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Thread: Digital Camcorder Recommendations

  1. #1
    FORT Fogey AIWANNABE's Avatar
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    Digital Camcorder Recommendations

    I am looking for a Digital Camcorder to basically tape any family vacations, nothing too fancy but I want it to have some features. Only things I request are:

    1. At Least 15x Optical Zoom
    2. Built in Light
    3. Can Transfer Video to Computer
    4. Around the $500 range

    Obviously I would also like a good picture and the likes. If anyone has any they could recomend or not recommend please feel free to share.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Premium Member FinallyHere's Avatar
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    I have a Sony Digital8 camera. Off the top of my head I don't remember the model # or the specifics as far as zoom etc. I bought it 3 years ago and I am very happy with it. I can transfer video to my PC but I had to install a Firewire (IEEE-1394) card and software (Pinnacle Studio DV).

    At the time I bought mine I went with the Digital 8 format which uses Hi 8 tapes as opposed to Mini DV since at the time Mini DV was relatively new and considerably more expensive. Now, Mini DV camcorders have come down in price. The Mini DV cameras are much more compact than Digital 8 cameras.

    As far as having a built in light, most newer camcorders do not need one since they can capture enough light without one while recording indoors. My Sony also has a nightshot feature that allows you to record in low light.

    I'm far from an expert on camcorders, but feel free to PM me if you'd like to know more about my experience with them.
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    Miz Smarty Britches queenb's Avatar
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    I also think that the mini dv is what you should get...hi-8 is on the way out. Sony does make very good cameras, but Panasonic also has about the same features for a little less money. I do like having the light on my camera for situations where the subject is in shade and the background in in full sun, it helps get rid of the "sillhouette" effect. For the price range you mention, also make sure you get image stabilization, very helpful although you'll still want to use a tripod when you zoom in for more than a few sconds.
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    FORT Fogey AIWANNABE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by queenb
    I also think that the mini dv is what you should get...hi-8 is on the way out. Sony does make very good cameras, but Panasonic also has about the same features for a little less money. I do like having the light on my camera for situations where the subject is in shade and the background in in full sun, it helps get rid of the "sillhouette" effect. For the price range you mention, also make sure you get image stabilization, very helpful although you'll still want to use a tripod when you zoom in for more than a few sconds.
    Thanks for the help. I was looking at Panasonic and Canon, Sony seemed way overpriced.

    Mind sharing what type of camera you own?

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    Anachronism before Noon Cat Bowling Champion Anemic Dog's Avatar
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    Don't underestimate the value of a camera shooting well in low light. We have a JVC mini-DV, and you need to bring in at least 100 watts in addition to the camera-mounted light just to get a good picture indoors.
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  6. #6
    Miz Smarty Britches queenb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AIWANNABE
    Thanks for the help. I was looking at Panasonic and Canon, Sony seemed way overpriced.

    Mind sharing what type of camera you own?
    I've got a Panasonic, and I've had no trouble oput of it, although I've been pretty rough on it. By the way, Best buy is having a good sale on them this week and are including an extra battery free...and you should always carry a spare charged up battery. Don't learn this the hard way like I did!
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