Needing advice on buying a camcorder


Ready 03

hi people, im looking at buying a new camcorder, never had one before and i have around £300 to spend...been looking at various review sites getting info on mini dv, dvd. hdd....seems the best quality is still mini dv...this still true? im only needing the camcorder for family stuff, but would like it to best best quality for the money, and any extras on camcorder that i could learn more, would be good im looking for some advice as to recomendments for camera and best place to buy from.....if there is a thread with camcorders and info already here then i appologise and redirect me, thanks...:thumbsup:


Distinguished Member
Yes DV gives the best quality for the money still, especially in that price range.

I suggest looking at the Canon MD160, Sony HC47, and Panasonic GS230. The Canon and Sony are both available online for around £250, the Panasonic (with 3 CCDs) is around £320.

Ready 03

thank you, checked out these players, look good...

do people on here think its better to go for one of these or go for a cheap hdd or dvd version as these are newer technology...what do people feel....saw a samsung hdd, 20 gb model in the argos mag over £300, so thinking i would prob get it cheaper online...


Distinguished Member
Others may have a different opinion, but I'd stick with DV unless you want to spend more to get a higher end HDD cam (like the Sony SR190).

The thing is, these "new technologies" both use higher compression, and thus are technically "inferior". If you get a model like the SR190 with a large sensor and excellent lens etc this can close the gap, but sub £300 you won't get as good quality from a HDD or DVD cam.

And regardless I'd stay away from Samsung camcorders.


Distinguished Member
It's always possible for them to improve, but every Samsung model I've seen has had poor video performance.


Well-known Member
Sorry for hijacking, but just a quickie,

Does the Canon MD160 have good night time mode?

Lots of parties coming up :D



Distinguished Member
No budget camcorder does particularly well in low light, regardless of night mode features.

There are 2 types of night mode:

1. Mode which reduces the shutter speed to allow more light to enter. This shoots in colour, but any movement will look odd.

2. Infrared Night shot function: This can shoot in total darkness at full shutter/frame rate, but it will be in green and white. (like using Army night vision goggles). This feature is comon on Sony camcorders.

Some have both.

The MD160 uses the first option. Quoting from the manual:

- Moving subjects may leave a trailing afterimage.
- Picture quality may not be as good as in other modes.
- White points may appear on the screen.
- Autofocus may not work as well as in other modes. In such case, adjust the focus manually.

In other words, don't expect much from it.
Better to add light. Note the MD160 does have a built in LED video light; this is limited in power but will help a bit.


Distinguished Member
In other words, don't expect much from it.
Better to add light. Note the MD160 does have a built in LED video light; this is limited in power but will help a bit....

Very true, especially since that LED light is battery consuming with (IMO) somewhat underwhelming effect

All camcorders love a well lit scene:
It is often a let down how scenes that appear fairly well lit to the human eye are appallingly poor on the camcorder

The Dark scenes you see on TV or a movie result from very costly kit which can deal with low light without too much sacrifice in detail

The Moral: Poor light, poor footage..The subdued lighting that gives parties their ambience is very camcorder unfriendly... especially at the lower end of the affordable models


Standard Member
I have been trying to find the review on Panasonic NV GS230 but had no luck so far.

I could find many for GS 250 but None for GS 230.

I be very grateful if you guys could point me to web site with review.

Many thanks

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