Camcorder Help

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by kwong2006, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. kwong2006 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #1
    I originally settled for a Panasonic, but it was discontinued. I will be using the camcorder for filming professional news reports as a part of my training at my university. For obvious reasons, a lot of editing will occur. Is MiniDV my only choice, or would Hard Drive be a good alternative?

    With the current product line from Panasonic, I will NOT be buying from them (I heard they can't even record sound on any acceptable level.) Are there any non-Sony alternative MiniDV camcorders that will fit my demands?
     
  2. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    American Riviera
    #2
    What kind of price range can you handle? Would something like a Canon GL or XL line be appropriate?

    You might like to check out http://www.camcorderinfo.com/
     
  3. kwong2006 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    I am aiming at below $1100. I am also looking at a not so bulky camara. I think I will fall in the low-end prosumer range.
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    Yes you want Mini DV. The disk recorders all us mpeg-2 that needs to be transcoded befor it can be edited. DV quality is better too.

    What's wrong with Sony? You said "professional" so I'd point you to a VX2100 if you can afford it but if not it's easy to fnd used VX1000 cameras for under $1,000.

    You want a good three-chip camera that also has good audio features. (XLR inputs, gain controls and UV meters and monitoring) Expect to spend some $$$ on some good mics, cales and maybe wireless. If you are doing interviews you will need to be able to mic the subject. on-camera mics just don't cut it.
     
  5. kwong2006 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 16, 2006
    #5
    As with what is wrong with Sony, I heard they only support their softwares, and don't support ANY Mac softwares at all. Also, I had a really bad run-in with some Sony products earlier that almost cause me to fail a class. To put it in short, a filmed something with a Sony camcorder that I borrowed, but everything that I recorded that day were ruined. They came out garbled and unuseable. The video was for a final exam, and I almost failed the class.
     
  6. kwong2006 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    As for "professional", I am talking about the ultra low-end professional scale, more accurately described as high consumer.
     
  7. kwong2006 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    *bump*

    Can anyone give any advice on this matter? These manufacturers are reducing their MiniDV stocks by the day!
     
  8. York-Diuck macrumors member

    York-Diuck

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    Like what was mentioned before, your best bet is to check out camcorderinfo.com. There alot of good camcorders out there as well as bad ones. I would advise taking your time and researching all the options within your price range at the site mentioned above. They have broken down camcorders into price ranges and reviewed each one. some camcorders are better for outdoors while others are for low light, they all vary. The one they highly recommened was the Canon Elura 100 (got camcorder of the year) and it was half the cost of your budget.
    Just look around the site.
     
  9. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    LaLaLand, CA
    #9
  10. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    Aug 8, 2006
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    Elk Grove, CA
    #10
    I would say a Sony VX1000, VX2000, or VX2100 would work just fine. They are great cameras, CNN uses them in Iraq because their so durable, and they work just fine in Final Cut...

    The VX1000 can be easily found for Under $1000
    The VX2000 and 2100 can be found under $2000 easily

    A review of the Sony VX2100

    EDIT: Ohh and yea, Mini-DV is really the only way to go, unless you use a FireStore HD since it stores the video in .DV format instead of the difficult to edit MPEG4
     
  11. jlevine31 macrumors member

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    Dec 27, 2006
    #11
    For whatever it's worth, I do have a Sony and while I could not run the software which came with the camera on my mac (despite their supposedly being a macintosh specific program on it?) I had no problem connecting with a firewire and loading all of my mini-dv's into imovie.
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    Don't support Mac software???? All you care is that the camera has a firewire plug on it. So somebody screwed up and hapened to be using a Sony camera? can you blame the camera? Are you sure? I might by inclided to blame the guy who shot all day and didn't do any knid of quality check on the footage being shot. Never, never, never blame the equipment. What was the backup camera?

    Had you said you wanted a camera for shooting a family vacation at Disney World in Florida it would be different but yo used the word "Profesional" which implies a bussines critical need for a camera. Which implies the use of profeional level technique on the part of the operator. So you do quality tests and carry backup gear and so on....

    Don't forget about audio. it REALLY matters. That said the Sony VX series camera ca do some really nice video work, better then most home TV sets can reproduce. The color from those three chips camera just looks so nice. But the same can be said for any of the pro-level three chip mini-DV camera from Canon or Panasonic. But the VX1000 is in your price range. I've seen them go as low as $500
     
  13. kwong2006 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
  14. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #14
    Yeah, they're pretty much the best. I use them all the time. Bought a Canon GL2 from them used, and it's actually turned out to be pretty good. Look around for some reviews on them, they aren't one of those shady fly-by-nights if that's what you're worried about.

    Bought the battery off of eBay though, because it was much cheaper there.
     
  15. kwong2006 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 16, 2006
    #15
    I scored one! I scored a GS-500! Thanks everyone for your great help on this matter!
     
  16. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #16
    Did you buy from B&H, or did you find it somewhere else cheaper? You have to be careful of any site that wants to call you afterwards "for verification". There are some good ones out there, but be careful of the grey market one. They try to sell you accessories at exorbitant rates, then will cancel your order if you don't buy them. Often canceling your camcorder order anyway, so you just wind up with a bunch of useless, overpriced accessories. Look for some place that's an official reseller. B&H had 2 huge booths at MacWorld for some reason, but all they seemed to have were catalogs.

    You might want to consider a Mack warranty though. They aren't that expensive, and cover the equipment past the manufactures warranty. You can buy them separately within 30 days of buying the camera. Some people think warranties are a suckers bet, but they've saved my butt a couple of times.
     
  17. kwong2006 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 16, 2006
    #17
    I bought the 500 from B&H. I called in advance to make sure everything is A-OK.

    As for warranty, I really haven't made up my mind yet.
     

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