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Thread: Camcorder with these specs?

  1. #1

    Default Camcorder with these specs?

    I'm looking for a camcorder that

    a. is inexpensive. To my knowlege, miniDV is the least espensive, so I've been looking at those. Under $300 is ideal, but I'll spend a little more if necessary.

    b. has a input for an external microphone + a built in mic. I know I'll need this.

    c. has easy to use, smooth zoom features. I want to zoom slowly or quickly, and not be frustrated with it.

    d. has long battery life + charger, or external power source

    e. has zoom of at least 20x from approx 35mm wide angle, but 28mm would be preferable (in 35mm camera terms)

    f. has image stabilization

    Unfortunately, I can't specify these parameters when searching for a camcorder on the net or in a store ( or Best Buy or where ever). Can anyone specify a recorder that meets these specs? Please help if you can.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
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    Most camsorder lenses go as wide as you ask for but few go as long.

    Why do you need 20times zoom? - it is totally unusable without a good tripod and at that price point a long zoom will compromise the optics of the camera too much, hence thier rarity.

  3. #3


    Yeah, I've found out that 20x is a bit much, but seeing that some go as much as 40x, I figgered that's all I needed. I was wrong. 10x oughtta be fine.

    Here's what I've found so far

    Canon ZR900 - this bad boy will go 41x optical zoom. Ack! It has an audio input port. One down side -- it shoots only (as far as I can find out) in 19:6 aspect. I don't want that. I want 4:3 and 14:9 (Panavision)

    JVC GZ-MG555 -- this is a 3 CCD, 10x optical zoom with a mic input. But it's got an internal hard drive, and I've read that these are slow. Is that right? Also, it performs poorly in low light. Lastly, its $469 which is way more than I want to spend.

    So I'm still looking. If anyone knows of a good camcorder with the above specs (and I shoulda mentioned the ability to shoot both 4:3 and 16:9 and in betwee(if possible)) let me know.


    p.s. Actually. Most desirable is a ratio close to 14:9. I like the old Panavision look. It's stellar!

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by Lengo View Post

    p.s. Actually. Most desirable is a ratio close to 14:9. I like the old Panavision look. It's stellar!
    Standard widescreen format for DV is 16:9. I haven't seen a 14:9 cam.

    If you are looking for external mic, you might also want to look for manual audio level control and headphone output. It's really useful to control and hear what's going down on to tape, and you often hear stuff you miss listening to the ambient noise (Like that airplane going across, or someone in another room putting the kettle on)

    Just a thought

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