another new dad question

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by HercGuy, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. HercGuy macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2007
    Like one of the other threads I was perusing, I'm going to be a new dad and I'm in search of a video camera. I'm still unsure of which format I'm going for either Hard drive or dv.

    How much memory does a clip eat up?

    The models I'm considering are all Sony--for no other reason than they seem to have the best to offer for all around videoing and better resolution on still picture taking capability. I'm looking at the SR1, the HC7, or the non-HD

    Also, how long is the transfer/record time?

    Right now I'm have a MacMini Intel Core Duo w/1G memory. More than likely, depending on if I can save up enough money, I'll be getting either the best MacBook I can put together or a 15" MacBook Pro.


  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    It's still too early to buy non-tape cameras, IMO. Stick w/DV or HDV cameras. Cameras that shoot to HDDs, mini-DVDs, or flash media are typically lower quality (in terms of video) than they their tape based cousins, do not play friendly w/Macs, and require more time/effort/money to make copies of your footage for long term storage.

    What is your budget for a camera? Since you are looking at HDV cameras, I'd look at the Canon HV20. It's gotten good reviews and is cheaper than the HC7.

    Transfer time is realtime for tape based cameras.

  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Just my opinion, but I wouldn't worry about still capture. Any $100 digital camera still will be far better.

    I have a Canon Elura 100. I got it because the reviews seemed to say that it was the highest picture quality you're going to get for about $300. It's seemed good so far, but I haven't actually used it much. (Baby won't be born until May. When are you expecting? :) )
  4. HercGuy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2007
    The baby is due in Sept.

    My budget is fairly liberal. My parents are going to chip in some money towards the camera as a birthday present for me. And I have been saving money for a new camera for a month or two even before they told me about their offer.

  5. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I just bought an Canon Elura 100. It is arriving on Thursday, so as of yet I have not played around with it. It has great picture quality and is true widescreen. It uses miniDV. which can give you between 30min and 120 min depending on the video settings. You can get more on a HD camera, but then you will have to ease the drive and lose any hard copy data you may have wanted to keep. I went with miniDV because if I had some really good video I would have the thrid back up be the tape itself. The plus side to HD is longer recording runs, bad thing is price and the lack of removable media.
  6. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I found this website helpful in making a decision:

    Of course this is one website and one set of reviews, but it seemed to me that the Elura 100 rated very highly for its price and that to get something significantly better, you had to spend a lot more money. I wanted to get something that will continue to look OK well into the future as TVs get bigger and picture quality improves. But realistically, are you planning on putting a lot of effort into making movies, or are you basically planning on taping your kid being cute? I think this camera will suffice for that.

    I was more interested in a still camera, so I spent a lot more there (about $1300 so far including tripod, bag, two lenses, memory cards...). There's also no end in sight for how expensive the babies themselves will be.
  7. HercGuy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2007
    No real movie making, just the basics. Honestly, my wife will probably be doing most of it. I'm in the Air Force, so I'll be seing (and have seen) a lot sand for the next few years.

    Any idea of how much memory a clip takes up? Say 10 minutes or so?

  8. Noonster22 macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2005
    Cupertino, CA
    I posted this on in response to a similar question to yours. This response is about a year old, so the information may no longer be valid. The model references to Panasonic GS-150, Panasonic GS-250 may not longer be in commission. These models have been replaced by newer and perhaps cheaper models, but despite all, still remain their superior quaility.


    Read my review here:

    I would highly recommend one to visit these threads to see an alternative perspective, oppose to reading the following advice exclusively.

    Posted for your convenience:

    The Canon Optura is great, but not that great.

    Panasonic has dominated the consumer camcorder industry for some time. They know what they are doing. When it comes to optics -- Leica Diomar. Leica Dicomar is a renowned photograph company, as is Kodak, and Fuji.

    Panasonic has partnered up with Leica Dicomar to provide us a whole new level in videography. With the lense superiority of Leica Dicomar, and the engineering superierty of Panasonic, brings us something superior.

    It brings us the 3CCD consumer camcorders. This is the first time ever -- ever -- that a 3CCD camcorder has been aimed at consumers, let alone, affordable. Panasonic has been able to do this.

    I have tried many camcorders. I have tried a Canon Optura, I have tried a Panasonic 3CCD, I have tried a JVC MiniDV.

    Panasonic byfar topples the opponent.

    On the Canon, the photos were not as vivid as the Panasonic. The Panasonic uses 3 CCD. Each CCD is dedicated to a color -- be it yellow, red, or blue.

    Canon only uses 1 CCD. One CCD has to capture everything -- yellow, red and blue. When you try to do everything, nothing is as good as if you try to do one thing.

    CCD works in the same fashion.

    The JVC was horrible. Their old line up was simply horrible. The color was distorted, unrealistic. The video seems like it was shot in the seventies.

    Although JVC has released many camcorders within the past year -- their quality is yet to be competitive.

    Sony is an excellent brand when it comes to camcorders. They provide superb HD camcorders -- some of the best on the market.

    If you are not looking at HD camcorders, do not look at sony. They use proprietary tapes, proprietary batteries, proprietary everything! It is nuts.

    Sony believes in a thing called brand loyalty. They want you to come back. They also know this always isn't the case. Most people go for whatever is cheapest, yet durable.

    Knowing this, Sony "invents" a way to create loyal customers. For example, in their camcorders. It is a rule of thumb: If you use one brand of tape, stick with that brand of tape. If you mix and match brands, your tape heads will be clogged.

    This is due to the different lubricate on the tape. Each tape has lubricant on the tape. It is there to "grease up" the playheads, so it will never be dry, squeaky, and just like the rusted up Iron Man in the wizard of Oz.

    The lubricant is there to make sure your camcorder keeps working.

    However, when so many different brands of lubricant is used, it layers on top of each other, providing a clumps, and ultimately clusters. This clusters prevents the camcorder to record right, instantly, and on time. Other times it will make play back impossible.

    Sony uses their own brand of tapes, manufacture their own kind of tapes. They use a different lubcricant than the rest of the industry* -- Canon, JVC, Panasonic.

    The rest of the industry* is using the same kind of lubricant. Canon is a rebranded tape of JVC, and JVC is a rebranded tape of Panasonic. Panasonic uses the industry standard amount of lubricant.

    Sony uses their own ammount. So in short, if you use Sony's provided tape, and then switch over to JVC's cheap bundles, then you will have problems.

    If you buy a Pansonic Camcorder, it is guarenteed to work with Panasonic tapes -- as well as JVC, Canon.

    With Sony you are so limited, so confined, that it makes the best of all worlds, the worst of all worlds. Sony makes great camcorders -- no doubt, but their propietary formats, combined with Panasonic's partnership with Leica Dicomar, there is little competition left.

    The Panasonic gs-250 is a great choice. I bought a Panasonic Gs-150 myself.

    The image stablization on the GS-250 is far more superior than the GS-150. THe GS-250 employs an optical image stabilization, meaning the "shake-demagnifier" is built into the lense itself. If it is detecting shaky movements, or rapid jerks, the lense adjusts, and provides reduce shaked videos.

    The GS-150 employs an electronic image stabilzation. It is not as sensitive, nor superior to the optical image stabilzation. The response time is less rapid, resulting in more shakey videos compared to the GS-250. Optical Image Stabilization is better.

    The LCD on the Panasonic GS-series is gorgeous. It is exactly what you would expect. It is brightly lit, beautifully clean.

    The buttons are very well placed. The record button by the thumb, zoom by the index finger, and the joystick at the thumb.

    The joystick provides rapid changes in preferences over the traditional menu. It is a great touch.

    Other than that, it is mighty small, very sleek, metal casing, etc.

    The camcorder is very simplistic. It is very easy to learn -- no manual needed- and there are great panasonic communities out there. One example would be This is a great forum for all Panasonic 3CCD users gather and ask questions about their camcorder.

    The design is very industrial. It looks like a tube -- or as some put it -- an oversized iSight Camera, with guts and buttons.

    Regardless, camcorders are camcorders. Any brand is a great buy, but for the best bang, and for the best value, the Panasonic is the clear winner.

    There was a good quote that once said, "When you stop worrying about what camcorder you are going to get, and actually get it -- that is when you realise that you have spent so much time comparing, and not enough time capturing memorable footage."

    Stop wasting, stop thinking, and get yourself a camcorder. The things around you only happen once, and capture it now before it is gone.

    Get a camcorder now, and capture it before it is gone.
  9. zero2dash macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2006
    Fenton, MO
    We got a MiniDV Handycam around the time our daughter was born in 2004...hasn't failed us yet. Thought about getting a DVD cam...word of warning on those...(unless things have changed) the discs record 21 minutes and that's it. MiniDV can go 30min on SP and 60min EP, and with MiniDV being digital casette, you can always transfer MiniDV to your computer (Mac or PC) through Firewire and then burn to regular DVDs.

    The new hard drive cameras appear interesting but as LethalWolfe said, with something new like that - I wouldn't trust it with those sorts of moments. MiniDV has been around for awhile now, you can rest assured that under most circumstances, you'll be ready to record when you need to and it'll work, and you'll never lose those precious moments. ;)
  10. bonafide macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2007
    Congratulations on the incoming baby. I'm also expecting a child (my first) in September as well, so I share your enthusiasm.

    Currently I'm using a Sony DCR-HC21 for all my video which I've enjoyed. I usually stick with Sony products due to their reliability. The software they include is worthless but the camera works flawless. Easy menu system, easy of use... night shot mode makes for some interesting shots.

    As for your advice

    -Go with Sony
    -Get a High Def Cam
    -Get a DV Cam

    Advice that was given to me during my purchase in reference to a DV vs Hard Drive vs DVD cam was...

    They all record the same quality...
    The question posed to me was... do you want a camera that burns information onto a DVD disc or writes information on a hard drive while you handle it, move it, bump it, etc?

    Would you lift up your computer and move it around while it was burning a disc? How about when it was writing information to the hard drive?

    ...make sense?


    Good luck!
  11. HercGuy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2007
    What good is recording HD if you don't have the hardware to burn it on a disc or the HDDVD/Blu-ray player to play it on?

    Someday sure, I'll probably have the equipment, but not now and not anytime soon. Oh yeah, and I can guarantee that neither my parents nor my mother-in-law will have be buying these anytime soon either... (heck, my parents hardly know how to turn on their cellphones...)


Share This Page