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help please - what equipment do i need to start out

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by stokelake, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. stokelake

    stokelake
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    Hi All,

    I've been reading through the forum and there is some great info but i'm still a little overwhelmed.

    I'm just starting out and would like a dgital camcorder for about £250 which has a good picture and is easy to use. Also i'm unsure of all the accessories i will need, such as software, cable, etc. I have a pc with a usb connection but no fire wire is that gonna be a problem? The camorder i've been looking at is the Sony DCR-hc14 (£228) which i think should be good enough but its all the accessories which i think could push me way over my orginal budget.

    Can you give me a list of all the equipment / softway i will need.

    Many thanks,

    Julian.
     
  2. johnjackthom

    johnjackthom
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    If you have windows XP you have the software to get started ie Windows Movie Maker. Its not wonderful but it will import from the camcorder and allow basic editing.

    Don't be tempted to transfer using the USB port as the quality is not good.

    Firewire PCI cards are available for a little over £10. The one I am now using is Here and comes complete with a firewire cable for connecting the camcorder.
     
  3. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    As above, but TBH Movie Maker will be easily good enough to get you started in video editing. It is very easy to use, but a more advanced package will also be more complicated to use and will give very few advantages. Just make sure you have all the latest MS updates and you will therefore have the update to MM2.
    If you do get on with the editing then you will probably want to get a more advanced editing package, but not worth it for now. When you do get there though look at Ulead, Pinnacle, Sony etc. Obviously though these will cost you money, but you can download a free trial copy to see how it works before spending money.

    Also as stated there is no way to get the best quality video onto the PC via USB. Adding a PCI firewire is as easy as removeing the cover and plugging the card in the only place it will fit. Windows will recognise it and use its own drivers, so nothing else needs to be installed. At around £10 including the cable to connect the camcorder to it there really is no reason not to go for it.

    The Sony DCR-hc14 should be a good camcorder. I don't know where you have seen iit at the cheapest price, but if it ws online then you can print out the details and go to a Jessops and they will pricematch the internet as long as it is a UK web site. This gives you a chance to demo the camcorder to see if it is comfortable for you to hold/use. Also if you have any problems you have a shop to return it to rather than trying to communicate problems via e-mail etc.

    Other accessories that you are likely to need (but can always be bought at a later date) is another battery as the one supplied is likely to have a very short life before needing to be recharged. Get a few tapes, at around £3 each online for good DV tapes there is no need to reuse them so if you muck up the editng you can always recapture the origional and start again. DV cams are not normally very good in low light so a light may be worth getting if you want to film in the house. You really should budget on getting a good case for the cam from day 1 as it will protect the it.

    Good luck,
    Mark.
     

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