Digital camcorder

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Solafaa, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. Solafaa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2004
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    I am in the market for a new digital camcorder, it has to be small so that i can taking it when i travel, any tips?

    p.s i will be using this for home movies (imovie) ans burn on to DVD for friends.
  2. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    Check out the Canon ZR series. They are compact (well, it's smaller than my hand, but I have big hands...), excellent image quality, high optical zoom, and very user friendly. I have the "older" ZR65MC model.
  3. yoda13 macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    I bought one of the new small sony models back in June and took it on vacation with me this summer. It is absolutely wonderful. I am not in close proximity to my camera at the moment, but I believe that the model number has an H in it and a either a 20, or 25. Anyway, I absolutely love it, the price wasn't too bad and it works flawlessly with iMovie. Sorry that I cannot remember the exact model number. If I remember later, I will check and come back and let you know.
  4. echeck macrumors 68000


    Apr 20, 2004
    Boise, Idaho
    I second that. The ZR series is a perfect lineup of consumer grade cameras, and they're relatively cheap anymore. They will last you quite some time as well, I have the ZR10, the original model with the current design. It's nearly five years old and it still works like new, have never had any problems at all.

    And of course they'll work seamlessly with iMovie.
  5. TRi macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2004
    If you want to shell out some more cash for a 3ccd, I'd get a panasonic gs120. I got one and I sometimes use it to make wedding videos. I know it isnt the absolute best, but my GL1 broke and I haven't been able to save enough to get another. Back to the camera though, it's so tiny I can stick it in my pocket(i have big pockets tho) and the picture quality is a brilliant surprise for its price and size. It's also a pretty rugged camera and takes the abuse of filming skating in any weather no problem.
  6. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    #6 is a good place to start. I've been really happy with them. The Canons and JVCs are nice, and pretty good prices, but I've heard they can be not-so-good in low light. If that's not as big of a deal for you than it was for me, they should be perfect. The Sony H series is what I would recommend if you can afford it. The nicer ones are a little more expensive, but the ones with fewer features work fine for basic needs. I would just recommend staying away from the ultra-cheapy ones, and you should get the extended warranty for ~$40.
  7. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    i'd recommend going for a 3CCD camera, i might be thinking of the one that TRi mentioned... but i saw a Panasonic MiniDV camera, small as any on the weekend. i didn't even know a model like that existed. but they were having a sale at JB Hi-Fi and it was going for a round AUD$1300, and i saw other Sony camera with a $2300 (est.) retail price going for $1300. keep an eye out for specials like that...

    BTW, if you start looking for a high-end camera, i recently started a thread about that here, might help you out. i ended up getting a Panasonic GS400. :D
  8. BakedBeans macrumors 68040


    May 6, 2004
    What's Your Favorite Posish
    i third that ;) im in the uk so its called something different... but its good and great value for money (bang for the buck as you guys say... love it;) )
  9. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    I've got a gs120 as well....nice camera though a little pricey over here. Good image quality. As I've got big hands I think it suits me better than the Sony's. My understanding is that the current Canon ZRs still have the drive noise problem but now don't have a microphone plug socket so you can't avoid it.
  10. aswitcher macrumors 603


    Oct 8, 2003
    Canberra OZ
    Well how small is small? I suggest that your going to put in into a special bag and carry it around so do buy something super small that lacks features you might want.

    I have a Canon MVX25i (Optura 40) which is a meduim sized camera with excellent 2 megapixel images, and 1.77 on the DV tape. So I can recommend that. The optical stablisation is good. Lots of manual features for when I get some practice in.
  11. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    In my use the Canon ZR line was terrible in indoor shooting. I owned a ZR10 for about 3 years until I just couldn't take the grain and noise in my indoor video. Outside it took very good video, excellent quality. But for indoor shots with normal household lighting it was TERRIBLE. YMMV.

    If you go up to the $700-$900 middle range the Canons seem to do better in low light. Canon has always had good video quality when in good lighting or outdoors. Tape noise is also an issue with almost all the small cams. The ZRs only have 1/6" CCD where the new Canon Opturas have 1/3.7", I think. Bigger CCD is better.

    Back in the $400 range, the Sony's HC20/30/40 get good reviews. Sony dropped the CCD size to 1/6" down from 2003's models, which had a 1/4". The 2003 models are TRV19 and TRV22. I have a TRV22 now and it is much better than the Canon in low light. Some reviews say that even with the smaller CCD the Sony HC30 has good performance in low light. Sony has good image stabilziation and the night mode. Video quality from this level of Sony's seems to always be "good to very good" but never "excellent" or "wow!" The Sony HCs are very small, maybe too small for some hands.

    The Panasonic GS120 ($700) and GS200 ($900) are entry level 3 CCD cameras. They get good reviews for video quallity but many say the electronic image stabilization is terrible. They are a nice size but only have 1/6" CCDs. Even thought these have 3 CCDs they probably are not much better than a high end 1 CCD like the Sony HC85 or the top Canon Optura because the latter have big CCDs.

    The Panasonic GS400 is around $1350 and is the current leader in the consumer cams. It is bigger than the GS120 and much bigger than the Sony HCs. It has three 1/4.7" CCDs, optical image stabilization, 12x zoom and a nice lens. It gets great reviews. It may surpass the Sony TRV950 and its replacement the HC1000 as the top consumer camera.
  12. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    I totally agree. I have the ZR40 and its awsome. Small light, great imagine quality, what more could you want. I don't like sonys because i feel that your paying for the lens and sony doesn't make their own lens so that defeats the poinot of a song..... idk... iust my own thing i guess

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