Looking to buy my first camcorder, $300 budget, suggestions?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ozreth, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. ozreth macrumors 65816

    ozreth

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #1
    So Im looking to get a small camcorder for random blogging stuff and some fun outtings, nothing too fancy, recording to a memory card would be nice though. My budget is $300. I'll be doing some small time editing in imovie.

    I was looking at the new sony handycams (not hd version) but they arent compatible with macs apparently...

    Thanks : )
     
  2. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #2
    My two cents

    My experience with sub 300 dollars camcorders is:
    Expect crap.
    I hate to sound like the downer and the old man, but it's anyones chance out there.
    You'll most likely get an AVCHD or AVC camcorder compressing into a H264 format meaning LOTS of compression. But for your purposes, it should work.

    My buddy just got some no name camcorder off ebay for 500 that records to flash and it SLAYS. I will see what it was.
    In the meantime, maybe save a couple hundred more for something that will rock your socks off?

    Just other notes, if on says camera stabilization and the other doesn't, don't worry about it because I hear that stablization on the cheaper camcorders is crap anyways and everyone tauts it anyways.
     
  3. ozreth thread starter macrumors 65816

    ozreth

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for the advice. And yes, perhaps I will wait a bit longer or spend some time on ebay/CL
     
  4. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #4
    On the other hand, you could start off with something even if it's "crap" and work on your editing and composition skills. Look around on YouTube, it's filled with gazillions of videos, many of them poorly recorded and crappy, but some of them are quite creative. As long as the video has good production values, I never sit there thinking, "my, what a crappy camcorder he used to film that."

    If you can buy a used miniDV camcorder, I suspect you'll find those are more robust and easier to use than flash-based cameras, despite what may initially seem like a hassle of dealing with tape. The miniDV editing workflow is mature and ubiquitous -- all you need is a Firewire cable and any computer made in the last 10 years should be able to do the job. AVCHD, however, is a learning curve and requires some hefty processing power, especially if you're on a Mac which is going to transcode the format to Apple Intermediate Codec before editing. You'll also require a crapton of disk space.

    I recently picked up a Canon HF100 on clearance for $400. Full HD, 1080p recording, very nice little camera, but I'm going through the learning curve of how to edit the video on a Mac. If I was buying a cheap flash-based camera for casual use, I'd look at the Canon FS200.
     
  5. ozreth thread starter macrumors 65816

    ozreth

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #5
    Perfect, this is what I was thinkin as well. Thank you for the great recommendation, gonna go check this camera out today. Thanks : )
     
  6. ozreth thread starter macrumors 65816

    ozreth

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #6

Share This Page