Give me the bottom line on the camcorder for me.

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by brmaki, May 2, 2009.

  1. brmaki macrumors regular

    brmaki

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    RVA
    #1
    Hey, I'm new to these forums as you probably can tell. I'm not coming in here blindly though, I did some searching on here, looked up reviews on Youtube, CNET, CamcorderInfo etc. I really want to buy my first digital camcorder soon, but I'm torn on what to get. I've had experience with DV cameras in the past through a couple film classes in high school, got comfortable with them, and then didn't really do much until last summer where I did a lot of shooting/ editing for DVD that my camp gave out free to all the campers. They had a pretty high end Canon that I used, but I'm not sure what route to go.

    I have a weekend trip coming up later this month that I'll be taking with a couple friends to Nashville/Knoxville to back up one of them who is a singer and I'd love to have something to document random stuff/ possibly get some video for Youtube/ Vimeo. This is where I can't decide between a pocket HD (Kodak Zi6, Sony Webbie) or a cheap mini DV (Canon ZR900?). My budget is <$200 because as much as I'd like to get into editing and stuff again, I doubt it's something I'll be doing much of right now due to my hectic work/school schedule, so it would mostly be used for just off hand occasions. I know I can't afford/ don't need 3ccd and if I go for a pocket cam, I'd prefer something with expandable memory.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, any suggestions are welcomed. -Brad

    Oh, and I'm using a 2.4Ghz white Macbook with iLife '09.
     
  2. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #2
    I would suggest one of the pocket HD cameras as they are normally simple to use and give a good picture whereas the DV quality is surprisingly outdated and the format is tedious to import.

    Editing wise you will really benefit from Final Cut Express as it provides much more scope to create good projects than the basic imovie which I feel limits your creativity. I have seen copies flying around on ebay for $60-80 so i would plunge in and buy it if you can as you will progress much faster trying out little projects on it. I know its definately helped me!
     
  3. mdeanoly macrumors newbie

    mdeanoly

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Location:
    Mesa, Arizona
    #3
    I don't really know what to tell you - a DV camera is cheap, but the Firewire standard is slowing disappearing, you might be safer with a memory card camcorder. If you're going to make an investment into getting a camera, I'd recommend not buying a cheap Flip video or Aiptek camera, in my opinion, it's better to buy one $300 dollar camcorder that will last for years then a $150 camcorder that won't last.

    Canon is a great brand, I have a digital camera and a HV20 from them, both have lasted over a year now with no problems at all. Great quality products. Okay, so a good Canon DV camera is what I recommend.
     
  4. likeavaliant macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    #4
    Possibly look into buying a point and shoot camera with video capabilities? That way you can expand memory, make videos, and also take pictures all in one machine.
    I know that Canon has a few models out with the capability of shooting in 720p. I would suggest looking into one of them?
     
  5. brmaki thread starter macrumors regular

    brmaki

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    RVA
    #5
    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    I could probably bump up the budget to $300, but that would have to be the limit (hopefully tax/ accessories included). I had some time before work today, ran over to Best Buy and started looking at the Sony DCR-SX40 and 41 which have 4 and 8 gig internal memory, respectively. I'll probably be looking up some reviews around the web for these two, any thoughts?

    I will say this, the more I look at video from pocket cams/ digital cameras, the more I get turned off them due to a lack of image stabilization. I'll hopefully be able to pick something up by this weekend so that I'll have a week to get familiar with it before I head on the trip to Nashville that I'll need it for. Thanks again for the help so far! -Brad
     
  6. likeavaliant macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    #6
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    DV will have better image and sound quality. Don't let a "720p" spec fool you. Quality means more then just the number of pixels. You need to think about low light ability, quality of the optics, image stabilization, compression artifacts, and how the sound is recorded. Is there a jack for an external mic. All internal camera mic suck big time and will not record music anyone would want to listen to. DV is still the best bet unless you really do need an HD format.
     
  8. brmaki thread starter macrumors regular

    brmaki

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    RVA
    #8
    I've got a digital camera that serves me well, I'm wanting something that will solely be used for video. Also, those Sony models I mentioned are expandable, they have memory stick slots.

    I don't need HD quality, but I'm beginning to think that DV may not be worth the hassle of having to wait for the video to transfer in real time.

    This has definitely been a confusing journey so far, just trying to figure out what I need.
     

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