Need help picking a camcorder! :)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Monkaaay, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. Monkaaay macrumors 6502

    Monkaaay

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    #1
    I know next to nothing about camcorders. I really just want something basic that gives higher quality video than my digital camera does. Hi-Def would be great but those tend to blow my budget. I'm hoping to find something for $500 or less. A built-in hard drive is preferable so I'm not buying memory cards and such. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Monkaaay thread starter macrumors 6502

    Monkaaay

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    #2
  3. speakerwizard macrumors 68000

    speakerwizard

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    #3
    check out the canon hv 20, it is meant to be the best in its class, i have heard nothing bad about it at all. (im saving for one myself)
     
  4. Monkaaay thread starter macrumors 6502

    Monkaaay

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  5. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

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    #5
    Under $500 with a hard drive may be tough to find. You may need to stick to tape for now.

    Besides, you can always pop in another tape that you pick up at a drug store for $8.00 when you are on vacation... Pop in a new Hard Drive...not so easy and it takes a while to download it when it's full...

    check out:
    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/ratings.php
     
  6. Monkaaay thread starter macrumors 6502

    Monkaaay

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    #6
    Yep, and I've been reading that the video quality is lower with the HHD because of the compression used. So I think I'll go with MiniDV for now. Thanks for the link!
     
  7. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

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    #7
    The same goes for the Mini-DVD cameras too. Not to mention the only "Current" Mac that can paly the disk is the MacPro Tower. Everything else has a slot loading DVD drive and until Apple gets their adapter to market it's a "No-Go".

    Well, I guess you could hook up an external DVD box to Firewire or USB... sorry, just thinking outloud.
     
  8. Monkaaay thread starter macrumors 6502

    Monkaaay

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    #8
    After looking through the site you mentioned, it appears that the Panasonic PV-GS320 is the best low budget camera available. Circuit City has a good deal going right now for it as well.
     
  9. statikcat macrumors 6502

    statikcat

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #9
    Any camera like this that says HD means it at least shots resolution of 720p correct? (sorry not trying to hijack thread)
     
  10. Monkaaay thread starter macrumors 6502

    Monkaaay

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    #10
    Either 720p or 1080i. Check the specs and it should tell you.
     
  11. statikcat macrumors 6502

    statikcat

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  12. Monkaaay thread starter macrumors 6502

    Monkaaay

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    #12
    I haven't seen one that does 1080p, especially not at the consumer level. Plus, considering the price of a 1080p display, I can't imagine what the camcorder would cost.
     
  13. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #13
    I have a Canon Optura60 miniDV camera that I'm very pleased with. The Panasonic GS series are also a good choice.
     
  14. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

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    #14
    Not to mention the computer needed to edit 1080p.
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #15
    I don't get the point of where you say "built-in hard drive is preferable so I'm not buying memory cards and such" All of the memory you might buy is re-usable. You can erase it and use it many, many times. The hard drive is exactly the same it is just a type of memory that can be re-used. But with the hard drive you are force to erase it when you need to re-use it. With tape you have the option to either ease and reuse or to replace the tape. You can buy a camera that uses tape and simply never remove the tape and it will work just like a hard drive camera.

    Ok it will not work "just like" a hard drive camera. It will work better because the tape holds maybe 12 times more data so the video does not need to be some highly compressed. The other thing you can do with tape is take it out of the camera without using a computer. So if you take the video camera on vacation you do not need to also bring a laptop computer and a set of external drives, just a few $5 tapes.
     
  16. Monkaaay thread starter macrumors 6502

    Monkaaay

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    #16
    I went with the Panasonic PV-GS320. Everything I read suggested that MiniDV is best when you want to do editing. The format allows me to import directly into iMovie and edit away without worrying about converting formats or anything before hand.
     
  17. mc moosh macrumors newbie

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    Dec 20, 2007
    #17
    you sorted?

    hey it sounds like you may have just done all the research i was about to set out on doing myself regarding what video camera to buy that is mac friendly. i actually bought a new sony SR62 last week after 3 sales assistants telling me it was mac friendly ( i had my suspisions it wasnt so asked loads of questions!) anyway got home and.... surprise i couldnt run the software or even transfer video, after many phone calls i was able to return it and are now on the hunt for a decent video camera that is 100% mac compatible!! whats out there....????? im looking at around 600 - $800 mark, and as good a quality as i can without going to the over $1000 mark! hard drive? tape? mini dvd? not fussed, just want good quality film......:)
     
  18. Monkaaay thread starter macrumors 6502

    Monkaaay

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    #18
    I'm not sure about that price range because I didn't look that high. But, I bet you could find a Hi-Def camcorder for that price. Whatever you do, if you plan to edit with iMovie, I would definitely buy a MiniDV model.
     
  19. alex1 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 19, 2007
    #19
    almost no consumer HD camcorders are 720p. Almost all are 1080i. 1080i has a longer GOP and can have LESS horizontal resolution than 720p. DVCPRO-HD is 960x720 or 1280x1080i (1280x540 odd, then 1280x540 even lines with a generally percieved verticle resoltuion of around 760) 1080i HDV is from Sony around 1280x1080i and I think Canon is 1440x1080i. HDV 720p is the only full res 1280x720p format. Which looks better? Well it depends upon the format more than the resoltuion. DVCPRO-HD and HD-Cam I think looks the best, though a properly shot HDV 720p or even 1080i can look 90% as good for a lot less money. HDV cameras are $600-$8,000. DVCPRO-HD with P2 cards run $6,000 to $40,000. HD-CAM around $40,000 to $100,000. There are some new HD 1920x1080p camcorders hitting the market with new formats in 2008 for only $45,000 without lens. (lens maybe another $5,000 to $10,000) Best bang for your buck? $1,000 HDV camcorder with as many manual overides you can find. Check out dvxuser.com and dvinfo.net lots of arguing there about what is best, but a lot of good opinions and 1st hand experiences with sample frame grabs and short movie samples being posted. It's more important to get something and start shooting than it is to wait another year for the new model or saving the extra money for the new feature. But if you are seriuos, make sure you have an external mic (1/8 or XLR prefered) another good thing to look for is a zoom control. LANC (Canon and Sony) and Panasonic has something else, but same idea.. Also a good Tripod. I just got a decent cheap tripod. Mathews M25 for $189. It keeps my JVC HD110 with an extra 5lbs of accessories on my 8 lb camera steady and smooth. I think a decent tripod like the Mathews M25 and any HDV tape camcorder would be a great starting point. OK which camcorder? Well Canon or Sony make some nice ones in your price range, and I think most have LANC control and sometimes external mic jacks... also important..
     

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