Please help me choose a DVD camcorder

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Merser, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. Merser macrumors member


    Aug 28, 2006
    I am about to purchase a DVD camcorder for my sister and her husband as an early Christmas present.

    Yes, I said DVD... If it was for me I would certainly go a different route, but my sister will not be editting much at all. She'll just be capturing and archiving memories.

    I doubt that my sister will be using the still image feature of any of these cameras (since she has a nice canon P&S) so thats not really feature I care about. I am just looking for the best image quailty I can get in my price range, both in low light and bright light.

    Zoom isnt really the biggest concern for me. 2 of these cameras have 10x and the other has 40x. I know that sounds big, but most footage is going to be taken indoors... 10x i think is reasonable for indoor vids.

    I've read quite a bit of and have narrowed down to the following choices...

    Sony DCR-DVD108 $370

    - The next few models up dont offer any advance in video image, they just offer more mega pxl stills, which as I stated is not a concern. The better video sensors are out of my price range..)

    "Inside is a small 1/6” CCD with the standard low-end gross pixel count of 680,000 and an effective pixel count of 340,000 in 4:3, and 260,000 in 16:9."

    Canon DC-50 $528

    - 1/2.7” CCD, which has a gross pixel count of 5,390,000 (effective pixel count in 4:3 is 3,980,000; in 16:9 it’s 3,680,000).

    ???? - Am I reading this correctly? The Canon has almost 10x the effective pixel count? is this just in regards to still shots or video image as well??

    Here is my other option...

    Panasonic VDR-D310

    -three 1/6” CCDs, each with a gross resolution of 800,000 pixels (540,00 effective pixels in 16:9; 640,000 pixels in 4:3)

    Again can the canon really have 8x as much???

    I know this is an odd question by the way its phrased and the range of price points, but does anyone have any good experience with either of these cameras? Can you explain the difference in the pixel counts? Is my image going to be THAT much better?

    Thanks in advance
  2. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    "best image quailty I can get in my price range, both in low light and bright light."

    The canon will beast the other two with an imager that much larger. If they will be using it much in lowlight/night time at all, the Canon is THE way to go. Otherwise the Sony, mainly because of it's lower price. Ah, if most footage will be indoors, you will see a HUGE difference in image qualiy between the 1/6th in. and the 1/2.7 in. I have the HV20, which I believe has the same imager, and it is excellent in low light, I did a comparision to my 1/6th in. CCD camera, it was picking up nothing at all, while the 1/2.7 produced a very acceptable picture for being a 1ccd consumer cam.

    It all depends on the $$$ Personally teh $150 difference seems like it would be worth it for saving hours of precious moments.

    Someone else will have to fill you in on the pixel stuff, but i can deffinatly say, bigger imager = better low-light/indoors. (I can also say that canon's are very reliable, at least in my past, 2 P&S, 4 SLR's, and 2 video, no problems whatsoever.)
  3. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    Don't go with the Panasonic. I bought one in 2005 and not even a year later it mysteriously quit working. Just last week I decided to get it fixed and emailed them, they want at least $250 just to repair it, and you can buy new ones for just $40 more than that.

    I'm going to hold out about another year or two and buy a hard drive camcorder, after the price drops a bit. When I bought my Panasonic DVD camcorder it was $800.

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