HDD Camcorders

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by GoCubsGo, May 20, 2006.

  1. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Lately I've been checking out camcorders and I noticed that JVC has two models that come with 20 or 30 gb hard drives. This impresses me greatly.

    There is some new Sony handheld that will film in HD I think, but those little 8cm discs are never great for me. I tried one in my powerbook and it damn near got stuck.

    I'd love to have something that is small and also HD, price point is not an issue until I start really shopping.

    Here is the one I am talking about from CompUSA

    The other thing is that I don't know anything about the models and I wondered, do all of them shoot widescreen, or should I stick to the ones that actually say "Canon ... widescreen."

    Here are my preferences:
    I fell in love with the idea of the HDD, so I'm stuck on that.
    HD or close to it.
    Small...like palm small.
    Decent optical zoom.
    I think I am really looking at around $600, but we'll see what kind of camera one can get for that price.

    Any suggestions?
  2. bigandy macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    there are two out that i know of - the FX1, here, which is stunning, but quite expensive... and this one, the HC1. if you're looking for High Definition, get one that uses MiniDV tapes, like these two. Despite lacking the advantages of HDDs in terms of import/capture, they are far better quality.

    that's because the powerbook can't handle them. it specifically says not to use them in the manual...

    •HDD - very limited market currently. for a HD quality one you may have to wait some time for one to come to the consumer/prosumer market. the only ones i've seen are $30,000 upwards.

    •HD Quality - not possible on current HDD recorders. they manage to just about the quality of the average MiniDV camera. Something like a Canon GL2/XM2 will blow them out of the water.

    •Size - they're all small right now, because they're designed as budget cameras, and for some odd reason budget cameras are always tiny.

    •Optical Zoom - you're not going to get much on a tiny camera anyway.

    watch out for things mentioning widescreen - most MiniDV cameras only stretch the pixels out, creating a false widescreen. it doesn't look great - you really need a proper widescreen camera.

    to be honest, i'd wait a little time (like i am right now) to see if something HD friendly and HDD based does come along (but remember HD = lots and lots of hard drive space needed), otherwise i'm just going to plump for a Sony FX1.
  3. octoberdeath macrumors regular


    Feb 22, 2005
    which camera

    do you get better quality with the Sony HDR-HC1 than you would with a Canon GL2?
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I can't suggest anything that isn't a MiniDV or HDV camera. All the cameras that shoot to HDD, memory cards, or MiniDVDs will have inferior image quality compared to a MiniDV or HDV camera and it will be more difficult to edit the footage. You are either stuck using the craptacular bundled editing software (assuming it even works on a Mac) or you are forced to transcode all the footage into DV format to work w/it in iMovie, FCE, ect.,.

    Plus, where are you going to put all the footage when your camera HDD fills up? Taking extra MiniDV tapes w/you on vacation is a lot easier than taking a laptop and FW drive to offload the footage. The camera's "High quality mode" is DVD quality, which is about 1/4 the quality of MiniDV, and it can't even do 5hrs of recording at that setting.


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