Help\advice purchasing a new camcorder.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Smasher, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Smasher

    Smasher HUNKY BEATS

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    So, my ancient 8MM camcorder broke (and right before vacation, too).
    The wife really wants a new one and it’s her birthday in a little over a week so I figured I would get her one as a present.
    I want something that records directly to a digital format so I don’t have to spend 25 minutes in front of my computer capturing 20 minutes of video.

    At first I was attracted to the cameras that record to 3 inch DVDs but the price of blank 3 inch DVDs is ridiculous.
    Then I saw some of the cameras that record directly to an internal HDD. They are more expensive, but the benefit of never having to buy media is nice.

    Lastly, I noticed that the prices of some of the cameras that record to a 5 inch DVD are reasonable –actually less than I paid for my 8MM a hundred years ago. The cameras are a little larger due to the media, and I realize I would negate the benefit of having a media-less HDD, but I always have scores of blank DVDs at the house.

    I was leaning towards this model.

    Does anyone reading this have experience with these types of camcorders?
    I want to try to avoid pitfalls in image quality, or long recording start times, etc.
    Any input is appreciated.
     
  2. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    I'm not super-knowledgeable, so wouldn't be a great resource on the specifics, but definitely check Costco or Sam's (or have someone else check if you're not a member).

    They tend to run good specials pretty frequently; the downside is that you're often limited to a smaller selection of models to choose from.

    FWIW, I have a two-year old JVC (records to tape) that has great picture, easy interface with the PC, and has taken its share of beatings. Given the outstanding price and performance, I'm probably going to look to them again when buying down the road.
     
  3. TrickyDisco

    TrickyDisco <b><font color=blue>Voted TFW2005's Sexiest Female

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    If you are choosing between a DVD and a HDD camcorder, go with the HDD.

    Although ourt biggest sellers are still MiniDV, HDD models come a close second, but the DVD ones have never sold well.

    Also, take into consideration the resolution, quality/zoom of the lens, how good it is in low-light conditions, etc. :) 
     
  4. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    My wife has a JVC GRD-290U. Little cheaper than the one you're looking at, and while I don't use it regularly, I believe it has all the features you're looking for. She's a big picture/movie person, and has been thrilled with it so far.
     
  5. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    The one squirrelcar mentioned is the same model I have. Nuttin' but good things to say.
     
  6. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Right on. And hey, big ups on the Modding.
     
  7. Smasher

    Smasher HUNKY BEATS

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    Thanks for the input.
    Here is a JVC that is not too expensive and records directly to HDD. Can someone please explain to me what "1/6" CCD image sensor; 680K total pixels, 340K effective" is as far as video resolution is concerned?

    Is that at least SD Television resolution?

    The Hitachi model recorded in 16X9 and its video resolution is "1/6" CCD image sensor; 680K pixels". CCD is a new term for me, and while I understand the definition, the practical application is kind of vague to me.
     
  8. TrickyDisco

    TrickyDisco <b><font color=blue>Voted TFW2005's Sexiest Female

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    "1/6" is the size of the CCD image sensor is basically the chip that records the video, for lack of a better explanation. You want to look for a lower number in these (f.x. 1/7 is smaller, 1/5 is larger and thus better.)
    680.000 total pixels (with only 340.000 of them effective) sounds really low to me. The cheapest camcorders we sell are 800 k and that's considered pretty low res.
    Still, that JVC model you linked has a pretty good lens, so that might more than make up for it.

    With HDD cameras you might have some quality issues, since the footage is compressed in-camera.
    With a MiniDV recorder, no compression takes place until you start transferring it or working with in in the compyter, and then you can pretty much compress it as much or as little as you like.
     
  9. cannabisprime

    cannabisprime Well-Known Member

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    An HDD camcorder is probably best for you then; then again, like the previous poster said, you might run into quality issues. That camcorder you were thinking of buying also has digital image stabilization instead of optical.
     
  10. Smasher

    Smasher HUNKY BEATS

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    Thanks for the input.

    I will look into the compression factors.
    I don't want a "lossy" compression that takes out so much info it looks like the average YouTube video when expanded to fullscreen. :) 
     

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