Digital Cameras for Recording Video Games: Black Bar Issue

Hi there :slight_smile: I’m Nick and new to the tech talk section of the forum. I think this is the best place to ask for help! I read some of the faq and didn’t see anything related to my specific question currently, and so I’d like to ask a question and provide background info to explain my dilemma further. Here goes something, I hope!

QUESTION: is lower resolution sometimes better than higher resolution for recording video games on older, tube-based screens?

My topic here is VERY detailed; just to warn everyone, since I wanted to explain precisely my situation, and the answer might be SIMPLE! I would just appreciate some feedback :slight_smile: and here is the online research I’ve done and the advice I’ve received from ppl who work at electronics stores, as well as an owner of arcade machines.

I went on wikipedia to find out about VGA vs. QVGA and other ways to capture videos on the cheaper digital cameras. I found out that VGA (video graphic array) is higher resolution than Quarter-screen VGA.

I’m not worried about perfect quality, and I recently used a camera to upload SF3 matches on YouTube, and had satisfying results w/ a 7.0 MP (megapixel) camera. I checked the features online to compare it to newer versions of the Kodak Easyshare camera. I don’t have the 7.0 MP camera anymore, and I want to buy a new, similar camera.

I noticed that the higher-resolution cameras don’t offer QVGA every time; just VGA. The 7.0 Kodak camera offered EITHER resolution setting–not that I read ANYwhere in the manual or in the online extended version of the manual on how I could choose which resolution setting I was using. I think resolution is tied to frame rates.

The old 7 MP camera isn’t in stores anymore, and would have to be back-ordered or ordered online. The fact that it’s not in stores makes me think that I should just get a higher resolution camera like a 10.2 MP instead, and I’ve tried using an actual 10.2 MP, but it seemed worse. HERE’S the problem, it seems:

Old games like SF3: Third Strike have refresh rates because of the old tube-based TVs on which they are displayed, and this causes the “black bar of doom/death” on the screen when trying to film with a digital camera. Sometimes the bar is thinner and paler, depending on the particular camera, so the flicker that might result is barely noticeable, if present at all. High-def (plasma or LCD, I guess?) t.v. screens don’t have this problem because they are more compatible with the digital cameras for filming, so I can film at a higher resolution for SF4 matches w/o much trouble.

The owner of the arcade machines at my local college said that getting a camera with an adjustable shutter speed to slow down the shutter speed would allow me to correct the refresh rate problem. My camera didn’t have this feature and I didn’t need it to get the quality I sought. I can offer a sample of my YouTube videos if anyone would like to see the general level of quality I’m seeking :slight_smile:

PLEASE help me alleviate this problem if you have any tips. I’ll spend a little bit more money if I can afford it, but mostly I just want to make sure I get the kind of camera that has the options or features I need to reach the same standard of quality I’ve already enjoyed for casual use. Thanks in advance for any suggestions! ~Nick

The guy at your arcade was right on the money. If you want to film a screen and get rid of the bars, you need a camera that can lower its shutter speed. Im not exactly sure but you said you are using a digital PICTURE camera with video capabilities? If thats the case, the megapixels dont mean diddly squat, and its no suprise that you dont have a shutter speed option for the video. If you are worried about getting a higher resolution video, you need to get an actual digital video camera that can film in hi-def. Otherwise, you’ll need a laptop or a computer with an awesome video capture card, and a way to hook it up to whatever game you are looking to record. Then, though, you cant get things like crowd reaction.

Hi NeoBlood :slight_smile: thanks for helping me out. I dunno if it’s considered a digital picture camera, but it’s advertised as for use with videos and pictures–the main sales pitch seems to be the easyshare software for taking pics; yeah. It sounds like megapixel resolution won’t help unless I buy a more expensive cam that films in high def, which I did NOT realize! At least the rest of the info I got was accurate (shutter speed and such). I’ll keep in this in mind when shopping for another camera (still doing this). I appreciate the tips and for reading my lengthy inquiry, and thanks again :smiley: ~Nick