1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

need help finding a good mini dv camcorder.. under $500

Discussion in 'Photography' started by stephen la, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. stephen la

    stephen la Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 1999
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Im looking for a mini dv camcorder..
    would like very good video quality..
    a nice optical zoom.
    low camera motor noise ( I understand alot of cameras pick up the units noise while recording)
    good low light (indoors) image
    I would like long batterylife (even if it means buying an additional battery)
    and ability & software to connect it to a windows xp pc by usb for burning to dvdr
    thanks..
     
  2. Elinor

    Elinor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    0
    http://www.dvspot.com/

    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/

    I have a Sony with a Zeiss lens, I like it just fine. Were I buying today I'd look at the Panasonic with 3 ccds ... a bit over your budget but with 3 ccds it should kick the pants off any single chip camera out there.
     
  3. stephen la

    stephen la Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 1999
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks Elinor..
    Ill check those sites out..
    quick question.. whats ccr?
    I saw it on some cameras..I thought it was an abreviation for cam corder
     
  4. Elinor

    Elinor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ccr? Hmmm. Doesn't ring a bell. Do you remember the context?

    You sure it wasn't CCD?
     
  5. stephen la

    stephen la Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 1999
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    yes I meant ccd.. what does that represent?
     
  6. Elinor

    Elinor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    0
    The CCD is the chip inside which captures the actual image. A CCD really can't tell colors ... so if there is one CCD, it captures the whole image and software inside the camera has to filter into the proper colors.

    For a long time only the very expensive ($2000 +) camcorders had 3 CCDs: one each for Red, Green, and Blue. This makes the colors more natural and accurate.

    Anyway, it is probably one of those "high end" features that wouldn't matter to most people ... I just found it exciting that they are now offering 3 CCD imaging in $700 cameras.

    Another feature I liked very much in mine is a larger (3.5") LCD screen. That extra inch helps a lot.

    Most of the makes offer extended life batteries, so you can pick one of those up as a spare.
     
  7. stephen la

    stephen la Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 1999
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks alot
    that was very helpful
    also I'll keep an eye out for a 3.5 inch screen
     
  8. Thi Them

    Thi Them Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 1999
    Messages:
    3,650
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sony with the Zeiss lens is what most people recommend, and that is what I bought.

    ~T
     
  9. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    5,945
    Likes Received:
    30
    Real Name:
    ManW
    I only have an older 1-CCD Canon ZR series cam, but yes, I'd suggest going for a 3-CCD unit, especially if you want good indoor/low-light quality.

    As Elinor points out, a 1-CCD unit will do color interpolation, which is not so great, especially in low light situations. Also, I'd expect 3-CCD to be less grain/noisy in such situations. Also, CCD size matters here too -- the bigger the better. Don't worry too much about the stated pixel resolution though. It only needs to be enough to yield full NTSC resolution, which is not much, plus whatever might be needed for image stabilization (assuming it's electronic IS). Usually, any hype about pixel resolution is more about taking digital stills, not video.

    Finally, if *I* were buying, I'd look for a true 16x9 cam for widescreen video -- yes, most seem to use "faked" 16x9 mode. But that will probably add significantly to the price tag, which will likely push it way beyond your desired budget.

    _Man_
     
  10. stephen la

    stephen la Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 1999
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks everyone..
    you've all helped alot
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    11,454
    Likes Received:
    657
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have a Sony with the Zeiss lens, too, and really like the camera. The video quality is superb, and a huge upgrade from my previous Hi8mm camcorder. My model will transfer video to the PC via firewire, not USB. I'm not sure if newer models now incorporate USB 2.0 support or not (the USB port on my model is version 1.1 and is only supported for transferring still images).

    Sony's battery system is very good, too. With the larger capacity lithium ion battery I purchased, I can get over 200 minutes of use via the color viewfinder, or about 150 minutes via the LCD screen. The camera also gives you a running "battery life remaining" reading in minutes, based on the current battery drain. I wish my Canon digital still camera had this feature instead of the more common battery meter with the bar inside it.

    One other suggest I would make -- look for a model that includes a color viewfinder along with the color LCD screen. My Sony has both, and I find myself using the color viewfinder over the LCD most of the time -- especially in sunlight, where the LCD screen is extremely hard to see.
     

Share This Page