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Camcorders

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan Peter, Dec 5, 2001.

  1. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    UPDATED
    OK, I've narrowed it down to these choices:
    PV-DV51 Mini DV CAMCORDER 18x Optical/300x Digital Zoom B/W Viewfinder 2.5" LCD Screen
    http://www04.bhphotovideo.com/defaul... D=EAE8039CFB0
    I like the 18x zoom which seems good for a DV. Great price when rebate is included.

    JVC GR-DVL805U Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...687391-0669760
    Nice price. Has still capture.

    Hitachi VMD865LA Digital 8 Camcorder
    http://www.etronics.com/product.asp?...5la&svbname=31
    EXCELLENT PRICE. 22X Optical Lens. But it is a transitional format

    Digital 8 Sony DCR-TRV130
    http://www.mpsuperstore.com/video/in...?discr5163.htm
    Similar to above, but better brand/quality (ie Sony?)

    Panasonic PV-DV900
    http://store.yahoo.com/jeffminsky/panpvmincam.html
    Great pice, but is refurbed.

    What do you guys think?
    THANKS
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    The difference between DV and SVHS is VERY noticeable. You'll end up wishing you'd gone DV in the end anyway. Go for it. That way you can also make highlight clips easily of the stuff you shoot.
     
  3. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    Are the low end DV camcorders even worth it though? Anything in particular you recommend?
    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  4. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    The low end ones are still better than Hi-8 or S-VHS. Take a look a the Digital 8 ones. I own one of those and its not as expensive as a mini-DV but still as good.

    Also, if you go this route you need to get a Firewire (1394) port so you can download to your computer.

    Patrick
     
  5. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    What's the diff. between Digital 8 and DV?
    Can I plug the DV/Digital 8 into my VCR and watch it that way, or do I have to burn it to a VCD first and stick it in the DVD player?
    THANKS [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    Ryan,

    Just a different format. The digital 8 was developed by Sony and uses normal Hi-8 tapes(I even get away with just 8mm tapes) but records digitally. DV uses mini-DV tapes which are much smaller but also cost a hell of alot more. Comparable quality with DV being better but not overwhelmingly.

    It does have analog audio and video outputs on the camcorder so you can easily watch it on your TV.

    Patrick
     
  7. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Digital 8 is a proprietary Sony format. I would avoid it for that reason, not even thinking quality.
    If you get anything except DV you're throwing money away IMO. I got a refurbished Panasonic PV-DV900 at www.refurbishedstore.com last year for $360 + shipping and it's been reliable and great. That's what I would recommend.
     
  8. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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  9. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    I'd wait an extra few months and save up the $300 more it's going to cost you for a MiniDV camera. As others have said, you'll regret not going digital. And you don't have to rush out and buy a firewire card for your computer. You don't even have to interface it with your computer at all if you don't want to. But, and this is the good thing, you'll be able to later, and later, you probably will want to.

    You can't put any of these tapes in your VCR, but all camcorders have analog output so you can plug them into your TV and watch your videos. I recommend one with a wireless remote.
     
  10. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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  11. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    That refurb does look nice. If I get that, can I hook it up to my TV and watch or MUST I ABOSLUTELY GET a firewire card? [​IMG]
    Great advice thus far!!
     
  12. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    Hey Philip..what's the warranty on that Panasonic u got? I'm also in the market for a DV cam, either a JVC DV510 or the cute Canon ZR20.
     
  13. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    Just remember if it breaks the Digital 8 uses a basically standard (bugs worked out) mechanism while the DV is a smaller , more fragile new chassis . The D8 is field servicable unit ( by independent servicers ) while all the DV units are still officially factory-only repair (approx $350 rates). They use basically the same format (250mb per minute.) The D8 unit will play all your old 8mm tapes (the most widely sold format)

    Since DVD recorders are coming soon (good permanent storage for digital) you would want to make sure the firewire output of any digital camcorder will plug into a firewire input of the recorder (unknown at this time). If you have to drop to drop to s-video for transfer then you wasted the money on digital.

    Personally I would examine my needs very carefully before going digital also the color system of 8 and hi-8 is far superior to svhs with the luminance being about the same and 8mm has no tracking error.

    I've been an authorized servicer on these things since the BetaMovie (8mm since 1985)and you couldn't give me a C-type.I am very disappointed with the product support for the latest crop of digital products and think it will be at least another year before you can get that simple problem fixed without sending it back to the factory and paying a small fortune. Since there is no official field repair on DV those extended warranties may not help either since the factory usually won't deal direct with insurance companies, leaving the consumer in limbo.
     
  14. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I bought a sony digital 8 camcorder last year when my son was born and have been very happy with it. One nice feature is that you can upload stuff from your vcr and convert it to a digital signal that I can send to my computer via firewire. Another reason I bought it was cost. It was much cheaper than a DV, at that time.

    That said, I normally hate Sony, but their camcorders get nothing but good reviews.
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Digital 8 is a "bridge" format, it's only available from Sony (and others?), it'a a proprietary format. Who knows if you'll be able to buy Digital 8 gear in 5-10 years? I bought into MiniDisc, and I've loved it; it's a great format technically, sonically, and convenience. Unfortunately, I've had two Sony MD decks crap out on me (one only two weeks out of warrantee) and have a third on it's way south. What happens when all my MD gear dies and Sony's not supporting the format anymore? I'm hosed. Sony loves to overengineer proprietary formats instead of sticking with the industry standard, they've done it over and over again through the years. This kind of proprietary or semi-proprietary gear is fine technically (MD absolutely ROCKS) but what heppens down the road?

    DV is an industry standard format that is not going away. It's used throughout the video production industry, not just for home camcorders. You can buy high end DV camcorders and VCRs. DV is the ONLY way to go IMO for a camcorder.
     
  16. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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  17. Len Cheong

    Len Cheong Second Unit

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    Holadem,

    what's your opinion of the new micro mv sony cameras? Is this mpeg2 recording going to be just as good as dv? the cameras are so small and light.
     
  18. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    Holadem, is the digital 8 media not as expensive as DV? What kind of prices are we talking here? How much cheaper is Digital 8 media than DV media?

    How does Mini DV fit into this formula? Or is Mini DV the same thing as DV?
     
  19. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    OK, I've narrowed it down to these choices:
    PV-DV51 Mini DV CAMCORDER 18x Optical/300x Digital Zoom B/W Viewfinder 2.5" LCD Screen
    http://www04.bhphotovideo.com/defaul... D=EAE8039CFB0
    I like the 18x zoom which seems good for a DV. Great price when rebate is included.

    JVC GR-DVL805U Digital Camcorder with Built-in Digital Still Mode
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...687391-0669760
    Nice price. Has still capture.

    Hitachi VMD865LA Digital 8 Camcorder
    http://www.etronics.com/product.asp?...5la&svbname=31
    EXCELLENT PRICE. 22X Optical Lens. But it is a transitional format

    Digital 8 Sony DCR-TRV130
    http://www.mpsuperstore.com/video/in...?discr5163.htm
    Similar to above, but better brand/quality (ie Sony?)

    Panasonic PV-DV900
    http://store.yahoo.com/jeffminsky/panpvmincam.html
    Great pice, but is refurbed.

    What do you guys think?
    THANKS
     
  20. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    Holedem,
    I have to agree with you. As soon as the dvd-r come down in price, I will be buying a new computer with all that stuff. My opinion is that I don't care how the digital image is stored immediately because I know I will be putting it on a dvd in a year or so.
    I'm not sure how the other dv camcorders operate but I can hook up an output from my vcr to my camcorder and make the tranfer to digital very easy. When my wife was pregnant with my son, the ultrasound was recorded on a regular vcr tape. So tranfering it to the digital medium was very easy.
    The proprietary thing doesn't bother me so much because there are so many people that use those 8mm tapes for the older camcorder that suppy will not run out. I know family members that have had their camcorders for years and will not switch formats because there is nothing wrong with their current camcorder. Also, I use a Mac, which is proprietary to the max. [​IMG]
     

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