Chosing DVD Camcorder to record students

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Shabra

Guest
I want to record students giving a short talk, play the recording on a TV and then hand them their DVD. That choses the format for me! I want a remote control for my convenience. Sound quality is important but I don't want to go to the expense of an external mike. Although an accessory shoe would give me that option for the future. Has anyone got any recommendations? Would it be possible to hire a camcorder to try it out?
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Im sure youll soon get a few suggestions for a short list from the many happy owners of these camcorders on the forums

Short of Borrowing to try in a shop with a deposit and firm agreement to return ,hiring one ( affordably) may be hard unless you try places like Cash converters etc where you can buy off them an sell back to them later:rolleyes: .

Even Argos have excluded cameras and camcorders form the 16 day no questions asked return:rolleyes:

They are nore a lt more mainstream and Im certain youll find one you like

Im not sure how much the miniDVD discs cost, how many youll end up needing and how long the " short" talk is


An altenative setup would be:
A non-DVD camcoder (Tape/HDD) coupled with a resonable cost settop DVD recorder with HDD . It may cost a little more in the short term but be worth it in the long term.
It has some distinct advantages : I tried my camcorder ( tape based) and recorded directly to HDD of settop recorder watching it on TV simultaneously and making a DVD from it ( fast dub) a few minutes later
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
Although I love my DVD camera, I must admit that for your intended use I am with Senu on this one...Especially as mobility doesn't seem to be an issue, I think recording to a normal DVD recorder or a computer and then quickly burn it would be a much more cost effective solution compared to the mini-DVD's....Also it would be more compatible as mini-DVD's don't work in slot loaded DVD players for example.....
 
S

Shabra

Guest
Hi Guys, thank you for your comments! I want to keep the costs down so I think a DVD recorder might be stretching it - although well worth considering - trouble is we have 2 DVD recorders at home on PCs already. The short talk is only about 3 minutes. Being able to instantly hand students their DVD is good - it saves them the embarassing thought of someone else looking at their presentation. It is a confidence boosting operation so I really need to help them feel safe. I have seem 8cm DVDs for under a £1 - whether they work or not is perhaps another question for the forum!
 

jblackmore

Standard Member
I believe Jessops do a 30 day refund, so you could buy a DVD camcorder try it and see how you get on. I specifically asked if we could bring ours back if we didn't like it and they said yes, that would be no problem as long as we keep box and all packaging etc.

8cm DVD-Rs are in our local poundland in four packs, so thats 25p each. I have used quite a few already and they work perfectly for me.

A possible fairly major problem no-one has mentioned is that if you record 3 minutes on a DVD-R you then have to 'FINALISE' the disc in the camcorder before it will play on a normal DVD player - on our Sony DVD205E this would take about 9 minutes if you only recorded a couple of minutes (it is quicker if you record more bizarrely, 29 minutes on a disc finalises in about 1min), so for your idea of record and hand out disc - this would be a real pain.

You could use DVD+RW discs, which don't need finalising, but they cost a lot more than use once disks (best I can find is £8.49 for FIVE DVD+RW discs delivered.

Make sure the camcorder you look at can use DVD+RW discs, as not all can.

I hate to say it, but have you considered buying a 2nd hand full size VHS camcorder ? You can probably pick one up for next to nothing, run it on the mains, and you can buy 5 packs of VHS tapes in our poundshop, so I think this would be very hard to beat for your needs on price or convenience !!

James.
 
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Shabra

Guest
Hi James, Thank you for pointing out the finalising gotcha - that would have sabotaged the whole plan! A "2nd hand full size VHS camcorder" sounds like a good idea - and possibly more people have a VHS player than a DVD-R compatible DVD player. Not quite such a nice new toy! Am I going to get reasonable sound quality? Is there on that takes a plug in microphone?
 

jblackmore

Standard Member
Pretty much all the full size VHS camcorders have a microphone socket, so you could use an external mike - ideally a cheap tie clip mike on a long wire would give you best recorded voice quality, and as you are setting up for a 'lesson' would not be a big inconvenience. Failing that a shotgun mike on top of the camera would still be much better than the internal mike, and isolates some of the camera noise - you should turn off autofocus, as it won't be needed and this is most of the camera noise I found.
 

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