Author Topic: Camcorder/Video Camera Opinions?  (Read 1146 times)

Offline Brian

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Camcorder/Video Camera Opinions?
« on: June 1, 2007, 03:59 PM »
My wife and I have never owned a camcorder/video camera, but with a baby on the way this summer, we'd really like to pick one up.  I have to admit, I really don't know a whole lot about them anymore, as I haven't really used one since my parents got theirs in the late 80s/early 90s timeframe.  Anyways, I was wondering if anyone has opinions on what would be a good (and somewhat affordable) choice?  What do you have (or would like to have)?  Is it better to go with a "mini DVD" camcorder, a "mini DV" camcorder, or just a digital video camcorder?  Do any of them even use tapes anymore?  I'd just as soon avoid anything that is close to getting outdated, so it would be something we could use for awhile.  Anyways, if anyone has any opinions, we'd really appreciate it.  Thanks so much.

Offline JoshEEE

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Re: Camcorder/Video Camera Opinions?
« Reply #1 on: June 4, 2007, 12:33 PM »
I've got a mini-DV, which I picked up when it was the top of the line about 5 years ago.  It transfers easily to the PC via firewire and the tapes are about 5 bucks apiece when bought in bulk.

The tapeless solutions are really cool, with a couple of exceptions.  Unlike the DV versions, when those things run out of storage (on a long vacation or something), you can't just swap out the tape. Some offer memory card onboard storage, but those things cost more than tapes.

I think the real question, is are you going to spend the extra 500 bucks and get a HD camcorder, so you can film the new baby in high definition widescreen.  ;D
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Offline Deanpaul

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Re: Camcorder/Video Camera Opinions?
« Reply #2 on: June 4, 2007, 02:58 PM »
I think the real question, is are you going to spend the extra 500 bucks and get a HD camcorder, so you can film the new baby in high definition widescreen.  ;D

Sony HDR-HC3 all the way.  I got mine when it first came out and haven't looked back since.  Super little camera.  Here's a nice resource.
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Offline Morgbug

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Re: Camcorder/Video Camera Opinions?
« Reply #3 on: June 4, 2007, 03:50 PM »
We bought a mini-DVD version about a year and a half ago, though I'm wishing I'd gone with a hard drive version.  Josh makes a valid point about storage space running out though, but I can't imagine taking so much video as to overload a 20 GB hard drive. I guess some folks do, but we're more picture types than video anyway. 

I don't have the model handy, but the mini-DVD we have is a Hitachi and it works really well.  The zoom on it is downright amazing.  It also has a stupidly small still camera built in (1.3 mp).  Even being that old school, it's handy having it in addition to a regular digital still camera.  Transfer to the computer is easy enough, though finalizing discs is a bit of a pain as you can't do it without plugging the camera into the charger.  A small nitpick to be sure.  The biggest gripe I had was actually finding suitable mini-discs for them as we bought right after Christmas and couldn't find any anywhere for about two months.  That doesn't seem to be an issue other than preceding summer holiday season and the Christmas season though.  Buying the fivepacks keeps the cost down around $5 per (30 minutes recording time) so as long as you're prepared, not an issue.

If I were buying one and could afford it, I'd go for a hard drive version.  Very nice mini-DVD cameras are fairly inexpensive right now though too and easily outperform any need I'd have for them.
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Offline Diddly

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Re: Camcorder/Video Camera Opinions?
« Reply #4 on: June 9, 2007, 02:06 AM »
http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-ZR200-Camcorder-Review-.htm



I have a Canon ZR200. Had it for about 18 months and I couldn't be happier. It uses Cassette Tapes, but you can also use a Memory Card to tape things (which can be uploaded to your computer easily). Of course, you can also hook the camcorder to your TV to watch the cassettes. I got it as a gift, so I don't know how much it costs, but the website says the street price is about $360. And since that was probably a few years ago the price has most likely dropped. I'm sure a DVD Camcorder would be better, but if you're looking for something just to tape footage with and watch again in a few years, this would probably be your best bet.

Offline Tracy

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Re: Camcorder/Video Camera Opinions?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2008, 01:16 PM »
We've been looking for a Hard Drive Camcorder, but haven't found one we feel confident about yet.  I've looked at online reviews, but there doesn't seem to be any clear standouts.  We'd like to keep it under $600 if possible.  Anybody have any suggestions?  Thanks!
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Offline JoshEEE

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Re: Camcorder/Video Camera Opinions?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2008, 06:25 PM »
My brother in law bought one of those new Sony Handycam HDR series camcorders to bring on vacation this spring.  I played with it quite a bit and found it really easy to use (importing videos without their proprietary software was the only hard part).

The down side is the cheapest one I can find is right at the edge of your price range.
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Offline efranks

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Re: Camcorder/Video Camera Opinions?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2011, 04:31 PM »
Zombie Thread...

Question; I know Cisco is getting out of the Flip video camera business but was wondering if anyone here had a recommendation on a similar product?  Something small, something easy to use like the Flip, fits in a pocket or whatever, but takes good enough video that you can do quick and dirty interviews, grab a convention footage and whatnot.

   E...
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Offline stormie

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Re: Camcorder/Video Camera Opinions?
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2011, 07:12 PM »
I'd suggest taking a look at the Kodak camcorders. I have a Kodak PlayTouch and my wife has a PlaySport. Both are HD camcorders, but also 5MP still cameras. They easily fit in your pocket, and the video and still pic quality is great.
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Offline JediJman

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Re: Camcorder/Video Camera Opinions?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2011, 10:25 PM »
Anyone interested in a camcorder should check out the Flip HD.  I got an Ebay Daily Deal one for $80, but you can easily find them for about $120 I think.  We have owened several cameras and camcorders over the years, but the Flip surpasses them all.  It is tiny enough to fit in the front of your jean pockets, simple to use, and takes great video.  What I really love though is the software that comes with it.  Once you plug in the USB, the videos and pics automatically upload, with easy links to share on facebook and other sites.  You can also grab a video and easily grab a picture of any HD frame.  We've used this for family pictures - so nice to go thru each frame when one kid is talking or the other has his eyes closed. 
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Camcorder/Video Camera Opinions?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2011, 11:29 PM »
I've wanted to get one for the site here, but I just can't justify another electronics purchase right now.  I've just got an old mini-cassette one myself, and it's fun and not really big, but having a small HD one is obviously vastly superior.  I didn't even realize how small they've become, haha.
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Offline efranks

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Re: Camcorder/Video Camera Opinions?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2011, 12:09 AM »
I like the stats on the Flip cameras but Cisco is getting out of the business so once the warranties run out that's it.  They really had a great product from what I can tell but I hate buying into end of life products.

I actually have access to the UltraHD and MinoHD 4GB models, brand new, for about $15 and $10 respectively.  Just based on price I guess it's a no brainer, but they each have drawbacks.  The UltraHD model doesn't have image stabilization and the MinoHD has a sealed battery. 

Plus they only have built-in mics and no option to add an external.  How's the sound on the Flip models, JJ?

   E...
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Offline JediJman

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Re: Camcorder/Video Camera Opinions?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2011, 04:43 AM »
I've never had an issue with picking up sound despite the small size.  However, I do notice that if if the person recording speaks it is much louder than expected and drowns out other sound.
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