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Thread: Budget of 250

  1. #1

    Default Budget of 250

    I'm a newbie to camcorders and need some help in choosing a machine that will let me do simple stuff with my family, mainly for weekend and holiday shooting, possibly even helping my son with school projects.

    I'm currently lost in a blizzard of technical features, exagerrated magazine reviews, and manufacturers' marketing budgets. My budget is not big - maximum 250. I'd also like to do some basic editing, using a Mac, and the camcorder needless to say has to be easy to use and not weigh like a brick.

    One of the guys (bert?) said features should include

    mini dv
    Mic socket
    Headphone socket
    Accessory shoe

    ... and even better would be

    True 16:9
    20x optical zoom or greater
    Manual focus ring on lens barrel (as opposed to a tiny wheel)
    Top loading tape compartment well as outstanding reviews.

    I have no idea of the market so if I were lucky enough to get some (or all) of the above for 250, what would you recommend?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Bracknell, Berkshire, UK


    Well, most opf those options you've quoted would come under the heading of 'more serious' user to me. If what you want is 'general family stuff' then you want point-and-click really don't you rather than full manual control of exposure and the like. So for that a budle of those option becomes somewhat irrelevent really.

    For edittign the footage later, miniDV is a prerequisite so do not be talked out of that. You'r enot likely to get 3CCDs for that money. Are you really likely to film 'Johnny's trip to the zoo' wearing headphones and with a big shotgun mic attached? Top loading is handy if you run it on a tripod often. You see some bottom-load and so have to be removed from the tripod to change tape. optical zoom. The trick here is ignore and never use digital zoom. The better the 'optical' zoom the better

    other than that it's all good and really down to persoanl taste. I'm loathe to recommend a specific one as you might not get on with the same things I would. Just get to a shop an spend some time playing with a bunch to see which 'jumps out' at you. Then buy it cheaper on the interweb

  3. #3


    you're right - I'm very much in the family fun class and not a serious user. I suppose I confused matters by featuring Bert's ideal list - after all I don't even know what 3CCD means...!!!

    There's just so much choice out there and yes, it'll come down to individual preference - but what do you do if you live in an area where there are no camera shops to try out cams...?

    So, give me a clue - what might be suitable for family fun filming (and is also Mac friendly)?

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