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View Full Version : Any Advice on which Camcorder to purchase?



Magic Smiles
03-02-2007, 11:45 PM
I am in the market for a new video camera. I am partial to SONY - just because my first one was, but no other reason in particular, but would like to get some other opinions on which is a good video camera. It does not have to be SONY. I do not want a DVD camcorder, as I have heard that they are difficult to edit on the computer. Not sure if this is only the SONY brand or all brands. So that leave me a Mini DV and the Hard Disc camcorders.
My must includes are: a good optical zoom and good to great results in low lighting - especially fireworks - after all, I will be using this camcorder in Disney World.

Christine
03-03-2007, 12:23 AM
The Sonys are typically a good bet in their price class, and from my personal experience, are FAR better in low light than the competition. I've used a Sony TRV-70 for several years now and been very happy with it. The Hard-disk based camcorders are appealing due to not having to mess with the tapes. However, I don't believe any of the disk based players offer the video quality of the Mini-DV players just yet. I'd probably stick with mini-DV until the disk based players mature just a bit. I don't know what your budget is, but for around $550-600, you can get a Sony DCR-HC96. Look it up and see what you think.

Jeri Lynn
03-03-2007, 08:56 AM
I have a Sony DCR-HC21, it's small and compact. It has a 20X optical zoom and a 800x digital zoom....however, I'm not even quite sure what that means, but it works great!:blush:

MsMin
03-03-2007, 03:28 PM
I was shopping for a camcorder before our trip in Dec. and I researched myself out of the market. I have an older tape model-- sony w/ great zoom and I couldn't find a DVD model w/ the same picture quality. Lighting was also a factor. Also what I didn't like about the HD models was the limited memory I would have while in the park.
Honestly I can't remember all the details but I decided to stick w/ my older tape model until the picture quality improves w/ the DVD and HD models develop a little more.
I use cnet for some great comparisons w/ different models.
I am a Sony fan when it comes to video cameras.

Magic Smiles
03-03-2007, 07:44 PM
I have an older tape model-- sony w/ great zoom and I couldn't find a DVD model w/ the same picture quality. Lighting was also a factor. Also what I didn't like about the HD models was the limited memory I would have while in the park.
Honestly I can't remember all the details but I decided to stick w/ my older tape model until the picture quality improves w/ the DVD and HD models develop a little more.
I use cnet for some great comparisons w/ different models.
I am a Sony fan when it comes to video cameras.
We also have an original SONY Hi8 Tape model - bought in 1992, but I can't get the batteries to keep a charge and batteries are still in the $100 range today.
Please keep the responses and opinions coming. I would like to purchase one sometime this summer. As I live in Canada I am probably willing to spend between $1000 - $1400 for the camera. Mind you, cheaper would definitely be great.
Thanks to all who have replied.

TikiGoddess
03-05-2007, 01:48 PM
We have a JVC Everio G (a hard disk camcorder) and it's great. VERY easy to use. We did have some problems with indoors/ low light taping but after fiddling with the manual controls it's working great now.

Try looking at amazon for reviews.
HTH!
TikiG

DISNEYFIX
03-05-2007, 02:09 PM
I have the Sony HD mini tape version. HD was the only way to go. When a HD player/recorder comes down in price I will transfer the Tapes to HD disk. Good news is that the video is in HD forever, just trying to think ahead.
I would seriously look into the camcorder using the mini HD disks a few advantages i think?
Good luck

PS> B & H photo video nice reputitable place, got it online.

Magic Smiles
04-12-2007, 11:56 PM
After much research and talking to salesmen, I have narrowed my search down to three different camcorders, at least for the moment. It had been the two SONY camcorders up until finding out that the Canon can now produce better results in low lighting. It is all so confusing to me. Any advice from owners of these three would be appreciated.
The SONY HDR-HC7 which uses MiniDV tapes, the SONY HDR-SR1, which has a hard drive and the Canon HV20 MiniDV tapes.

MsMin
04-13-2007, 01:10 AM
I really swear by cnet. com (no space, I didn't want to set the link)
They review the products, even some that are just about to be released. You can make comparisons from so many ways. I've used it every time I purchase electronics. Their reviews are great.

disneykat
04-13-2007, 08:11 AM
I researched and researched before deciding on another Sony. I had an older 8mm but wanted to go digital. I borrowed a mini dv from a friend and felt like if I looked at it wrong, it was going to break. I ended up with a very inexpensive Sony Hi8. I'm not sure of the model number but would be happy to look it up if you want. It's not quite as small as the mini dv but is quite compact compared to my older Sony. It has a firewire port along with a USB and a traditional red/white/yellow port. I've imported video into my computer with pretty good results, however, usually I just attach it directly to a dvd recorder and copy the entire tape. Digital 8 tapes hold an hour of taping and the battery in the camera is about 90 minutes strong. Consider I only paid about $250 for the camera, I am very happy. Oh, BTW, it also has a built in light for low-light level taping. I haven't used that much so can't really comment on it. Let me know if you want any other info.

141 days and counting. . . :mickey:

DizneyRox
04-13-2007, 08:45 AM
I do a lot of videography...

MiniDV (as you've figured out) is the way to go if you plan on editing. A DVD camcoder atually conpresses the video into DVD format (MPEG-2), and editing that is like making a copy of a copy, etc. Not a good idea.

My problem with a hard drive camcorder is the fixed recording capacity (which might be enough, but it's still a factor). You would need to offload the video (and then you don't have a backup) before you can record more.

Canon have been bad in low light conditions in the past, I haven't checked on them in a while. BUT, I'm very impressed with their normal lighting quality. I use a Canon just because most of my stuff is done in good lighting.

I won't touch a Sony with a 10 foot pole. Sony has historically been a gimicky product (remember their floppy disk camera's, and the Sony MEmory Stick format, Beta tapes, etc.) Many of their standards just haven't made it. I'm not sure if it's a licensing thing or what, BUT I know in the past you could get COmpact Flash card or SD cards just about anywhere, but you needed to look hard for a MemoryStick.

MiniDV tapes are everywhere.

Just my take on it...

Ian
04-13-2007, 10:41 AM
I have a JVC hard drive video camera that was one of the first generation HD cams.

It's just okay. I love the fact that there's no tapes or anything to mess with, but the quality isn't great (at all) and in low light it's virtually worthless.

I will say, however, that I've never had a single issue with storage space (and I only have the 20gb version). It holds something like five hours of video at the highest quality setting and that's more than enough for an entire week away.

Worst case, you can take it to one of the camera places and have them dump it right from the HD to DVD.

Magic Smiles
04-14-2007, 11:06 PM
I would like to thank everyone for their opinions and advice. I have been back and forth so many times on which camcorder to buy. I think that I have finally decided on the SONY HDR-HC7 which is a High Def Mini DV camera. It's ratings in low light aren't the best, but every camera that I have read about seems to have some sort of negative feedback for one thing or another. Hopefully the low light recordings will be good enough for us to enjoy the Christmas parades and firework shows after our trip in Dec 07. It was just becoming way too stressful trying to decide. Now all I have to do is learn how to edit the videos. LOL and I thought picking a camcorder was stressful.

PAYROLL PRINCESS
04-15-2007, 12:18 AM
My first camcorder was a Sony too. Not top of the line but pretty close. I bought a Canon miniDV and love it! Great pictures and I love the small compact size.