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Help on buying a digital camcorder

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Adam_S, Oct 14, 2001.

  1. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

    Feb 8, 2001
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    I'm going to be purchasing a digital camcorder in the next six weeks. I intend to use it to produce short films and documentaries to flesh out my portfolio to USC film Production school.
    So here is what i need
    price preferably under 400$
    preferably comes with good easy to learn editing software that can dub over narration and other sound
    transfers easily to standard computer hd
    that's about it, some help on differentiating between the different digital types out there, and what brands/types will give me the best balance of quality vs price would be great. but price and editing ability are the most important limiting factors, if it's only one megapixal that's okay.
    Also is there a guide ot digital camcorders out there? so i can see what all the specs mean, and how they affect qulity and price, because right now it's pretty much gibberish.
    thanks for your time
  2. Frank Frandsen

    Frank Frandsen Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 15, 1998
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    Consumer Reports just tested them. The Panasonic PV-DV101 was highly rated. I purchased it at Onecall for $540 delivered and Panansonic has a $50 rebate. I have seen it at lower prices at some of the grey market dealers. Check Cnet. I used my AMEX blue and they are going to refund me $70 with their price protection plan. I used Dbuy.com who has it listed at $457 on their site to match. A Canon model tested just slightly lower than the Panasonic but was about $100 more and no rebates I know of.
  3. JeffMuller

    JeffMuller Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 18, 2000
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    Here are a few thoughts:
    You're not going to get megapixel. Most camcorders have 680,000 pixel CCDs.
    You'll likely have to pay for decent video editing software. There are lots of freeware tools of varying capability and complexity... the easiest ones to use you gotta buy.
    Also, what's your editing environment? Since you want a digital camera, I'm assuming that you'll want to edit in the digital domain (otherwise, what's the point?). So, you'll need a firewire/1394/i.Link interface in a computer (Mac or PC???). You'll also need to make sure that the camera you get has the same interface. You'll also need LOTS of disc space. About 1-1/2 hours of raw video is about 20 GB!
    Unfortunately, all of this adds up $$$! It's not only the camera that's gonna cost.
    For more info on tools and techniques for digital video (with a slant towards the creation of Video CDs), check out www.vcdhelp.com .
    Also, check out this forum:
    There's a guy, "Tigaddee", on that forum that's very helpful.
    Good luck!

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