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Advice on which Digital Camcorder.

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by BoosterGold, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. BoosterGold

    BoosterGold
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    Hi,

    I've got a budget of about £1000 pounds to buy a Digital Camcorder.
    I'll use it for generally recording around the house etc.
    I would also like to connect upto my PC. grab stills to print and maybe do a bit of video editing.

    I am currently drawn towards the Panasonic NV-MX8.

    Has anybody any advice..

    Thanks.
     
  2. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    I got the Sony TRV30 which I use for point and shoot. It's a best buy and 2001 award winner so the reviews are good.
    A £30 firewire card & cable and £70 Pinnacle Studio 7 completed the setup for me and I'm happy.
     
  3. BoosterGold

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    Thanks for your reply.

    So is the TRV30 a better camera than the Panasonic NV-MX8 ?

    Or is it all down to preference ?

    Thanks
    Wil
     
  4. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    I don't know about the other camcorder. I went by the reviews and the features. The most important thing to me is picture quality, and the Sony got some outstanding reviews in this respect.
     
  5. BoosterGold

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    Thanks.

    I've looked up the TRV30 and I agree it has got some great reviews.
    The only problem is that I think the NV-MX8 is quite new so not many people have
    reviewed it yet and could end up getting better reviews.

    Anyway I think I will follow your advice and purchase the TRV30.

    But were from?

    The cheapest so far is Techtronics for 969+vat free deliv.


    Thanks
     
  6. pug

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    hi there,

    i was in exactly the same situation as you a couple of weeks ago. the cheapest i could find the sony trv-30 was 995 quid. the mx 8 was advertised in camcorder user as 880 quid. i managed to get a well known camera store to match the price as i wanted to buy high street to have a definate point of contact.

    i too was drawn to the sony but after reading the reviews on this web site the mx 8 seemed to come out better. i went for the mx 8 at 880 quid and i also had a budget of 1000. i also bought some essentials - tripod, carry case and spare battery all for 1030 quid.

    i am very pleased with the camera and look forward to making my first film with it this weekend.

    best of luck
     
  7. BoosterGold

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    Thanks Pug.

    The more reviews I read the more I am drawn to the MX8.

    Which hightstreet store was that ??

    If you don't mind saying.

    Thanks
    Wil
     
  8. pug

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    hi wil

    the store was jessops. the only downside to this was that the sales assitant new absolutley nothing so it was a good job i had conducted my own extensive research. if i had not i might have ended up spending over a grand on the model that wasn't right for me.

    the mx 8 is a great cam in terms of performance but also the design gives it a stylish and individual look. i could not believe how much money i saved by getting jessops to match the price i found in camcorder user. they were selling the cam (in the sale) at 1100 quid, so i got my mx 8, carry case, tripod and spare battery all for 1030, not bad eh. very satisfying to know i got it at the absolute cheapest price.

    let me know what you get and for how much. i am still figuring mine out really so if you get the same cam we may be able to help each other out. good luck!

    ps. the mx 8 has a superb optical image stabiliser, the trv 30 only has an inferior digital one!
     
  9. BoosterGold

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    Thanks again pug.

    I'll let you know how I get on.
     
  10. BoosterGold

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    I finally purchased my mx8 for 869+deliv. from RGB.

    I am very impressed with the camera espicially with
    the Photo Shot, the quality was better than I expected.

    The downer was the fact that I think I was ripped off a bit on
    the extra's. I paid an extra 115 pounds for :

    5 JVC Mini DV 60ME Tapes.
    HAMA Spirit Case.
    FAMEART DVBP120 Battery.

    This was suppose to be a special offer they had running.

    Anybody have any thoughts on this Special Offer.

    Thanks
     
  11. rolyk

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    I too was undecided whether to go for a TRV30 or MX8, but with the TRV30 now discontinued it looks like the Panasonic.

    Just a couple of questions -

    Does it have a 16:9 mode?
    Is it really as bulky as the mag pictures suggest?
     
  12. BoosterGold

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    Not sure on the 16:9 mode will check and get back.

    I wouldn't class it as bulky, its not a small as most cameras though.

    It's not big enough to put you off buying it. and its still quite lite, and fits well in the hand.
     
  13. BoosterGold

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    Yep it has a 16:9 mode. :)
     
  14. rolyk

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    Thanks for that. Read recently that using 16:9 reduces resolution as the top and bottom of the CCD are not used. Also my 16:9 tv has a Cinema mode that enlarges the picture to fill the screen, cutting off the top and bottom, which is effectively the same as 16:9 mode on a camcorder.

    Still undecided on the Panasonic as I really would have liked one a bit smaller. I've asked John Lewis to do a price match on a TRV30 they still have in stock but they take 2 or 3 days to let you know. I suspect they hope you'll get fed up waiting and you'll buy elsewhere!!
     
  15. pug

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    hi there

    i am not sure that the mx 8 is really much bigger than the trv-30. the only thing i would say is that it is longer but i think this is to house the optical image stabiliser in the lense barrel. the sony only has a digital image stabiliser and with this enabled the picture quality is reduced.

    i have just returned from filming in the lake district and i am amazed at the results of the mx 8s optical image stabiliser. there are some shots that are almost as still as a tripod shot when the camera is held still!

    i intend to travel europe with my mx 8 (and girlfriend!) so i was looking for a nice compact camera (which i think it is) but i wont be taking a tripod which is why i opted for optical stabiliser over digital.

    up to you though but so far i am happy with my choice

    good luck!
     
  16. rolyk

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    Finally ended up with a TRV30. Very difficult decision made slightly easier by John Lewis price matching the lowest (£999) in Camcorder User.

    Not really sure what finally tipped the balance. The optical stabiliser was very tempting but it was probably the slightly better stills resolution and the larger screen that finally did it. At least it means I only need to take one camera on holiday!

    I think both cameras are at the top of the league and that both will produce fine results.
     
  17. Wolfson

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    Hi,

    I am also considering to buy the MX8. The latest offer I have seen is only 780 pounds, and from it's general performance and features one can't go wrong at that price I suppose.

    But has anyone here made any experience with it in low light situations? Will it work well under dimmed indoor light? This would be important for me ...

    Thanks for your help.
    Wolf
     
  18. BoosterGold

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    I use my camera in doors, and have found no problems with low light.
     
  19. Wolfson

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    Thanks for your input. BTW, have you ever used the camera in candle light or something like that?

    Another question, does anyone here know the phone number of RGB Direct? I wanted to call them, but today their website seems to be down :(

    Wolf
     
  20. BoosterGold

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    Sorry but I've not used my camera by candle light.
     
  21. Wolfson

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    Thanks BoosterGold, anyway
    :)

    I read the thread again and noticed you bought yours at RGB direct. Do you have their phone number or address at hand? Can't access their website today ...

    Thanks & take care
     
  22. BoosterGold

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    Nope sorry all the info is at home.
     
  23. Wolfson

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    Thanks I just found them on a UK company search! Sorry to have bothered you ;) didn't think of that right away.
     
  24. swerver

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    I have been reading this thread with interest as I too am about to spend up to £1K on a DV camcorder.

    I was impressed with the Panasonic NV-MX8, I was also looking at the Sony DCR-PC120.

    The main criteria for my purchase is that the camera must have a good lens, it must be able to take good quality stills (with a pop-up flash) and it must have DV in and out - as well as all the other usual stuff.

    I have heard that the new Sony IP range of cmcorders use a proprietory format (i.e. not MPEG) so you can't edit the video on your computer unless you use Sony's software - If that is the case with the PC120 then I'm NOT interested. Does anyone know more on this?

    I guess my question is: If you had a grand to spend, which would you buy: the NV-MX8 or the DCR-PC120 and why?

    Thanks in advance

    swerver
     
  25. BoosterGold

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    I'm more than happy with the stills the panny produces, better that I can print.
    Don't no anything about the New Sony sorry.
     
  26. Wolfson

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    Well I don't know the Sony DCR-PC120. I have bought the Panasonic MX-8 and I am generally very happy with it. (It is however my first camcorder so I don't have a lot of comparison).

    The MX-8 lens is obviously of a very high quality. I have taken some outdoor footage in good light conditions, and the results are excellent - super sharp and with impressive colour reproduction. The camera also takes good quality videos under indoor light. Of course with less light colours are less intense and detail is less as well, but the results are still good.

    The so-called chromatic aberations (purple fringe) are visible in full zoom, but I have seen worse from digital still cameras with a 10x zoom lens, so I'd say that the MX-8 lens performs very well here too. Macro shots are perfect too (unless the lighting conditions are very poor, then the MX-8 sometimes has problems focusing on the target, but this is only under extreme conditions, like a close-up in a dimly lit room.

    The optical image stabilizer also works excellent, an extremely important feature whenever you work without a tripod.

    It is also very easy to take digital still, just changing a switch from tape to card mode (or record stills on the tape). I own a 3.3 megapixel Nikon digital camera, and of course the MX-8 still don't have a similar quality, but for a lot of purposes the images are alright. For a 1280*960 resolution they are actually very good, so that I started to use the camcorder for casual shots quite regularly. The pop-up flash works well and has several intensity settings too, as well as auto and manual mode.

    The MX-8 is also quite quick taking a still shot. It seems to capture virtually immediately when I press the button. This is definitely faster than my Nikon which e.g. often has a delay of something like half a second when you press the shutter button. (Bad thing when I want to take one of these sudden snapshots of my cats fooling around ;) ).

    I went for the MX-8 also because it was down in price to £780 at RGB direct. That allows for additional batteries (absolutely necessary - buy a 1600 or 2800mA one!) and some tapes within the £1k budget.

    So, all in all, I am very happy with the MX-8 and can highly recommend it. I saw reviews which rated it top and gave it a best buy recommendation fpr a MSRP of £1200 so that makes me even happier with it :) .
     
  27. BoosterGold

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    WOW full review !!
    Couldn't agree more. ( The bit's I understood ) :)
     
  28. swerver

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    BoosterGold & Wolfson, thanks for your replies - they've been very helpful.

    swerver
     

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