Video Camera recommendation?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by DaveF, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'm doing video camera research to give a friend buying advice. I'm not particularly knowledgeable about video cameras, but I know where I can find those who are...

    She's a Doctoral student in music / teaching, and does some teaching as well. She's of modest means, but will pay for something quality. She didn't give me a budget, but I'll guess < $1500 and probably closer to $500 is best.

    She needs a digital video camera for filming her students, so they can review their performance. She has a late-'08 MacBook; no FireWire so USB connection is needed. Recordings would be under inside lighting, so decent modest-light ability is good. As she's recording music students, audio quality is important, but not the most important thing. I don't think 1080p is necessary; but video from an iPhone or Flip Mino is not good enough. Finally, the output format must be compatible with iMovie 08.

    I appreciate any and all ideas. (I thought there was a previous thread on this topic, but didn't find it by Search.)
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    The best low light video camera in that range right now is the sony 500/520v
    Those run close to $1000 or over.

    The Canon Vixia HF10 or HG20s would also be top choices if $1000 isn't do-able. Need to decide if a flash camcorder or hard disk is what you want tho.

    Sam
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I don't think the technology of Flash vs Hard Drive matters to my friend. If one has particular benefits, I want to understand that to give her a good recommendation.

    She wants to plug it into her MacBook and slurp the video off. She's coming from an older tape or mini-DVD system that requires real-time video import (60 min video shot is 60 min video import).

    I need to check how much video she shoots before import. If that varies, maybe Flash is good so she can add capacity as needed?

    So, Thanks. I've got to look up the cameras you suggest and learn about them.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Ugh...I hate consumer electronics product numbering. V > F, but F is the higher-end product. 20 > 10 but 10 is the higher end product in some cases. And 10 is gone, seemingly replaced by 11 and S10 models.
     
  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Flash is lower capacity but extremely shock resistant.
    Hard disk is 10x capacity but you have the disk heads to consider. I've treated mine with kid gloves but I know users who go to town with theirs and never have had a crash.

    Probably the best places to look are see whats on sale at Tiger:
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Category/category_tlc.asp?CatId=4441&name=camcorders,%20digital%20video%20cameras

    And for reviews:
    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/
    http://www.testfreaks.com/digital-camcorders/
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Thanks for the info. I liked the testfreaks website for getting to expert reviews. I sent my friend these suggestions:

    I have four suggestions. All connect by USB and iMovie can edit their video without intermediate processing (but may may require iLife 09). I've given the product web page and a review link for each. There are many good options for camcorders, each with their particular strengths and features, so take these accordingly. High EndCanon Vixia HG21, $800Fully HD camcorder. High ratings everywhere (8/10). Good picture quality. Hard drive for 10+ hours recording. Complex interface.http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=177&modelid=17383http://www.macworld.com/article/131221/2009/05/canon_vixia_hg21.html Mid RangeSamsung SMX-F34, $300Standard Definition (not HD); average picture quality. Affordable for a Flash memory camcorder. Good memory built in.http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/photography/camcorders/standard-definition/SMX-F34BN/XAA/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detailhttp://reviews.cnet.com/digital-camcorders/samsung-smx-f34-camcorder/4505-6500_7-33588438.html Sony DCR-SX41, $300Standard Definition (not HD); good picture quality. Affordable for a Flash memory camcorder. Some say controls are difficult. Requires newest iMovie.http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921665738326http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-camcorders/sony-handycam-dcr-sx41/4505-6500_7-33490873.html Cheap & EasyKodak Zi6, $200 (including additional memory card & extra batteries)HD. Affordable. Easy. Fits in pocket or purse. Decent image quality.http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=9/13061/13063&pq-locale=en_UShttp://www.lawrenceingraham.com/kodak-zi6-review-by-a-normal-mac-user/
     

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