I've narrowed in to 3 MiniDV camcorders, need help.

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by agreif, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. agreif

    agreif
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    Ok all, first post here, so be gentle. I'm looking at getting my first camcorder and have narrowed my format to miniDV for the quality component. My next question though it what level of quality do I need to go.

    I'm looking at these three camcorders

    JVC Compact Series GR-D750 ($250) - this is the lowest of the three, with 340k effective pixels, but has that 34x optical zoom.
    Panasonic Palmcorder PV-GS320 ($500) - this is the middle of the pack with the 680 effective pixels, but only has the 10x optical.
    Canon HV20 HD ($800) - This will have the best picture of the three and is HD, but the reviews online of the difficulty of editing HD without serious headaches is making me a bit hesitant and I want to make sure that, at the most expensive choice, it's the best overall pick. I know all teh TV's of the future will be HD, so am just wondering how much of a hassle it will be to go with one now vs later.

    Thanks for any advice,
    Andrew
     
  2. senu

    senu
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    Simple answer:)
    If I had to sum this up in a sentence : Go for the HV 20, apart from cost it has no disadvantages compared to the JVC and Panasonic



    I had posted a fully reply but a power cut just .. happened and I lost it all ( Im at work ..the end of a second 13 hr Night shift!:eek: Il try again.. shorter this time
    Longer version:boring:
    Very simply put, the HV 20 is your best bet being arguably the best HDV ( and SD) camcorder at that price point. The HC7 Sony is close
    The JVC doesnt stand up against it and its big Zoom is down to a smaller sensor which has its own disadvantages
    The Panasonic is a good camorder but apart from not being able to capture HDV, it isnt actually a better SD camcorder than the HV20
    Futhermore,there are a no of extra features the HV20 has which it doesnt
    And HDV on an HDTV is better seen than described
    As such
    You can use the HV20 as HDV and capture as SD DV by downconverting in camera "on the fly"
    or Capture as HDV and convert in software or output in either SD, HD or both..for playback or archive back to tape
    Certainly you can use it in SD mode all the way if you wish should you need to ( say to shoot for someone who doesnt have an HDV camcorder)
    What reviews online do you read of the difficulty with editing HD?
    HDV editing software is 2 or 3 generations old and the hardware required is pretty much mainstream unless you want to do it with an 8 year old PC running windows 98:oops:
    I would imagine many of the difficulties you hear about Hi def editing refer to AVCHD. I imagine they well get better as time goes on . HDV a few years ago was harder to edit on hardware at the time. Also clever software has been written to optimise current hardware
    The How do we playback as Hi def ? questionon is common to all Hi def formats but at least with HDV you can always run the tape via the camcorder directly for playbcak even if it has been edited
    Dont allow that to discourage you from getting the H20 as it will soon get imposible to buy SD TV and you would be pleased you have todays footage as high Def. The issue of domestic playback formats will get easier as time goes on
    Ass such there is no hassle in getting one now.

    With AVCHD it is a bit trickier ATM but its only a matter of time before that gets easier too.
    It ( as a HDD ) format has its own archive related questions, needs powerful Hardware ect . but if you wanted to get even an HDD model I would still encorage any of the current Hi def models despite the "hassle"
     
  3. felix2

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    Absolutely. If your budget went up to the Panasonic GS320, you'd not regret that. But if you can go to the Canon HV20 (or HV10 or HV30, or Sony HC5/7/9), you'd be very glad you did. :thumbsup:

    My 5-year-old PC (AMD 2100XP with 1GB RAM) seems to be able to cope with HDV at a push. But since nothing I'm filming at the moment is going to be output at HD, I still film in HDV on my HC7 but then downconvert in-camera, and capture and edit as simple DV on the computer. And it looks great! :smashin:
     
  4. agreif

    agreif
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    I read about the problems on reviews of the HV20 around this internet thingy, nowhere specifically, but I honestly don't remember when the date was on the review if it was in 2006, 7 or 8. Circuit city and BB just had it on sale for 750, but now it's not.....arrrgh. I guess I'll just wait till the HV30 comes out and the 20 goes down in price. So the panisonic really that gets me the HV20 except for the HD capability right?

    Andrew
     
  5. felix2

    felix2
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    Hi Andrew,

    The difficulties you've read about editing from the HV20 probably relate to any filming done on NTSC versions in 24p mode (24 frames per second, progressive), rather than the "standard" 60 interlaced. The PAL version uses 50i, and 25p for its progressive mode, which doesn't have the possible awkwardness of 24p.

    You do get more than "just" HD going from the Panasonic up to the HV20/30 (etc). Yes that's the main thing - and if you keep original tapes of any important stuff, you can watch them back on HD TV later, and edit as HD later if you want. Filming in SD you won't have that option. And as Senu said, even outputting as Standard Def, the HV20 is a better SD camera than the Panasonic in terms of picture quality. The HV20/30 also has the progressive mode (25p) which you may or may not like - but which can give impressive images in places too dark for other HD cameras that size. It also adds various other things (unrelated to the HD) which may or may not be useful to you in varying degrees... e.g. microphone input, AV input, better still photos (OK that is related to HD!), possibly a bit more manual control of settings (I'm not sure on that), and probably a couple of other things I've forgotten (best to check the manufacturers' tech specs).

    Hope that helps, Giles.
     

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