Looking for good video camera for around $400... too many options!

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Chrispy, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. Chrispy macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #1
    EDIT: I purchased an Elura 100 but am looking for new information as seen below in post #10. I will post it here as well...

    I got my camera and tapes and boy is the quality a lot better now than it was years ago on my parents old VHS camcorder! I am looking to possibly get an external mic for the camera but I noticed there is no shoe to hold the mic on top of the camera. The Elura 100 does support external mics so I would like to use one when I am doing higher quality recordings. What would be a good solution to this problem. Does anyone have any recommendations for good mics for under $100? Thanks all!
     
  2. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #2
    My mom just got a ZR500 and I've been playing with it. It's pretty nice for the price range. :)
     
  3. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Canada's South Coast
    #3
    You will be very happy with anything made by the "major brands" you mentioned. Three pointers though...

    1) Get the best model with the fewest special effects. I assume you'll be editing on your Mac -- don't waste your $$$ on camera-based effects you'll never use.

    2) If you don't already have a tripod -- GET ONE! A steady camera is the one thing that separates a watchable video from junk. A bargain-basement camera mounted on a tripod will ALWAYS produce better-looking video than the most expensive camera, hand-held. ALWAYS.

    3) Make sure the camera you choose has a built-in Analog --> Digital convertor (most do). Also make sure it has a jack for an external microphone (many don't). You'll wish you had both eventually.

    I have a 3-year-old Canon Optura-20 which I just love. Works flawlessly for me.
     
  4. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #4
    Thanks for the advice eRondeau! I have been reading a lot of good things about the Canon Elura 80. Any thoughts on this model?
     
  5. Rasheem macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    #5
    I enjoy sony. Sony pretty much makes anything good except car stereos.
     
  6. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    Canada's South Coast
    #6
    Unfortunately I'm not really up to speed on the current camcorder models. I did a great deal of research before I bought my Optura-20, but that was three years ago. Having said that -- I'm very happy with my Canon, it is very reliable, makes great video (given adequate lighting, the night vision is nothing to scream about...) plus good battery life, and the autofocus and white balance are always bang-on. Personally I like the mini-DV tape format; I'd stay away from the mini-DVD disc format recorders. But I am curious about the newer models that record on a hard drive instead of a tape. That sounds like a logical step forward with the technology.

    I was going to recommend you check http://www.dvspot.com but I see they've been "on hiatus" most of the year.
     
  7. icrude macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #7
    ya from what I heard, you want to stay away from the hard drive camcorders. the mini dv format is amazing, and the most editing friendly. in my opinion, I think the camcorder companies who are producing these hard drive camcorders are trying to take advantage of the idea of the new design....have the format be in MPEG-2 which makes computers work 3-4 times harder....and in turn make us all buy faster computers in the future. I could be wrong, but that is sure what it seems like......stick with Mini DV. I have an FX1 (hdv camera) and I still only shoot SD (standard def). ZR500 is great cam I heard.
     
  8. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #8
    Thanks for the advice everyone! After hearing so many good things about Canon, I decided to go with the Canon Elura 100 :) My very first video camera... I can't believe I held out this long!
     
  9. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #9
    Yup, Canon builds good cameras, right on par with the Sony's... only thing is they have pretty much the crappiest nightmode, my ZR85 has a minimum Lux of 100, and it is horrible even at that level, probbably because of its small 1/6th inch ccd, Sony has the cool infra-red night vision while canon slows down the shutter speed producing extremely choppy video.


    You picked a pretty good camera though...

    Read this--- All about your elura100
     
  10. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #10
    I got my camera and tapes and boy is the quality a lot better now than it was years ago on my parents old VHS camcorder! I am looking to possibly get an external mic for the camera but I noticed there is no shoe to hold the mic on top of the camera. The Elura 100 does support external mics so I would like to use one when I am doing higher quality recordings. What would be a good solution to this problem. Does anyone have any recommendations for good mics for under $100? Thanks all!
     
  11. justbeamensch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Detroit
    #11
    Zr 500

    I sell digital video cameras at a retail shop and the Canon ZR500 will do a good job for you. I agree with Katie.
     
  12. ShermDog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #12
    You can try contacting Canon's customer support: 1-800-828-4040. They might have a solution specifically made for your camcorder. Alternatively, you can try one of the online review sites (e.g., camcorderinfo.com).
     
  13. hogmog macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Thames Valley, UK
    #13
    I think you will need to decide what high-quality recordings you are going to take. For example if you were videoing someone doing a presentation you might want to look into a wireless lapel mic. If you wanted to record a group session or gathering of people you might want to use a mic which can be placed centrally to the group. Can't recommend any suitable models as they will probably be different to those available here in the UK.

    As an aside, noticed that you have purchased a Canon Elura 100. I bought an MVX 460 which is the European equivalent and have an ongoing battle with Canon over the unacceptable level of external noise produced by the machine which is then picked up during recording. Using an external mic is a way of avoiding the issue but is not an option in many circumstances. I also use Sony and Panasonic machines, neither of which make any external noise. Canon reckon that all their machines make this noise and it is acceptable. If I had known about the problem before hand would not have touched this make/model with a barge pole. Does yours make any external noise and if so to what degree?
     
  14. Chrispy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #14
    Mine, too, has a very high amount of motor noise from the tape drive. It is picked up heavily on the recordings using the onboard mic. Canon is telling people in the US the same story - the amount of noise is acceptable. It looks like I'm stuck and will have to use an external mic.
     

Share This Page