hd camcorder buying advice please help. budget max£200

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by plumpyLIPS, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. plumpyLIPS

    plumpyLIPS
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    Hi. I was hoping to get some advice for choosing a flash memory hd camcorder, expecting baby number 2 soon but don't want to rush and buy anything. To make it simple here is a list of what I am looking for:

    Budget of £180 can stretch to £200 max.(for camcorder alone excluding memory care and accessories)

    Will be used mainly for family get togethers, celebrations, birthdays etc. Sudden capturing of baby moments. So good quality in low lighting, good all rounder.

    Something that easily transfers to pc to convert to dvd (not blue ray). This Is the main feature I want as we can post dvds to the grandparents

    Hd 1080p flash memory..or if anyone suggests anything more suitable

    Hoping to get model numbers /makes via this thread then go to a store to check some out. I will really appreciate the help. Thank-you.x
     
  2. Bob++

    Bob++
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    I don't mean to be rude but have you looked at the many other posts along a similar vein?
     
  3. 12harry

    12harry
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    OP is new to this forum, - so Welcome.

    Cheap camcorders are not good news, particularly in the hands of someone with limited/no experience (eg of Photography and/or video)

    If you are visiting a Store, you may find their stock is limited, so any suggestion (Model) here is useless, also they will try to "sell" you what they have rather than what suits yr purpose - that's only tb expected.

    You might look at a "stills" camera that has video-mode . . . it's surprising how these have come on and you can use it for Stills to hand round as well.

    EDIT . . . I think it's an advertising panel.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  4. plumpyLIPS

    plumpyLIPS
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    Thanks for your replies. Yes I have been looking on this site for similar posts but the budgets are too expensive for me. I do have some experience, as I have a Sony mini dv but was looking to upgrade from it. Really not fussed about stills as I have a really good digi cam. Just want something that's easy to transfer. Yes went into comet and there range was limited.

    You know the camcorders under popular camcorder prices at the top of this forum...are they recommended...in what context are they labelled popular?
     
  5. Chelters

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    "Just want something that's easy to transfer"

    Trouble is AVCHD is very easy to transfer compared to miniDV but (and it's a big but so should look more like this) but your computer needs to be quiet powerful to edit AVCHD unlike miniDV.

    You may not be intending to edit, in which case fair enough, just thought I'd point this pitfall out to you.
     
  6. plumpyLIPS

    plumpyLIPS
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    Thanks for that piece of info, will keep it in mind. But tbh we've had the mini dv for few yrs now and have never got the chance to edit anything. So I doubt we would in the near future.

    Another thing...if the hd media is burnt to dvd can it still be played in usual dvd players or do you need a blue ray player?
     
  7. Mr_Grinch

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    You'd more than likely have to convert it, it wouldn't be a simple case of just recording it to a DVD I'm afraid.
     
  8. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    If you burn it in DVD-Video format (downscaled to 720 x 576 and recoded to mpeg2 for 50Hz UK camcorder footage) any DVD player should work. If you burn it in AVCHD 1920 x 1080 to a DVD blank (about 30 mins max for 1920 x 1080 longer for 1440 x 1080 recordings). A blu-ray player is required to playback.
     
  9. Ken42

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    "But tbh we've had the mini dv for few yrs now and have never got the chance to edit anything."

    Unless you edit the videos and put them to DVD, or at least store them safely on a computer (with back up), you will need a mini dv camera to show the videos. Your camera may break down. Then you will have lost all that footage. Or a tape could snarl up.

    "Another thing...if the hd media is burnt to dvd can it still be played in usual dvd players or do you need a blue ray player?"

    At a minimum you need to store the unedited footage on something for later editing, and a DVD doesn't have much space (around 10GB per hour is required). SD cards are expensive if you use them for data storage.

    You can turn your footage into a normal Standard Def DVD using something like Vegas Platinum (about £40) but you need a recent computer (within the last 12 months) for that. You can also save it in HD so that you can put it to Blu ray when funds allow.
     
  10. plumpyLIPS

    plumpyLIPS
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    "At a minimum you need to store the unedited footage on something for later editing"

    OH my there's certainly so much to think about. I think I should mention we have saved up for a deskstop, and other tech. but the only thing is we are living with family and hope to move out soon so don't see the point of buying just yet as we have limited storage. Same goes for a blue ray player/ or ps3. So as everything is moving to hd, would it be advisable to buy a hd camcorder rather than sd and for now descale to standard dvd when burning, and maybe buy an external harddrive to store the hd files? OR should I get a hd camcorder that records in SDmode too?

    "Unless you edit the videos and put them to DVD, or at least store them safely on a computer (with back up), you will need a mini dv camera to show the videos. Your camera may break down. Then you will have lost all that footage. Or a tape could snarl up."

    I didn't think about that. Have some footage saved on pc...Tried once to convert to dvd but didn't playback on dvd player..only worked on pc. Then just got put off. Used windows movie maker to transfer to pc via firewire, then followed the windows recommended options to record.. that's something I need to do, transfer all my minidv to dvd.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  11. plumpyLIPS

    plumpyLIPS
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    "If you burn it in DVD-Video format (downscaled to 720 x 576 and recoded to mpeg2 for 50Hz UK camcorder footage) any DVD player should work."

    What would the quality be like...
     
  12. chrishull3

    chrishull3
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    Worse than mini dv,technicaly so anyway.
     
  13. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Similar to any other DVD's you may have. Not noticebally different from the original camcorder footage except for scenes with really rapid movement (lower bitrate than DV).
     
  14. chrishull3

    chrishull3
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    Edit if you are talking about how DVD compares to origional hd cam footage its a lot less,even than mini dv.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  15. Bob++

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    Sorry Ken - I disagree. I edit AVCHD on my four year old Dual core computer with 2 meg of ram. OK it's not lightning fast but it is adequate. I use MAGIX Movie Edit Pro MX Plus Download Version. I can burn to BluRay or DVD and in a variety of formats.
     
  16. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    I think he was referring to a SD DV camcorder. Not a HDV one and in my experience footage from my TRV950E is as good as the original footage. If you want I can find a mpeg2 clip. The only effect of the conversion to mpeg2 is a small increase in motion artefacts. In fact it's better than converted footage from my HD camcorder apart from being 4:3.

    Short clip 4:3 from August 2002. Extracted from a DVD VOB. Shot with Sony TRV950, compressed with early version of Premiere and authored with Encore (I think).

    http://www.4shared.com/video/BuU7w1Yf/mpeg2_43sample.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  17. chrishull3

    chrishull3
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    Having owned a 2100 i know all about mini dv,DVD under most curcumstances looks as good as MINI DV but MINI DV is higher quality,i dont know why your HD cams footage is not as good on DVD because the better the stock footage the better the SD conversion.What i meen is films like this 7 year old one put on vimeo a couple of years ago http://vimeo.com/13172298 does not look as good on DVD as this HD one
    http://vimeo.com/30946808
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  18. plumpyLIPS

    plumpyLIPS
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    I was talking about burning the hd footage onto standard dvd...seems to be mixed opinions. WIll have to see.

    "I think he was referring to a SD DV camcorder...."

    ...hehe I'm a lady! ..if that was directed at me
     
  19. Ken42

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    For now you can shoot in HD and save the files on an external drive if your current hard drive doesn't have the spare capacity. You can then convert to SD DVDs until you can afford a BluRay player. When you get a BluRay player you can convert again to HD.

    I don't have a BluRay player, but shoot to tape and put edited footage back to tape in HD which I can then play back in HD. I also make SD DVDs for the rest of the family as they don't have BluRay either. The quality is fine, especially on an upscaling HD TV.

    You need DVD authoring software to make a DVD playable on a DVD player.

    It comes with the Sony Vegas softwre I mentioned yesterday - DVArchitect.

    There are others and someone else can help you there.
     
  20. plumpyLIPS

    plumpyLIPS
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    "I don't have a BluRay player, but shoot to tape and put edited footage back to tape in HD which I can then play back in HD. I also make SD DVDs for the rest of the family as they don't have BluRay either. The quality is fine, especially on an upscaling HD TV."

    My in laws are all in Pakistan and tbh there is no sign of things moving to hd there in the next 5 years even. So even when we do get blue ray I will always have to make SD dvds anyway,so It's good to know the quality will be decent.


    You need DVD authoring software to make a DVD playable on a DVD player

    Thanks for that,will defo look into it.
     
  21. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Windows 7 has a free DVD authoring package. (Windows DVD Maker).

    Not the fastest package but also free

    DVD Flick
     
  22. plumpyLIPS

    plumpyLIPS
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    THanks Graham. My dvd drive on laptop doesn't work but I have loads of family that I can get to do this for me. At least I know what to use and look out for now.

    REgarding my original post, I have seen this deal:

    Panasonic SD80 Full HD Camcorder - Black Amazon.co.uk £215.90 + £50 cashback = £165.90 + Free Bag

    HAs been on sale for a while I know, but I dont know whether to go for it or wait a little longer. The new range of Panasonic hd camcorders are out now so will the price for the old models like the sd80 go cheaper? Need to buy by end of Feb as baby is due march.
     
  23. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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  24. plumpyLIPS

    plumpyLIPS
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    I really had no idea they were so cheap! Thanks I will be ordering and hopefully backing up the footage before baby number2 arrives:)
     
  25. chrishull3

    chrishull3
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    Yes they are but for £35 extra a BD burner is worth it,you never know what you want in the future .
     
  26. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Intrigued to know where you can buy a blu-ray usb burner for £55,00 or so ?

    Especially one that will work on a pre Win 7 PC ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  27. chrishull3

    chrishull3
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    :rolleyes: i was talking about internal drives
    internal bluray burner | eBay
    my internal one has served well.
     
  28. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Cheapest UK sourced burner on your search list is over £70.00 (£73.94) and not much use to a laptop user. Thats a premium of around £53.00 and worst of all the OP has a laptop with a broken DVD drive which probably won't support a usb blu-ray burner anyway. Add to this limited support for blu-ray for XP users.

    A usb dvd burner is less tham £20.00, needs no power supply and can burn HD using AVCHD to DVD blanks anyway.

    Can you explain what help your post was to the OP ? :confused:
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  29. chrishull3

    chrishull3
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