I would like to buy a small portable/mini DVR that operates on it's own battery power.
Something like this: http://www.bikecameras.com/DigitalVideoRecorder.php
They record in MP4 format but there are two different resolutions, 320x240 and 640x480.
Now the guys selling the 640x480 DVRs say that their quality is better as the resolution is higher. While the guys selling the 320x240 say that the quality is about the same as the 630x480 DVR's simply increase resolution with digital chip enhancement which does NOT up the pixed density.
Any thoughts on this?
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resolution isn't everything...
My bro had once a videocam (more like an expensive toy) supposedly capturing in "high-def" but it did so at the same low bitrate and using same high mpeg-4 compression, that it didn't make any sense to use it at such "HD" settings. But it was acceptable at "standard" 640x480 resolution...
I've seen so many junk MP4 recorders/cameras in past few years, that I'm immediately turned off if anyone ever mentions "MP4 recording" nowadays
Manufacturers need to crank up encoding chipset's processing power before those "MP4 recorders" become something more than a toy.
However, in your case, I would go for higher resolution. 320x240 is good for VCDs, while you can always make standard DVD-Video with 640x480 source...
I suppose the actual test comes in when looking at the quality of the recording, which of course is not posible unless one buys the unit.
All the MP4 DVRs out there also seem to have weird names and models and trying to google any information is difficult as they all seem to be no-name-brands.
I'm not sure do you need videocam since you always say "DVR", but FWIW:
some photocameras may have decent videocapture capabilities, maybe you should look there (if you really need portable device using high compression)?
I.e. my old Lumix captures very decent 848x480 MP4 (QT) - just the sound is very crappy and it can't zoom or change focus while recording video; however it is already few years old LX-1 model, I'm pretty sure newer models (not neccessarily by Lumix) should not have such limitations anymore...
I need a device to record video that is small, uses little power and preferably has no moving parts. It needs to accept video input from a small bullet camera, that anyway doesn't have such a great resolution (but much better than 320x240). So my logical thought was for one of those battery operated mini DVR's that record MP4 on SD cards. The problem is that the selection out there is not great and most are rather pricey.