mini-dv cam reccomendations?

railthinner

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 1, 2002
177
0
I'm looking to get a mini-dv cam tonight. Anyone got a recommendation in the $600 range? Concerned about optics, iMovie compatability, build quality, size. And easy availability at a store like Best-Buy or Circuit city because I'll need to pick it up right away. Anyone have a Sony vs. Canon preference or anything? I've been really happy with my Canon still camera. I'm wondering if the good interface and menus etc. are there on the dv cams.

thanks in advance
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,239
4
Canon is the best if you ask me, they have some great cameras in that price range too if you ask me

one main reason i would go for Cannon over Sony is that Sony uses proprietry memory sticks, so you have to buy theres, Cannon uses a standard kind

but all in all Sony and Cannon are the two best out there, my personal preference is with Canon, and i know that they all support OS X as well, the one i had needed no drivers either, just plug and play
 

jayeskreezy

macrumors 65816
Mar 3, 2005
1,135
0
get a canon or sony....being a broadcast journalism major the only cameras we used were sony's and canons....of course the sony's we used were way above $600 but when we used lower end models and didnt want to sacrifice overall quality or features we used canon ...i'd say they're pretty close, but for your price range i'd recommend a canon...you'd probably get more bang for your buck

currently I own a canon optura 20...I LOVE it...i'd recommend like an elura 70 or an optura 30 or something...the sony hc40's and 30's are ok but I think the models from canon for that price are better...dont forget accesories either...you'll need a tripod and probably a mic and a light
 

aloofman

macrumors 68020
Dec 17, 2002
2,206
0
Socal
Is there some reason you're buying it tonight? I recommend sifting through the various reviews that are online. There's a wealth of information out there on just the things you describe.

One thing is critical: no matter what the reviews say, go to a store and put it in your hands. Get a feel for the balance, where the controls are, how easy it is to get to the features you care about. These are subjective things that you can only find out by having it in your hands. You can buy it online to get a better price, but don't buy any DV camera sight unseen.
 

Espnetboy3

macrumors 6502
Feb 1, 2003
463
0
I had bought the Panasonic dv gs120 in july. Then it sold for about 800 in best buy. I was there the other day and it was in the 600 dollar range I believe. It was one of the first to have 3ccd's at a very affordable consumer price. So far its been a great camera, reliable,small and compatible. You can also have total control on frame speed, to manual focus to exposure settings.
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
I have a Sony TRV-22 and I REALLY like it. My wife and I bought it in 2003 and it's served us very well and made some pretty good iMovie/iDVDs for the extended family.
 

aswitcher

macrumors 603
Oct 8, 2003
5,338
14
Canberra OZ
railthinner said:
I'm looking to get a mini-dv cam tonight. Anyone got a recommendation in the $600 range? Concerned about optics, iMovie compatability, build quality, size. And easy availability at a store like Best-Buy or Circuit city because I'll need to pick it up right away. Anyone have a Sony vs. Canon preference or anything? I've been really happy with my Canon still camera. I'm wondering if the good interface and menus etc. are there on the dv cams.

thanks in advance
Canon Optura 40 has been great to me. Might be outside your price range, especially since you must get yourself for any camera a long life battery and a good bag.
 

railthinner

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 1, 2002
177
0
thanks for all the quick replies. I'm good at putting things off until the last minute -- have an event I need to record tomorrow.
 

dont24

macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2005
241
2
Northeast
Espnetboy3 said:
I had bought the Panasonic dv gs120 in july. Then it sold for about 800 in best buy. I was there the other day and it was in the 600 dollar range I believe. It was one of the first to have 3ccd's at a very affordable consumer price. So far its been a great camera, reliable,small and compatible. You can also have total control on frame speed, to manual focus to exposure settings.
I thought I just saw this one in a Sunday flyer. Can't remember which one, but it was $100 off. Price is $499.00. I'm looking at this one as well. A 3ccd camera for $500 :)

Update: (Mfr. #PVG120) is what's listed on Sears.com. I'll assume it may be a typo and is missing an "s"?
 

rjphoto

macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2005
822
0
SONY vS. SONY

I was recently in the same situation.
My old Digital 8 bit the dust so I did some research on line and decided on the Sony HC-40. Best Buy was out all over town. I ended up getting an HC-30. It was a cute little (and I do mean little) camera.

I started shooting with it around the house as soon as I got home. The video looked great even in subdued light.

Main reason I choose this model was for a Microphone input. Much to my dismay at the event...there was no headphone jack to monitor the microphone.

The only other thing worth noting is it is so small that my hand cramped up trying to hold it and work the zoom control. I ended up putting it on a mini-monopod to hold it steady and be able to work the zoom.

While I was looking for a new camera bag the next week I came across a TRV-22 open box special. The TRV-22 has Mic & Headphone jacks. It's last years model (actually 2003) but it is still an outstanding camera for the Price ($449).

I'm not trying to sell Sony over Canon. The point is check out the models for the features you need...

Good Luck.
 

ShermDog

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2004
105
0
Chicago
Will you be shooting in low light? Canon's consumer level camcorders have a poor reputation for low light performance. Sony's budget models tend to do much better.

Also, how important is manual control to you? Both Canon and Sony consumer models are aimed primarily at point-and-shoot users. If you need more manual control, you might want to take a look at either the Panasonic PV-GS14 or PV-GS120 (the former performs poorly in low light, the latter is a solid all-around performer).
 

jayeskreezy

macrumors 65816
Mar 3, 2005
1,135
0
Main reason I choose this model was for a Microphone input. Much to my dismay at the event...there was no headphone jack to monitor the microphone.
Another reason why I chose a Canon over Sony for the price...if you're quasi serious then you want to DEF have a mic input AND a headphone jack

Will you be shooting in low light? Canon's consumer level camcorders have a poor reputation for low light performance. Sony's budget models tend to do much better.
I'd still recommend an external light with either one.

how important is manual control to you? Both Canon and Sony consumer models are aimed primarily at point-and-shoot users.
You should consider an Optura if you want some manual control.
 

aloofman

macrumors 68020
Dec 17, 2002
2,206
0
Socal
railthinner said:
thanks for all the quick replies. I'm good at putting things off until the last minute -- have an event I need to record tomorrow.
Then don't be surprised if it doesn't turn out that great. Way to procrastinate, dude.
 

Sideonecincy

macrumors 6502
Sep 29, 2003
421
0
I work at sears as an MCA and i was in the back today and found cameras that were on sale. Sony TRV-19 for $120 (originally $500). If you live near a sears, stop in and see if they have it.
 

Artful Dodger

macrumors 68020
FWIW, I bought a JVC GR-DX97 and like what it has been able to do so far.
The low light is good and day shots seem pretty close to what my eyes can see. Since my budget was $400 this really fits the bill :) If the budget was more I would have bought the Canon Optura, good luck.
 

Rovias

macrumors member
Feb 22, 2005
95
0
Go with Sony. You won't regret it. I own a TRV-33 and it's never let me down.
 

yuck

macrumors member
Feb 25, 2005
38
0
im taking digital audio video class this term, the school lend us a canon vid cam, sorry i dont remember whats the model name, but it works great with FCP, i heard it was the ZR80 $250 on compusa
 

Espnetboy3

macrumors 6502
Feb 1, 2003
463
0
Yes my panasonic pv gs120 shoots extremely well in low light situations. It also has a leica dicomar lense :)
 
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