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Thread: Advice on what camera

  1. #1

    Default Advice on what camera

    Hi there,

    I'm after some advice on which cameras you think I should look at. I want a mini-dv camera, and my budget is a fairly measly 250-300, give or take. If there was something really exceptional, I could stretch a little further... It's a pity I'm just shy of the kind of price range for a 3CCD camera, but that's the way it is.

    I used to have a Panasonic, but it's started chewing tapes, and it's not really economical to repair - might as well get a new one.

    I've heard bad things about Panasonics doing this, so I'm tempted to avoid them if possible... unless anyone knows more about this and whether it was something aknowledged and fixed? Or whether you think I'm being paranoid

    I'm looking for something that has the option for an external mic. Optical zoom isn't too important. Infa-Red ("night vision") would be a welcome bonus. I really don't like how cameras are getting smaller, so bulk = bonus

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!




    p.s. I'm mates with Mike who posts here, so you've probably got an idea of the kind of warped uses this camera will be in for

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Err - Northamptonshire?
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    Stu: best I can tell you (crosses fingers, touches wood) is that the two Panasonics I've had have given me no problems.
    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...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Keele
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    I have the JVC GR-DV 1800 which I picked up off Ebay for about 260. It's in excellent condition and it feels nice and solid and works like a dream . It has a shoe that you can plug external mics on. No night vision though :( . I agree with you about the bulk though, and that was one of the factors that I considered when I was out looking. I really don't like small cameras because they feel weak.

    Some advice: Look around for cameras with really good reviews on several sites and then check on eBay to see whether there are any good deals. I have been very happy with my deal, as it cost the original owner about 1200, and they sold it to me for 260 odd.
    http://www.studioxpro.com

    :.: StudioX Productions :.:
    Dedicated to low-budget film-making

  4. #4

    Default

    Cheers guys.

    I'm currently drawn towards the Panasonic NV-GS75. It's about 50 more than I wanted to spend, but it's 3CCD and it's a bit bulkier

    Trouble is, I can't seem to find much in the way of unbiased reviews...

    I've also seen a few references to the camera as being an "NV-GS75B", for some reason.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Err - Northamptonshire?
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    Stu: from memory, the 'B' designation is the correct full name of the camera as imported into Europe and is designed to differentiate it, I think, from the NTSC version that ships in the USA.
    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...

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank Ian

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Any friend of Mike's...
    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...

  8. #8

    Default

    Hi guys, just thought you might be interested to know i did go for the NV-GS75 in the end.

    It's bloody tiny! Picture quality looks reasonable. I haven't had a good go with it yet, due to the weather being poor and general busyness. I'm actually visiting Mr Mike Thorpe next weekend, so I should get to use it then.

    Had a hell of a lot of trouble with Pimania.co.uk. I would seriously avoid them if possible. They're quite cheap, but it's worth paying the extra imo. Delayed order (item was in stock, so I ordered it, then it suddenly wasn't.... good ploy to get people to buy stuff even when you don't have it!), no communication to tell me so, and not too good a-grasp of English!

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Err - Northamptonshire?
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    Stu: if you dealt with Pixmania, you were lucky to get any product at all. As a minimum, you should have expected it to ship with a French power adapter... I've known people deal with that bunch of sharks and come away from the experience minus several fingers. Cheap, yes. Worth it? No way...
    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...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Washington, Tyne & Wear
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    Pixmania aren't all that bad.

    *cough* did I say that?

    They are cheap, but their delivery does stink. I ordered a Digital 8 camera from them not so long back, needed it for the weekend to convert a tape for a client, paid the extra to get it delivered next day and tracked the order online.

    Within the space of a few hours it went from Paris to Calais to Dover and then a few stops throughout the UK before finally arriving at their courier's depot some 4 miles away from me in the early hours of the morning it was to be delivered.

    And there.............it sat
    Tuesday came and went
    Wednesday came and went
    Thursday came......
    I was getting a bit aggro
    I phoned up the depot number and keyed in my tracking number, to be greeted by a nice friendly computer voice that said "your items have arrived and will be despatched shortly"
    Thursday went........
    Friday came..........and so, eventually, did the parcel, although the delivery driver didn't look at all bothered that I wasn't impressed by their service.

    So I ordered it monday, for next day delivery, and saw it sit 4 miles down the road for four flaming days.

    However, when I complained about it to Pixmania, they did refund me the whole postage, so in the end I only actually paid for the item itself.

    And the moral of this story........

    If you order from them, and you choose next day, and don't get it, complain, and the postage should be free, or refunded to some extent

    P.S. They've also started shipping items with those funny euro convertor plugs that you just pop the plug in and screw it down to become a normal 3 pin plug, rather nifty I thought.

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