Help with Camcorder for my mom

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by JoshFink, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. JoshFink macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #1
    My mom wants me to take her out and get her a basic camcorder. Something under $500 that will allow her to use it to take video of her new grandson. She wants something easy to use, takes great video, easy to play back on her TV, better than average zoom. I think a Hard Drive camcorder is out as she'll never get it off the camcorder and HD is definitely not a necessity as she doesn't have an HDTV.

    Any suggestions on what to start looking at would be great.

    Thanks

    Josh
     
  2. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
  3. JoshFink thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #3
    Thanks.. Why "If I can find one"? Are they old and not being sold anymore?

    What makes them good?

    Thanks

    Josh
     
  4. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #4
    it won camcorder of the year in 2006.. but i believe it's out of production now because its last year's model
     
  5. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #5
    Yea, go for the elura 100. I don't believe canon has replaced it yet though, but it was discontinued ~2 months ago i believe.
     
  6. gvdv macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    #6
    Hi,
    I'm completely out of touch with current models, but have been extremely impressed with the Sony TRV-33 Mini DV that I bought about 5 years ago.

    WHat has particularly impressed me as someone who writes and plays music is the quality of the microphone when recording friends and I sitting around playing acoustic guitars and singing.

    Ergonomically, I'm also very impressed with the unit. It's also very hardy. The only complaint I have is the angle of coverage of the lens at its widest is not great. Good lens, too, though, in terms of quality.

    I paid about $1300 new for mine, but based on its performance, I would be tempted to check out the cheaper range if my budget were more restricted.

    Hope this helps,

    GVDV
     
  7. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #7
    While I agree that the Canon Elura 100 is a great entry-level camcorder (I have one), I will say that it's probably not the best one for your mother. I would suggest getting a DVD camcorder instead. :eek:

    I say this because of your description of what your mother will be doing with it. Most important was "easy to use" and "easy to play back". While miniDV is easy to use, playback is another issue. With miniDV you'll need to connect the camcorder to the TV's composite inputs, rewind the tape, find the stuff you're looking for, play ... OK, not rocket science, but it's still pretty involved. So now you've watched the tape ... make sure you FF back to the spot where you left off, or you'll end up recording over your previous footage. BIG TIME PITA!

    With a DVD camcorder, you record stuff to the DVD. When it fills, you finalize the DVD. Then pop it into the DVD player. Simple.

    There's no risk of recording over previous footage. No rewinding. No FF'ing. Easy as pie.

    The quality won't be as good as miniDV, but on a standard TV, it won't matter too much.

    BTW, is this grandson your kid? If so, you should get a nice HDV (or AVCHD) for yourself. The stuff that you record should be in the highest quality that you can afford. After all, it's for prosterity.

    ft
     
  8. JoshFink thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #8
    Thanks for the advice. While I like the idea of the DVD Camcorder, it only holding 30 minutes of video just sounds like a pain. For her, maybe great, maybe frustrating. We'll see.. I think I might like to go with the Panasonic PV-GS320.

    For me, I have an older, but still decent, Sony HDR-HC1 which records pretty well for now.

    Thanks

    Josh
     
  9. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #9
    Have you considered using the movie mode of a still camera?

    I haven't used my camcorder in years, my little Panasonic Lumix takes beautiful 16:9 852x480 MJPEG movies that make better DVDs than my miniDV camcorder...

    B
     
  10. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #10
    Yeah, the 30 minute limitation is pretty bad, especially since the 30 minutes is on the LP setting. At SP, it's 20 minutes. But you can get the double sided DVDs that let you record on both sides (although labelling could be an issue).

    Now there's your answer. Give the Sony to your mom, so that you can get a new HDV camcorder. Problem solved. ;)
     

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