Sony DCR-HC96E time to renew?

xyeovillian

Active Member
We have Sony DCR-HC96E which was recommenced by you guys in 2007 its still going good but its a pain to get the recordings from the camcorder to DVD I have used a Philips DVD hdd recorder but the DVD recorder will not finalize the discs before you knock the Philips it was so easy to use, and I can still copy the camcorder to the hdd so as we can watch again from the Philips

I have a Panasonic DVD recorder hdd but its a bit complicated to get to the end result DVD!

So I would like some recommended camcorder moderately priced to replace the Sony DCR-HC96E to be used for our sport of motorcycle trials which is sometimes in low light in wooded area's.

When we were looking originally in 2007 the hdd models were all the go then but was advised to go for the DV tape model I'm sure things have now changed for the better, If I can't afford the new ones suggested perhaps a recent 2nd hand one would do?

We paid $1100 NZ dollars 2007 remembering the models you recommend might differ to NZ models.

We would like to spend about $500 now that would be about £250

Thanks in anticipation
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
Please clarify one thing. Will the camera be hand held by a spectator or mounted on a bike?

The Sony was essentially a tape based system and would have used the IEEE1394 FireWire connection. Most new camcorders use the SD card for storage. Second hand the SD card camera was available from before 2011 when I bought my Panasonic HC-V700.

All the current camcorders perform well in "dull" conditions but the suggestion is, as always, go for the largest lens diameter you can find. In this respect DSLRs may be worth looking at. For camcorders I remember that some of the Canon range have larger diameter lenses.

I now own a Panasonic HC-V750 as well as the 700. I use it indoors quite a lot with excellent results. In low light the video amplifiers kick in to boost the signal. In the old days these produced a lot of "noise" but the modern video amp. has little effect on the picture quality provided it is not pushed to the limit.

Hope this is of some help.
 

xyeovillian

Active Member
Thanks for your reply the camcorder is operated by my wife who video's National & local trials, it would be nice if would compensate from going from low light to sunshine with out it staying dark!
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
In that case most of the HD cams will be fine. The bigger the budget the better in many ways. For example the Panasonic HC-V750 has a useful slow motion function which allows a shot to be slowed to about the 1/3 of the normal speed, this is ideal in sporting events when the action calls for a detailed bit of filming. The quoted example being the golf swing.
As much filming will be done over a long period, I suggest you also budget for extra batteries (average life before recharge for the supplied battery = 1h 30min) plus a mains/12V charger to be used in your car.

Life in post production will be different. The makers presume that you will be downloading the video files from your SD card into your PC. I should say at this point that, unlike tape, each individual shot appears on the SD card as a file. This important difference means that when you put your film together, the editor you use, will stick the files, in the order you want, on to a Timeline.
These days a PC based editor is probably the best way to go. The files from the SD card can be processed to give a continuous video, they can have the boring bits cut out, the picture enhanced and effects added PLUS you can add voiceovers, music, titles etc. to enhance the final result. The edited video can then be rendered for DVD, AVCHD (upgraded DVD only readable in a Blu-Ray player), Blu-Ray (with a suitable burner) SD card, USB stick or on to the web with Vimeo, YouTube etc.

I should also say that the camcorder will output a composite or HDMI signal that you can directly record on your DVD recorder. Also some cams. have rudimentary editing facilities in the playback mode.

I started in the Hi-8 days with a sony cam, moved to a Canon HV20 DVT camera in 2005, then the HC-V700 in 2011 and, FINALLY??, a HC-V750 this year. So I have been through the mill a bit!

Keep asking questions, we will help when we can.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Eq. of £250 sounds rather like a small Budget when you can get stunning performance for a little more (like £400 eq.).

I suggest you read the Camcorder Advice comments on this Forum and try to limit yr Brand choice, otherwise the field is so wide you'll never get round to purchase.
The v700 is a perfectly good camcorder if you can get one s/h for yr present Budget, but you need to see/try before you part with money, as camcorders really need some inspection to check all the features really work. With modern electronics it's very easy for connections to be strained and this will only show on an extended test. For that reason alone, you'd be better spending a bit more - if yr last one lasted 7-years, then that helps reduce the cost per year....
I'm not aware of any dark/light faults you mentioned - Nowadays camcorders are electronic , =there are far fewer places for things to "Stick" mechanically. Of course there are some Mechanical parts and these are the most likely sources of grief.
Panas are popular, but don't exclude Sony, or Canon.

You might consider who will be seeing these films - if for personal use "Interest etc" then that's no big issue, but if you are going to show these to a large audience, then you may need to spend more and accept that it will use more Memory (since Memory-use is likely to affect quality). Also as Terfyn touched I would say that in low-light (or rainy, etc.) conditions a more-expensive camcorder will work better.

However, you said yr Misses will operate this - is she happy carting a tripod about, or needs to hand-hold?
Do you need Stills, e.g. for a Newsletter?
Good Luck.
 

xyeovillian

Active Member
Had a look at a Canon HFG25 the wife was quite taken with it bang goes my budget any thoughts on this model? Always hand-held.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
Looks a good spec but a minor word of warning. The mics can be sensitive and, when using the viewfinder, breathing and other user generated noises can be picked up.:eek:
My Canon HV20 was bad for this and, in the end, I used the LCD screen. Now I don't bother with viewfinder cameras.
 

chrishull3

Well-known Member
Had a look at a Canon HFG25 the wife was quite taken with it bang goes my budget any thoughts on this model? Always hand-held.
Yes very nice i had an XA10 but changed it for a HF-G30 because of the longer zoom,for me the XA20/25s are not worth the extra cost over the G30,the XLR audio is good if you plan to use XLR mics, the XA 20/25s carry handle is useful like i had on the XA10 as well,Edit i dont agree with Terfyn viewfinders are far better than LCD i have never experienced those probelems.
 
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Terfyn

Well-known Member
i have never experienced condenstion.
Nor have I.
 

chrishull3

Well-known Member
Spelt condensation wrong and misread i had to get rid of that clanger,oh well worse things happen,cameras like the XA25 will never be mic sensitive when using the viewfinder any external mic will be well away from the viewfinder,even the on board.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Try to get to a Dealer that will allow you to try before you buy - and take your own Memory-card, so you can double-check at home, later.
Make sure Missis is there and has handled the camera, to make sure she's happy with the weight and controls. The Canon is a fine camcorder IMHO but have never owned one as the price is somewhat high, but that's a personal/Budget issue.
 

xyeovillian

Active Member
Had a look at a Panasonic W850M today was quite impressed so this the same as the V750 but with an extra camera which will be of no use to us oldies! So leaning towards the V750.

The trouble being we would have to travel 3 hours to Auckland to get to look at a decent camcorder as we don't have the choices that you have in the UK. We can look at the local superstores (ie your Currys) but they are not specialized camera shops.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
The only advantage of the 850 is the night vision and infra red light which is not on the 750. IMO the second camera is a gimmick to flog cameras.
Again I would not bother with the M version as the SD card on its own works well. You would either have to download via USB or transfer the video to the SD card. I just put the SD card in my PC reader and go from there. Removing both these options will save quite a lot of money, money that would go on a second battery and, possibly, a charger.

Obviously I would recommend the 750 as I have now used mine for three months. I have made two DVDs from it and I find it a very versatile. Unfortunately I cannot compare it to other makes but, apart from the viewfinder argument, it is ideal.

If you propose to continue using your DVD recorder (as against a PC) you will need to buy a connecting lead from the camera to the composite video (no S-Video) and audio of the recorder. Now you will need to source a Panasonic version of the lead (not supplied by Panasonic). The lead has a T,2R,S 3.5mm plug for the camera end but it is wired differently to the Sony stablemate. I sourced mine from Maplins (RadioShack) which I hope you have the equivalent. It is called "Nikkai Connect! Camcorder Cable - "Panasonic" 1.5m (or 3m)" at Maplins. All the other leads are in the box.

Re Batteries: The VW-VBT190 is the standard supplied with the camera and lasts about 1hr 40min. The 380 lasts much longer but is very expensive. The 190 and 380 also fit the V720 camera (last year's model) so there are a number of sources but I have not found a third party supply. (at a cheaper price)
 

xyeovillian

Active Member
Hi we bought the Panasonic W850M today it was only $40 NZD about 20GBP more than the V750, and it saved me a 6 hour journey I know could have had it delivered but seeing as it was here locally, probably won't use the other camera but might use the night mode for filming possums in our garden LOL

Got it on charge at the mo so will have a play when its charged later.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
That's Great!!:clap: I hope you will be happy with the camera.
Please bear in mind about batteries and possibly a charger. I use two 190 batteries and I have an Ex-Pro mains/12V charger. The batteries last about 1hr 40min. The EX-Pro takes about 2-3 hours to recharge a 190 but it gets there in the end. The 380 would be a good bet but it is so expensive you can buy two extra 190s for the price
With your wife filming Trial Biking, the need for extra power and a 12V charger of some sort will probably be essential.
 

xyeovillian

Active Member
We had a play the weekend, was surprised how easy it was to transfer video to Panasonic DVD hdd recorder 38 minutes of content only took about 5 minutes unlike the old dv tapes had to record in real time.

Still getting used to it the app doesn't seem much use so will probably delete of my android phone. I have enclosed a vid its our winter now only about 18 c today will be our shortest day soon!

 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
The video looks good considering it was YT. Sound came out well. Hope your wife did not get dizzy!!
I also listened to the sound through headphones, clearly it was dominated by the engine but I could easily hear the squeak of the brakes.
Suggest you also try Vimeo for relaying your vids.
 
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