Camcorder extended warranties -- yes or no?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by CMD is me, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    #1
    I'm considering a hard drive video camera -- the Sony SR11. Its $1100. The 5 yr warranty is a hefty $190. Far less than CC or BB, but getting up there. Thoughts?
     
  2. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #2
    It really depends on what the warranty covers the availability of prompt service in your area should something go wrong. Some extended warranties cover maintenance items like cleaning, for example (but I'm not sure how much this would actually benefit a tapeless camera).

    Also, what are you going to be using the camera for? If you plan on editing on a Mac, HDV is a lot easier to deal and will typically yield better results. Most hard drive cameras are AVCHD-based, which Apple doesn't support natively. It has to be converted into AIC first (which is a slow process and takes up a LOT of space), which kind of defeats the purpose of having a tapeless camera in the first place.

    The Canon HV20/HV30 (HDV codec on MiniDV tape) are much better cameras in your price range, IMHO.
     
  3. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    #3
    Thanks Captain, but just pulled the trigger on the camera.

    I've been on the AVCHD / HDV fence for some time. I have other posts on the topic. I ended up finding a camera shop who let me test a few out. I really like PQ of the SR11. It looked slightly better than the HV30 IMO. I read up a lot on the AVCHD format and it seem that many Mac users are really liking it and not having issues. Hopefully it was the right choice. I'm not going to take a 15% restocking fee hit!

    And I did end up opting for the 5yr. If nothing else it makes the camera more valuable in a few years if I go to sell it -- seems every 3yrs I'm getting an upgrade ;)
     
  4. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #4
    AVCHD Fofum at DVInfo

    Not sure if you came across this on your travels, but it's a pretty intensive workout of most of the issues:

    http://dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=133

    Probably worth keeping an eye on while you get your head around your new piece of hardware.

    Or I suppose you could just get out and start shooting!

    Hope it works out well for you - looks like a great little number.

    Andrew.
     
  5. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    #5
    That link led me to the dvinfo forum, not the actual post. Can you try again? I tried to join that forum but never get the reg info email!.

    Actually I pulled the trigger, BUT I have 'til 5:00 if I choose to cancel.... ah another day of pondering
     
  6. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #6
    Actually, I meant to send you the link to the forum, not to any specific post. There's a swathe of posts in there you might find relevant, which given that you have a day of pondering ahead will help no end - that is, assuming it's raining where you are and you can't go out and get shooting instead!

    Andrew.
     
  7. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    #7
    I'm on a quest to be more indecisive than you ;) (from another post you had). I've had the opportunity to shoot a HC9 (tape) and SR12 side by side. I sort of preferred the HC9 80% of the time. It had a very very slight edge on sharpness to me and costs $250 less! BUT I had one tape dropout a dozen times! I tried another tape and only had 2 dropouts... but ONLY 2?? 0 is more acceptable to me. I read on DVinfo that the tape does matter and mixing brands is bad (something about wet vs dry). I only had standard miniDV tapes which always worked fine on my SD miniDV.... ah the saga continues... thanks for the link!
     
  8. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    #8
    At the risk of having my own conversation here, I wanted to update the dropout issue. It seems it was a bad tape. I hope that's all. I researched on DVinfo like crazy and bought a HDV miniDV tape. I recorded an hour of video and played it back. No dropouts. Then I recorded another 15 minutes on the same tape (actually not advised to reuse) and no dropouts. Perhaps the tapes are not just marketing hype like I was told!
     
  9. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #9
    Are you reusing tapes or was this a brand new miniDV tape?
     
  10. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    #10
    The major dropouts occurred on a NEW FujiFilm standard miniDV tape -- had a dozen or so in only 15 minutes! It was the first tape the camera has seen.

    2nd tape was a reused standard TDK and it dropped out 2 times in 20 minutes or so. That was the first tape since using the Fuji (I'd like to think it was somehow scraping the Fuji "film" off!)

    3rd tape was a DVinfo.net recommended Sony HD tape. Recorded 63 minutes w/ NO dropouts (recorded next to a speaker and played back listing). Then reused (just for testing), started from the beginning, recorded 15 minutes walking around outside. NO dropouts.

    I need to verify the camera is fine before next weeks trip. I might try another "record music then play back" test. Though reusing the tapes is unadvised so I'm pushing my luck if I do! Just don't want to keep testing with $13 tapes!
     

Share This Page