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Digital Video Camera suggestions

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by justinf, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    Thinking about getting a digital video camera. Anyone have any recommendations for one, or ones to stay away from?

    What does everyone like better, the digital Hi8 cameras? Ones that use a memory stick? MiniDVD's? fullsize DVD's?

    Also will all of them come with the software/hardware needed to download the video to a computer?
     
  2. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    I would recommend the ones that burn the dvd's on the spot, mini I think.

    I have a Canon MiniDV camera that I like a lot, but I've seen Sony's that seem to be much better. If I wasn't soaked to the bone and in a hurry when I bought the Canon, I probably would've bought a Sony.
    For some reason, all the Canon camera products I've used have really crappy focus, while Sony products seem to have really sharp and fast auto focus. This is true for my video and still cameras.
     
  3. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, I went and did some looking around last night. I kind of narrowed it down to Sony, Panasonic, and Canon. Looks like maybe I'll rethink the Canon. I was kind of leaning towards Sony anyways, I have quite a few Sony products and have been happy with them.

    After looking into this, I was thinking the minidv cameras might be better, you get about an hour of recording time as compared to only a half hour with the mini dvd.

    One question I have is since the minidv uses a tape, can that be changed out if it is full and I don't have a computer handy to download to?

    Any other comments/suggestions?
     
  4. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I have had a JVC Mini DV for thelast 6 years. It is great, tough as a nail and takes great video. The MiniDV cassettes are available anywhere (think wal mart) and fairly cheap. MiniDV is like a small VHS tape - fill it up, put in a new one, keep filming. You can, of course, transfer it to the computer later.
     
  5. BigCountryx

    BigCountryx 1/2 ton status

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    Just bought a Panasonic GS150 MiniDV. So far I'm very impressed with image quality. 3CCD camera that can be had for around 500 bucks is unheard of in any other brand. Check out http://www.dvspot.com/ . It has about the best DV info that I've found.
     
  6. thezentree

    thezentree 3/4 ton status

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    I've got a Sony HandiCam HC-18 (I think that's the model), and it's kick ass. I've beat the hell out of it (think getting beat around in the back of my truck for a month, thrashed in a boat, being strapped to my back as I fall down a mountain, you know, indestructible sorta).

    My only complaint is that it's advertised as being able to take still shots. What it actually does is capture a still shot on the MiniDV tape and then 7 seconds of audio, so it's totally useless. If you need one that can take stills too, look for one that uses a flash card as well as MiniDV.
     
  7. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    I got my wife a Panasonic PV-GS35. Its kind of the best of their "low end" range of cameras. Its only 1 CCD, but it has done everything we have asked of it. We like it a lot. I had some gift cards from BestBuy, so I waited until it went on sale and I ended up getting it for like $220 out of pocket. Not bad at all. :D Its 30x optical zoom is the shizzel.

    j
     
  8. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for all the suggestions, I think I may go to Best Buy tonight and take another look at them. And Computers. I think I have decided to buy a new computer at the same time as the camera since my current computer at home does not have a dvd burner, or a firewire port.
     
  9. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    I got a firewire card from newegg for like $13... DVD burners are cheap too. Unless you really need an upgrade, I'd just spend $50 and get the parts from newegg.

    j
     
  10. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    You'll more than likely need an external HD if you edit very much, I ended up getting two. And the Adobe Premier Video editor is the best, and about $100.00 not counting the rebate! I've tried three of the other "top video editors" and Adobe is by far the best! You'll also need a fast computer and a lot of RAM for editing. I've made several company safety videos and RAM, Fast CPU/bus and a lot of storage were the most important. I use a Sony mid price using mini tapes. And fire-wire/IEEE1394 card is cheap, if your computer is relatively new.
     
  11. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    This is why I am thinking of a new computer, mine is about three years old and was a cheap model at that time. Just figured I would spend the extra money for one with at least 1GB of RAM, at least 200GB hard drive, the burner, firewire/IEEE 1394, and the flat panel monitor, and a pentium or amd processor. Plus I want one I can upgrade easily in the future.

    Not looking to go crazy with the video stuff, just take home movies, we are having our first baby any day now, and be able to video some of the wheeling trips in the future.

    I will probably get the Adobe video editor as well. We have adobe photoshop and are very happy with it.

    Right now I am leaning towards a mid level Sony that uses the minidv tapes. I plan to do some more looking around next week, but it seems to have pretty much what I want and I have been happy with all of my sony products so far.

    Any other suggestions/recommendations are always welcome
     
  12. kgblazerfive

    kgblazerfive keymaster Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I was given a Pentex for Christmas by my in laws like it so far and it will do movies.
     

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