Camcorder Advice

Terfyn

Well-known Member
First on the specs. The specification on the Panasonic .com web site showed that the camera recorded at 30 fps and 60 fps, now this is the "American" spec and not too good for the UK. So make sure that you are buying a version that records at 25 fps or 50 fps. I am guessing that the -k version may be the right one, My camera is the HC-V750EB-K and is suitable for this country.

As for the camera, it has a very good spec and (I know from experience) you will get good video from it.
The spec is similar to the 750 and that gives good results. The BSI chip (back screen illuminated) is supposed to be better than the standard chip. The Zoom is a bit short at 5x with ( a very usable) 18x "intelligent" Zoom. This is an "Action" camcorder so you would not expect the same range of options as an HD Camcorder but you do get Wi-Fi connection and slow motion.

You will need mini SD cards so get the mini to standard adapter when you buy the card. 32Gb Class 10 would be ideal.
 

Peter Brereton

Active Member
Information taken from the Technical book.

(D)..........Orange Type (except HX-WA30EF)
(K)...........Black Type (except HX-WA30GC/GK/GN/GT)
(A)...........Blue Type (except HX-WA30PP/EC/EE/EF/EP/GC)
(W)..........White Type (only HX-WA30EB/EC/EF/EG/GC)

So the EB (European version) would be available in all above colours. The two letters after the model number indicate the intended destination market, default menu language, frame rate (NTSC or PAL countries) etc.

Pipped to the post by Terfyn :)
 
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Terfyn

Well-known Member
It is really for you to decide. You can compare the specs and analyse the results or you can go with your own feelings. These days both cameras will give good results, the only obvious benefit of the Panasonic is that it is waterproof and the Sony is "splashproof".
Much will depend on what you want to record. If you are looking for a rugged camera that you can abuse, get wet and otherwise treat badly then the Panasonic is the one for you. (They will tell you around here that I am a Pany fan - so I would say that)
 

amodesia

Active Member
Thanks Terfyn.
If I was was choose a different camcorder (non action), which one is has good quality camcorder for around £300ish. I know there are loads but there got select few that stand out.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
I'm going to "chicken out" on this one and only talk about Panasonic, I will let others talk you into Canon and Sony. In truth any one of these manufacturers produce top cameras. Amazon have the HC-V510 at £235 or, if you can get one, the HC-V700. There are some of the older models available still (2012-2011) My original Pany was the 700 which I still use as a second camera. It is still an excellent performer.

Your original choice of the WA30EB is a good one and, for the money, I would not let that go.

Currys also have the HC-V550EB at £370 with £50 cash back, this is one of the 2014 range so has the latest bits.
I started the digital era with a Canon HV20 which is a DV tape based camera. It required a IEEE 1394 or FireWire connection to download the video to my (then) PC. Three years ago I upgraded my PC to cope with the later versions of the Editing Software and got higher processing power and more memory but no FireWire port. We retro fitted a FireWire board but, initially, could not get the camera to connect with the PC. (It was sorted after much messing using the NOW well known fix) In a panic I bought the SD card based Panasonic V700. I found that I had a really good camera which was in constant use up to this March when I bought the 750. The 700 is the second shot in my armoury.

I am certain that other forum members will advise on the Sony and the Canon ranges.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
Just an after note on prices. The Panasonic HC-V700 is priced new on Amazon at £600 - this camera is three years old at least. The latest model, the HC-V750 is priced at £495!!

Does this mean that I am the proud owner of tomorrow's antique?:laugh:
 

12harry

Well-known Member
It will help if you can give some idea of prior experience, video/stills/etc. and what you expect to use this for.....
As an action camera it falls between toy and GoPro, being almost identical to early Toshiba "Pistol-Grip" models [ DYOR ], so it's not one I'd recc, although the styling might suit you. Camcorders are the shape they are for historical reason and because they are easier to handle, so my advice would be
EITHER - go for a s/h GoPro ( yes these too are the wrong fps, but most Editors can convert well enough ), the Go pro has a very wide lens and suits ski/cycling/surfing perhaps where rugged and waterproof (with the cover), is essential
OR
A conventional camcorder-style with a modest zoom and SDHC memory (avoid older hard-drive & Tape models).

However, while yr budget is "low" it would really help if you can tell us what you expect to produce.

If you want to make films, then join a FilmMaking Club and Learn the Trade, possible before spending dosh. If it's for family memories...then a modest stills camera will do Video and that has the benefit folks will not realise they are being filmed, esp. if you appear to be making "adjustments" - with the camera on a decent tripod for example.
Hope that helps.
BTW I've only bought Sony:- Stills/Video=NEX5, Camcorder=CX410, although in past it was Nikon for SLR's.
Both models new are above yr budget... and the NEX5 has 3x zoom, but accepts other lenses.
Then there is the issue of a decent Editor (assuming you have a 4-core PC running Win7, say and pref 64-bit). Computer Shopper continues to praise Sony Movie Studio which comes in Simple and Advanced modes - it is a cut-down version of Vegas Pro, however it can take years to use/learn all the facilities....but just minutes to get something done. I recc the Production Suite version as this comes will extra stuff DYOR. While v13 is current, Amazon has v12PS it's very capable and a bargain at about £30. - you can improve a movie LOTS by editing and the act of Editing will improve your Photography too.

Terfyn has done a good job as always (see earlier) but the truth is that Budget is all. If you keep using a camcorder for 4-5 years, then a slightly higher Budget won't hurt too much....but remember the "Extras" ----Battery, Memory, Tripod, Editor. These can top £100 extra without a blink.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
harry's advocating of joining a FilmMaking Club and SMS(P) plugs should perhaps be a "HTH" Sticky :rolleyes:.
Don't forget the trusty CX410. :D
 

12harry

Well-known Member
Thanks all, . . . . . but if OP is spending under £300 for the camera, then I would presume that good Budget software is likely to be welcomed.
Of course the CX410 camcorder will suit many uses, however it's above OPs stated Limit and we still do not know what OP is attempting to do..... we should perhaps include that (request for info) in a sticky. SMS has several faults for advanced-users IMHO, but you cannot fault it on Value at ~£30.

+Anyone like to comment on the suggestion I made about a Stills camera may be suitable? There is a Pana that was very popular in the Forum.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
The HX-WA30 is a brilliant camera just to stick in your pocket and film anything and everything. Its robust construction will give it a long (and happy:)) life for any active owner. I stick my 750 in my pocket Harry just in case but it does weigh me down on one side :confused: and I have to take more care of it. Bear in mind that Panasonic camcorders take very good still photos as well. IMO "amodesia" has made a good choice.

As for your comment about a toy, Harry, I suggest you read the specs. I guess it will perform better than a Go-Pro but without the versatility.
 

amodesia

Active Member
Hi,
My main purpose is for holidays. I don't won't to keep having to take the camera out of bag then put it back in case I damage it with water or sand. I have borrowed other people's camera before so I thought I would get my own since we seem to go on long distance hols every year.
Thanks to everyone for the input.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
Hi,
My main purpose is for holidays. I don't won't to keep having to take the camera out of bag then put it back in case I damage it with water or sand. I have borrowed other people's camera before so I thought I would get my own since we seem to go on long distance hols every year.
Thanks to everyone for the input.
Well the WA30 is just made for you. All sealed up and ready for sand and sea. The instructions in the user manual for keeping the camera sealed and clean are very comprehensive but the design is, obviously, made for rough handling.

I suggest you also buy an extra battery (or two) you can also get an ExPro charger to recharge the batteries. I would not expect too much performance from the supplied battery alone. At £15 for both battery and charger they must be a good investment especially as the battery charger is both mains and 12v so can be used in the car..
 
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Terfyn

Well-known Member
Good spec but it is 30/60 fps so not so good for the UK. There are a number of "look-alikes" on Amazon. The Crocolis may be worth a look as it has 25 fps and PAL output.

I still think the WA30EB is the best compromise. Most of the action cams are not so good for general filming. The Pany gives you the best of both worlds. (slightly compromised by the zoom)
 

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