Whats a decent cam corder at a decent price?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ken thompson, Jan 15, 2002.

  1. ken thompson

    ken thompson Second Unit

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    Just found out the wife is pregnant. She want to get a cam corder to video the pregnancy and the new born. What is a decent one to get. Can you get a good one for $300-$500?
     
  2. JasonS

    JasonS Stunt Coordinator

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    Ken, I'm in the same boat, except my wife is due in only 3 months....Yikes! Anyway, I think I'm going to do a little research and I think we're going to buy when Best Buy has the free financing for a year or whatever. I'll feel better about spending more for a better one that way.

    by the way, does anyone have any suggestions?
     
  3. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    My camcorder, the Panasonic PV-DV401, is just out of your specified range, but the PV-DV201 can be had inside your budget. I'd assume it's as good, and I've got no qualms.

    That's assuming you want a digital camera.
     
  4. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    I bought a Sony PC-9 Mini-DV camcorder earlier in the year. Its amazing! The picture quality is great, and it fits very comfortably in my hand. Both the viewfinder and LCD panel are easy to use. I've no problems hooking it up to my Mac with Firewire and editing my movies either.

    I've got it at work right now, as a coworker is thinking about buying the same model. He borrowed it last night to play around with it. I'm curious to see what is on the tape now....
     
  5. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    I'm 6 weeks into fatherhood now. I bought a Canon Optura Pi because it's still highly regarded but discontinued so price came down quite a bit. Alas, it's still $1000. The PC-9 is also out of your price range. I lurked in the dv.com forums before I bought mine and learned a lot. You can try browsing or posting your question there. Their membership includes some TV professionals and others who video weddings so some (but not all) of the discussion tends to higher end stuff. One piece of advice. Unless you get lots of references, avoid online ordering from New York camera shops. Many are very sleazy (sell b stock, refurbs, bait and switch, etc.) Having said that, the folks at dv.com highly recommended bhphotovideo.com (among others) and that's where I bought my Canon. Places like BB and CC charge MSRP.
    As far as filming the newborn, I was allowed to have my camcorder in the delivery room during birth. Our doctor did not allow filming of the actual delivery (liability reasons), but once the baby was out and everything seemed stable, I asked if I could film and she said yes. I've got footage of my daughter starting about 1 minute after birth. Practice with your camera so you'll be comfortable using it when that moment arrives. Also, check with your wife to make sure she's comfortable with whatever footage you want to take of her. Good luck to all of you expectant dads.[​IMG]
     
  6. Dave Reichert

    Dave Reichert Stunt Coordinator

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    My advice on the price/financing issue, find a place online that has a good price on a unit, print out the page showing model #, price, and shipping, and take it into Sears. They'll price match it. Also, Sears has the best 0% financing out there. It's TRUE 0%, meaning no minimum monthly payments, and no back interest (meaning if it takes you longer than the alloted time to pay it off they don't hit you for any of the back interest on the unpaid balance).

    As for the camcorder itself, my personal fav's are Sony's. In your price range though you're stuck in Digital8 with a Sony. I have a Digital8 myself and have no issues, but some people swear by MiniDV and think Digital8 is crap, I don't know why. Panasonic and JVC also make pretty good digital camcorders. Find one that you like the ergonomics of too, that's a big deal.

    As for knowing how to use the camera, that's HUGE!! My dad forgot to put film in his camera when my sister was born so there are no pictures at all of the first few days of her life! My sister still gives him a hard time about it.

    Good luck on the search for a camcorder and with the ankle biter!
     
  7. Kurt B

    Kurt B Stunt Coordinator

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    Congrats to Ken and Jason! [​IMG]
    I too am looking, but to tape the first grandchild. Very good info and I agree about Sears, they do match Internet pricing. My local store said they would match internet pricing except for the auction sites like Ebay.
    ~Kurt
     

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