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Camcorder buying advice

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by Stuart Wright, Jul 23, 2001.

  1. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Hello folks. I'm looking at buying a camcorder and I don't really know which model to go for. I want a digital one, and picture quality is most important. It doesn't need to take stills or MPEG video. But an image stabaliser, decent optical zoom and battery life are important. I'd be feeding it into my PC and CRT projector. If anamorphic 16x9 is an affordable option, then great.
    I'd probably want to use it like I use my digicam - and that is pick it up, point and shoot and know I'm getting great pictures.
    Size and weight not an issue.
    Budget is anything around 1,200, but less than £800 would be preferable. Less pain from SWMBO.
    I can possibly get Sonys at close to trade price, so those are the models I've been loooking at, but it's a case of getting the best model for the job.
    So can anyone offer any advice?
    TIA.
     
  2. Desmo

    Desmo
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    Not really sure on the latest and greatest models but my Sony has stood the test of time. (It's the original DCR-PC1E).
    It's been Speedboating and got soaked with sea water. Been strapped to the back of my bike and done 165mph down the bypass. It's been snowboarding in which I landed on it several times (almost breaking my ribs) and it'sbeen motorcrossing and got covered in crap and dust. Not to mention various other holidays and drunken use at parties.
    It still works flawlessly. Like I say, not much help on the current models but if I can't break a Sony you probably won't :)
     
  3. lifter

    lifter
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    You shoud buy miniDV format cammcorder (compatible with DVC Pro broadcast format). Pay attention on optics quality (check f number at given zoom-lower the better).Dont´t fall for numbers like 400X ZOOM or 0 lux sensitivity and crap like that. Check optical zoom ratio and sensitivity at O dB gain on camera. Increasing gain on camera affects sensitivity but also adss noise to the picture quite badly. If you can afford go for 3 CCD camera and progressive scan system. Most of miniDV cameras have image stabilizer but few of them have optical image stabilizer. There should be also DV in/out conector (also known as firewire). Cheaper models have only DV out! When you combine your camera with decent PC with Firewire card and software (DV Studio from Pinnacle)you can transfer data from camera to PC, cut and edit sound and video and transfer edited material back to camera (on miniDV tape). Battery is always problem but go for LiIon batteries with no memory effect. Chek prices of additional batteries and other accesories (lenses, filters, chargers...). Chek warranty period and conditions. You can trust names like Sony, JVC, Panasonic but it never hurts to check specifications.
     
  4. Desmo

    Desmo
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    Regarding the DV In/Out situation, don't pay out loads more for a DV In connection.
    There is a company that supplies software and cable that enables DV In on DV Out only camcorders.
    I'll dig out the link. I used this company about 2 months ago and it converted mine without any problems at all.
    You may find that most are DV In enabled these days but when I bought mine to have DV In cost about another £400. The software and cable cost me £50 ish.
     
  5. Guest

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    I can recommend the Canon MC3i MC, it has everything you are asking for and is about to be discontinued so shop around and you will be able to find it for less than £1000. It was about £1199 but I saw it in John Lewis a few days ago for £999.

    I used one for two weeks, mostly in progressive mode and 16:9 and was impressed with the quality. I would recommend using a separate mic as the built in stereo mics are on top the camcorder and don't pick up much sound from the forward direction.

    The wide angle is approximately equivalent to a 43mm lens on a 35mm camera, which didn't suit my needs so I returned it for refund. But will be looking into Canon's new range due out around Autumn time.
     
  6. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Thanks, all, for your advice. No decision made, yet, but plenty for me to consider.
     
  7. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Just incase anyone is interested, I went for a Sony trv30 in the end simply because it has all the functions I need, has a 1.5 megapixel ccd and was available to me at trade price.
     

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