Question re HD camcorders?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by raptor96, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. raptor96 macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2006
    Hey guys,

    So my dad is in the market for a new camcorder and he's been asking me if it's worth getting one of the new HD camcorders (like the Sony HDR-HC1) and I have read up a little on them and it seems too me like it would be better to wait for the next generation (but I know very little about camcorders, I know more about cameras). I was wondering what you guys's take on this was?

    Additionally, my dad kinda wants to make this happen today, so if he didn't get a HD camcorder, what kind of budget camcorder would be good and serve his purpose (sort of tide him over till a better HD came out)? Because we're going on a trip shortly and he really really wants to have a good camcorder for it.

    This is the list he sent me:

    Hard Drive- Midrange
    Sony DCR-SR 40 - about $450-00 No hot shoe, no light, 1 MP still
    Sony DCR-SR 80 $700+ very good- should we buy this or spend 300-400 more go to Hi Def

    Hard Drive- Hi Def
    Sony HD HC3- Best Hi Def for now, improve over the previous model Need to play back from the recorder, unless you have the Blue Ray player($800-00)

    Mini DV recorder - Low budget best bang for buck
    Canon Elura 100 $309 Just serves the purpose- poor low light

    Thanks guys!
  2. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2003
    Had an opportunity to try out the HC3 recently. Pretty awesome picture outdoors. Slightly less awesome picture indoors -- with less light there's some subtle artifacting in the solid colors if you go out of your way to look for it. (Still perfectly acceptable for a consumer camcorder, IMO.) I was more impressed with this camcorder and the HDV format than I thought I'd be. However, I'm not an expert at judging HDTV picture quality.

    Keep in mind, no generic external microphone input on the HC3. Also, it's recommended to get higher-grade tape for HDV recording, because of its long-GOP encoding, a dropout can affect several video frames. These tapes can run $5 to $15. didn't have very kind words for the HDR-SR1 hi-def HDD camcorder. Not sure I'd go with AVCHD format yet, it's still very early in the game for it.

    Whether your dad has an HDTV monitor makes a difference, as well as budget. SD MiniDV is still a very viable format IMO, but if he has a nice HDTV and some $$$, well, it might make sense to spring for a hi-def camcorder.

    Good luck!
  3. Nuc macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2003
    I have a HDR-HC1 and it's awesome. There is no point in buying the expensive HD tapes since I've never had a dropout on my sony MiniDV tapes.

    Don't get a hard drive camcorder unless you have a lot of drive space.


    also look at the sony HVR-A1.
  4. raptor96 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2006
    Thanks for the info guys. I talked to my dad and I think he's going to hold off so that he isn't spending such a large amount in such a hurry. I think for this trip we're just going to take our video on our Cybershot digital cameras in video mode :rolleyes: and since we probably won't be taking THAT much video I figure the 1 gig of memory sticks we'll be taking should be enough (or we can offload to computer's HD). I think as a temporary solution it should be fine.

    Also I was looking at the A1 and it seems a little too bulky, I think my dad wants more of a handycam type, small portable camcorder. I think he just wants HD because we have a nice HDTV and he wants our video to not look like crap on that screen (and be widescreen :). Thanks for your help again guys!
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Tape is the only way to go. Don't bother with a HD or DVD camera. The reason is

    1) the DV format uses less compression and has better quality Also unlike mpeg-2 DV can be copied without any generational loss.

    2) How do you save the files off the HD without a computer? Even so who has that much disk space on their computer. You will need some kind of removable media no matter what. Tapes make great storage devices.

    One Mini DV tape holds 12GB of data I can keep many terabytes in one small media safe.

    What camera to get? They all record decent images if you have good light. Look for one that accepts external mics. None of the built in mics are good. Learn film editing the very basics of film editing BEFORE you take the camera someplace and shoot a lot of footage. You need to know what kinds of shots to get so you can edit later.

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