hello hello

i discovered this site initially through a google search for something, and i'm really happy to have come across what seems like a very knowledgable, friendly community. perhaps one or more of you knowledgable, friendly types could help me with a couple of things i'm scratching my head over....

ok, firstly, for years i've happily used a pretty basic Canon MV700, which is nice and compact, quite light, and more than adequate for all my needs (predominantly live shoots of bands at concerts, and some limited studio stuff). it's a pretty nice little camcorder for someone on a budget, and especially as knowing that i can be a bit sketchy with stuff, i didn't want to get something really flash and expensive because it would inevitably end up broken. which it now has - hence this post...

i hadn't had it out for a few months, then got it out today and have fully charged it. the image on screen is black and out of focus with horizontal lines running across it, with the image being sharpened ever-so-slightly if you zoom out as far as you can and stand a long way from your target, however it's constantly pixelated and blurred, and the horizontal lines are always there. however, it does still record to DV tape properly, and when you play back, the audio is unaffected, but the picture is still the same, which is led me to the conclusion that there's nothing wrong with the microphone or tape, it must just be something wrong with the lens perhaps? well i took the camcorder into my local shop who told me it's something to do with a censor inside it (i don't really understand the ins and outs of this kind of thing?) and they said it's not through misuse or anything, it just happens after a while, in a similar way to how mobile phones and ipods just unexplainably pack in after a period of time. they told me they could fix it for free if i was able to find my warranty, which i've probably lost, but that would have only been for 1 year anyway and the camera is approximately 3 years old.

my girlfriend thinks that it will fix itself if i just be patient and leave it to fully charge up for a few hours, but i'm not convinced by this - see above info re: trouble shooting....

so she lent me her sony dvd handycam - which seems to be a bit of a jekyl and hyde piece of hardware! looks pretty flash, is nice and small, burns directly to mini DVD-R - fantastic. hold on - apparantly has no other form of output, so unless your happy to film everything perfectly first time onto a DVD and then just have that in your collection, what are you supposed to do with it?!

anyway, enough of this waffle, and down to business. my questions are:

1) my canon camcorder - from what i've described, does it sound as if the staff in the store are correct with their diagnosis of what the problem is?

2) if the answer to the above is 'yes', the staff in store also quoted me approximately 130 for it to be fixed, on the assumption the warranty has expired. does this sound like a reasonable price?

3) is there a better method of using the sony camcorder? am i just being stupid and missing something obvious?

4) i use microsoft windows XP and pinnacle studio version 9. i have a DV cable that i used to use with my canon mv700 for uploading dv footage direct into pinnacle for editing. clearly you can't upload from the sony in this way, but is there seriosuly no alternative? i've tried simply putting the burnt DVD-R into my D: drive and copying it to my hard drive, but it's not having it. and if i open up pinnacle, my only option for capture source is DV camcorder... so i'm pretty stumped!

if it helps anyone, then the 2 camcorders that i have been on about this whole time are:

1) Canon MV700 - which records to DV tape - bog standard but suitable for my needs, potentially broken and not worth repairing?

2) Sony DCR-DVD91E - records direct to mini DVD-R - pretty flash but apparantly completely impractical for editing footage!

finally, i'd like to say that i enjoyed reading the following posts from other forum users....



thanks in advance for any help that anyone is able to give me.