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Buying Camcorder from the US

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by neelesh, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. neelesh

    neelesh
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    Hi,

    The price of the Sony DCR-PC330 is around $1100 in the US and with the current currency rate it works out £600.

    Hence i was thinking of getting my friend in the US to order for me and then collecting it from him when I visit him in February.

    My question is:

    Is there any difference between the US model and GB model of this camcorder?
    I know NTSC and PAL used to affect old fashioned camcorders.
    Is this still a problem with Mini DV?

    I intend to copy them to DVD writer and play them thru my DVD player which copes with NTSC format.

    Please help?

    Thanks in advance
    Regards
    Neelesh
     
  2. mossmanfly

    mossmanfly
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    I doubt NTSC would be a problem, especially as most TVs, VCRs, DVDs etc can display it. The only downfall is that when editing footage and converting the footage to DVD you will need to make sure the software is doing it all in NTSC rather than PAL, as the framerates are different.

    The only thing that could put the cost up is if customs stop you and you have to pay tax on the item. Another thing is the warrenty, what happens if in 4 months it developers a fault?

    I think it would be something to consider as NTSC issues are minor these days, especially since TV's, VCRs, DVDs etc display the NTSC signal. A saving of about £400 would be good. Actually I just went into the Halifax today and got $200 at £112.47, its about $1.77 to the £, for a buying rate. At the moment the price is falling.
     
  3. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Many retailers in the USA will be able to supply PAL camcorders.
    If not then also look at the fact that a UK VCR will play an NTSC recording, but it will NOT be able to record it. Therefore if you ever want to put footage onto VHS tape (for granny etc who doesn't have a DVD player) then you wont be able to. Most editing progs should be able to handle NTSC, as will most DVD players.
    Also if customs do catch you it is import duty and VAT that you will have to pay. They can stop you even after a few years and demand proof of paying VAT etc. so if you go on holiday in the future with the cam you are still at risk of being stopped.

    So it is a risk and could add a few problems, but it is also one hell of a big saving buying from the USA!

    Mark.
     
  4. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    You *could* do a standards conversion of the video content on your computer, but keep in mind that standards conversions are almost always inferior to the original - then again, if you're doing it to put it onto VHS then you're going to get that anyway.

    For customs, can't you just open the box and if they ask tell them that you took it with you?
     
  5. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Video standards conversion is also very expensive. A hardware box will cost from about £200 and I don't think software will be much, if any cheaper. This wipes out any cost saving in buying from USA, so IMHO is really not worth it.

    Customs can demand you prove that duty & VAT have been paid for several years after the camcorder was bought, not just on brand new goods. If you can't produce a receipt/invoice etc then you can be charged VAT & import duty at any time or you loose the camcorder. So even if you go abroad in 2 years time there is still a chance you will get caught if you have the camcorder with you.

    Mark.
     
  6. neelesh

    neelesh
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    Thanks to all you replied

    The Sony DCR-PC330E (Pal) version are available in the US but the price diff is small; Not enough to justify purchase!

    TBH i'm not sure whether these Combination devices are worth buying. The still images seem to just OK and nothing special. So I might buy a good sub £300 5mp camera and get cheaper mini dv cam and the whole cost wont be much different to PC330.
     

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