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Thread: help!!!!

  1. #1

    Default help!!!!

    hiya folks,

    Just wondered if i could bend your ear for a moment and ask a few questions about digital video cameras??

    Basically im a complete novice to this and rather than take the advice of a salesman i thought id give you good people a try!

    im on a budget of upto approx 250 but want a camcorder that i can use for basic stuff (filming the kids etc..), I want to connect it to my PC and burn the files onto dvd (already have burner.. firewire card etc..).

    Ive seen loads of video cameras on the net but to a novice it's a complete minefield - there seems to be an awful lot of cheaper makes (Nisis, Mustek etc...) that look a bit nasty to me (maybe im wrong..??).

    Basically ive seen 3 that i think maybe a good deal but id like your advice on which is the better camera for the money.

    Sony DCR-TRV270

    JVC MiniDV GR-D23

    Canon MV690/MV700

    Alternativley if theres a better deal out there please let me know, i want something that i dont have to rely on memory cards so eithir a MiniDV or equiv' (or a dvd based camera).

    Failing that - a few basic tips on how to spot a decnt video camera wouldnt go astray

    thanks for your time and help !


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Err - Northamptonshire?


    Lee: yes, you'll find that e.g. the Mustek camcorders are cheap because they use cards, not tape (among other reasons). The brands you note are all good, as far as I'm concerned, and I'd probably add Panasonic (I'm a fan of Panny stuff - you get a lot of camera for not much money and mine, touch wood, has been very reliable). In terms of things to look for:

    Size of the CCD: for your budget, you're unlikely to find a 3 CCD model, but the more pixels, the better. 800,000 is a good number to aim for.

    Zoom: I like to have the maximum optical zoom possible - a recent Panny (now discontinued, I fear) in your price range had a 24x optical zoom. Don't worry about digital zoom - it's useless.

    Low light: many of my early family videos are all but unwatchable because they're so dark - my first camcorder coped very badly with low light. Check to see what the spec is on low light performance.

    MiniDV: make sure it's miniDV, not the other one (digital 8 or something): miniDV is more expensive (but still within your price range) but definitely the way to go.

    USB vs. Firewire: there seems to be a trend for camcorders to support USB in preference to Firewire, although many support both. Everyone on here will tell you that Firewire is the way to go.

    Software: don't get seduced by bundled software. Windows Movie Maker is just fine for starters till you find out more. The only thing that may be worth going for is if the software includes a DVD authoring capability.

    I'm sure others on the board can come up with different ideas, but that's my two penn'orth.
    Premiere Pro, Encore, Photoshop, Ulead VS6, WXP Pro, Core 2 Duo, 2GB, 2 x 250GB SATA3 drives, 2 x 250GB USB 2 external drive, DVD writer, GeForce 7300 GS 256MB

    The biggest fool can ask questions that the wisest man cannot answer...


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