Recommend me a pocket camcorder!

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by 49JC, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2010
    Hi Im looking for a pocket camcorder for my wife and I. We have a little one at home that we'd like to capture moments I guess on the fly and on the go. Wife really likes something that she can just easily put in her purse or for me my back pocket. Been looking at flips, zi8, bloggies, etc. But cant make up my mind. We're leaning more towards a pocket camcorder mainly for the size and convenience but if you know of a more traditional camcorder that packs a punch in a small size, id consider those as well.

    I guess I really want something that can provide the best video and audio for around $200.

    Anybody have any recommendations?
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2005
    Why doesn't the iPhone meet your needs?
  3. macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2007
    Yes, what capabilities are you looking for beyond what the iPhone offers?
  4. xStep, Aug 25, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012

    macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2003
    Less lost in L.A.
    Why are you guys promoting an iPhone. The OP did not mention having one and want's to spend around $200. On contract the iPhone is many many many times more expensive than $200!

    Off contract, the minimum costs for an iPhone are as follows
    3GS is $375 - records 480p
    4 is $549 - records 720p
    4S is $649 - records 1080p

    Another reason to avoid the iPhone is it takes a ridiculous amount of time to get it in up and running as a video camera. And if it is in still mode, than it will take that much longer to switch to video mode. Oh, and no zoom at all.

    The PowerShot ELPH 110 comes in at $200 at the Canon site, can do 1280 x 720 video at 30fps and even 1920 x 1080 at 24fps. This isn't a recommendation. I just wanted to put this conversation back on track.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2005
    We aren't promoting it; we're eliciting more information by just asking why it doesn't meet his needs, since he cited size and convenience for around $200.

    He may already have cost.
    He could get a 4S.....$200 on contract.
    Or an iPod Touch....$200.

    Since iOS 5, it's very quick to open the camera.

    I think it's fair to assume he has a phone of some kind in this day and age, so being able to combine a phone and camcorder in one is certainly convenient, and saves space.

    And since this is Macrumors, I suspect it's a greater than 50% chance he has an iPhone already. Since he didn't mention anything about any phone, it suggests that option may have been overlooked., or rejected for unstated reasons.

  6. macrumors 68020


    Feb 9, 2010
    Stand alone pocket camcorders are a waste of money, IMHO. Buy a compact camera that also records video like a nice waterproof, shock proof one. They're fine for what you need, I think.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    iPhone is the only camera, camcorder, music player, phone, gps and internet browser that you will need. Why buy a separate device for each function?
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    London, England
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    Those are nice, but you definitely pay for what you get.
  10. macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2003
    Less lost in L.A.
    Add up the cost of that contract. It's, oh, a bit more than $200. ;)

    I'll try it in the Apple store. My 3GS and iPod doesn't convince me of that. But then, I've also noticed other stall issues. :(

  11. macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2009
    Cardiff, Wales, UK
    I have a Panasonic HX-DC2 and in the UK it cost me £130, check out and see if you can get it in the US.

    Records 1080 at 30fps and 60 fps (options for lower res) battery is Ok but you can buy spares online for cheap. I think the quality is impressive but havent had the time to test it on final cut since my graphics card died.

    One I had before that was a Pansonsic HM-TA2 and that was a good camera for 1080 except I found the lense too 'zoomed in' if that makes sense (opposite to wide angle)
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2005
    If he's gonna have a phone anyway, the cost of the contract is irrelevant.

    Wait - you're basing your opinion on your experience with the iPhone 3GS, when in the three years since we've had the iPhone 4 (720p video) and 4S (1080p video)? Direct access to the camera without unlocking (iOS 5)?

  13. macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2003
    Less lost in L.A.
    Yes, IF he has an appropriate phone then you are correct about the cost.

    I'm basing my experience on my iPod, which is clearly a version 4, and the 3GS. Both run an iOS 5 variant (can't move to 5.1.1 right now). It takes time to switch between still and video mode. Slow enough that you could miss things that a dedicated camera wouldn't. The iris animation exists to hide that delay. Yes, the quick access to the camera has helped a great deal. I suppose if you set the camera to your preference, that would be fast enough for most interests.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2005
    No, if he doesn't have an appropriate phone, then he can get one for $200, and since he'd have a phone anyway, the service cost is irrelevant.

    The reason why your system is slow is because you're running a recent version of iOS on old hardware.

    All of this back and forth underscores the need for more information from the OP - hence the very first question asking him why an iPhone doesn't work. It's also grown tiresome, so forgive me for moving on.

    M'kay? :)
  15. macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2003
    Less lost in L.A.
    I'll leave it at, we disagree on some things. :)
  16. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2010
    LOL. Wow I totally forgot about this thread I posted. I kind of posted this in a couple forums and forgot to check back here. For everyone offering their advice thank you and I apologize for my being late to my own party.

    Some folks were wondering why I dont just use my iphone (which i do have). Well i do actually. But I feel the iphone just takes way too long to set up. Even though it does shoot in 720p its very clucky. Video is not that great. No zoom. These all in one devices are great, have all features packed into one thing but these features never do as great as the single device. They just do better then other phones.

    Lots of times I find my self looking for the app. Waiting for the app to open. Having to set the app in camcorder mode, then shooting. Then the moment I was trying to capture was gone. This is all for just shooting videos of my daughter who is only a few months old. So those of you with kids know these type of moments you try to capture are very quick and once its gone its gone. So I was looking for a type of solution thats just dedicated to that sole function of what we want out of it.

    I have cameras that I use for photography, a 5diii that I also started using the video feature but this also takes a little bit of planning and time to set up with the right lens. Plus its not very convenient when were out and on the go. Which is why Im looking for a pocket camcorder. Easy to use, quick on the go, just hit the record and your set. :D

    Ive narrowed my options to a few cams - sony bloggie touch, kodak zx3 or zx5. Will be doing some research on what the best bang for buck. Kind of leaning toward the bloggie but we'll see. I definitely look into all the recommendations given here. And again thanks everyone for taking the time to reply.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    I'm also looking for some recommendations for an HD camcorder, for my daughter who is also a few months old. I have an iPhone 4, but much like the OP I have the same complaints about using the iPhone. To the person who said the camera app is quick to open, I must respectfully disagree. The last time I tried to take a video, I lost count in my head after 30 seconds waiting for the app to actually get to a point where I could "do something" (I opened it, for 15 seconds it just sat there on a closed shutter screen, and then sat there with everything greyed out). Then, I had to change it to video mode, which took another 10-20 seconds for it to respond.

    In other words, from the time I opened the app to when I could actually record something, it was more than a minute. Completely unacceptable IMO.

    Plus, I've found the quality to be poor at best unless you're in bright sunlight or studio lighting. Anything less, forget about it.

    Does anyone have a standalone camera recommendation?
  18. macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2008
    I know the feeling, my daughter is just past her first year and is getting really fast.

    You can save a few second by double-tapping on the home button when the phone is locked. Best part is that it can be done without taking the eyes off the little one ;)
  19. daybreak, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    When buying any form of software camcorder or computer people ask for recommendations. I always say thread with caution what you read.
    If you want something and have a price tag. First look on the internet what is available in that price bracket. Secondly go to the shop and test and see what you are holding.
    I'm not saying it is wrong to take the members advice. Lets just say could you recommend me a "CAR"????????????????
  20. macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2009
    Not exactly pocket-able is it?
  21. macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2012
  22. macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2009
    I can get my locked iPhone5 from off/locked to functioning video in 5 seconds. Home button> flick bottom right camera icon> switch from still to video mode. No camcorder or still/video point-n-shoot camera will be faster.

    I agree there are issues with clunkyness and lack of zoom on the iPhone5. For a giant step up in quality while retaining compact size I suspect you will need to move to something like the Sony RX-100. It's tiny but has zoom and a 1 inch sensor. It's great for low-light. Downside is that it's $650.
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    I don't know if it's related to how many pictures I have stored on my iPhone or what, but it seems to take longer and longer to engage the camera. When I first got my 5, it was virtually instantaneous to do the above steps. Now, with 100+ pictures on it 3 months later, it takes 4-5 seconds to get the camera to actually get to a point where it is ready to take a picture. Even longer if I want to switch to video.

    On my 4, I once timed it at nearly 30 seconds from the time I'd hit the camera button to when I could actually make a recording. It would sit on the initial "shutter closed" screen for 10-15 seconds before it would actually be ready to do something. Then, changing to video made it unresponsive for another 10-15 seconds. That's too long.

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