Looking for a nice video camera..

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by coolocity, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. coolocity macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    Central New York
    #1
    I'm in the market for a new video camera. I'm not looking for much, but I need at least the following.

    miniDV format / firewire port / lcd screen

    Yeah, I know that's not much, but it seems that all the new cameras are overpriced because they include all this fancy stuff to edit the footage on-screen. I really just need to be able to dump it to my iMac, and then dump it back onto the camera.

    Right now I'm looking at a Cannon ZR40, is seems pretty alright, and it's about $600. I would like to find a camera in the $400-$500 range, but if you guys can give me some suggestions, I'll be sure to look into them.

    Thanks a lot -

    John
     
  2. Classic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    #2
    2-Pop

    Check out http://www.2-pop.com

    They have discussion forums specifically tailored to various aspects of digital cinema. The people that post are serious filmmakers.

    Specifically, there is a discussion forum dedicated to DV cameras:

    http://discussions.2-pop.com/forums/cameras.cgi

    On a side note, I bought a miniDV camera for a cross country trip, and I am quite pleased with it. I did a ton of research trying to find the best buy for the money, with particular aesthetic needs and wants. For example, I really wanted to have 3CCDs and the ability to control the whole camera manually, including slow shutter speeds. I determined that for me, the Sony TRV900 was the best choice (at the time, the TRV 950 was announced, but not yet shipping).

    However, the TRV900 was out of my budget, minor detail...

    So, I ended buying the Canon Optura PI, refurbished from B&H Photo: http://www01.bhphotovideo.com/defau...30___175230___USE___CatID=0___SID=EED94AAD620

    It originally retailed for around $1400, buut has since been discontinued and is for sale through b&h for $799. that's still high for our budget, but it is an excellent camera for a very good price if you can swing the extra cash.

    More specs are as follows:

    http://www.consumerdvreviews.com/camcorders/canon_opturapi
    http://www.consumerdvreviews.com/camcorders/Canon_OpturaPi/specs.asp

    Of note are the optical image stabilization, progressive scan, RGB Primary Color Filter, Canon 12x optical zoom, and large 3.5" LCD screen.

    Also, watch out when purchasing online. There are a bunch of "too good to be truue" discounts out there. There's a huge Grey Market out there selling non US warranty, products, or not selling all the items that are supposed to be in the box. Better to just buy from a reputable source, out of state that allows you to purchase tax free.
     
  3. iwantanewmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    #3
    hey im looking for a canon cam as well.
    in europe the zr series is the mc series.
    are they any good? any1?
    I want to buy 1 online but all the us shops are selling ntsc version. (wich suck a bit)
    i need a PAL camcorder. any1?
     
  4. coolocity thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    Central New York
    #4
    ZR Series

    I've been looking into this for a while, the best price to function ration I have found is with the ZR series. The 45 doesn't really out perform the 40, so either of those models should be alright.
     
  5. G5orbust macrumors 65816

    G5orbust

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    #5
    try a sony. thats what i got and it rules. mine is the dcr trv 27. its got a 3.5 inch lcd, color viewfinder and 120x zoom (yeah i know, small zoom). also hasd super night shot and manual focus for anyone who wants it in addition to regular focus. its also got built in effects and can take megapixel stills stored on memory stick and it comes with a usb cable and software that works with mac (tho is only on 9.x.x or earlier). when i got mine a circut city, i got a free tripod and bag. its great camera. the price is around $1000.

    also, u could try the dcr-trv 25. its $799 and has a everything the same except the lcd size (2.5 inch) and still quality (half megapixel).

    all sonys have persision carl zeis lenses.

    This is just an option taht is away from the canon u want. Just to tell u tho, in a mag i got, the cannon u want got an all around 6 and the camera taht my camera replaced got a 9.

    Both sonys are very good buys.
     
  6. MacAztec macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #6
    Hehe

    I have a TRV-30 with the night shot, megapixle camera, 3.5in LCD and the works. its a great camera, but may be alittle overpriced for you
     
  7. G5orbust macrumors 65816

    G5orbust

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    #7
    Re: Hehe

    is the tvr 30 an older model cuz it doesnt show up on sony's website. does it have all the features mine does?? What did it cost?
     
  8. iwantanewmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    #8
    Thanks for the tips, but I really started to dislike SONY.
    I bought lots of electronic stuff from SONY like portable cd players, minidiscs, radio's you name it. And they all failed after a while.
    No SONY for me anymore :)
    I'd rather buy a JVC
     
  9. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    secret city
    #9
    hey i have a mini dv camcorder for sale.

    it has an lcd and firewire hook up etc. etc.

    i got it about a year ago. its in real good condition ...havent used it much.

    anyways if your slightly intrested check it out...

    its a jvc 250x ... i think the model number is GR-DVL805.... or something.
    look it up and tell me what the price is on it now.... ill sell you it for a used price of course... i will bargain with you.... see whats up. if you want a jvc that is. im selling it becaue i dont use it anymore. i just dont need it.


    tell me what you think.
     
  10. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    secret city
    #10
    if you need more info on the model or what which jvc mini dv it is... i will be happy to give you more info or whatever. i really want to sell this camcorder. i could use the money for something else i need right now.
     
  11. iwantanewmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    #11
    Im interested, but it has got to be a PAL model.
    That's why it is so hard to find 1 online. :)
     
  12. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

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    secret city
  13. iwantanewmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    #13
    There are a few "image stadards" there is PAL and there is NTSC and SECAM. SEACAM is mostly used in asia and africa.
    NTSC = National Standards Television Committee
    The NTSC standard for television defines a composite video signal with a refresh rate of 60 half-frames (interlaced)per second.
    Each frame contains 525 lines and can contain 16 million different colors.
    PAL stands for Phase Alternating Line.
    PAL gives you 625 lines at 50 half-frames per second.

    The quality from a PAL camcorder is a bit higher than from a ntsc camcorder.
    You wont notice it, (I assume u live in the US)
    because your tv sets are all ntsc as well.
    try playing an ntsc tape on a PAL tv.
    Alot of tv s support both though and Imovie can convert it I believe but I just want to start with the best signal :)
    Sorry for the long post
     
  14. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    secret city
    #14
    oh okay man cool. nice compact lesson there.


    i assume mines not a PAL.


    cant tell for sure though.
     
  15. iwantanewmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    #15
    Well it should be somewhere on the box.
    Some cams have loads of stickers on them....
    maybe 1 of them says pal or ntsc?
     
  16. drastik macrumors 6502a

    drastik

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2002
    Location:
    Nashvegas
    #16
    My Elura says it rght on the camera, on the fold out LCD, and I think most cameras indicate it. A good guess though, if you bought it in the United States and did not specifically ask for a PAl set up, you got NTSC. Otherwise, it wouldn't work with your TV, VCR, or anything. You would also have to go n and physically change the settings in iMove and do even more to Final Cut.

    If you can still find one around, the original Canon Elura is a great model for a couple hundred less than the Optura. I love mine, and in good lighting, you can't tell the difference between it and the Hoss daddy XL1s.

    Stay away from Sony. No offense to those who own them, but like all Sony products, only the top of the line is worth anything, everything else breaks, and Sony is too into proprietary tape (Digi8 and MicroMV) they can drop support for any and all of them at any time. Sony's day in the Sun has passed, and now they are an overpriced brand name.

    Get any Canon with a progressive scan mode and an RGB filter, and your good. The ZRs are consumer level, which is fine if you want consumer stuff. But if there is a chance you want to do more serious stuff, you can get a refurbished "prosummer" camera for the same price these days.:D
     
  17. iwantanewmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    #17
    well.. in fact all tv's and vcr's here (well most of them) are able to play NTSC format.
    It's just not good enough for me :)
    And what I really need a a good consumer mine dv that has decent quality. Preferrably a little better than the ZR series.
    There has to be an online shop in the US that sells PAL versions but I can't find them.
    Only those who have very old models or the GL1 and even bigger cams.
    Im not going to take a cam that size on holiday :)
    any1 saw something out there?
     
  18. coolocity thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    Central New York
    #18
    I'm looking, again. I really REALLY want to get one of the Canon ZR models, but I keep hearing about a 'hum' from the motor that gets picked up by the mic. I don't want to have to buy another mic for the camera.. can anyone confirm this problem, or supply me with a practical solution?

    - John
     
  19. iwantanewmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    #19
    Any small cam will pick up motor hum in low noise environments. they're so small, its impossible to shield the cams motor.
    Some have more some less though.
     
  20. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    secret city
    #20
    ph*kittosh*thellandback....


    no one wants to buy my camcorder for a cheap price.

    maybe i should throw in some naked woman with the product.
     
  21. iwantanewmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
  22. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    secret city
    #22

    post pics!:D
     
  23. Pepzhez macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    #23
    You can buy PAL camcorder models from B & H Photo, located in NYC. They are a long established, extremely reputable and trustworthy dealer. I've been buying from them since the mid-1980's, so rest assured they are no fly-by-night operation (good prices too):

    http://www.bhphoto.com

    (Click on "Professional Video", then "PAL models")

    Their shop is located at 420 Ninth Avenue in NYC.
     
  24. iwantanewmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    #24
    Great! Thanks! for the tip!!!!!! :)
    you're right they are not expensive.
    I'm thinking about buying the canon zr40.
    The wierd thing only is that in the description it doesnt say it's a ZR40E.....
    I'll just send them a mail.
    only that $74 shipping costs....lol. ah well...:)
    btw does any1 have some good or bad experience with that cam?


    THANKS AGAIN!
     
  25. coolocity thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    Central New York
    #25
    I'm set on the ZR45, found it for $505. If you go to http://electronics.cnet.com and click on camcorders, then select canon, theres this link to check prices, one of which is only $505.

    - John
     

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