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Digital Camcorder

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by mark67, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. mark67

    mark67
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    I have a HI8 Camcorder so I have an idea about the basics of video cameras, but I am wanting to go the down the digital video camera route, but I know nothing about them. .
    What should I be looking for? What size of memory stick do I need?
    I would like at least a 500x Digital Zoom.
    So can you please give me some Ideas?

    I suppose the last question should be can you recommend some Digital Camcorders for me

    Cheers.
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    As you have an old Hi8 camcorder and therefore Hi8 tapes why not take a look at some of the Sony Digital8 camcorders as they will be able to play your old tapes (only some models though).

    What is your budget for the new cam?
    Memory stick is only used for capturing still images, not for video (maybe very low quality video). You still record video to tape on a digital camcorder, or maybe DVD-R on some cams.
    Don't even think about useing a digital zoom of 500x. The quality of the video once zoomed in will be far worse than your old analogue camcorder as the resolution will reduced below anything close to useable. The best zoom you will get is an optical 10-20x. Optical zoom uses the lense and therefore there is no loss of quality to the final footage. If you do need to zoom in further then you would be better capturing to a PC and zooming with editing software. At least this way you can undo the zoom if you think the quality it too low.

    Your best bet will be to go to a local Jessops and play with a few different camcorders. Once you have found a model that you like go find the best price on the internet, then go back to Jessops with the details of the retailer and they will price match the internet.

    Mark.
     
  3. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Nearly forgot........

    If you are interested in playing back your old analogue tapes then take one along with you to Jessops to make sure the model that you choose will play them. If this is not required then I would suggest getting a mini DV camcorder instead.

    Mark.
     
  4. mark67

    mark67
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    I could spend upto £500.
    Not really bothered about my old tapes.
    Can you tell me more about the Mini DV cameras.
    I get the feeling from your reply that Digital camcorders are not as good as the Hi8 Camcorders. (I don't wish to appear rude).
     
  5. MarkE19

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    It all depends on what you want to do with the cam!
    DV camcorders are not that good in low light conditions. A DV cam can work down to around 7 lux (depending on make/model etc) but a Hi8 would go down to as low as 1 lux. This is not that much of a problem unless you want to use it indoors in a badly lit room.
    DV cams are smaller & lighter. The quality of the picture is much better than Hi8 (excluding low light), in fact it can be very close to that of TV. Many news reports etc are actually recorded with mini DV camcorders, but we are talking cams that cost a couple of grand!
    You also have the ability to cheaply capture to a PC, Edit and then create DVD's or VCD's etc. via firewire link. This is not as easy with analogue and the capture cards can cost several hundreds of pounds alone.

    Which cam?
    Well I have always been a fan of Sony camcorders (well I would be as I own one) as they are always good quality. But Sony do tend to be a little more expensive. Canon & JVC tend to get a few fans on this forum.
    Are you after a small palm sized camcorder or would better quality be of more interest? It always ends up as a compromise between the 2.
    If you are interested in editing on a PC then looking for a cam with DV-in could be a good idea. Also if you have a good idea as to what you are doing then manual features such as focus, white balance etc. can help to give better results. If all you want is a point & shoot then not worth paying for.

    There are loads of cams in & around the £500 mark. Also new cams willl soon be released in time for Christmas, so an updated model could be sold off cheaply.
    I don't really feel able to recommend any cams directly as I use a £1.5k cam so don't have any experience in this price range. Plenty of others that have recently bought £500 cams should be able to offer advice on their purchase, but if you do have any more questions then please ask and I (& others) will help if I can.

    Good luck & happy hunting.

    Mark.
     
  6. figrin_dan

    figrin_dan
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    The Panasonic SV-AV100 is an SD card Camcorder which looks like a lot of fun!
     

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