Camcorder Help...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by djtet, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. djtet macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #1
    I need recomendations for a camcorder.
    It is intended for "normal" use...what I mean is that this camcorder will be used to capture home movies/fun projects to import into imovie and idvd then burn to dvds. I'm looking for something stable, decent quality, and easy to use. However, I don't this camera to be a cheap entry level model. Money is also an issue...would love to get something off of ebay or an overstock type store. Any suggestions...?
    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. abhishekit macrumors 65816

    abhishekit

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Location:
    akron , ohio
    #2
    I have a sony trv250.. Its a descent one, except that its not mini dv. But then, it has a firewire port.
    I wanted a camcorder with good zoom. It has 20x optical. The mini dv ones, I looked, had less zoom, typically 10x. And i like the quality as well. So thats my 2 cents.
    cheers
     
  3. engelb15 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    #3
    I bought a TRV33 Sony camcorder about 3-4 months ago and really love it, I'm not sure about your price range, but I bought mine from the site below for about $650, It's now about $550 and worth every penny.

    http://www.ibuydigital.com/main.cfm...product_id=1764&CFID=1351391&CFTOKEN=42656797

    Alot of these camera stores like this are scams, but I bought mine from here and had no problems, I would buy from them again.

    Call in and place the order or they will call you and try to sell you accessories. Just tell them you have a digital camera that uses the same memory sticks and batteries and they should leave you alone about the accessories.
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    c|net is a good place to start looking for cameras, IMO. My only advice is to get a camera that uses MiniDV and stay way from MicroMV and DVD/Mini-DVD based cameras.


    Lethal
     
  5. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #5
    Canon makes a really strong lineup of MiniDV's. If you are bargain hunting I would say try to find a ZR60, ZR85, or ZR70. These have just been replaced by the ZR80 series.

    You should be able to find these at dealers that will be able to support you locally.
     
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #6
    I shopped extensively for a camera last year, and I came to a few conclusions:

    Sony or Canon's seem to be the way to go; Canon's are smaller, Sony's have more features. I chose Sony (a TRV27, now discontinued, I believe).

    MiniDV is the way to go. DVD is a hassle and will cut your quality, MicroMV seems even worse, and you get no tangible benefit from either--does the slightly smaller size of MicroMV really help that much (I actually prefer slightly larger cameras, since they're more comfortable to hold and easier to keep steady), and what's the point of recording a DVD if you're just putting it on your Mac to edit anyway? Besides, you can buy MiniDV tapes absolutely anywhere.

    Digital image stabilization will cut your color quality in low light conditions; if you can afford it, go with an optical stabilizer, which is becoming more common and is availabe on some midrange cameras.

    Sony's nightshot modes are cool and highly useful, although their regular low-light quality isn't impressive.

    Be extremely wary of no-name stores; a LOT of them sell you import products with no US warranty, others are incessant about trying to get you to buy accessories.

    Even the one I bought from, which seemed legit and had good deals on camera+accessory deals, ended up shipping me the wrong accessories and removing things from the package at the last minute. A whole lot of e-mail and phone contact, and I eventually got it worked out, but it wasn't worth the hassle. Next time, I go with established retailers ONLY.
     
  7. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    I got the Sony TRV22E for christmas and it is so much better than any other DV camera my friends have. Anything by Sony should be fine. They seem to be the best for low light situations. I can also use the camera as a video recorder since it has analogue in. This means I can record stuff off the TV and watch it on my powerbook. :)
     
  8. djtet thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #8
    While Sony's seem to be recommended...they also seem to be the most expensive. And I'm not sure if it's because of the name...? Has anyone had any experience or know anything about JVC camcorders? Thanks for the feedback...keep it coming!
    Thank,s
    Dan
     
  9. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #9
    As one wise sage said, "there ain't no free lunch"!! You get what you pay for. Excellent camcorder, outstanding video quality and good reliablity and longevity to boot too.

    Here are a few sites to check out features of the different cams. The first site has really excellent in-depth reviews, as does Steves-digicams.

    http://www.dvspot.com

    http://www.dpreview.com

    http://www.steves-digicams.com

    http://www.dcresource.com

    Use Price Grabber to find the lowest prices.

    http://www.pricegrabber.com

    For my money, I'd get the Sony TRV 38. You'd have to spend a lot more money than $610 to get something better than it.

    Good luck.
     
  10. abhishekit macrumors 65816

    abhishekit

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Location:
    akron , ohio
    #10
    rules of thumb...(mine ;))
    for a camera.. go for olympus or canon.
    for a camcorder.. go for sony or canon.
     
  11. hsilver macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #11
    DV camera of choice

    I recommend one of the small pocket size Sonys: PC100, PC105 or the latest one which has a 3.1 megapixel chip for digital stills. If you can put it in a jacket pocket it will be there more when you want it and the image is really good for a one-chip DV camera -plus the still photography capability. I've even used my PC100 for material broadcast on TV.

    Recently a friend shot 2nd camera with his Canon ZR -something mini-camera and it looked terrible compared to the Sony image - relatively little chroma.
     
  12. engelb15 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    #12
    My Father-In-Law has a JVC camcorder and while I have no experience with it, he constantly calls it a piece-o-crap. I don't know the model or any of the details, but I know he hates it.
     
  13. dschwab macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #13
    I recommend the Panasonic PV-DV852. It's a year-old "prosumer" miniDV that was replaced by the popular PV-DV952 this year. MSRP on it is $1400, but can be purchased for $569 here, which is a reputable company. This came highly recommended by forum members at DVinfo.net.

    I had a Canon ZR45 for a year and was really frustrated by its indoor performance, particulary under normal room lighting that wouldn't be considered to be "low light" to the normal person. The video was grainy and just terrible looking. I set out in search of a new model. As many "experts" will tell you, video needs light. However, some cameras do much better under lower lighting conditions, and the DV852 is one of those. There are only a handful of prosumer miniDV that would rank ahead of the DV852, and all of those will cost you over $1000. And be sure to check out the forums at DVinfo.net if you're semi-serious about video, tons of tips and useful info there.

    EDIT: should also mention that this camera will support most professional add-on lenses, so it's definitely a camera that you can grow into.
     
  14. Downdivx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Location:
    Fayetteville, NC
    #14
    Canon or Sony

    I'm getting into professional video, but even on cheaper cameras I would suggest canon or sony. The technology from their higher end cameras tend to migrate down to the lower end cameras pretty fast. Make sure you buy from an authorized seller if you get it new. Most internet sights aren't authorized sellers and that sometimes voids your manufacturer's warrenty.
    Personally I would go with:
    www.bhphotovideo.com
    or
    www.onecall.com
    B&H is more of a professional house that has started offering consumer goods and Onecall offers low end to prosumer electronics. I know both are authorized Canon resellers. Shop around for a few weeks and you'll find a good deal. I got my camera at over 40 percent off retail and 200 dollars cheaper than any listed price from an authorized reseller because I looked around long enough.

    W
     
  15. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #15
    Wow... those are exactly my standard "go to" brands as well. We may not be right, but it's good to have company in your opinion. (And I don't just pick brands randomly--I always check thoroughly before buying.)

    Even with a good brand, you always have to be careful, though, and do your research. For example, Sony makes very good video cameras (I didn't like any of the JVC ones I've tried), but the TRV-18 (I think) was apparently a really bad camera, where the previous year's TRV-17 (which was actually higher end; really replaced by the TRV-27 I bought) was extremely good.
     
  16. Downdivx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Location:
    Fayetteville, NC
    #16
    I would recommend Sony for video cameras, but I've had bad experience with their digital still cameras. I have a Sony DSC-P7 and I'm not completely happy with it. The lag time between pictures is too long and the exposure time is too long also so too many pictures come out blury.

    W
     
  17. FriarTuck macrumors 6502

    FriarTuck

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago area
    #17
    Another strong endorsement for the Sony TRV-22. I tested the Sony mainstream line against the Canon line and, IMHO, Sony won on both picture and sound. Canon wins on $$, of course.
     

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