Help Buying New MiniDV Camera

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by e²Studios, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. e²Studios macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #1
    Ok so i would like to buy the Sony HDV camera, but my wife says "thats too bulky, you have that big Canon camera (referring to my XL1), i want a smaller one", we have a ZR-60 that meets the smaller requirements BUT i hate it, its bad in low light and has far too much video noise in low light/indoors for my taste.

    So i ask you fellow MR members, what camera would be good to buy that is small (fits in the palm of a 5'6" 95lbs japanese woman) 3CCD or at least the quality of a 3CCD camera, decent in low light (i see more picture than grain|video noise)? I am looking to spend between $500 and $850. This camera will mostly be used indoors for filming kids and other family events.

    Thanks!

    Ed
     
  2. virus1 macrumors 65816

    virus1

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  3. e²Studios thread starter macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #3

    I saw the PV-GS150 at the local best buy for 699. - $50 rebate but my concern was how they are in indoors/low light situations. The sales people there are about as knowledgeable as a rock, hell he was trying to tell me that the Sony HDV 1080i camera wouldn't connect to my Mac...

    Ed
     
  4. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #4
    Magazine Video has some video of the PV-GS75 (the lower model) and the PV-GS250 (the model up). Not sure if either of those would make it easier to see the quality.

    The site itself is in French which makes reading their reviews a little harder but their videos speak for themselves.
     
  5. e²Studios thread starter macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #5
    Is the Panasonic the best option? It doesn't have to be 3CCD, i just figured i would get better quality from a 3CCD camera. Has anyone used the Panasonic's in low/ambient/indoor type lighting situation? I wouldn't be adverse to hearing about other cameras that people here have experience with, so long as it stays in that $500 - $850 price range and is decent in low/indoor lighting environments.

    Thanks
    Ed
     
  6. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #6
    I have the Panasonic PV-GS150 3CCD camera, and I'm happy with it, even indoors.

    However it's the first dv camera I've ever owned, and so I can't give a comparison. It is darker, with more noise, when recording indoors, but I can't really tell you that it's adequate for you. I used it quite a lot over the Christmas vacation, four weeks away visiting family, and came back with four hours of tape, most of it indoors.

    The color is great because of the 3 CCDs, much better than I expected, but from reviews I read before buying it, low light recording isn't the best.

    But like I said, it's good enough for me, a beginner and rank amateur who just wanted something semi decent that wasn't too complicated.
     
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    If low light/indoor is one of your top priorities I'd stick w/a single CCD camera. The consumer end 3 CCDs cameras typically use smaller CCDs than the single CCD cameras in the same price range. Smaller CCD's means smaller, less light sensitive pixels so inferior low light performance (all other things being equal of course).


    Lethal
     
  8. e²Studios thread starter macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #8

    Any suggestions on what to look at? I am looking to buy relatively quickly and just needs some suggestions on what to look at when i go out to do my shopping. I dont mind a 1CCD camera, the two big points for me are low/indoor light capable without having a ton of video noise like the ZR-60 has, and that it be in the $500-$850 price range.

    Ed
     
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    Unfortunately it's been a number of years sense I looked at consumer cameras so I can't help out w/specific models.


    Lethal
     
  10. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #10
    I've got a Sony HC90 which is a single CCD in that price range.

    It's not crystal clear in low lighting but it's not too bad - so long as there's not lots and lots of moving around for it to try to autofocus on. It's got a bigger CCD (1/3") than most of the little consumer cams so in theory, there should be more light getting in. It's pretty small, lived inside my handbag while we were on holiday. Like plinden, it's also my first DV camera
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #11
    For low light the most importent spec will be the physical size of the CCD. Big size equals low noise and good low light ability. a 1/3 inch CCD has 4 times the surface area of a 1/6 inch chip. but also that larger chip wil require a lens of twice the focal lenght and diameter so the whole camera is larger.

    THe other thing to look for is optics. Foer indoor use you need a wide angle lens as wide as you can get. Not having to use a screw-on (.6x or .5x) lens makes the camera effectivly smaller.

    If you are going to own two camera they may as well be complementary. Keep the "Big Camera" Maybe even a replace it with a Sony HD and that go for as small as you can for the second one. Maybe one of the Sony PC models..

    One other thing that will eliminate video noise is llights. Cheap 500 watt worklights aimmed at the wall behind you make a lot of bright, soft light (and heat)
     
  12. e²Studios thread starter macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #12

    I love my XL1, its great in most any filming condition. I know i cant expect that from a consumer level camera but maybe i should just stick it out with our ZR-60 until the size on the 1/3 CCD cameras come down. I think the Canon Optura line uses a 1/3 CCD, maybe i should look at those.

    I will be going shopping during this week, 1/3 CCD size will be on my hit list. The panasonic GS150 has 3CCD's but they are only 1/6 CCDs if i remember right (maybe the GS250 has 1/3 CCD's?).

    I was just hoping someone in the forums had good experiences with some DV cameras, i think i have my price range set at a good range.

    I am looking to replace my ZR-60 which has a 1/6 CCD and anamorphic "true" widescreen (reading from the manual), not my XL1 :)

    I love the idea of getting the Sony HDV camera but my wife thinks the camera is too large and wants something portable that can easily fit in her small bag/palm of her hand. Maybe this just isnt possible yet with a 1/3 CCD camera, or maybe the Optura 500 is my nearly only choice.

    Ed

    Edit: link to the Optura Specs http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/te...8827866?_encoding=UTF8&n=507846&s=electronics
     

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