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Thread: advice on buying sony camcorder

  1. #1

    Default advice on buying sony camcorder

    Can anyone give me any advice on buying a camcorder. There are so many models and I'm not sure which is best. I am making a documentary on a local residents group and want something that will take good quality footage. I was thinking about pushing the boat out and buying a sony dcr hc1000 but am I being a little too ambitious.
    I have been using an analogue camcorder and the picture quality is not that good. I have a sony vaio laptop with ulead videostudio 8 which I use to edit everything so something that will work well with these would be ideal. some models that have been mentione are trv60, hc90, pc1000. any help would be gratefully appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default

    What's your budget?

  3. #3

    Default

    around 1100!

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default My views on buying a camcorder

    Here's an article I wrote in the past on choosing a camcorder. Maybe it'll be of help to you

    If you're looking for a digital camcorder, you will be spolit for choice. There are so many models out there - Canon, Sony, Panasonic, JVC - just to name a few brands. It is tough to make a decision because of the variety and the cost. Digital camcorders are not cheap. and easily run into the $500 to $2000 price range. You wouldn't want to fork out so much money for a camera that does not meet your expectations.

    Let's take a look at the various factors to consider when purchasing your first camcorder.


    Analog or Digital Format?

    The first decision you have to make is this: do you want to work with video in an analog format (VHS-C, 8mm and Hi or a digital format (MiniDV, Digital8, MicroMV, Digital Tapeless and DVD). The digital format is all the rage now, just look at the digital camcorders flying off the shelves offline and online. Of course, a digital camcorder is slightly more expensive than an analog one.

    If you simply cannot decide whether to go digital or analog, just consider the intended usage of your camera. If you intend to capture video into the computer and do some video editing, then my advice is to go for a digital camcorder. If you don't mind lower quality video, then save your money and get an analog camera. You can still import video from your analog camera into your computer using an analog-to-digital conversion device (albeit with some loss in quality).


    What's Your Budget?

    As with all purchases you make, you need to consider your budget. A low-end digital camera like the Canon ZR200 will set you back about $400. A super duper high-end model like the Sony HDR-FX1 will cost a bomb at $3000. Be sure to compare prices and get the best deals matching the features you want in your camera. Of course, the more you pay, the better features you'll get - that's a known fact.


    Other Features

    The features and attributes to consider when purchasing a camcorder include:

    * Firewire/IEEE 1394 support
    * Lens Quality
    * LCD Size
    * Optical Stabilization System
    * Digital Still Image Capability

    To me, only the first attribute (Firewire support) is absolutely critical. Never buy a digital camcorder that does not have Firewire support (a rarity these days anyway). The other attributes like lens quality, LCD size and optical stabilization are nice to have but should not matter if you are just an average home user.

    The last attribute - digital still image capability - gives you the ability to shoot pictures just like a digital still camera. I personally think there's no need for this feature, as it jacks up the price tag way too much. I'd prefer to get a basic videocam and a proper digital still camera separately if I want to both shoot videos and take still pictures.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Default

    Also work into your budget the price of a second battery, a good rainproof bag, a tapehead cleaner and for professional steady shots a tripod. If you are planning on interviewing people let's say in a noisy environment an external microphone is a good purchase.

  6. Default

    PC1000E get yourself larger battery for it, a 4 channel Mic and its your budget sorted.

    There is a new Hi Def model available from sony but its a bit more expensive
    Live from Norwich !

    Sony PC1000E ( Stopped working after 13months)
    Sony HDR-HC3 4Mega Pixels High Def Mini DV Broke
    Canon HF 10 - Broke
    iPhone4 Sport
    Waiting for the Sony HDR-GW55VE

    Avid Studio, + Pinnacle Studio14, Win7 64bit 12 GIG memory, Nvidia GTX590, twin 3D display, 2Terrabyte HD

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks to everybodys help but (after forking out for a virus to be taken off my laptop (so much for norton antivirus)) I have decided to buy a Sony hc90E for 545.00. That way I can get some accessories to go with it too.

    But I still have 2 questions to ask.

    1. Can you change the white balance manually on this camcorder. I have looked at the tech details on the sony website and they just say auto/indoor/outdoor/one push, does this mean yes!!

    2. Does anyone know of any specialist insurance companies that would insure the camcorder cheap or will it be ok under the good old house insurance (jessops have a good insurance policy but you have buy your goods there to get it).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    East Kilbride, Scotland
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    Default

    Can you change the white balance manually on this camcorder. I have looked at the tech details on the sony website and they just say auto/indoor/outdoor/one push, does this mean yes!!
    Yes

    Does anyone know of any specialist insurance companies that would insure the camcorder cheap or will it be ok under the good old house insurance (jessops have a good insurance policy but you have buy your goods there to get it).
    Depends upon the type of insurance you are looking for. If you are looking to insure against mechanical breakdown (beyond the warranty year) then it is extremely unlikely that your house insurance will cover this. If you are looking ot insure against theft (within or outwith your home) and accidental damage then you will have to check with your Home Contents insurer.

    COMPAQ something or other with 500Gb Boot Disk, 1Tb external Firewire Disk, 4Gb Memory and a super duper sound card, 19" TFT Monitor etc etc etc
    Sony TRV33e : Sony TRV310e : Canon XM2
    Sony Vegas Studio editions to v11

    Remember, there is always more to learn than there is to teach.

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