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Thread: Camcorders?

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    Camcorders?

    I've always had a weird fascination with camcorders. It had probably started when taking a class in high school, and now taking a few in college. Though, I've never owned one.. I had always rented one out from school.

    I'm actually looking to buy myself a digital camera, but thought about the smaller HD camcorders I have seen out. I do like the idea of editing videos, but, what do you guys think? Lots of people carry around digital cameras everywhere they go, but it'd just seem weird (to me at least) to carry around a camcorder. It seems as if I had gotten a camcorder, I'd never use it. I'd only take it out for special occasions like holidays and what not, but maybe I'm wrong? I'm seeing photo blogs everywhere, but will this/has it happened with actual video?

    Sorry if what I had said isn't clear.. I'm just wondering if there is anyone who uses camcorders often? It seems as if it'd be a waste of money for me, but I'm not sure?

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    My wife and I will be buying a camcorder this weekend. We don't plan to use it constantly, but we plan to use it occasionally. If we used it constantly, we would have to keep spending money on tapes, too. I plan to transfer everything to the PC for DVD making as well as keep the content on tapes most of the time.

    I don't think a camcorder is something that is typically used as much as a digital camera. They don't cost that much more, either (depends on your camera, I guess). So, I wouldn't feel bad about buying one and not using it all the time. I don't think it would be silly to carry it around. But I come from an urban environment where just about anything goes and nothing seems weird.

    My wife and I have 12 hours of DVD video taken with "movie mode" on the digital camera because we always decide to take video when we wouldn't be likely to have a camcorder in our pocket anyway, but we always have the digital camera.

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    I have been thinking of one myself, but wonder if a HD recorder is better than a DV one. I like DV because you can just carry a bunch of really cheap tapes with you, as opposed to camcorders with hard disks that fill up and have to be archived off every 20 hours or so.

    Camcorders are cool, but I don't have $3700 for a decent one to spend right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
    I have been thinking of one myself, but wonder if a HD recorder is better than a DV one. I like DV because you can just carry a bunch of really cheap tapes with you, as opposed to camcorders with hard disks that fill up and have to be archived off every 20 hours or so.

    Camcorders are cool, but I don't have $3700 for a decent one to spend right now.
    you don't need $3,700.

    $800 will get you a choice camera.

    3,300 will get you one of the best 'prosumer' cameras available.

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    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    I have this one and have used it quite a lot. It's easy to carry so it comes in handy, and I like the HDD recording. I did invest in some editing software beyond what it came with, making it easy to convert a video for youtube if I like. It will shoot still images as well, but the quality isn't near what a dedicated digital still camera does.
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    $3,700? Wow. All the camcorders I am looking at cost $279 or less.

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    What would you recommend for a decent general use (preferably HD video) camcorder (preferably using tapes over hard disks or DVDs)?

    I've found one that runs $60k (waay out of what I can ever afford for one), and the $3700 one is expensive, but when moving with it, I know it doesn't do "shakycam" footage, unless the camera shooter is directing another Blair Witch or Cloverfield.

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    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
    What would you recommend for a decent general use (preferably HD video) camcorder (preferably using tapes over hard disks or DVDs)?

    I've found one that runs $60k (waay out of what I can ever afford for one), and the $3700 one is expensive, but when moving with it, I know it doesn't do "shakycam" footage, unless the camera shooter is directing another Blair Witch or Cloverfield.

    pay attention.

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
    What would you recommend for a decent general use (preferably HD video) camcorder (preferably using tapes over hard disks or DVDs)?
    The enthusiast HD camcorders (in between consumer and prosumer models) have firewire and miniDV tape for highest-quality transfers to computer for editing. These can send raw digital video (DV) to your computer and you can dump it back to the camera in raw format as well.

    The flash-drive, HD or DVD camcorders all employ massive compression and throws out a lot of detail and quality in order to squeeze the video onto small storage-devices. The MPEG2 or MPEG4 compression used on those cameras makes editing difficult as the key-frames are far apart and you can't get single-frame precision. The USB-transfer invariably force another codec-conversion to ASF or WMV and throwing out even more quality along the way.

    So... stick with cameras with firewire and miniDV tape. That Canon HV30 recommended is a great camera. I also like the Sony HDR-HC7 in that price-range as well.

  10. #10
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    +1 for Danno's advice. I used a Sony Handycam purchased YEARS ago for my fire spinning stuff. While it's nowhere near pro, or even prosumer quality equipment, it gets the job done easily, expeditiously, and with high enough quality to make a nice DVD.
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    Thanks for the info... SingingSabre and DannoXYZ hit the nail on the head what I am looking for. If I get a camcorder, I am wanting one that can take raw data, and not already compressed MPEGs.

    Do the camcorders that use the HDV tapes store stuff as raw, or do they MPEG compress the footage?

  12. #12
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    AFAIK, ones that use tapes record it raw. HDD's are the ones which compress (due to a poignant lack of space).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

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