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Dad's new Camcorder - Max Budget of £500 and not sure what to go for . . .

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by Gizmo 76, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. Gizmo 76

    Gizmo 76
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    Hi all,

    My mum has asked me to recommend a Camcorder for her to buy my dad. Now her max price is £500.

    Basically I would want to recommend a 16:9 Camcorder and my mum really likes the idea of the DVD based ones, meaning they could watch what they have recorded straight away without the need of using a PC. I'd also like a decent battery life and small but useable size.

    Any advice or ideas as a starting point would be great.

    Many thanks,

    Giz. :thumbsup:
     
  2. chemicalbrother

    chemicalbrother
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    Hi i would recommend the sony dcr hc39e it allows is a mini dv camcorder, it has a one mega pixel ccd so its recorded footage looks amazing, it records in widescreen 16:9 and has a widescreen tft screen also, the battary life it just about an hour with the screen open when recording on and off, it last longer with the screen closed but you can buy bigger batteries for it. The dvd camcorder are good but i think for better picture quality and recording go for a mini dv camera. Are you going to do much video editing?
     
  3. Gizmo 76

    Gizmo 76
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    See that is one of the dilemas . . . . I would like to try my hand at editing, but I doubt either of my parents will. I think i'd be able to teach my mum simple things like transfering video onto the computer and then onto a DVD, my dad well that's another story :rolleyes:

    An hour battery life sounds a little worrying, is this the general standard? How long do the bigger batteries last??

    Also if I went for Mini DV, is this a better media than DVD in terms of price and performance?

    Thanks again for any help

    Giz.
     
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    If all you want to do is plug the camcorder into the TV to watch the recording then IMO you are better off getting a miniDV camcorder as they will offer better quality pictures and longer recording times. A DV tape will record 1 hour, or 90 minutes in long play and they cost around £3 each.
    DVD camcorders are good if you want to remove the disc and play it on a DVD player, but you only get about 20 minutes at best quality on a disc and they do cost a fair bit more than a DV tape.

    Don't worry about battery life. About 1 hour is the standard life of the battery supplied with a cam, but longer life bateries can be bought for not too much money. Just think of it as a required accessory like the camera bag and tapes/discs etc.

    I suggest you go to a local Jessops and have a play with a few cams. Find one that you think will suit your dad and then find the best UK based internet price and Jessops will pricematch it for you.

    Mark.
     
  5. chemicalbrother

    chemicalbrother
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    yep lol he is right about that i would go for mini dv any day loving the 25mbps bit rate
     
  6. senu

    senu
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    .. ....a lot more actually and also much less readily available both domestically or on holiday if he runs out of tape!.
    The pic quality may be marginally less ( in the DVD) as the encoding to mpeg2 to fit a DVD will not come at top quality via the camcorder.
    Certainly go for Mini DV. Obviously the tapes can be played to TV running off the mains/ adaptor and long life batteries dont cost that much.
    As for the actual make of camcorder, pretty much any of Canon, Panasonic or Sony will make decent models .Others will swear by their JVCs, Samsungs and other less familiar brands. In vest in one issue of "what camcorder" for guidance . For your Dad I would stick with the big names but then shop on the internet for a keen price unless Jessops/Dixons etc will pricematch.
    Also unless it is meant to be a suprise, try get him to hold and play with those on your short list since the actual handling feel is very impt IMHO.
    One last advantage of miniDv is the ability to edit them in the future should you wish to dabble into that ;) .
     

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