View Full Version : Best Quality Format For The Cheapest Camera Price?

May 11, 2005, 11:38 PM
My buddy and I make short films off of his Sony Digital8 Camcorder, but I'm quite unimpressed with the quality... should I be looking for a MiniDV camcorder to give better quality? The problem we have with the Sony is that whenever we edit a video and then blow it up full screen... it's insanely pixelated... just give me some basic knowledge on what you all would suggest for a very, very amateur and uneducated group of filmakers over here (people still say we make quite brilliant and unique films, the quality just sucks on the film format)... thanks.


May 12, 2005, 12:02 AM
Usually the more expensive they are, the better they are :)

MiniDV in all-equal cases aren't better than Digital8, it just allows the camera to be smaller and more sleek. Digital8 cameras are cheaper, and thus enables you to get cameras with more features for cheaper than those features would suggest.

My Sony Digital8 camera cost me about $650 when I bought it three years ago, and the image quality is great outside. But in dark areas, it's pure crap. But it's pretty damn swell for just $650. I have a "Get new camcorder" on my list of stuff to buy, but it's a bit low in the priority order, so I might not get a new one for a while.

Sorry, I don't have any specific recommendations, but essentially the more expensive it is, the better :) Check review sites such as CNet.com and the such.

May 12, 2005, 09:24 AM
I have a Canon ZR60 (which you cannot get anymore, I think the new bottom of the line is ZR70), but I am largely unimpressed with the picture quality. I think I paid about $400 for it a year and a half ago or so and think you can get the ZR70 for around $300 now, but I would not recommend it.

I also have get new camcorder on my list of things, but it just has not happened. I am not sure what direction I am going to go, but I usually like Canon stuff, so I'll probably look at the Elura line or a higher end Z camera and see if they look OK. If not, then it is off to the web for research!

May 12, 2005, 12:41 PM
I'd love to just buy one of those great 4-figure price tag cameras, but I just don't know right now... I don't have the money at the moment, but when I do, I still don't know if that's what I would want to put it toward.

I guess my main question in this thread is what format/film type is going to give me the best quality after it's edited? Also, what's going to allow me to blow up my movies to full screen and keep them sharp?


May 12, 2005, 12:57 PM
Only HD movies is going to stay sharp when you blow them up to full screen. It's a matter of resolution, just insert a DVD into your Mac and watch them full-screen. You'll notice some pixellation, you can't get rid of them.

All digital cameras encode in the DV format, so you have no choice there (unless you want HD, then there's HDV or DVProHD). The quality of the picture comes down to the machinery of the camera itself - darkness adjustment, opticals, and all that kind of stuff. More expensive = better machinery = better picture. That's all there are to it in the end. Read reviews, look up specs, and all that.

(And don't go off thinking you want HD, those cameras are in the 4- and 5-digit region. For now anyway).

May 13, 2005, 03:01 PM
I would think that it is not really an issue of the format/media, but more of an issue of the quality of the optics oand CCD. Or am I totally out in left field on this one.

May 13, 2005, 03:34 PM
Think Panasonic has some quality 3CCD cameras in the high hundreds; that may be where you should go (they do the higher end prosumer DVX-100A).