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Thread: Advice needed on HDD Camcorders

  1. #1

    Question Advice needed on HDD Camcorders

    Hi. I'm thinking of buying a HDD Camcorder & have spent endless hours looking at the 100's that are currently available!! I've sort of managed to narrow it down to 3 models that seem good value for money. They are:

    i) Sony DCR-SR52
    ii) Sony DCR-SR72
    iii) JVC Everio GZ-MG275EK

    They are all in the same sort of price range of 350-400 but I'm leaning towards getting the JVC as it has a 2.07MP CCD, which is roughly twice the resolution of both the Sonys. It only has a 10x optical zoom though, whereas the Sonys both offer 25x. Is 10x zoom detrimental, bearing in mind that I'm not going to be doing anything fancy with it or try to film the next hollywood blockbuster!!??

    Can anyone confirm that this is a reasonably good choice for the money or are there better models available for the money?

    Also, I have been told to steer clear of HDD Camcorders, due to the image being compressed quite heavily whilst writing to the drive, and that I should opt for miniDV instead. Surely there will be little (or no) compression when recording at the highest settings (approx bitrate 8.5MBs 9hrs~40GB). Can anyone clarify this issue for me?

    Many Thanks,

    Mick.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mick_gtir View Post
    Hi. I'm thinking of buying a HDD Camcorder & have spent endless hours looking at the 100's that are currently available!! I've sort of managed to narrow it down to 3 models that seem good value for money. They are:

    i) Sony DCR-SR52
    ii) Sony DCR-SR72
    iii) JVC Everio GZ-MG275EK

    They are all in the same sort of price range of 350-400 but I'm leaning towards getting the JVC as it has a 2.07MP CCD, which is roughly twice the resolution of both the Sonys. It only has a 10x optical zoom though, whereas the Sonys both offer 25x. Is 10x zoom detrimental, bearing in mind that I'm not going to be doing anything fancy with it or try to film the next hollywood blockbuster!!??

    Can anyone confirm that this is a reasonably good choice for the money or are there better models available for the money?

    Also, I have been told to steer clear of HDD Camcorders, due to the image being compressed quite heavily whilst writing to the drive, and that I should opt for miniDV instead. Surely there will be little (or no) compression when recording at the highest settings (approx bitrate 8.5MBs 9hrs~40GB). Can anyone clarify this issue for me?

    Many Thanks,

    Mick.
    You have been told correctly. If it's your intention to capture your footage onto a computer for editting then my single best piece of advice is to ignore the HDD format and get a miniDV camcorder instead.

    With miniDV you will transfer (and edit) lossless video quality. From HDD you are indeed recording compressed video and it is that you will be edittign, if you can. As likely as not you will rebuild an uncompressed format video file from the comporessede version you have on the HDD. This will not invent image quality but simply translate what you already have into a file format you can actually work with.

    Exactly the same arghument workd for camorders recording to those small DVDs.

  3. #3
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    Just seen this thread which should help indicate what I mean.

    http://www.videoforums.co.uk/camcord...ecordings.html

  4. #4

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    Thanks Alan.

    I'll start looking at miniDV models instead. I've noticed that they are a fair bit cheaper than HDD camcorders so I should be saving myself a few pounds as well, although I'm sure the wife can find something unnecessary to spend it on!!
    Is there anything in particular that I should look for when making a choice or can you recommend any good miniDV Camcorders?

    Thanks,

    Mick.

  5. #5
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    I'm not up to speed with this year's models so my advice is generic....

    Ignore digital zoom. optical zoom is the only one that counts.
    As many manual controls as possible - for when you want them.
    External mic jack plug for if you ever want to connect a mic
    Dv-in enabled so you can use the camera as a pass-thru device for capturring analogue video - if it's usefull to you.

    Othetr than that, go into a bog store, handle lots of different models and just see which ones give you good vibes.

    It's established technology now so I doubt many are rubbish.

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