simple point-and-shoot camcorder as backup

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by floh, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. floh macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Hey guys!

    I am currently thinking about getting a second camcorder. I do own some miniDV ones, but they are really outdated.

    The new camcorder is supposed to be rather cheap, so that I will not have any problems to go skiing with it or take it on rough rides. But it should also produce an image that I can cut to as a second camera angle without it looking completely different (so no GoPro Hero or stuff like that).

    My main camera currently is a Canon HF-S10, so I'm thinking about going with Canon again to maybe make a multicam edit easier. I am a little scared that with a completely different brand I might have to do a lot of color correction and contrast to make the two camcorders roughly match in looks.

    Do you have any experience with multicam from very different cams? Do you have any recommendations for a cheap HD camcorder? Or opinions on what to take a closer look at or take into account? Has anyone had any experience with the "Canon Legria HF R26"? (I think the "Legria" name part is Europe-specific, I've heard "Vixia" in the US before...)

    My idea of a price tag would be about 300 euros (about 400$), so at the very low end.
  2. floh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany
    In case anyone ever stumbles across this thread again: I went for it and got the Canon HF R26. My two cents on it:

    + I know the handling well, since I know Canon (this is only for me...)
    + The image quality is not bad, even in mediocre lighting. Could be a little sharper, but the colours are fine.
    + It has two SD Card slots and 8GB built-in memory, so lots of space
    + The onboard mic is actually pretty usable for holiday shoots and such
    + The LCD screen is big and surprisingly sharp
    + There are even some manual adjustments possible
    + It records in 1080p at 25 fps (for Europe), which is standalone in this price class

    - The battery is placed within the camera and does not alow for a bigger one.
    - The auto white balance in lowlight situations is... well... buggy...
    - There is no option for an external mic, neither shoe nor plug (but that's okay for me, since I record seperately anyways)
    - The (digital) image stabilizer only goes so far in zoomed in situations. No handhelds at longer focal length!
    - Not suited for very low light performance or advanced manual settings. But no one expects that at this price.

    I did not try the packaged software. Most of the cons are not a dealbreaker for me, considering what I will be using the cam for. The biggest downer was the non-upgradable battery. It will last for about 70 minutes (100 with LCD closed), but for long recordings on a tripod etc., you will have to plug it in the wall. Without an outlet, this camcorder will only record movies of about 1 hour length before you will have to change the battery. And there is no way around it.

    If you are okay with that, I can actually recommend the camcorder and I myself will keep it as backup.

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