Videocam for beginner

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Haqq, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. Haqq macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2008
    First, and foremost:

    What the @#$% is it called, Camcorder?... Digital Camera? ...DV?

    I'm so confused haha.

    Any who, I'm looking to get into video directing/editing -

    What's a good product to start with... I'm kind of broke right now - you know how it is being a student - I am looking for something under $500? Is that a good amount to spend?

  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    A digital video camera is called a Camcorder right now.

    DV stands for Digital Video and is mostly associated with the Standard Definition (SD) tape format DV or miniDV. It records in PAL or the lesser NTSC (broadcast standards in Europe and USA).

    A good camera for 500$ is hard to get, as most such "cheap" cameras lack the ability to manipulate focus or zoom via a simple focus/zoom ring around the lens. That's what I'm looking for in a camera first. Second would be the resolution (and the amount of chips / CCDs) and the medium used for storage (and the compression that comes with it).

    The DVXUser forum might me a good start to lurk or ask questions.
  3. NeoMayhem macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2003
    The HF100 is almost down to $500 now. If you can find some coupons you can probably get it for that price online. This is the best HD camera you will find in that price range.
  4. 321estrellas macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2007
    If you're serious about wanting to get into digital video, whether filming or editing, it'll be kind of a waste to get a sub-par camcorder. You *might* find a super good deal on something decent like a Canon GL2, but you'll likely have to spend a couple hundred dollars more. Here (and I'm from Vancouver, BC) they sell here for around $1000, and that's CDN currency.

    Or for around your budget, you could also get consumer high-def camera like the Canon HV20 (the newer HV30 will be a couple hundred dollars more, but you can find many HV20's for sale at That camera can produce excellent picture quality when used correctly (and under ideal conditions of course).

    That's my 2 cents. Depending on what videos you want to produce and if you're tight on a budget like that, you'll have to decide if you want a standard-def camera with manual controls or a high-def camera with not so much control.
  5. vermonter16 macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2008
    From reading some of the issues have with folks transferring and manipulating the videos in imovie I'm almost afraid to get my husband a camcorder for Christmas. Is it really, really hard to transfer video to the computer and save it and work with it??? Some of these threads have got me rethinking his gift.
  6. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    HD just requires more time and perhaps a change in shooting technique, but I haven't found it any harder. Importing HDV is just as simple. AVCHD is actually easier once you learn how to do it! HD does require to you stop bad habits -- walking with the camera, zooming in and out and back in and out again and..., excessive panning (when you move the camera to follow a subject or the typical "180º horizon line sweep"). If you hold the camera still, record/stop, reframe, record/stop, then you're golden. Your jaw will drop when you see the kids/family in 1080i!

    My only real issue with HD is edited footage with fast motion or panning becomes somewhat stuttery -- think of the early days of reel to reel home movies (in super crisp HD though!). Search for "judder" (or jutter), "jerky video", etc and you should find some clips. My solution is become a human tripod and/or just watch the video unedited. The really really nice thing with an AVCHD camcorder is you can just skip to the next clip -- no FFD/RWD!

    And if you want what most enthusists consider the camera of choice, get the a Canon HF series HF10, HF100, HF20, etc and a 16GB SDHC card (about $30). Or if he's a Sony guy, he'll love the Sony SR11/SR12 or CX12 if he doesn't mind not having a viewfinder (which I don't miss).

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