Review my review...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by corywoolf, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. corywoolf macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2004
    I am trying to improve my review/ guide writing skills, please let me know what you like/ dislike about the following review:

    North America’s Top 2008 Consumer Camcorders
    Written by Cory Woolf​

    Looking for an affordable lightweight camcorder? You’re in luck. This year brought great new models with improved functionality and performance. With many different niche markets, here are some of the top camcorders to hit the market this year.

    Best Family Camcorder: JVC Everio ($999.99)

    Recording to a hard-drive (HDD), the JVC Everio 30GB model offers families the convenience of built in storage. Since this camcorder stores footage on a spacious medium, there is no longer a need to worry about having enough tapes to capture little Billy’s birthday party or Susan’s figure skating competition. With the ability to record over 37 hours of standard definition footage, it is unlikely one would need to erase footage anymore then once a year. This makes this camcorder a great option for families that like to capture lots of events and don’t want to deal with worrying about running out of tape in the middle of an event. There is also the benefit of not needing to buy stacks of tapes every year. When taking into account the money saved by recording to a reusable medium, the cost of operating this camcorder drops extensively.

    Specifications Link:

    Best Ultra-portable Camcorder: Flip Mino ($179.99)

    For those that want a super compact camcorder that can easily fit into a pocket or purse, look no further then the Flip Mino. Recording to built-in solid state memory (flash memory), the durability and reliability increases. Unlike hard-drive, tape, and DVD camcorders, the storage medium in the Mino has no moving parts. The Mino was designed to streamline the process of shooting and uploading video to sites like YouTube, MySpace, and Vimeo. The ease of use factor makes this a great starter camcorder for those who want to create video for the web. With 640x480 resolution, this is perfect for video bloggers that wouldn’t benefit much from many of the features offered by more expensive camcorders. It easily connects to computers using a built-in USB plug. It’s also a great camcorder to take to concerts (that allow camcorders), parties, and events that make it unpractical to carry around a camcorder bag.

    Specifications Link:

    Best Upcoming Filmmaker Camcorder: Canon HV30 ($899.99)

    So you think you have what it takes to make it big in the movie business? OK, you should start your journey with the camcorder that has been all the buzz in the Indie Film world. One of the reasons is the ability to shoot in 24P (24fps progressive), a feature that helps give that “film look.” Film is generally shot at 24 frames per second (fps). The HV30 can record at 24fps, resulting in a similar look. The HV30 also features an external microphone input, headphone output, HDMI output, component output, composite output, and transfers footage to computers via Firewire. HDV is the recording format of choice. This allows the HV30 to shoot 1080i (1920x1080 interlaced) onto the same tapes used in standard definition MiniDV camcorders. The HV30 also has advanced options filmmakers seek, such as aperture and shutter priority controls, white balance, audio level adjustment, and manual focus. The camcorder has also gained the ability to shoot in 30P since it’s predecessor, the HV20 (released in 2007). 30P is a nice option for video destined for the web, since most websites use a 15fps frame-rate. The number 15 divides into 30 evenly, meaning 30P footage can easily be converted for online presentation without the complex formulas used to encode 24P and standard NTSC (29.97fps) for the web.

    Specifications Link: - ModelTechSpecsAct

    Best Value: Canon Elura 100 ($379.99)

    While this camcorder records to an older medium (MiniDV), it also offers an incredible value for the money. Amatuer filmmakers that can’t afford the Canon HV30 will be happy with the Elura 100’s cinematic ability to shoot in widescreen (16x9 aspect ratio). This camcorder is great for the high school filmmaker or the parent that doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a camcorder to record their family events. Shooting a skateboard video? This camcorder makes a great device to capture high-risk activities because of its relatively inexpensive price. The Elura 100 shoots some of the best looking footage in its category too. This camcorder is no slouch when it comes to “best bang for the buck.”

    Specifications Link: - ModelTechSpecsAct

    Thanks for your comments.

    Edit: This is a guide to consumer camcorders targeted towards non-tech-savvy buyers.
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    It's generally a nice balanced piece, and it offers recommendations in a good number of segments of the market.

    Here's some hopefully constructive criticism...

    - For this kind of review, the sort of standard three or four aspect 5-star rating system can be really helpful for adding structure. It's very hard at a glance to come away with a good understanding of how each of your recommendations differ and are similar.

    - You might also benefit from a different order -- the $180 camera is kind of sandwiched haphazardly. It might be better to mention it last, or else build up from basic to more sophisticated.

    - If you're targeting Mac users at all, in 2008-2009, whether the device can upload video via USB is going to be a key question. :eek:

    - If you really want to convince people that these are the best and not just a random selection of ones you like, you have to say something about how they compare to their nearest competitors. If I'm new to shopping for something, I want to know which device you prefer, because I respect your presumed credentials as a reviewer who seems to know their stuff. But I also do my own homework. So if you chose this particular Canon over three or four other contenders in the segment, I want to know what they are (and ideally, briefly, why) so that I can go look at them and see how their pros and cons compare on my value equation. That can be hard to do, admittedly, when space is extremely limited, but even one sentence saying it's better than xxx and yyy because of zzz can really help.

    Cheers. :)
  3. MacHipster macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2007
    As far as the section "Best Upcoming Filmmaker Camcorder: Canon HV30", I strongly disagree and would suggest looking into the RED Epic or the RED Scarlett. The Canon HV30 is useful in low-level film courses, but in the industry it won' doesn't...well, let's just say that indie filmmakers are better served with an Arriflex or Bolex than a Canon HV30.

    Take care and good luck.

    Nevermind: I just saw the "Best Camcorder" part.
  4. corywoolf thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2004
    I should have clarified, I meant more of the student filmmaker market and maybe the no-budget indie filmmaker market. This is more of a family targeted guide that is meant to show the best camcorder for each member of the family. The HV30 being towards the high school filmmaker or college undergrad. Good point though.

    Thanks to both of you for your input. I am trying to keep it short and sweet, but it is hard to compare tech specs in a shorter article and make them understandable to non-tech-savvy folks. I will try to give a little more details on why these are my picks in each category.

Share This Page