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Thread: Canon MD205 or MD235?

  1. #1

    Default Canon MD205 or MD235?

    Hi,

    I'm a camcorder newbie looking to pick up my first model. Why? To begin with I'd just like to capture birthdays, the kids, holidays and the like - Might move on to more challenging tasks later!

    I know there have been some similar questions recently regarding hardware purchases, but I was wondering if people could help with some specifics. I'm not having much luck finding a good reviews site so I'm hoping those in the know could help!

    First, media wise, from what I've read MiniDV is the best format for quality and price when it comes to SD Cameras - I've also read that it's best for editing. Is this true?

    Based on that I was looking at the Canon MD235 as it has a Microphone Input (which seems to be quite scarce in the lower price models). I've noticed Canon also have an MD205, which is about 25% cheaper.

    The MD235 has a higher optical zoom (37x compared to 32x) and a higher resolution (1.07 megapixels compared to 0. - Do people feel such an increase warrants the additional 25% cost? I've some experience with Digital SLRs so I know numbers can be misleading sometimes.

    Was going to pick up a copy of Premiere Elements for editing afterwards, partly because I need a copy of PhotoShop Elements also and they're bundled - I've a reasonably well specced PC (with Firewire connection). I'm deviating from the hardware question slightly but is Permiere Elements a good starting package?

    I know some things come down to personal preference - I'm interested in people's opinions though.

    Thanks in advance,
    Boysey

  2. #2
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    About DV - all true. Ease of editing is part of the reason I love DV over HDV.

    Get the mic input - essential for film making.

    Ignor pixel count - almost irrlelveant and other factors swamp this.

    Any zoom over about x5 is useless hand held. My pro cam has a 16 zoom with times 20 being the highest on pro lenses - stupid high zooms are pushed as people seem to want them but in fact they are totally useless unless you are a bird watcher with a good tripod or a pap. lols.

    Also the higher the zoom the worse the lens may be as it contains more glass.

  3. #3
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    Either should do the job of capturing birthdays, the kids, holidays etc with no problems. The mic socket is a good idea and as you say it is disappearing fast. Those high optical zooms are a joke, the quality of the image at 32 or 37 X is blurry (the ccd isn't big enough to render the small detail - so you just get blocks of colour) and it may contain chroma abberation or purple fringing.

    So I would stick to not going beyond 12 X, you can try it out yourself and see what the results are like but the nearer you get to the telephoto end of the zoom on camcorders such as those the worse the picture gets. As far as software is concerned download a few trials of the popular software listed here on this site. Premiere Elements and Photoshop is a good combined package to start off with and will work well with mini dv video. Also get a tripod.

  4. #4

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    Cheers for the feedback guys - Both are out of stock on Pixmania at the moment so I guess I'll give them a week or two. It might be better to get the 205 and a few extras (backup battery etc) rather than jumping for the 235.

    I've a Tripod for my SLR - I presume (perhaps wrongly) that they use a standard connection and that it will work for both?

    Thanks Again,
    Boysey

  5. #5
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    The tripod should fit - you may need a small plastic plate - usually easy to get.

    However - proper video tripods are much more sturdy affairs than stills tripods and they ahve very smooth ' fluid' heads that allow smooth pans but a what you have is better then nothing for sure.

  6. #6

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    Boysey, you'll be ok with the 205, I've had one for quite a while and am pretty pleased with it. It's since become a second cam as I've moved on to a pro camcorder but it's still useful.
    Also, it is I believe native widescreen, which might be an advantage. Personally I'm not sure if I want widescreen now. It isn't exactly intimate, if that's the right word. Many of the scenes that I've shot with it didn't require it and it can be a nuisance, an intrusion, rather than an advantage.
    I use a Manfrotto video tripod, their cheapest and lightest model, with this cam (I use a sturdier Manfrotto with my other cam). I got it from Currys, it was ex-demo and pretty cheap.
    I got my 205 from Dabs, a UK general electronics dealer, you might want to compare their prices with other dealers.

  7. #7

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    Sound... that's me sold... I'm off to find one decently priced... Might be back someday posting my finished work!

    Cheers Eveyone,
    Boysey

  8. #8

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    I just got a MD205 for £125 - Solutions inc (Ltd).

    It's good, def do DV, def do elements and def get a proper mic.

    there's no point paying for a better zoom as it will not get a good picture anyway.

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