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Digital Camcorders?


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Can anyone recommend one that is good? Our Sony digital camera is beginning to die, and I was thinking about getting a digital camcorder that does both pictures and video to replace it. We'll likely want it to be all digital, storing the files on our PC or backup media. My first impulse is to buy another Sony as the interface is already on the PC and the camera was very nice.

 

Budget isn't a big concern, but I'd say around $1000 is the limit. I'd like to find one that has good features, compact, healthy amount of storage space, and of course produces a good picture.

 

Any suggestions? Or should I have just addressed this entire post to Starhawk?

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My first impulse is to buy another Sony as the interface is already on the PC and the camera was very nice.

 

Cameron and I both have Sony camcorders and there is no interface. We transfer our media digitally via firewire into Premiere Pro. There's no Sony software involved (unless they put some evil rootkit on my PC ;)).

 

I think mine is dying, too, but I doubt I'll replace it with a Sony. I probably won't look for a replacement until the next StarMonkey Studios project, so I'll be interested to hear what you go with and how well it works.

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I too went with camcorderinfo.com last winter. With the baby on the way I wanted a camcorder to replace my wife's Sony 8mm (stolen while on our honeymoon :( ).

 

I used the buying guide here, which is now a bit out of date:

 

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/CamInfo-Select-2005.htm

 

 

They gave the Panasonic line the best manual control award, whereas Sony captured the ease-of-use award. I'm no DV poweruser, but I like having the features available if I so choose to use 'em.

 

I went with the Panasonic PV-GS31 from Amazon but ended up returning it. Thanks to a Radioshack coupon fiasco, I ended up getting the Pansonic PV-GS35 instead, for like $280 (about $50 less) and returned the GS31 unopened to Amazon. Nothing like a ~$600 camcorder for like 60% off :D

 

No complaints so far. I'm a bit of a Panasonic fanboy, though...I have a tendency to lean their way ever since my old Panasonic CP72 DVD player. They make good DVD players, outstanding plasmas, and good camcorders/ digital cameras. (I also own a Panasonic SuperZoom 5.0mp that I'm VERY fond of).

 

I consider them like Sony-lite - as in, pretty close to Sony quality, but minus the price premium and the annoying proprietary formats.

 

Can anyone recommend one that is good? Our Sony digital camera is beginning to die' date=' and I was thinking about getting a digital camcorder that does both pictures and video to replace it. [/quote']

 

As far as I understand, there's no truly outstanding camcorder/camera combos. You're better off spending $500 each rather than $1000 on a camcorder that takes inferior pictures. Photos on a camcorder are decent in quality at best as compared to a digicam.

 

I got a miniDV bag with enough room in it to fit both the digicam and the miniDV, so that works out for us.

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Cameron and I both have Sony camcorders and there is no interface. We transfer our media digitally via firewire into Premiere Pro. There's no Sony software involved (unless they put some evil rootkit on my PC ).

 

I too have a Sony and transfer via firewire. I use Vegas for the editing. (Vegas is owned by Sony now)

 

Our Sony digital camera is beginning to die, and I was thinking about getting a digital camcorder that does both pictures and video to replace it.

 

As GreenMonkey mentioned, seperate cameras for video and stills is preferable. I have yet to see mention of a single camcorder that takes great quality stills. There are plenty of quality digicams that will do a far superior job and are much more flexible to your needs. Check out,... http://www.steves-digicams.com/

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I bought a Sony DCR-HC90 last year. Reasons I picked this over the Panasonic lines were that the Sony was rated at having better indoor performance. This was important as the main purpose was to shoot violin recitals. Whats bad about this model is that there is no external microphone jack, so you need to use one of Sony's proprietary microphones that fit in its hot shoe. I bought their surround sound microphone and I think it sounds great. It also had a camera, which uses the same memory sticks as the PSP, but to be honest, the pictures are only ok. I also bought a tripod with a remote control that hooks into this camcorders LANC port. It makes recording the recitals so easy.

 

I second (third? fourth?) the recommendations for Camcorder info. Great reviews and forums on that site. I also got a lot of information at dvspot.com. This site actually had short movies of each reviewed camcorder in action so you could see for yourself the low light performance, sound quality, and its shake test while zoomed.

 

Best price I found? From Newegg, believe it or not. I guess their not just for computer parts. At the time, it beat Amazon by $100. I really spent a lot of time making the purchase decision, and found other reviews, but those two sites pretty much are all you'll need. One other thing I did was to go to Best Buy and get some hands on time with the models I was interested in. Some models I was able to eliminate because they just didn't feel right in my hands.

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I bought the Sony DCRHC40 two years ago. I got it for the same reasons Sparkz mentioned for his HC90. Great for indoor shooting and very nice color production. I went for the base model, as I didn't need the still shot capabilities. I'm very happy with the Camcorder. One aspect to consider with this model, as with any camcorder purchase, would be purchasing either a back up battery, or ideally, a battery back up with an extended charge cycle. Good luck, and let us know what camcorder you pick up.

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So the wife and I had some adventures in photography this weekend ... then we went and bought a camera. :dance

 

Seriously, after looking at lots of options we decided to wait on the camcorder and bought a Canon Elph still camera for $399 on sale at BB. The camcorders were ok, but I don't like the disc and tape based recorders. I want a HDD or some other form of digital based recording that I can transfer to a DVD-R or PC myself later. HDD camcorders exist, but they are really still in the 1st gen and none of them stand out as excellent.

 

But the Elph is a damn cool camera. I wish I knew which one it was so I could post the model here, my wife knows (as it is her new baby.) She said the lens was very nice and the features made it the best of the <$500 bunch.

 

So I guess the grandparents will live with still images for another year. Just more incentive for them to come and visit.

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So the wife and I had some adventures in photography this weekend ... then we went and bought a camera. :dance

 

Seriously, after looking at lots of options we decided to wait on the camcorder and bought a Canon Elph still camera for $399 on sale at BB. The camcorders were ok, but I don't like the disc and tape based recorders. I want a HDD or some other form of digital based recording that I can transfer to a DVD-R or PC myself later. HDD camcorders exist, but they are really still in the 1st gen and none of them stand out as excellent.

 

But the Elph is a damn cool camera. I wish I knew which one it was so I could post the model here, my wife knows (as it is her new baby.) She said the lens was very nice and the features made it the best of the <$500 bunch.

 

So I guess the grandparents will live with still images for another year. Just more incentive for them to come and visit.

 

I thought the HDD camcorders were cool too, but I did some research. They're worse as far as PQ. The camcorder compresses the video to MPEG2 on the fly. :td Better to go miniDV for video quality.

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