What's a good camcorder for me?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by showtime, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. showtime macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2007
    Hey guys. I was just wondering what's a good camcorder to get. Now I don't really have a clue about brands and specs and such. If someone could briefly explain what makes a good camcorder and what I should be looking for then that'd be great.

    I'm not looking to video edit with my video camera. It just has to record good videos on a vacation trip. I'd like to stay around a $300 budget if I can. So what are some good brands/models/series that I should be looking at for video recording on vacation? Thanks.
  2. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    At $300 you are looking at consumer level standard definition (SD) camcorders. If you ever do want to edit go with MiniDV. The DVD-based cams are very difficult to edit.

    Stick with Panasonic, Sony or Canon.

    Look at the size and number of imaging chips (CCD or CMOS). Panny has some nice 3CCD models for consumers. These should give nicer colors in good lighting. But, Canon and Sony use RGB filters and other stuff to achieve a similar result. 1/6" is typical CCD size in consumer cams. Look for bigger. That will give better video in low light (indoor lighting).

    Look for optical image stablization over digital or electronic stabilization.

    Ignore digital zoom (300x) stats, this is useless. Get a 10-12x optical zoom and you'll be fine.

    If you want to use a tripod get a cam with top loading tape.

    Go pick up and hold the cams, see which one feels/fits best in your hand.

    Stick with Canon, Sony or Panny. Panny GS320 may be in your price range or last year's GS300. Very good 3CCD consumer cam.
  3. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
  4. Abraxsis macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2003
    Dell current is selling the Sony DCR-HC38 w/ 40x optical zoom and nightshot for 279.00 w/ Free Shipping. I picked one up and got it in today, love it. Tax and Overnight shipping ran me a total of 313.00

    I highly recommend.
  5. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
  6. showtime thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2007
    thanks for the responses guys. I'll take a look at the Canon zr850 and the Sony DCR-HC38. If you guys have any other suggestions please feel free to post them.
  7. Nicolasdec macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2006
    São Paulo
    I currently use the JVC GZ-HD7, Its a great High Definition Hard drive Camera.
  8. Peel macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2004
    The OP stated a $300 budget. I think your camera is about $1000 over they're budget. :rolleyes:
  9. showtime thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2007
    thanks for all the help guys. I'm probably going to get the Sony DCR-HC38 for about $300 but I have a few questions before I purchase.

    Would you guys say that the DCR-HC38 is worth the extra $50 over the HC28? How would you guys compare Sony DCR-HC38 with the Canon zr850 for the same price?

    Also I missed out on the 20% at dell to get the HC38 for $279. Now it's just 10% off so $296. Anybody know another place that may have it cheaper? Thanks.
  10. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Go with the zr850. It's a better camcorder.

  11. YunusEmre macrumors regular


    Nov 11, 2005
    Santa Clara, CA
    Can you explain why? Picture quality? MPEG-2 on a DVD should produce comparable results, no? Do the Mini-DV tape mechanisms need service? How long do they last trouble free? I am looking to get a camcorder and currently leaning on Canon DC50 (Mini-DVD). I would appreciate your comments.

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