Sony Digital8 Camcorder: Yay or Nay?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by intrepkid21, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. intrepkid21 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    #1
    I want to start getting into digital video editing..these cameras are cheap and packed with features for 400 bucks (TRV460)...how are they? The reviews I have seen seem to be positive but I was wondering if anyone on macrumors have one of these.

    Yeah, I know MiniDV is the standard and who knows how much longer 8mm and High8 tapes will be around..but for the money and features..it's hard not to look at it for a beginner like me..

    What do you think?
     
  2. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    For a beginner and for compatibility with the apps you'll be using to edit, definitely buy a mini DV camera.
     
  3. intrepkid21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
  4. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    South Jersey
    #4
    I'm of the opinion that most of the features in the cameras are pretty much useless... Things like mosaaic flip & sepia tones built in are usually never used because if you want them you can get much better results from your video editing software of choice...

    Digital zoom is another bogus feature , imho...

    You can find a mini-dv in that price range... It's definitely the way to go...

    I'd suggest getting as big of a fold-out LCD screen as you can find... Most of them are pretty small, these days— One example , imho, of how smaller isn't always better...

    You can pick up a Sony DCR-HC20 for around $450.00 brand new...
     
  5. intrepkid21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 6, 2004
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    Long Island, New York
    #5
    Do you think the Sony MiniDV's are of better quality than the Panasonic's?
     
  6. realityisterror macrumors 65816

    realityisterror

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Location:
    Snellville, GA
    #6
    i have a digital8 that i bought several years ago... at the time it was significantly cheaper than a miniDV, but in today's marketplace, the miniDV is definitely worth the bit of extra money... my digital8 camera is loud (motor noise) and the picture is pretty grainy if you ask me... go for the miniDV, and buy tapes at a wholesale store (like sam's or costco if you have those)
    besides, i'm pretty sure sony is slowly phasing out the digital8 camcorders...

    btw, canon ZR series are pretty good as far as size, price, and quality, but sony is also good (but more expensive)

    reality
     
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #7
    Small suggestion:

    Make sure that the camera you buy can do analog->DV conversion (i.e., plug in a VCR to the analog ports, plug the DV (Firewire) plug from the camcorder to your Mac, and record old tapes, TV shows, etc.

    Most will do this, and it saves the cost of a $200-$300 Analog<->DV converter, should you ever need one.
     
  8. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey USA
    #8
    I have a Digital8. I love it. However, if you do not have a regular 8 collection you need to convert, the MiniDV formt is a better choice.More comoanies produce tapes and the fideliy of the tapes allows for SLIGHTLYmore info - thus a better picture.
     
  9. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    South Jersey
    #9
    I do... I have 2 different Sony's that have been flawlessly compatible w/ 3 different macs... I don't have much experience with Panasonic, but I definitely go Sony or Canon when it comes to cameras & my mac...
     
  10. mojohanna macrumors 6502a

    mojohanna

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Cleveland
    #10
    I just recently picked up a Canon ZR80 from Dell. It was a great price. Including tax I paid under $350. Cheapest I have seen these before was $379 before tax and shipping.
    I work with someone who's husband does free lance video stuff for ESPN. Obivoisly they use high end stuff, but she did tell me that for the money, both Canon and Sony make the best cam corders going. This was based on value for the money and most importantly the quality of the lenses.

    I have been completely happy with my canon. More features than I know what to do with. Amazingly simple and quick integration into iMovie etc.

    I think canon is discontinuing these in favor of the optura and elura lines. You may be able to find one on close out somewhere. Check Dell and check Cambridge Sound works. They were who I was going to go with had I not caught the price on dell. I think they were gving away a free case along w/ purchase.

    Good luck!!
     
  11. intrepkid21 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    #11
    I've heard bad things about the ZR series and horrible low light performance...this is something that I can't live with..

    On my friends old digital camera, there is a quick low light button that makes everything look green (granted, it looks ugly, but you can see what is going on and the exposure doesn't slow down unbelievably).

    What is the deal for the low light solutions on the new miniDV cameras? I'd be perfectly happy with the green video that doesn't slow down..do they still build that into new cameras?
     
  12. mojohanna macrumors 6502a

    mojohanna

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Cleveland
    #12
    Sorry, low light hasn't been an issue for me. That's to say I haven't tried (haven't needed to) it no do I have anything to compare it to.
     
  13. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #13
    I don't work for these guys or endorsing them but I recently had a good expirience with

    http://sasydeals.zoovy.com/category/tapes.dv60/

    they are small but $2.70 per tape is awesome
     
  14. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #14
    Let me answer that question with a very small rant: ALL CAMERAS NEED LIGHT TO WORK AND THERE IS NO WAY AROUND THAT. Cameras that take moving pictures need more light than cameras that take still pictures.

    I suggest reading any book on photography or vidiography. There will be a chapter on lighting that you'll find invaluable.

    Basically, the answer to bad low light performance is to bring your own light.
     
  15. panamavet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    #15
    LCD Screen Size

    A previous poster suggested that you should always purchase the largest LCD screen possible as if there were no down side to consider.

    Although I like the larger screens I would point out that they draw more power. If you ever get in a bind you can close the screen and use the viewfinder to extend battery life.
     
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #16
    Overall I would say that quality and feature wise you are better off with Canon miniDV's than many others....
     

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