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Recommendations needed for new digital camcorder

kolyimmd

Standard Member
Can someone please recommend a new digital camcorder for me for my holiday? I have a budget of up to £500.

Currently I have a Samsung VP-D363i http://www.samsung.com/me/products/camcorder/dvcam/vp_d363i.asp

Which was good as a starter camcorder when I bought it 18 months ago for £200 but now I am looking for something a little more advanced with better picture quality.

I have had a look at various websites but I find most of the jargon confusing and it does not help that most of the websites provide little or inaccurate information.

Image Quality - The VP-D363i has a 800k CCD, should I be upgrading to 1MegaPixel or HD quality?

Will I be able to watch recorded HD filmif I do not have a HD TV (maybe a silly question but I do not know)

Media - What is best, MiniDV (which I currently use), flash memory, hard disk or DVD? - At least if I knew this it would narrow down the search. :)

Still Image - Are the still images (I have seen Sony ones with 4MegaPixels) any good on a digital camcorder or is it best just to keep my seperate digital camera?

Thanks for any help.

Forgot to say is this any good?

http://www.play.com/Electronics/Electronics/-/253/333/-/3310694/Sony-DCR-SR72E-60GB-Hard-Drive-Handycam-Camcorder/Product.html?searchtype=genre
 

redsox_mark

Distinguished Member
Image Quality - The VP-D363i has a 800k CCD, should I be upgrading to 1MegaPixel or HD quality?

Don't be confused by the advertised resolution of the CCD; what is important is if the camcorder is standard def or high def (and what standard, e.g. 1080i). There are many standard def models which have higher resolution CCDs, but this extra resolution is only useful for stills.

With a budget of £500, I think High Def is worth it and the way to go.

Will I be able to watch recorded HD filmif I do not have a HD TV (maybe a silly question but I do not know)

Yes, but of course you won't get the full benifit. But at least if you get a high def camcorder now, you'll have HD footage for later (eventually you'll get a HDTV).

Media - What is best, MiniDV (which I currently use), flash memory, hard disk or DVD? - At least if I knew this it would narrow down the search.

There is no "best". More important than the media is the compression/format (which is tied to media partially). E.g, if we are talking high definition, the HDV format uses MiniDV tapes; flash memory, HDD, and DVD disc generally use AVCHD. With early generation AVCHD, HDV was clearly better; now they are very comparable for quality. AVCHD needs a faster PC to edit and play.


Still Image - Are the still images (I have seen Sony ones with 4MegaPixels) any good on a digital camcorder or is it best just to keep my seperate digital camera?


It is generally accepted they aren't as good as a decent digital camcorder, but some models can take pretty decent stills.

The Sony SR72 isn't anything special (it's an older, standard definition model).

Models to consider around £500:

Sony SR10 (HDD)
Canon HF100 (SDHC) (is closer to £600 most places)
Panasonic SD9 (I've seen for £420... good but not so great in low light). Or the similar SD5, which I've seen for £350 on Amazon, but is discontinued so limited offer.

Or for £600 ish the HDV models Canon HV20 or HV30, or Sony HC9.
 

kolyimmd

Standard Member
Cheers for the information.

I have a few more questions.

If I do go for a high def camcorder what sort of picture quality will I get when playing back on my standard def TV?

I know it wont be as good as watching on a high def TV but if the quality was just as good as I have now then I think high def would be the way to go right now as I will get a high def TV in the next few years anyway.

I like the look of the Sony SR10, how future proof is this?

I really do not want to be upgrading every 18 months or so.

Can you recommend any good comparison websites?
 

rhubarbe

Well-known Member
First off, you can now get a good HDTV for less than you are currently considering spending on a camcorder.

Can't answer about HD on an SDTV, haven't got one.

I'd say that the SR10 isn't very future proof at all. I don't think any camcorder is now.

The bible of camcorders is www.camcorderinfo.com over the pond.
 

redsox_mark

Distinguished Member
HD camcorders output SD as good or better than a typical SD cam.
For SD output, models which have S-video out (which the Sony has) is better than ones which don't.

As for future proof; nothing is future proof, though the SR10 is 1080i; that will be a modern format for quite a while.
 

kolyimmd

Standard Member
Cheers for that, when I say future proof I mean the next 4-5 years :) not forever.

As long as I can play HD content on my SD TV then that solves one problem it has to be a HD ready digital camcorder then.

This seems to be the cheapest: http://www.purelygadgets.co.uk/show...17&wysiwyg=1&gclid=CPi4vd2YtZMCFQ8vQgodo1eODA

Are HardDrive models better than DVD disks? Which is more reliable? does the HardDrive give up after continual use?
 

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