Quality difference between new and 5 year old cam

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by rotlex, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. rotlex macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    PA
    #1
    Hey there,

    In a nutshell, I've been doing a ton of reading over the past few days in an effort to decide on a new camcorder. I'm wondering if anyone, with past experience, could tell me what type of increase in quality I'm likely to see going from my existing cam to what I'm thinking of?

    My current, now 5 year old camera, is a Sony TRV-27 Mini DV, purchased a few months before my daughter was born. :) It's served me well, but with an upcoming Disney vacation the end of the month, I have the urge for something new. (I'm a still photography nut, but definitely not up on the latest video stuff, other than what I have read the past few days).

    My current equipment, is NOT HD. I have a standard def 32" CRT, great picture etc., and do not have an HD DVD player. I DO plan on purchasing both of these sometime in the next year, but to be honest, it's not a priority of mine, so, my question is pretty much this. If I were to buy a latest generation MiniDV cam, and NOT, at this time at least, be able to play back in HD, will I notice much of a difference in quality over my TRV-27? I'm also thinking, out of convenience, of a HDD base cam. I really like the looks of the JVC GZ-MG555 and understand it is a standard def cam, so I'm wondering, in that respect, will it also give me a far better picture than the 5 year old Sony MiniDV?

    Thanks for any response on this, as again, I'm looking hard, and really don't want to make a mistake. I also don't want to pick something up only to find out it's not that much of a leap over my existing camera. I'm hoping at least that sensor technology will provide a crisper, cleaner more colorful picture.
     
  2. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #2
    The Canon HV20 seems to be a well respected camcorder. Have a look at that, it has received some great reviews from some of the video sites.
     
  3. rotlex thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    PA
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. I guess I'm not so much wondering which camera to buy as I've been reading tons of reviews, but rather, will a cam say, like the HV20 give me better results than my 5 year old MiniDV Sony when shooting\playing back in standard definition mode?

    I guess I'm trying to justify buying a new camcorder at this point, and I have a fear that without all the HD equipment to go along with it, one of these new cams is not going to give me enough extra quality to warrant the price. (I'm secretly hoping I'm wrong on that though, LOL). :)
     
  4. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #4
    The extra quality you get from the HV20 will be evident. Even if your TV is the biggest piece of junk in the world, when you are forced to buy a new TV in a year or two you will be so thankful that all your memories are preserved in a clean, crisp format.

    I've seen many of these HD cams hooked up to iMovie and the results are stunning. I recommend the HV10 or HV20. Both have the same sensor, the major difference is the orientation (vertical vs horizontal) and the hot-shoe which is only on the HV20.

    Do yourself a favor, spend the money now so that you don't regret it down the road. No amount of money can make your older footage look better later.

    Edit: I just noticed you said "shooting in SD mode." Don't do it. Just shoot in HD and then use iMovie/iDVD to burn an SD copy but keep your original HD footage for later. Archiving the project on an external hard drive is a good way to do that (along with possibly keeping the original tapes as well).
     
  5. rotlex thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    PA
    #5
    Thanks for that; It's what I was HOPING was going to be the case. (And yeah, I wouldn't actually shoot in SD mode, but kind of worded that poorly).

    So the bottom line is I should in fact see an improvement, even if burning\playing back in SD mode vs my older cam. This would be a very good thing to me, as I don't want to drop a grand for nothing. :D

    Either way, I still need to make my decision of MiniDV VS a new HDD cam. I know in my heart the tape is going to be better, but MAN, the thought of not having to use\keep tapes seems like a dream. Then again, what I LIKE about tape is the fact it's instantly archived in the highest quality the second it's shot. (I hate these decisions).

    Seriously though - thanks again.
     
  6. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #6
    Keep in mind that if you have an HDD cam you won't be able to edit the footage in anything other than Final Cut Studio. iMovie doesn't support the AVCHD format (yet).
     
  7. techie4life macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #7
    Hey, check out the Panasonic PV-GS320. It has superior image quality for a miniDV camcorder due to its 3CCD technology. We replaced a close to 10 year old Sony Hi8 camcorder recently with the PV-GS320, and there is absolutely no comparison between the two image qualities. For the $500 price range, all of the reviews say that this is the one to get. Based on our experience, we believe that they are right. For an added bonus, it has a digital camera feature which is able to capture stills while you are filming, or in a dedicated still camera mode at 3.1 megapixels. Attached is a still photo was taken while the film was rolling. The photos that are taken in the dedicated still mode are even better quality but are too large to attach. In the dedicated still mode, the photos are taken at a resolution of 2048x1512, not bad for a video camera. That's my two cents.
    View attachment 81326
    Clicky for biggy.
     
  8. shemp9999 macrumors regular

    shemp9999

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    #8
    that looks nice. is it small? and does it do 16:9 video as well as still? the battery looks kind of small, does it last?
     
  9. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #9
    And it's really cheap archiving compared to continuing to buy hard drives. Plus you never run out of space on vacation.
     
  10. techie4life macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #10
    Well, we bought an extended life battery, and that has really paid off. With the extra battery, we can get probably around 3-4 hours use of the two batteries combined (the stock battery only lasts around an hour.) I think that's pretty good, personally. The reason that that picture is 16:9 is because it was taken WHILE recording 16:9 video. If you go to the dedicated still picture mode as talked about before, you can take either 4:3 photos or 16:9 photos. I'm telling you man, this camera is AMAZING for the price. The image quality of the video and the stills is incredible for a non-HD miniDV camcorder in this price range. I just can't wait to get a new iMac (hopefully today) and use this camera with iMovie. I wish I could post a picture taken from the dedicated still mode, but the file is like .2 mb too big. Honestly, I would recommend this camera to ANYONE. I promise I don't work for Panasonic, this is an opinion based on personal experience with the camera. If you are in the market for an amazing miniDV camcorder that is lightweight, palm-sized, and takes great video and stills, I would recommend no camera other than the Panasonic PV-GS320.
     
  11. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #11
    The HV20 also has the ability to shoot in 24P for some really cool effects. It also has a CINE mode which is really cool too. You will be able to shoot much better in low light, as it has a larger 1/2.7in imager. Mine comes tomorrow :D

    You deff want a Mini-DV, I had the HDD Sony SR-62 in June, and found out the hard way that it isn't the least bit compatible with the mac.
     

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