My camera is a 12.1MP Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS15 and for my purposes I am generally very satisfied with it. It has several frames-per-second burst settings, but I find it problematic to record images in the highest setting of 60fps (at relatively low MP resolution) because I must crank up the ISO to 3200 to get any picture(s) at all in low light indoors. Why can't I just take video (also at 60fps and relatively low MP) without the high ISO problem, and then choose and create still pictures to be saved?

  • That's a good question: why can't you? Or, why don't you? If you take video, you can always grab frames from your clips later. You just have to be aware that you'll get images with much lower resolution, and you'll probably also have less control over camera settings like aperture and shutter speed. – Caleb Oct 20 '14 at 15:46
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    Possible duplicate of Can I get high resolution photo from video? – Please Read My Profile Aug 4 '18 at 8:22

Why can't I just take video (also at 60fps and relatively low MP) without the high ISO problem, and then choose and create still pictures to be saved?

You can. Which quality is better depends on the decisions that Lumix has made. Video seems to work happily in low light that the same camera has difficulty in handling for stills. I've not looked into why (although I'm sure a vast number of people have" but I suspect they increase the effective shutter speed per frame - if necessary either repeating the same image in several frames. That type of manipulation can look "good enough" in a dynamically changing video* 'image' whereas with a still image you get to examine it 'warts and all'.

Viewer perceptions of frozen frames:

*I have a number of Sanyo Xacti video + still cameras. You can take full resolution still photos while recording video - an immensely useful feature which is largely lacking on more "real" cameras. When you taake a still photo during video recording the camera continually replays the last video frame while the sensor is "busy doing other things" and then continues business as normal when the still capture is finished - a substantial portion of a second all up.If you know when it has been done it is obvious enough but in typical 'home movie' or trip record recodings people could watch a video with many still spots due to stills and probably not notice at all.

Frame grab:

The photo below is a screen capture from a Red Bull video advertisement. While not up to the standard of what you usually expect from s DSLR, something like this is far better than no photo at all.

enter image description here

That's on the Crown Range in NZ. Neither vehicle crashed, but if he'd been able to get his rotor tips just a little closer to the spoiler it may have been different. Maybe it's just telephoto foreshortening. Maybe not :-).

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  • While your point holds, this is a rather extreme example, given that the camera shot at a much higher framerate than the 60fps OP is talking about. Given their budget it could have easily been something capturing in the range of 4K resolution and 1000fps. – mivilar Oct 20 '14 at 18:40
  • @mivilar Granted. But the photo content was far too good to pass up :-). – Russell McMahon Oct 21 '14 at 4:50
  • @mivilar 4.5 years on :-) - Somewhere along the way I had another look at that video and it's in full HD, not 4K, at least as displayed. ie the resolution is adequate in HD to get an 'excellent'* result. At 60 fps, if the car was travelling at say 72 kph sideways (liable to be slow at this point in turn)(speed set at 72 rather vthan eg 70 to allow ease of division) then that's 20 m/s or 1/3 of a metre per frame. Faster frame rate would be nicer but results like this still reasonably likely. – Russell McMahon Apr 14 '19 at 22:41

You can grab frames from video. Cameras with very high burst rates are basically capturing video. It has some drawbacks to consider:

  • Resolution is reduced (previously to 2mp, but now to about 8mp).

  • There is motion blur because shutter speed is limited, usually to 1/24, 1/30, or 1/60.

  • Exposure control may be limited. For instance, you cannot control exposure by changing shutter speed because it is fixed to the frame rate.

  • Lighting options are limited. For instance, you cannot use flash.

  • Post-processing options may be limited. For instance, there is usually no raw capture.

  • There are more compression artifacts, especially when there is a large amount of movement.

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  • "no raw capture" meaning? – Pacerier Oct 28 '18 at 18:01
  • @Pacerier "no raw capture" = cannot save raw, unaltered sensor data prior to demosaicing and other processing. – xiota Oct 28 '18 at 23:07

Depending on the subject you are shooting, it may be better to shoot at a lower frame rate of 30. This would allow your sensor more time to capture light for each frame, and therefor allow for a lower ISO. Best thing to do would be to do a few video recording tests to see the differences for yourself. Record at the highest resolution and frame rate, then record at a lower resolution and frame rate and compare the frames.

Good luck.

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