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Please help - best dv camcorder for around £350 - £400

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by cucumber, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. cucumber

    cucumber
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    Would welcome any views on the best DV camcorder I am likely to get for around £350. It's going to be for general use - holidays, parties (so low light levels), etc.

    Needs to be:

    - Reasonably small
    - Can use with PC (but don't really need a DV in as I will burn direct to DVD)
    - Not overly interested in stills as I already have a digi camera

    Been looking at the JVC GRDX25 - anyone got views on the performance of this one? Can get it for £320.

    Any other ideas?

    Cheers
     
  2. cucumber

    cucumber
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    Beginning to hear about the Sony TRV19 - is it any good? Do other makes at a similar price beat it for picture quality?

    Not interested in loads of gimmicks - DVC just needs to be:

    Small
    DV out

    ....any views?
     
  3. mossmanfly

    mossmanfly
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    Well i've been looking at the Sony TRV14. Its the same as the TRV19 but does not include DV-In. You can pick a TRV14 up for £330 or less.

    For me I want the same sort of thing as you do, something to be able to perform well outside, indoors and in lowish light levels. I will be going to New York in the easter so this is my main reason for getting one, but I would want to use it for every day use etc.

    I want one to be able to have DV-Out so I can edit and burn the footage to DVD. Also need a nice big battery as being in New York will mean limited charging time with only overnight charging an option.
     
  4. cucumber

    cucumber
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    Thanks mossmanflly,

    My only concern about the TRV14 is that is doesn't have DV IN. I wasn't originally going to go for this facility in a camcorder but lots of forums / discussions etc say you will regret it.

    My understanding is the the quality of the video burnt onto a DVD is less than that saved on a DV tape.

    Any copies you make from the DVD is therefore less impressive than the original tape.

    Anyone else agree?

    Is the TRV19 therefore worth the extra cash?
     
  5. mossmanfly

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    Depends on what you want to do. For me I wouldnt need DV-In as my main reason for getting a camcorder is for my trip to New York, and they are pretty cheap now so I thought I would get one. I want to be able to get the footage from the tape put it to DVD so I can store it and keep it. I wouldnt really want to spend too much time editing it and then putting the footage back on the tape to store on a miniDV tape. Some people want to do this but for me I dont need to do it as I can keep it on DVD which isnt going to be crap quality considering what DVD is. I wont really want to dig out old tapes which have the edited footage on.

    Now if you want to spend the extra money a feature then you may as well think about what you are going to do with that feature. Will you want to put footage back on to a miniDV to archive it? As once its on a tape you can only really put it back on the PC to re-edit or hook it up to a TV, instead of using a DVD player. For me I would just create a DVD and then thats it, rather than spending alot of money in backing up edited footage on miniDV tapes which probably would never get used again.

    The TRV14 is £319 from AJElectronics, and the TRV19 is £385, a difference of £66. For that money you can get a ton of tapes and a carry case, or a decent battery. Now if the price difference was say £20 then I would go for the TRV19, but being a student the £66 could be used to buy most of the accessories instead of a feature I wouldnt use. If I do want the feature in the future there seems to be these widgets or something that give you DV-In for £30-£40. Dont know if they work on the TRV14.

    Comes down to whether you will need the feature and whether its worth the price difference to you.
     
  6. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Unless your DVD's get DVD Rot! This is not too uncommon and can occur with even good quality A grade disks and within a fairly short period of time. Once your disk becomes unplayable you might regret not being able to make a new copy from a backup on DV tape.

    Mark.
     
  7. mossmanfly

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    Suppose it could be a good feature to have. But its nearly £70 more to get a TRV19, and for that money I could get most of the accessories I want to with the TRV14.

    Hopefully my dad will be putting some money towards the camera so I suppose I could go and get the TRV19 and then make copies of edited footage on to miniDV tape.

    Its something I will have to think about as I would like to save the money and put them onto DVD, but I suppose having a copy on miniDV tape would be a bonus in case the DVD gets scratched etc.

    Do miniDV tapes degrade after time without use? Or do they only really degrade with use?

    Also with SP and LP modes whats the sort of quality difference?
     
  8. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    DV tapes should be handled with the same care as any magnetic tape ie VHS, cassette etc. Keep them away from magnetic fields such as a TV or speaker and keep them at a reasonably steady temp. I've got 10+ year old VHS tapes that stilll play as well (or bad :rolleyes: ) as they did when new so I don't see DV being any different.

    It all depends on the quality of the tape and the heads on your camcorder.
    LP will have less error correction and so any problems will amplified compared to SP with sound dropouts and pixelation etc. Some LP tapes will not be playable on some camcorders. For compatability you will need to stick to SP.
    The only way to tell is to try it and see if its good enough for you.

    Mark.
     
  9. cucumber

    cucumber
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    Some cracking discussion here...........

    Mossmanfly - looks like you are having the same dilema as me.

    Can anyone tell us if the DVD you would save to a disk is as good (in terms of the untrained eye) as watching the camcorder direct through the telly. Are DVD's burnt from DV cameras better than the VHS tapes we used to save footage to?

    When I get the camcorder I will be looking to upgrade my computer to one with a DVD burner so am interested in views on the subject.

    I have a Panasonic SCHT900 DVD player - is this generally ok with DVD's burnt to DVD-R format no matter what burner you use or does it play up sometimes - anyone with experience if this? Can anyone recommend a burner?

    Thanks
     
  10. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Thats quite difficault to say really. there are so many factors involved. The camcorder will connect to TV via a low quality connection - the AV cable or perhaps the better S-Video lead. But then a DVD is highly compressed and if done badly can look really bad. All things being equal then I think both ways should look good.

    In the vast majority of cases it is a definate YES!
    But as above if the DVD is created with poor software on a bad disk etc then it could possibly look worse.

    Mark.
     
  11. mossmanfly

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    Yeah cucumber I am having the same dilema as you.

    I know for a fact that the camcorder is going to be a TRV14 or 19. Went and held one and had a play around with one in the Sony shop. Very nice cameras especially the touch screen. The zoom is quite sensitive, but with reading reviews they said it was really sensitive, with the zoom controller button too small which didnt allow any sort of control. I found it easy to use and I didnt think the zoom didnt give you control.

    Now the dilema is whether to go for a 14 or a 19. Hopefully my dad will give me some towards the camera, I might see if he could pay the difference of about £60 between the 14 and the 19.

    Thinking about what Mark has said then I think having a back up on miniDV tape could be good, as if you have just one copy on DVD and something happens to the DVD then you have lost the footage. I dont think I would back up all edited footage, but just the stuff that you would really want to keep, as buying tons of miniDV tapes could be costly.

    Apart from that is there any decent place to buy from? I've looked at AJElectronics who seem to be among the cheapest, and what i've read they give good service. Any other places to consider?
     
  12. mossmanfly

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    Just looked on Amazon and I noticed that they had another difference for the TRV19 over the 14, and that is analogue video output.

    So what is analogue video output, and does the TRV14 have it?
     
  13. cucumber

    cucumber
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    There's all these places:

    http://uk.pricerunner.com/sound-and-vision/vision/camcorders/141781/prices

    All around £380

    However, if you want the convenience of a local store I popped into Jessops the other day and asked if they would price match with the internet. Answer was (in most cases) yes.......just bring in some print outs of where you can buy it cheaper and they would sort it out. In store it was £499 - that's a massive mark up for the uninformed purchaser!

    Jessops stores are in most major high streets / cities.

    As for analogue out - I assume this is simply the analogue video signal that you would connect to your "video in" on your TV if you wanted to watch video through the camcorder. You sometimes find that some adverts don't list all the features - I'm pretty sure the TRV14 would also have this feature.

    What was the low light performance like on the Sony unit?

    So what's it gonna be - TRV14 or TRV19?
     
  14. mossmanfly

    mossmanfly
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    Thats the question. I know that I want to get the NP-QM71D battery which is £60.49 from Amazon. Seems to give the best length for its size. The NP-QM91D looks way to big and although gives nice battery length, it would weigh the camera down and be back heavy. For the price of a 91D I could get two 71D's and have even longer.

    I will probably go and get the 71D and 4 packs of the Sony Premium tapes from Amazon, just over £100 for the battery and 12 tapes. Then seen in the Sony shop a pretty decent carry bag for £20. And then of course the firewire cable, as I have firewire built in due to the PC being nForce2 based so I get firewire built in. So another £10 on a firewire cable.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...80/br=3-26/br_lfncs_ce_26/026-7870199-1784441

    Would that be the correct cable? 6pin - 4pin? As I can see I have the 6pin on the PC.

    So its still whether I need DV-In and whether I can afford to spend the money on it.
     
  15. MarkE19

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    Yes, 4 to 6 pin cable is what you need.

    Mark.
     

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