I am planning on purchasing a new camcorder since my sony hi 8 is hard to get batteries and film for and a lot larger than the newer models.
I did my editing on a sony editor and transferred to vhs tape, mostly family videos while the children were growing up.
Now the children can't afford a quality camcorder and so it again will be my hobby??? I guess to take the grandchildren etc.
I have been into a few camera specialty stores and big box stores, googled reviews and don't see what was available when i bought my hi 8 in years gone by.
No audio ear plug, external mic hot shoe, complaints about the size of lcd screens and tapping use on the Sony's e.g. zooming, color noise, the issue of dv tape or mini dvd for ease of use? lcd screen size, longevity of battery life with so many gadgets going while videoing, chip size complaints of I maybe mistaken 1/6?? thus problems, lux light problems, location of button problems, lens view finders being too deep set to add larger battery etc. Which leads me to looking at camcorders of $2,000 cdn dollar models.
In days past, it was close to that which I paid for my sony hi 8; however it got used a lot and i could justify the cost and was not semi retired as i am now and of course a different budget life style.
I have had several Sony's over my camcorder years and have been happiest with my infrared lens model as compared to when they changed to TTL focus.
I know that Canon has a low light issue, Panasonic seems to be a corder in there for consideration; however I have read that some downsides are low light and graininess and then there is again Sony.
I like to have the ear jack so I can hear what I am recording as I used a zoom mic before and preferred the quality. One store said I could get an attachment where the camera fits onto the tripod and attach an external mic there on some models; but again no ear jack.
I did find one Sony, Hi end at $2000, a last years model, as this years is minus the ear jack. This one is like my older Sony hi 8 and will be discontinued this year and has everything I would like but the price is unjustifiable to have it sit on the shelf for occasional use.
Then there is the dv mini or dvd? I was told if I buy the dvd model then of course it will be mpeg 2 and that if I want to edit there will be the compression issue and the software Wombles was suggested.
My present hobby is creating dvd's from a vast vhs library of classics that I have via my BenQ I external burner and my Hauppauge win tv pvr usb 2 and I am quite satisfied with the quality of the dvd which I create with Ulead Movie Factory 4.
I have been told not to look at the Mini Dvd and look to the tape camera, but which one?? And why?
I was reading the post about the built in mic and wind noise and the member mentioned the use of a small sponge and an elastic band which made sense; however in the day of my hi 8 sony I did not have to do this with my external zoom mic and wondered how much sound would be lost having to do this.
I liked the idea of a mini dvd of course for ease of use and a quick copy to my children as they obviously are not going to be buying a camcorder. What I was going to do was set aside a mini dvd for each of the grandchildren and as we take each one out use it til it was full and create a normal 4.75 dvd and give it to the parents. Then I read that the compression issue was a mega problem and the program Wombles was suggested for edits but they would be of poor quality and then comments arose about AVI v.s. mpeg 2 and then the sales rep said wait til something better comes out and simply buy a mini dv and use "Avid"??? So I would be back to editing as a hobby.
I gather I need Wombles to capture my MPEG 2 to create a regular dvd???
I am not really sure I want to get into editing again as I am busy with my Hauppauge transfers from vhs to dvd and likely won't have all that time and so am still toying with the idea of a mini dvd unit.
Which brought me back to Sony, the 505 and then the price escalated as the store said I should buy the etended warranty b/c it is mini dvd, and the lcd screen needs yearly cleaning and again I was up to $1,500 and not using the camcorder as I did with my kids.
The price of the camcorder would be the price of my notebook here that I use everyday and is easy to justify the expense.
So I am looking for some reasonable suggestions regarding a model of a camera etc. that I can google reviews on or get members comments of their experiences.
Looking for comments:
1. use in low lux (not all of the time but on occasion)
2. criticism of Sony 1/6 chip (maybe using wrong term) and Panasonic CCD
and noise colour problem, sharpness comments??
3. are all models able to attach eternal mic where the camera attaches to tripod via an adapter?
4. Is mini dvd compression issue really bad? Wombles, what is it?
5. Don't understand difference between AVI and MPEG2 and what I need to accompany these to create a regular DVD?
6. The adverse comments re tapping on Sony lcd for Zooming and problem of picture instability as a result of tapping.
7. Extended warranty b/c of LCD screen and Mini DVD requiring professional annual cleaning etc. is it really necessary b/c that comes at a price of $400 and of course replacement of camcorder if it has a problem and can't be fixed.
I am totally confused by all of this, having had a Sony hi 8 and it feels like I was in the 19th century and am now trying to grow into the 21st with all of these new concepts and my old Sony hi 8.
I really would appreciate comments as I have been reading so many reviews and am totally bewildered and there is nothing better than hands on advice. I do want to get a smaller camera and realize sacrifices have to be made, but what sacrifices are best?
I hope members have time for me the upcoming buyer of a new age camcorder having owned and used many prior Sony's...this is me... and when I talk to camera store sales reps.
Thankyou for your time, Cheers.