maybe
    massive ammounts of geek attraction potential and ofcourse third party
    software support which could become quite interesting...

    So far I have seen one thing/device (?) mentioned which could do this:
    "nanoflash" but it was damn expensive ?! like 3000 bucks... way too
    (I think it was for cannon).

    I will leave it at that for now... the cannon did have something which the
    panasonic might not have ? the cannon had a flasher... nice for taking
    photographs... the cannon was better at that... and it has a light for video
    as well... the panasonic probably not ?

    Maybe if the light of the cannon was turned on the low light situation might
    have been better ??? But maybe this is a mute point ?

  16. How you know that ? You ever tried it ? ;) :)

    See my youtube video of a thunderflash/strike here, it was quite powerfull !
    ;) :):

    Skybuck =D
  17. I knew this would a great feature for filming the sky... somebody has
    actually done it... and there is a youtube video of it... it's pretty cool:

    Strong selling argument for me ;) :)

    Also all the video's from the panasonic seem beautifull while the cannon
    video's seem like shit...

    However maybe there is a newer panasonic model... I saw a 707 somewhere ?

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