Opinions on Digital Camcorders

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Lane F., Aug 29, 2003.

  1. Lane F.

    Lane F. Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, it looks like I need to break down and get a digital camcorder for my audio/video editing class. I honestly have no idea of what models are better than others, so if anyone knows of any review sites I'd appreciate it. I'd like to keep it under $500, and as most stores have a restocking fee for opened camcorders - I'd like to get a unit I'd be happy with on the first purchase.

    One feature I would like would be analog inputs, this is not a requirement but it would be nice to have. I saw that most JVC models have this feature, but I've heard that they seem to have a problem of the motor creating noise that is audible on the recording (you hear the motor spining).

    The main concern is relibility and video/sound quality. I've also heard that most digital camcorders don't preform well in low light situations? The smaller the better (within price range). Any ideas or opinions from owners of digital camcorders or people who have used them?

    Edit: Sorry if this isn't the right place to post this kinda of question, just wasn't sure where it would belong...
     
  2. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    not much of a video enthusiast myself, but have you looked at PCPhotoreview.com? (it's a Audioreview type site).

    Another place to look is Epinions.com.

    I think you might want to make sure of a few things at least: that the format is Mini-DV, it has a firewire link (for PC editing) and S-video out. I'm sure more well versed enthusiasts will have more to add [​IMG]
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I purchased a Sony DCR-TRV22 MiniDV camcorder a couple of months ago that I have been very happy with. It has analog a/v inputs, a firewire output, s-video output, 10x optical zoom lens, and the video recordings look terrific. It will pass through signals from the analog a/v inputs to the camera's firewire digital output. It's a little above your budget, though -- I paid $595 shipped from OneCall.com. The next step down in this model line (DCR-TRV19) should be right around $500. The lesser model has a black & white viewfinder instead of color and a few other features are missing, too.
     
  4. Lane F.

    Lane F. Stunt Coordinator

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    I just wanted to say thanks for the input so far. I am going to go to a local store tommorow to look at the Sony and a JVC model that received good reviews. Still trying to go through the reviews from eopinioins, and I havent even checked out PCphotoreview yet [​IMG]
     
  5. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    just wanted to add that most Mini-DVs have about 800pixels to 1.1megapixel CCDs - while these are ok for video, they are rather poor for still images; therefore note that some advertise 'still photo' capabilities onto a memory stick/flash card etc, at this resolution they are poor substitutes for digital cameras - and probably a functionality you do not need to pay for
     
  6. ChipFiev

    ChipFiev Extra

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    Aside from size, what are the advantages of MiniDV vs. Digital8? I'm looking to get a a digital camcorder in the next month or two and the only requirements I have are good zoom and a firewire output. I've found both formats in my price range, with the Digital8 being a little cheaper.

    Aside from the size, do I gain anything with MiniDV. My fiancee likes the Sony Digital8 model we looked at, so I need some ammunition to sway her to a MiniDV model. [​IMG]
     
  7. Bob Goodrich

    Bob Goodrich Agent

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    Sony has came out with a camera that records directly to
    DVD. This format will soon be making cameras using tape
    of any format a thing of the past. My JVC mini DV is OK
    but isn't Sony quality -- too sensitive to dirt, etc.
     
  8. Heath_E

    Heath_E Stunt Coordinator

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    Lane F., if you could stretch your budget to the afore mentioned Sony, go for it. If not, Canon will have some very decent camcorders with all the features you want, including analog inputs, in your price range.
     
  9. TonyTone

    TonyTone Supporting Actor

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  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  11. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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