Camcorder Recommendations

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by emutree, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. emutree macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
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    Canada
    #1
    The Firewire (or as Sony refers to it, the "iLink") port on our family's trusted Sony camcorder, the DCR-TRV17, recently broke and we recieved the unfortunate (and almost unbelievable) news that it'd be $300 just to fix it. Rather than outright paying it I wanted to look into seeing how much it would cost just for a new camcorder, and since I used my old one with Final Cut Express almost every week I wanted to ask some iMovie or FCE users for their reccommendations? Something under $600 Cdn with comparable or superior features to my old model (and maybe a little smaller). I'd like to stick to MiniDV, as tempting as HD is that's a whole other price range. I saw the cool Sanyo C5 one that records to memory cards but I'm not sure how the quality of that video would hold up, and how well it gets along with FCE. Can anyone vouch for it? Thanks for your upcoming suggestions!
     
  2. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    NY
    #2
    i like canon's. I still use my ZR 40 and its still kicking...
     
  3. Gokhan macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    k

    stay away from SONY they suck nearly all thier camcorders suffer from build faults which they wont admit canon are ur best bet :)
     
  4. ksz macrumors 68000

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    Oct 28, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #5
    And this is based on??? :rolleyes:

    We just purchased a Sony HDR-HC1 hi-def camcorder. It simply exudes quality.
     
  5. emutree thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    Yeah I've been a big fan of our past two Sony cams (apart from the fact that ultimately, I guess they have both broken after 5 years of constant use), and was leaning towards another one in my investigations (unfortunately, as damn nice as I know that hi-def one would look on the TV, like I said it's just not budget friendly). Currently I'm leaning towards the Sony DCR-HC32, so long as the noise isn't as bad as CNet's review said it was (I didn't see similar comments in other reviews, but naturally I'm going to hit up Future Shop or the Sony Store this week to investigate). Plus I'm a fan of the shape and size. Any comments to back me up or change my mind?
     
  6. h0e0h macrumors 6502a

    h0e0h

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    Location:
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    #7
    aside from their HD cam, sony doesn't make a very reliable camera product in my opinion. I would go with a canon zr400. It has an SD slot for still images and uses miniDV. think about it like this, if you were building a house and it was time to have your cabinets made, would you want a cabinet maker to make them for you or a cabinet maker/plumber/electrician/roofer? I would want a canon, a company that specializes in photo products, rather than sony, who makes TVs and surround sound and cameras and dvd players and walkmans and everything else electronic. just my opinion though, not like i sell them for a living or anything...
     
  7. -Escher- macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2005
    #8
    I would not think twice: I'd go with a 3 ccd!!
    Panasonic has released 3 different models all under 1000 bucks...I got the intermediate one for around 600 and no regrets! It's awesome!!
     
  8. h0e0h macrumors 6502a

    h0e0h

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    #9
    I have heard good things about 3 ccd cams...
     
  9. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #10
    Sony makes electronics, very well. When is that last time you heard someone complaining about their Sony TV, or their Sony DVD player? ...Never. A camcorder is more of an electronic than a simple "photo product."
    I have had 3 digital cameras, a vivtar, olympus, and Sony (in that order). I got the first two because they "specialized in photo products" - never before have I been so disappointed. The vivitar's screen broke, the olympus fried my memory cards (also made by olympus). My Sony works perfectly.
    You NEED an ELECTRONICS brand for Digital Cameras and Camcorders, they are much more complicated than just "photo products."
     
  10. h0e0h macrumors 6502a

    h0e0h

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    #11
    difference of opinion... i can respect that...

    and yes, believe it or not, in my business (sales and service of both sony and canon products) i have heard complaints from both brands (DVD players and TVs alike)... in my opinion canon users tend to be happier with their products than sony users in the camcorder/digital camera area.
     
  11. trudd macrumors regular

    trudd

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #12
    Canon makes DVD players and TVs?

    Honestly, look at each camcorder. For photography, I'm a gung-ho canon fan. In my personal collection, I've been happy with my 20D SLR, A520 point and shoot and old SLR film body. In my office, I've had wonderful results with the 1D, 1D MkIIN, 5D, 20D EF 400mm f/2.8, 300mm f/4, 200mm f/2.8, 17-35mm f/2.8, etc. Both the bodies and the optics work wonders for sports, theatre, portrait, etc.

    For my video camera, I chose Sony. Neither the Canon ZR100-300 offered a microphone port (to my recollection), and the Sony had a hot shoe (though it was of Sony's proprietary Active Interface persuasion.). I eventually chose the Sony DCR-HC32. If I could, I would have purchased the older HC31, simply because it has a 1/8" microphone jack, something missing from Sony's new consumer line.

    I've been happy thus far. There is a bit of microphone buzz, but I'm going to buy the proprietary boom mic to fix that. The only other downside would be the need for a docking station. You can no longer plug firewire straight into the camcorder - you need to dock it first. I found this to be a much smaller problem than I imagined, simply because I don't do much mobile editing.

    Like I said, go play with the camcorders. I probably would have gone with a Canon GL2 if I'd had an extra $2,000, but within my price range I've found the Sony to be sufficient.
     
  12. Jsmit macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    I own a Cannon Elura 65 (last years model got it for the price of a ZR 400), the cheapest cannon with a hot shoe and mic in port. I have been very happy with it. I think the current equivalent of it is the Elura 85.

    I have also used a 1CCD Panasonic (I can't recall its model) at the local access studio, and I have to say that we are all disappointed in the color accuracy of it. I would assume that the 3CCD camcorders are nice though. They have a Sony DCR-VX2100, that is very nice but probably above your price range. It is in the same league as Cannon GL-2.

    I assume that the tape deck of your current camcorder still works. This means that you can still tape with it... and import using your new camera. I don't know why you would want to do this, it is just a thought.
     
  13. iQuit macrumors 6502a

    iQuit

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  14. h0e0h macrumors 6502a

    h0e0h

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    Location:
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    #15
    no, just replying to the fact mentioned above that not everyone is happy with a Sony TV or a Sony DVD player. Maybe it came out wrong... what i meant was i've heard people complain/praise both brands in all the products they make, not just camcorders.
     
  15. freeny macrumors 68020

    freeny

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    #17
    I would agree! 3CCD is the way to go! I wouldnt say that Sony sucks, its that you will get much better quality and bang for your buck going with the Panasonic. We got one for x-mas and love it over our old Sony.

    Here are a few more threads on the subject;
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=168320&highlight=camcorder
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=167788&highlight=camcorder
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=27822&highlight=camcorder
     
  16. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #18
    Go Sony, but try before you buy

    I bought a Sony DCR-HC31 last January (2005) as a last minute replacement to my old trusty Digital 8 (TRV-103. Finally gave up the ghost after 5 years of heavy use.)

    I bought the DCR-HC31 because it DID have a mic jack. Unfortunately I didn't find out until I got home (30 miles from the store after 9:00pm with a 10:00am wedding to shoot the next day) that it didn't have a headphone jack. I figured out a work around and all went well.

    Another problem I had with this model was the small size and placement of the zoom control. I was getting hand cramps after 10 minutes of filming.

    I ended up taking it back and getting an older model TVR-22 that fits my uses fine. That model has been discontinued though.

    Another thing to consider is the camcorders mentioned by Sony all have bottom loading tapes. That's a problem in the middle of a music recital on a tripod...ask me how I know.
     
  17. Gokhan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #19
    k

    i base my sony jugment on owning 3 damn **** sony's (new dv models) they are building these new models with faults where the power circuits corrode over time 2 years if u are lucky there is a recall so computer active said but sony wont admit jack cost me £80 a time even when replaced the part is vunerable :mad:
     

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