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Thread: Cheap camcorder features?

  1. Default Cheap camcorder features?

    I'm thinking about buying a cheap miniDV camcorder (as cheap as possible really) to make short films to post online. So obviously image quality isn't exactly vital. But in the past, I've only ever used camcorders like the PD-150 and DSR-200, so I'm not really sure what features I can expect on a cheap camcorder, and though I'm not too bothered about image quality in the technical sense, I'd still like as much creative control as possible.

    So basically, can someone tell me if camcorders in the sub-300 price have any of the following features? Manual focus? Manual white balance? Manual audio level controls? Manual exposure? Microphone input? Headphone output? And if not, what sort of budget am I looking at to get these features?

  2. #2
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    I am no expert on cheap cameras but I would guess that mic and headphone sockets are quite common, the rest rare or unlikely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark W View Post
    I am no expert on cheap cameras but I would guess that mic and headphone sockets are quite common, the rest rare or unlikely.
    Hmm, after looking about a bit, it seems that hardly any have microphone inputs or headphone outputs, but the rest of the manual features are pretty standard, with the exception of manual audio controls. How hard can it be to include a headphone socket?

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    Well, I was totally wrong and suprised !

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    Quote Originally Posted by I'm With Stupid View Post
    Hmm, after looking about a bit, it seems that hardly any have microphone inputs or headphone outputs, but the rest of the manual features are pretty standard, with the exception of manual audio controls. How hard can it be to include a headphone socket?
    It's not hard at all. However, at that price point the market is not intended for people who want to do things 'properly' is it? That price point is aimed at people who want to video little Johhny's birthday party or the trip to the zoo isn't it? How many times have you seen families at the zoo using an extrenal mic and wearing headphones to check noise levels? It's all down to expected market. Why add a fiver to the cost if the intended market won't ever use it?

    Just my 2p worth.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Mills View Post
    It's not hard at all. However, at that price point the market is not intended for people who want to do things 'properly' is it? That price point is aimed at people who want to video little Johhny's birthday party or the trip to the zoo isn't it? How many times have you seen families at the zoo using an extrenal mic and wearing headphones to check noise levels? It's all down to expected market. Why add a fiver to the cost if the intended market won't ever use it?

    Just my 2p worth.
    Well I could understand that as a case for not including a mic input, but you'd think a headphone socket would be pretty standard. If only for listening back to it after you've recorded it. But I've actually found more with a microphone socket and no headphone socket than the other way round, which is also bizarre to me.

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    It certainly does sound bizarre. I can only assume their market research has shown that that is what is needed by "the punters".

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