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Thread: Ever decreasing circles

  1. #1
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    Default Ever decreasing circles

    I've been to a few events over the so called Summer of 2008 and I can't help but notice how few camcorders you now see at events. Am I imagining this or do you notice it aswell? I've been to a few weddings, christenings, festivals etc and you could count the number of people with real camcorders on the fingers of one hand.

    Have they had their moment in the spotlight and are people now losing interest in recording events to either keep on tape or put on dvd? Obviously stills cameras and mobile phones (Grrrrrrrrr) are as popular as ever so what is happening to camcorder purchasing and usage.

    I've also noticed that one or possibly two consumer and maybe even prosumer formats are coming to the end, those being mini dv and mini dvd as flash memory and solid state are snapping at their heels. The storage capacity needs to go up and the price down and that's all it will take for them to take over. When you look at how much the price of mini dv camcorders has dropped in the 3 years I've been on this forum I begin to wonder how much longer will it be around.

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    My theory is that c corders are like midi systems / hifi - many people buy them and never use them - or rather they use them a few times and everything they shoot looks crap and they loose interest.

    People are sold the dream of home movies but of course the reality is that film making is a hugely challenging art, this circumstance also begats the legions of mooks calling themselves wedding videographers ( no offence to the good guys - you know who you are).

    As for formats - DV is old hat cos of marketing shite and not cos of any prob with the format. The machine will always exploit our innate consumer fetishism by telling us old is bad.

    As ofr formats and the future it is surely going t obe solid state. It got off to a flaky start with fatally compromised consumer grade stuff that recorded at low bit rates with comression algorithms based on the engima machine coding strategy - ie uneditable.

    Cams like the ex1 and that small pana have implimented it well - but for me the cards need to be bigger / cheaper. When you get an hour on a card in a proper high def format ( not HDV ) that uses intra frame comression not this fussy mpeg4 based temporal bollox I will be sold on them. The sony is blazing the trail with 35mbit / sec and sensilbe mpeg2 comression that is editing friendly - at a price....

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikosony View Post
    I've been to a few events over the so called Summer of 2008 and I can't help but notice how few camcorders you now see at events.
    I agree and noted the same thing on my last holiday. In fact I didn't see any one else film during the four days of tourist sight seing on the isle of wight. Not even a japanese tourist or elderly enthusiast. But it's always been that way. So many people take a video camera once on holiday and never again. After the hassle of editing and the poor results, they give up!

    My girlfriend's mate saw a recent video of mine and immediately said, "I want to do that, can he show me how?". It's the "instant", I want it now, mentality that means people assume that filming something means they'll have something watchable. And after watching the video back, they realise it's all a bit too much like hard work.

    And yet go to a gig and virtually everyone will have their mobile phone aimed at the stage. No matter how poor it looks, the still insist on posting it to youtube for the world to witness.

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    " And yet go to a gig and virtually everyone will have their mobile phone aimed at the stage. No matter how poor it looks, the still insist on posting it to youtube for the world to witness. "

    lol - like my meat loaf vid on the tube - but mine was shot in proper DV

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    There seems to be nothing on the market now for people I'd call enthusiastic amateurs, people who, like myself either don't know yet how much they're going to get into their hobby, or don't have the resources to spend on so called "prosumer" kit.

    Assuming the new amateur hasn't been sold on the latest so called Hi Def gimmick and given up as editing is impossible and has purchased a £200 MiniDV cam - where to next?

    The natural jump in any hobby from £200 kit would be to something around £500-£700 (the improvements over beginners suff being some of the manual stuff being much more readily accessible - eg focus ring, zoom ring, white balance button, better connectivity - eg mic and headphone, better optics and better build quality.

    The ONLY jump available for the enthusiastic amateur as I see it is to an XM2 or VX2100 at around £1200 - and there doesn't appear to be any development of the format. The Canon

    I keep an eye out for Panasonic NV-GS400s on eBay, but I'd prefer to buy something with a warranty.

    What do I and others like me buy??????

    Indeed even if I were to get sucked into the "HiDef" hype, non of the consumer cameras have any real manual control (or even viewfinders - forcing someone who's a bit more industrious than me to make his own)

    So, as far as I can see, there's no real stepping stone and I think Nikosony's analysis is probably correct - we'll end up with just a few very serious hobbyists making watchable home movies and just about everyone else with souped up mobile phones recording in "HiDef".

    But then am I surprised? The industry is not interested in furthering people's hobbys, it's interested in shipping units. For every person who takes the time to become comfortable with their entry level camcorder and reach a minimum level of competency, there are hundred who will buy the latest, greatest toy, use it once or twice and put it in the back of the cupboard. If I was a manufacturer I know which would make me more money.
    Tim

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    I feel there is something happening when you see the drops in prices, fewer new models are coming out and the much higher interest that was in the hobby 2 to 3 years ago seems to have taken a nose dive recently. Hi def is being pushed on all fronts as it seems to be driven by the tv companies at the moment and the camcorder manufacturers seem to be taking their lead from the tv companies. So will the only choice be in a few years time a very small and very expensive number of hi def camcorders (if you want the genuine hi def models).

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    And the painfull irony of it all is that a gs400 would rinse many of the so called hi def offerings that have replaced that models niche.

    Note to self - hunt e bay for a bragin priced gs400.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark W View Post

    Note to self - hunt e bay for a bragin priced gs400.
    Call me indecisive - I've been following GS400s on eBay for a year now, very nearly bidding but keep backing out at the last minute - still scared of buying one thats seen 500hours of head wear.
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    Call me indecisive - I've been following GS400s on eBay for a year now, very nearly bidding but keep backing out at the last minute - still scared of buying one thats seen 500hours of head wear.
    On consumer grade cameras with that much use you often find the start stop button and zoom rocker looks worn. Watch out for worn decals and stuff. The one cam I ever got that was nearly shagges as from a guy who did wedding vids.... no thats not prejudice, honest.

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