Help getting a new miniDV camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by mrgreen4242, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    OK, I'm a video camera newb. Haven't owned one ever, and haven't used once since the old 15lbs VHS days. But, got a new baby on the way and with family spread over most of the country, including my Mom 1500 miles away, I convinced her to spring for a camera to record the adventures of green, jr. and share them via the web.

    So, that said I need to some help. She knows less than I do about them, so asked me to shoot her an email with some models and suggestions. Also, FYI, she's getting this for my wife and around Xmas, but like many (most?) women she's already started her holiday shopping.

    Ok, criteria:

    * Easy to use (my wife should be able to figure it out - she's smart though, so doesn't have to be dumbed down)
    * Fairly light and comfortable to hold (need to bring it most places easily)
    * Decent battery life/easy to swap battery (don't want to miss anything!)
    * Video quality should be at least GOOD (average or better)
    * Decent low light shooting would be nice, but not a priority
    * Sound should be good as well (hate home videos where you hear loud tape noise, where the mic doesn't get anything that's more than 8ft away, where even light wind noise covers up all the sound, etc)
    * image stabilization would be really nice (optical if possible, digital would suffice though as long as it didn't kill image quality)
    * Still photo shooting is completely irrelevant (I have plenty of nice digital still cameras)
    * Passthrough recording for analog sources (there's a few old VHS tapes I'd like to digitize, etc)
    * Easy Mac compatibility (of course)
    * miniDV format (I think HD is out of the price range for now and it seems like the HDV cameras will read mini DV tapes for future compatibility I think?)
    * Speaking of price, $400 would be pretty much the max, less would be nice so there was some money to get tapes, extra battery, case, etc.

    Ok, there's the list. Anyone have any opinions? I've done some research and I've had a bit of trouble finding something other than a couple Canon models as it seems all the major manufacturers are going HD this year and not releasing as many standard DV models anymore.

    Are there any decent HD cams around that $400 mark?
  2. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    If you can find it, the Canon Elura 100 meets most of your requirements. It's really a great camcorder for the price. Check out the review over at
  3. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Thanks for the advice. That's one of the cameras on my "list" ... I've been reading trying to learn as much as I can since once we get one these it'll have to be it for a long time, since there's not going to be much extra money around for awhile. :p

    I realized after I posted this how much that question must get asked around this forum and how annoying it must get. So I really do appreciate you taking the time to offer a suggestion.

    I'd never heard of AVCHD until Steve demo'd that Panny at the release event Tuesday and now that there looks to be good, simple, and robust support for it in iLife I started checking out. The camera that (I think) Steve was using, the HDC-SD1, looks pretty slick. I've been doing more research on the format now as even though it's a bit over the price range I was looking at originally, it's not hugely expensive.

    Anyways, I will definitely read up on the Eulra 100 some more!

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