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Old Aug 21, 2012, 11:09 AM   #1
49JC
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Recommend me a pocket camcorder!

Hi Im looking for a pocket camcorder for my wife and I. We have a little one at home that we'd like to capture moments I guess on the fly and on the go. Wife really likes something that she can just easily put in her purse or for me my back pocket. Been looking at flips, zi8, bloggies, etc. But cant make up my mind. We're leaning more towards a pocket camcorder mainly for the size and convenience but if you know of a more traditional camcorder that packs a punch in a small size, id consider those as well.

I guess I really want something that can provide the best video and audio for around $200.

Anybody have any recommendations?
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Old Aug 23, 2012, 10:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 49JC View Post
Hi Im looking for a pocket camcorder for my wife and I. We have a little one at home that we'd like to capture moments I guess on the fly and on the go. Wife really likes something that she can just easily put in her purse or for me my back pocket. Been looking at flips, zi8, bloggies, etc. But cant make up my mind. We're leaning more towards a pocket camcorder mainly for the size and convenience but if you know of a more traditional camcorder that packs a punch in a small size, id consider those as well.

I guess I really want something that can provide the best video and audio for around $200.

Anybody have any recommendations?
Why doesn't the iPhone meet your needs?
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Old Aug 23, 2012, 10:18 PM   #3
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Yes, what capabilities are you looking for beyond what the iPhone offers?
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Old Aug 25, 2012, 01:23 PM   #4
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Why are you guys promoting an iPhone. The OP did not mention having one and want's to spend around $200. On contract the iPhone is many many many times more expensive than $200!

Off contract, the minimum costs for an iPhone are as follows
3GS is $375 - records 480p
4 is $549 - records 720p
4S is $649 - records 1080p
Another reason to avoid the iPhone is it takes a ridiculous amount of time to get it in up and running as a video camera. And if it is in still mode, than it will take that much longer to switch to video mode. Oh, and no zoom at all.

The PowerShot ELPH 110 comes in at $200 at the Canon site, can do 1280 x 720 video at 30fps and even 1920 x 1080 at 24fps. This isn't a recommendation. I just wanted to put this conversation back on track.
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Last edited by xStep; Aug 25, 2012 at 09:24 PM. Reason: Changed the word phone to video camera.
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Old Aug 25, 2012, 03:21 PM   #5
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Why are you guys promoting an iPhone. The OP did not mention having one and want's to spend around $200. On contract the iPhone is many many many times more expensive than $200!

Off contract, the minimum costs for an iPhone are as follows
3GS is $375 - records 480p
4 is $549 - records 720p
4S is $649 - records 1080p
Another reason to avoid the iPhone is it takes a ridiculous amount of time to get it in up and running as a phone. And if it is in still mode, than it will take that much longer to switch to video mode. Oh, and no zoom at all.

The PowerShot ELPH 110 comes in at $200 at the Canon site, can do 1280 x 720 video at 30fps and even 1920 x 1080 at 24fps. This isn't a recommendation. I just wanted to put this conversation back on track.
We aren't promoting it; we're eliciting more information by just asking why it doesn't meet his needs, since he cited size and convenience for around $200.

He may already have one.....zero cost.
He could get a 4S.....$200 on contract.
Or an iPod Touch....$200.

Since iOS 5, it's very quick to open the camera.

I think it's fair to assume he has a phone of some kind in this day and age, so being able to combine a phone and camcorder in one is certainly convenient, and saves space.

And since this is Macrumors, I suspect it's a greater than 50% chance he has an iPhone already. Since he didn't mention anything about any phone, it suggests that option may have been overlooked., or rejected for unstated reasons.

M'kay?
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Old Aug 25, 2012, 03:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 49JC View Post
Hi Im looking for a pocket camcorder for my wife and I. We have a little one at home that we'd like to capture moments I guess on the fly and on the go. Wife really likes something that she can just easily put in her purse or for me my back pocket. Been looking at flips, zi8, bloggies, etc. But cant make up my mind. We're leaning more towards a pocket camcorder mainly for the size and convenience but if you know of a more traditional camcorder that packs a punch in a small size, id consider those as well.

I guess I really want something that can provide the best video and audio for around $200.

Anybody have any recommendations?
Stand alone pocket camcorders are a waste of money, IMHO. Buy a compact camera that also records video like a nice waterproof, shock proof one. They're fine for what you need, I think.
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Old Aug 25, 2012, 04:57 PM   #7
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iPhone is the only camera, camcorder, music player, phone, gps and internet browser that you will need. Why buy a separate device for each function?
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Old Aug 25, 2012, 07:17 PM   #8
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try a gopro http://gopro.com
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Old Aug 25, 2012, 07:48 PM   #9
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try a gopro http://gopro.com
Those are nice, but you definitely pay for what you get.
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 01:10 AM   #10
xStep
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Originally Posted by Undecided View Post
He could get a 4S.....$200 on contract.
Add up the cost of that contract. It's, oh, a bit more than $200.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Undecided View Post
Since iOS 5, it's very quick to open the camera.
I'll try it in the Apple store. My 3GS and iPod doesn't convince me of that. But then, I've also noticed other stall issues.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Undecided View Post
M'kay?
Uh?
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Old Aug 27, 2012, 10:25 AM   #11
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I have a Panasonic HX-DC2 and in the UK it cost me 130, check out and see if you can get it in the US.

Records 1080 at 30fps and 60 fps (options for lower res) battery is Ok but you can buy spares online for cheap. I think the quality is impressive but havent had the time to test it on final cut since my graphics card died.

One I had before that was a Pansonsic HM-TA2 and that was a good camera for 1080 except I found the lense too 'zoomed in' if that makes sense (opposite to wide angle)
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Old Aug 27, 2012, 04:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by xStep View Post
Add up the cost of that contract. It's, oh, a bit more than $200.




I'll try it in the Apple store. My 3GS and iPod doesn't convince me of that. But then, I've also noticed other stall issues.




Uh?
If he's gonna have a phone anyway, the cost of the contract is irrelevant.

Wait - you're basing your opinion on your experience with the iPhone 3GS, when in the three years since we've had the iPhone 4 (720p video) and 4S (1080p video)? Direct access to the camera without unlocking (iOS 5)?


M'kay?
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Old Aug 27, 2012, 05:26 PM   #13
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If he's gonna have a phone anyway, the cost of the contract is irrelevant.

Wait - you're basing your opinion on your experience with the iPhone 3GS, when in the three years since we've had the iPhone 4 (720p video) and 4S (1080p video)? Direct access to the camera without unlocking (iOS 5)?
Yes, IF he has an appropriate phone then you are correct about the cost.

I'm basing my experience on my iPod, which is clearly a version 4, and the 3GS. Both run an iOS 5 variant (can't move to 5.1.1 right now). It takes time to switch between still and video mode. Slow enough that you could miss things that a dedicated camera wouldn't. The iris animation exists to hide that delay. Yes, the quick access to the camera has helped a great deal. I suppose if you set the camera to your preference, that would be fast enough for most interests.
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Old Aug 27, 2012, 06:49 PM   #14
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Yes, IF he has an appropriate phone then you are correct about the cost.

I'm basing my experience on my iPod, which is clearly a version 4, and the 3GS. Both run an iOS 5 variant (can't move to 5.1.1 right now). It takes time to switch between still and video mode. Slow enough that you could miss things that a dedicated camera wouldn't. The iris animation exists to hide that delay. Yes, the quick access to the camera has helped a great deal. I suppose if you set the camera to your preference, that would be fast enough for most interests.
No, if he doesn't have an appropriate phone, then he can get one for $200, and since he'd have a phone anyway, the service cost is irrelevant.

The reason why your system is slow is because you're running a recent version of iOS on old hardware.

All of this back and forth underscores the need for more information from the OP - hence the very first question asking him why an iPhone doesn't work. It's also grown tiresome, so forgive me for moving on.

M'kay?
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Old Aug 28, 2012, 12:57 AM   #15
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No, if he doesn't have an appropriate phone, then he can get one for $200, and since he'd have a phone anyway, the service cost is irrelevant.

The reason why your system is slow is because you're running a recent version of iOS on old hardware.

All of this back and forth underscores the need for more information from the OP - hence the very first question asking him why an iPhone doesn't work. It's also grown tiresome, so forgive me for moving on.

M'kay?
I'll leave it at, we disagree on some things.
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Old Aug 29, 2012, 10:16 AM   #16
49JC
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LOL. Wow I totally forgot about this thread I posted. I kind of posted this in a couple forums and forgot to check back here. For everyone offering their advice thank you and I apologize for my being late to my own party.

Some folks were wondering why I dont just use my iphone (which i do have). Well i do actually. But I feel the iphone just takes way too long to set up. Even though it does shoot in 720p its very clucky. Video is not that great. No zoom. These all in one devices are great, have all features packed into one thing but these features never do as great as the single device. They just do better then other phones.

Lots of times I find my self looking for the app. Waiting for the app to open. Having to set the app in camcorder mode, then shooting. Then the moment I was trying to capture was gone. This is all for just shooting videos of my daughter who is only a few months old. So those of you with kids know these type of moments you try to capture are very quick and once its gone its gone. So I was looking for a type of solution thats just dedicated to that sole function of what we want out of it.

I have cameras that I use for photography, a 5diii that I also started using the video feature but this also takes a little bit of planning and time to set up with the right lens. Plus its not very convenient when were out and on the go. Which is why Im looking for a pocket camcorder. Easy to use, quick on the go, just hit the record and your set.

Ive narrowed my options to a few cams - sony bloggie touch, kodak zx3 or zx5. Will be doing some research on what the best bang for buck. Kind of leaning toward the bloggie but we'll see. I definitely look into all the recommendations given here. And again thanks everyone for taking the time to reply.
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 09:48 AM   #17
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I'm also looking for some recommendations for an HD camcorder, for my daughter who is also a few months old. I have an iPhone 4, but much like the OP I have the same complaints about using the iPhone. To the person who said the camera app is quick to open, I must respectfully disagree. The last time I tried to take a video, I lost count in my head after 30 seconds waiting for the app to actually get to a point where I could "do something" (I opened it, for 15 seconds it just sat there on a closed shutter screen, and then sat there with everything greyed out). Then, I had to change it to video mode, which took another 10-20 seconds for it to respond.

In other words, from the time I opened the app to when I could actually record something, it was more than a minute. Completely unacceptable IMO.

Plus, I've found the quality to be poor at best unless you're in bright sunlight or studio lighting. Anything less, forget about it.

Does anyone have a standalone camera recommendation?
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 05:02 AM   #18
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I know the feeling, my daughter is just past her first year and is getting really fast.

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Lots of times I find my self looking for the app. Waiting for the app to open.
You can save a few second by double-tapping on the home button when the phone is locked. Best part is that it can be done without taking the eyes off the little one
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 06:13 AM   #19
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When buying any form of software camcorder or computer people ask for recommendations. I always say thread with caution what you read.
If you want something and have a price tag. First look on the internet what is available in that price bracket. Secondly go to the shop and test and see what you are holding.
I'm not saying it is wrong to take the members advice. Lets just say could you recommend me a "CAR"????????????????

Last edited by daybreak; Sep 14, 2012 at 06:14 AM. Reason: spelling error
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 01:04 PM   #20
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Panasonic Pro AG-DVC20 3CCD MiniDV Proline Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom, a user friendly camcorder and it works great with iMovie on my MacBook Apple MacBook MA701LL/A 13.3" Notebook PC (2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB Hard Drive, DVD/CD SuperDrive). It is one of the best camcorder as of 2012.
Not exactly pocket-able is it?
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 02:39 PM   #21
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Use an iPhone! Here is some of the work i have done on one... Its really great and easily accessible. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHVuuMv8Vgg
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 12:05 PM   #22
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Some folks were wondering why I dont just use my iphone (which i do have). Well i do actually. But I feel the iphone just takes way too long to set up. Even though it does shoot in 720p its very clucky. Video is not that great. No zoom.
I can get my locked iPhone5 from off/locked to functioning video in 5 seconds. Home button> flick bottom right camera icon> switch from still to video mode. No camcorder or still/video point-n-shoot camera will be faster.

I agree there are issues with clunkyness and lack of zoom on the iPhone5. For a giant step up in quality while retaining compact size I suspect you will need to move to something like the Sony RX-100. It's tiny but has zoom and a 1 inch sensor. It's great for low-light. Downside is that it's $650.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 12:28 PM   #23
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I can get my locked iPhone5 from off/locked to functioning video in 5 seconds. Home button> flick bottom right camera icon> switch from still to video mode. No camcorder or still/video point-n-shoot camera will be faster.

I agree there are issues with clunkyness and lack of zoom on the iPhone5. For a giant step up in quality while retaining compact size I suspect you will need to move to something like the Sony RX-100. It's tiny but has zoom and a 1 inch sensor. It's great for low-light. Downside is that it's $650.
I don't know if it's related to how many pictures I have stored on my iPhone or what, but it seems to take longer and longer to engage the camera. When I first got my 5, it was virtually instantaneous to do the above steps. Now, with 100+ pictures on it 3 months later, it takes 4-5 seconds to get the camera to actually get to a point where it is ready to take a picture. Even longer if I want to switch to video.

On my 4, I once timed it at nearly 30 seconds from the time I'd hit the camera button to when I could actually make a recording. It would sit on the initial "shutter closed" screen for 10-15 seconds before it would actually be ready to do something. Then, changing to video made it unresponsive for another 10-15 seconds. That's too long.
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