My camera is a cheap one but it seems to have worked good for a while. However, it has problems when I have it in 720p mode (wider field of view than 1080p) and bring it in bright light (like the backyard around 1 or 2 PM). Most of the picture looks good but parts with straight edges exposed to sunlight or having a bright blue sky behind them will show up pixelated, like mosaic pixelation. When I shoot in 1080p mode, this doesn't happen but the lens equivalent in 1080p mode is 44 mm, whereas in 720p or standard def mode it is 35 mm (or something close to that). I want the wide field of view but I don't want the pixelation. I have tried making a wide angle adapter out of a viewfinder extracted from a disposable film camera, but something like that leaves parts of the video out of focus. I just don't know what to do. I'll shoot some 1080p footage tomorrow with and without the wide angle adapter to show you the difference. I have a video I shot in 720p mode attached to show you what I am talking about.
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Are you sure it's true 720p HD video?
It looks like it's been upscaled (in camera) to give it HD dimensions. (Cheap brands like Vivitar do this).
Regardless, what is the camera make/model?
like you said it a cheap cam. about the worst i've seen. looks like in 720p mode it only uses part of the sensor and doesn't have enough pixels to record properly. it's not just the areas in bright light that have stairstepping but any diagonal with contrast. also the entire picture is washed out, unfocused, and just plain bad.
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
Never noticed this...it actually looks 1080p when shot in 1080p but I have never really looked in depth at the 720p footage...