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Help needed in the camcorder purchasing minefield!

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by Aunty Peggy, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. Aunty Peggy

    Aunty Peggy
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    Hello all,

    I've finally decided on getting a mini dv camera and have been trawling through sites and forums to little avail and am still no further forward in choosing one i want. There doesn't seem to be any UK sites that I can find which rate video cameras properly and recommend best buys etc (like they do for Hifi seperates etc.) Does anyone know of any decent Uk sites that may be of use. I want to spend about £400 or if the question below can be answered I can push it to a couple hundred pounds more to get a more complete camera!

    The other thing I've been looking at on the forum is various warnings on buying from the U.S mainly due to the problems with Pal-NTSC incompatibilty and warranty problems as far as I can see. Now I'm not going to be plugging my camera into the TV or video, just using it on the PC with editing software. If I buy a U.S camera will I experience any difficulties editing and transferring it to DVD onto my U.K pc? Will any footage I edit be set in this NTSC format? Because if not other than the issue of the warranty being useless in this country, it seems like the saving might be worth it as I'm over there next week on holiday anyway!

    Sorry to bang on about this U.S thing again as it seems to have popped up quite a bit on this forum, but the threads I came across seemed quite old and mainly referred to problems accociated with using them with Pal TV's and video recorders rather than just pc editing! Hopefully one of you will be able to help out a slightly bemused novice!

    Many Thanks

    Peg.
     
  2. thebrummy_one

    thebrummy_one
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    Hi Peg :hiya: ,
    Firstly on reviews, have you checked out the sticky at the top of this forum? There is a link to a review site that may be of help.
    On the NTSC thing, it's all to do with the number of lines used to make up the picture. This is a fundemental of the file that you will eventually create when transferring your images. There are conversion programs that can change NTSC to PAL, but these can be quite expensive. :confused:
    IMO and that of many of the regular posters on this site, (My views are never my own :zonked: ) The savings made on a yank camera are never justified.
    Plus there is the import charges issue...
    HTH
     
  3. thebrummy_one

    thebrummy_one
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    Extraneious post to get me of Nelson... I'm superstisous!!!
     
  4. lansalot

    lansalot
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    you might not be plugging the camera into the dv, and be doing all your editing on the pc... and that's fine - but where is the edited footage going? Back onto minidv, or DVD?

    It makes no difference, you'll still be outputting ntsc end-result onto pal equipment. As long as your tv is up to it, that probably won't be a problem, leaving aside the inferior picture ntsc produces next to pal, and that fact that some tvs support of ntsc material is less than exemplary.

    Stick with the PAL stuff is my advice, but fwiw, some articles on conversion here:
    http://www.videohelp.com/guides.php...=0&listallusers=&search=Search+or+List+Guides
     
  5. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Hi Aunty Peggy and welcome to the forum :hiya:

    From your post it looks like you have been doing your homework before posting - which is alway a good start. All the old posts about NTSC vs PAL are still relevent to you, even though you will only be working on a PC. Most of the points seem to have been pointed out already, but I'll my weight to the arguments as well.

    If you have a DV (or any type of) camcorder that is NTSC then you will have NTSC footage at every stage unless you convert it with dedicated conversion hardware or software. As stated above this will reduce the picture quality and will cost a lot of money. Once edited and burnt to a DVD, or whatever you do with it, the footage is still NTSC. This DVD etc then still needs to be replayed on a TV and as mentioned not all TV's will do a good job with NTSC (or DVD players for that matter).

    When you bring the cam into the UK you are liable for inport duty and then VAT on the whole lot. Most times you stand a good chance of not getting stopped, but even if you do get through you could get stopped at a later date!

    My suggestion is to find a cam that you like. Find the best web price for it and you could find it a lot closer to the price of the USA than you think. If the best web site is UK based then get along to a local Jessops with the web details and they normally price match the site, as long as they stock that camcorder.

    Mark.
     
  6. Aunty Peggy

    Aunty Peggy
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    Thanks for answering my questions :thumbsup: , the info was really useful and I now know not to go for the U.S model. However, a friend emailed me today and said that Pal versions are available in to buy over there and they may be cheaper. I'm going to have a look online now, but can any of you confirm that what my friend is saying is correct? Obviousley the issue of import duty and vat is a problem but it may be worth taking the risk, who knows.

    But ultimately I think I will take the safest route and go for a UK spec one, albeit the more expensive route! Thanks again for the help everyone!

    Peg. x
     
  7. MartinImber

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    I saved nearly £200 at Jessops buy internet price matching
     
  8. Aunty Peggy

    Aunty Peggy
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    Well that sounds like a plan to me, so all I have to do is find the cheapest price for the camera I want, take in a printout and they will match it?
     
  9. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Yep! It is as easy as that - or at least it normally is. Some store managers will say they can't match the price and just offer a small discount. Stand your ground and go for the price match. Ig they still refuse, walk out. See hoiw fast they chase after you to get a sale! If not then there is always another Jessops i another town you can try.

    As for your other question, yes PAL cams are sometimes available in the USA. The only problem is that they are often not that much cheaper, if at all. You then still have the problems with import duty/VAT and no warrenty!

    Mark.
     
  10. thebrummy_one

    thebrummy_one
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    ...and you don't want to arrive in the USA then have to buy an similarly priced cam there, just to capture your good times then still be faced with running the gauntlet of customs :mad:
     
  11. Aunty Peggy

    Aunty Peggy
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    Again, thanks for the help guys, all the advice has been really useful, i'm now close to purchasing the camera I want. As you'll see from my latest post I just wanted to get some more opinions on that before I went for the kill and bought it!

    Cheers.

    Peg.
     

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