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Thread: Need help picking out a new camcorder

  1. #1

    Default Need help picking out a new camcorder

    Excuse all the talking but im just trying to make the right choice here.

    Well it turns out that im in need of the best camera for a budget. I need a camera that I could transfer files onto my computer with, usb or something easier prefered so I can edit it. The video footage thats on my computer must not lag at all because it will have running, and quick action going on and I want really good quality that I could then burn and watch on my TV in a couple of years from now. So basically, needs to be able to capture fast movements, to be able to view on computer and camera, good zoom, nice effect modes to make videos a bit cooler, and easy onto-computer transfer methods.

    I just want a camera that will record with good quality, have an easy way to transfer the videos onto my computer so i can edit them and burn them onto dvd and have fun watching them in like 5 years.

    I have picked out a few camcorders..which one should I go with?
    Panasonic PV-GS80 Ultra-Compact Mini DV Camcorder
    Canon ZR-700 Mini DV Camcorder
    Samsung SC-DC173U DVD-R/W, DVD+RW, SD Camcorder
    Hitachi DZ-GX5020A DVD Camcorder
    Sony DCR-TRV280 Digital-8 Camcorder

    If there are different ones that arent up there, go ahead and post em.
    Thanks alot to whoever helps out.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladdd View Post
    Excuse all the talking but im just trying to make the right choice here.

    Well it turns out that im in need of the best camera for a budget. I need a camera that I could transfer files onto my computer with, usb or something easier prefered so I can edit it. The video footage thats on my computer must not lag at all because it will have running, and quick action going on and I want really good quality that I could then burn and watch on my TV in a couple of years from now. So basically, needs to be able to capture fast movements, to be able to view on computer and camera, good zoom, nice effect modes to make videos a bit cooler, and easy onto-computer transfer methods.

    I just want a camera that will record with good quality, have an easy way to transfer the videos onto my computer so i can edit them and burn them onto dvd and have fun watching them in like 5 years.

    I have picked out a few camcorders..which one should I go with?
    Panasonic PV-GS80 Ultra-Compact Mini DV Camcorder
    Canon ZR-700 Mini DV Camcorder
    url=http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=1871&A=details&Q=&sku=478687&is=REG&addedTr oughType=categoryNavigation]Samsung SC-DC173U DVD-R/W, DVD+RW, SD Camcorder[/url]
    Hitachi DZ-GX5020A DVD Camcorder
    Sony DCR-TRV280 Digital-8 Camcorder

    If there are different ones that arent up there, go ahead and post em.
    Thanks alot to whoever helps out.
    A few (hopeful) words of wisdom regarding what you said...

    Not quite sure what you mean about 'lag' how you've put it. What's always the case is that you'll capture whatever your camera of choice has recorded

    It's true that most edittign stations will not always be able to keep up in real time with all yoru edits and replay them back instantly whenever you make a change. In fact, very few will. Typically, one makes a change and then needs to 'render' the footage to see what it might look llike. Needless to say, when doing a section of footage like this one works on a small section to gett he effect right then expands to include the whoel when we're happy.

    You talk about quick action a bit so maybe what you need is a camera that has a certain amount of manual control so you can control the exposure and/or shutter speed to capture it properly (I fell afoul of this recently by video my kids playing basketball and left the camera on point and shoot mode. All was fine until I wanted to do a slo mo of one bit and found that the ball was always the subject of motion blur and made the job harder. I sahoudl have made sure I had a much faster shutter speed but never mind...).

    It's been said before and I will repeat it here because it's so important. NEVER EVER ATTEMPT TO CAPTURE THROUGH USB.

    Get a camera that has a firewire port (sometimes called by pothers names like iLink by Sony) and do your captures that way.

    Also, don't bother with an analogue camera as capturing becomes even worse of an experience.

    Also, if you want to edit then do not get a camera that records to those small DVD disks. The footage is already compressed and you would need to find a utility to uncompress it before editting. The bane of a lot of peoples home movie edits it seems.

    The cost effective format is MiniDV tapes. This effectively narrows your list down to the top two only. Certainly none of the others should even be considered in my view.

    As for zoom. Only the optical zoom is important. I;ve seen cameras that offer 200x zoom and the like. Often this is a digital zoom. Forget it. IF you need to zoom then do it optically. Leave digital zooming, if necessary, to post production where it can be done better. If the camera has a digital zoom then see if it has an option to simply turn it off so you never use it by mistake.

    Similarly, completely ignore any special effects in the camera. Absolutely always do these in post production, i.e. at edit time. If you film something with sepia turned on you are stuck with it. You'll have no option to undo the effect at edit time if you change your mind. Applying an effects like that (or titles) is trivial in a non-linear editor and you can always do it better than the camera.

    Also, do consider your editting s/w carefully too and remember to budget for it. It's a very important part of keeping those memories.

    That's enough from me. I'm sure others will offer other insights.

    Alan

  3. #3

    Default

    You said that I should get a Firewire camera but what if my computer doesnt have that? Only USB? My buddy has a USB camcorder and it seems to work perfectly?

    So from that list, only the 2 first cameras would be best? Which one of the 2?

  4. #4

    Default

    Which one should I buy from this list? : http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ar&A=search&Q=

    Budget is up to 350 dollars. Just trying to get the best for the buck.

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