Need advice on a camcorder

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by glocke12, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #1
    Hi


    Im looking for advice from people more knowledgable about camcorders than myself.

    I just bought this camcorder:

    http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-SDR-H40-Camcorder-Optical-Stabilized/dp/B0011FWU5Q

    and am really pretty disapointed with the video qaulity as it shows up on my tv (40" LCD). It produces a really grainy, low resolution image.
    I dont think it is anything in terms of the settings on the camera, as I havet tried all the different settings it has to offer.

    The $300.00 to $500.00 range is pretty much as much as I am able to spend. Is this as good as it gets in that price range?
     
  2. Lunja macrumors 6502

    Lunja

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    #2
    Well, that doesn't describe me but I'll give it a go :)

    I would expect some pixelation when blowing up the footage to 40in, especially on an LCD screen. Try plugging your camera into a smaller CRT monitor/TV if possible, and take a look at it there. If your footage is still poor quality, then your problem may be with the codec settings.

    See if recording in Variable Bit Rate (VBR) makes a difference, and see if there are any options to do with the encoding settings. It may be that your camera is set to maximise its recording time, which in turn reduces the quality.
     
  3. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    basically you get what you pay for, an SD camera isnt going to look very good when shown on an HD monitor, i woulda spent the extra hundred bucks or so and gotten an HD camcorder for what you want to do with it.

    something like this or this
     
  4. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #4
    Lets make sure we have the terminology right. By HD, you are refering to hidef?

    Also, while this does take SD cards, it records to a 40 gb HD.

    for a hundred bucks more what do you recomend?
     
  5. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #5
    Well, I dont have a smaller monitor. I can adjust the window size though, and it still looks like crap. Tried your other recomendations and it still looks like crap. Must just be a crappy camera.

    Kind of disapointing. $400.00 is not chump change...
     
  6. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #6
    The camera records an already compressed MPEG-2 video from what I read about it, you want a miniDV camera, something that will record RAW digital video that you can choose later how to compress.

    Today you get HD DV cameras that give you even higher resolutions in RAW format.
     
  7. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #7
  8. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #8
    Yes, something like that. Check out MacWorld, they have had a few camera comparisons. Cnet has them as well.

    Read up this thread to understand how much disk space you will need.

    Btw, you can see how the difference between raw and the original camera you posted is. They claimed 36 hours on a 30GB HD or something right? with miniDV, you use up more space, but get to compress after you are done editing.

    There are tons of threads on this topic, including questions I posted when I first started editing. Also, take one of the apple store free iMovie classes if you can, grab a book about it, and keep experimenting. :)

    Edit: Keep in mind HighDefinition DV cameras are out too, so consider that as well as the cost.
     
  9. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #9
    Yes, HD= hiDef SD=Std Def, my mistake

    ok, that one will cut down on the compression artifacts (the boxy look) but the image will still not be as clear as it would if you got an HDV or AVCHD camera like the ones i showed you from amazon

    and as much as i love miniDV tape decks DIE its a sad reality, but i have two camcorders at home with dead tape decks, one is a Sony HDV cam that ive hardly used, but its about 4 generations ago so its outta warranty, i think memory card is the future, but AVCHD still isnt THAT great of a format, you need a fast compupter to render with it, and i dont think imovie supports it, you have to use MPEGStreamClip to convert it first, but if you are editing with a PC you can use Sony Veagas, or just watching it off the camera memory cards are great
     
  10. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #10
  11. Nicolecat macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    #11
    I would like to add a question to this...

    I've been thinking about getting a camcorder as well,
    need something cheap with good quality for uploading to youtube or whatnot...

    Will be using for taking video of personal watersport stuff, and to help figure out what not to do to get better at them. Lol. :rolleyes:

    I don't want to mind if we hit a wake and the thing goes overboard though, so something like $50-$100.

    I thought to look at the local pawn shops, but no luck...they have really nice ones for $100+
    Any suggestions?

    I may be just over ambitious about how low the price is, but I figured it was worth the shot to ask.
     

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