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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Camcorders

Hey guys, I'm thinking of going for a camcorder, but not too sure what to go for.

I've never had one before, but I've had a go at doing some research on what there is. I'm trying to find out what I need, what I should be getting.

I've looked at the Canon HG10, it's a hard drive camcorder, it seems to have good reviews, but there are some JVC ones that do too, at alot more money.

Suprisingly I read that Mini DV holds higher bitrate than HDD and therefore has better picture quality.

Anyone here into camcorders who can advise me on what the deal is? Thanks.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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Re: Camcorders

I'm not really "into" camcorders but we have a Canon zr200 around the house and it works for us. Firewire cable transmits everything to the PC with no problems at all.

If I was buying a high end cam I would look into who has the best low light performance and go with that.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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Re: Camcorders

For under $400 by far grab the Panasonic PVGS320. It's miniDV. I was recently in the same boat as you (didn't have a clue as to what to buy), and after a few weeks of some extensive research (time spent on multiple forums, reviews, etc), the general consensus was the Panasonic. You can get it at buydig.com for around $370.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Camcorders

Thankis guys. So where can I find the more technical information that actually tells me, what there is on the market in terms of features and specifications, what specs I should aim for, what I need ect?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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Re: Camcorders

Ok, here's my take on consumer camcorders. I am a professional videographer/photographer and when I looked over at the consumer side for my handheld HD Camcorder I narrowed it down to two. The Canon HV20 (mini DV) and the Panasonic HDC-SD1 (High Capacity SD Card), and that was after hours and hours of searching and comparing the video in Final Cut Pro. I bought them both because that's how I do things I guess.

Both shoot excellent video, but I chose the Panasonic in the end because I absolutely hate dealing with tape. The AVCHD codec is amazing, though a bit ahead of its time perhaps. I don't know how to capture video on the PEE CEE side, but with a Mac I just capture it using Apple's PRORES 422 codec and it looks simply amazing. It outperforms the Canon in low light situations, which is often the case when shooting home movie junk. The Canon did have a slightly better picture in full light, but I really can't stand tape. You will need a whole lot of storage for the Panasonic, but again, for me that's no problem with a 20 Terabyte machine at work and a 6 Terabyte machine at home.

The Panasonic is a lot cheaper too, and you can get 42 minutes of the highest quality video on a 4 Gig chip, which are pretty cheap. Those cameras, in my opinion, are the two strongest. JVC makes cool stuff, and I did an entire training video on their Everio line, but it's their own proprietary codec and that's when you start going down the Sony path, which always leads to more money and disappointment (I absolutely loath Sony).

That's my opinion. Might as well go High Def if you are going to spend the money. If you don't you will regret it in 5 years when you look back at that old looking crappy 4:3 480i picture. Good Luck!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Camcorders

Jem20thlover, very good information, thanks. So, having looked at the two camcorders that you reviewed, what is your take on the comparison of those compared to the Canon HG10 and JVC Everio GZ-HD7E?
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 03:00 PM
 
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Re: Camcorders

JVC is out for me right off the bat, any company that uses a proprietary codec is always off my list.

The HG10 looks like a good camera, better than the JVC in my opinion, plus it uses the AVCHD codec, just like my Panasonic, which is an awesome codec. Go with the HG10.

AVCHD is striving to become the general HD codec in most cameras. Sony has one, Canon has a few, and Panasonic has a few. It is a nice, crisp codec. The JVC uses the old school Mpeg-2, which is choppy and real bad in low light. I would buy the HG10 if I had to choose between those two cameras.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Camcorders

Would you say, where some HDV camcorders record at 25Mbp/s, I'd notice a decline in quality with 15Mbp/s HDD or SD camcorders?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 03:19 PM
 
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Re: Camcorders

Like I said in my above post, the HV20 (which is HDV) was slightly better quality than my SD in full light, but not enough to justify the price difference in the two cameras I showed. Plus, HDV has always been crap when it comes to motion. I took both cameras with me to Banff Canada and shot stationary shots at trees swaying in the wind. The HDV camera had tons of artifacts, it couldn't process the information as well as the SD camera. I can only imagine it has to do with the codec.

Also, the Panasonic I have is much better in low light than the HDV. Talk about noise!!! Neither do a stellar job in low light, which is just the nature of High Def recording (even my $100k Panasonic VariCam looks like crap in low light), but the SD camera looked much better, had less noise.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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Re: Camcorders

Personally, I wouldn't buy a video camera that records onto a hard drive. Mini DV is the way to go IMO because it's far more secure than recording to a hard drive and dealing with fragmentation.

Jimmy
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Camcorders

Thanks, certainly gives me more of an idea what to look for. Capturing motion is more important to me. I'll be working mostly in day light.

Nothing really worth filming in doors, so not bothered by the low light. Well, maybe the spot lights in the bedroom might get an occasional adjustment when she's around
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 05:16 PM
 
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Re: Camcorders

Do jemsiters get discounts on the home-made porn
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Camcorders

Special rates of course to Jemsiters. They'll also be an opportunity for you to tell me what you want, where to go and even where to 'finish off'. Think of it as a 'made to order' movie.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 06:20 PM
 
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Re: Camcorders

Quote:
Originally Posted by jb4674 View Post
Personally, I wouldn't buy a video camera that records onto a hard drive. Mini DV is the way to go IMO because it's far more secure than recording to a hard drive and dealing with fragmentation.

Jimmy
Well, solid state memory is far more secure than tape ever was. We have the Panasonic AG-HVX200's as our field cameras (professional gear) and they all go to hard drive. We have the solid state P2 cards and the less secure FireStore's for longer shoots. It's ahead of its time, and there are still old timers out there that are clinging to tape, but I promise you in 10 years tape will be a thing of the past. I mean, we can drop what we shoot to tape if we just HAVE to have a tape, but with hard drives so cheap, you can have a 5 to 10 terabyte solution for about $500 per terabyte, and it's getting cheaper and cheaper.

Plus, it's home movies. Shoot it, bring it into your computer, and back it up. Then give a copy to grandma and be done with it. I have a raid array at home to back all my stuff up on.

I promise you this, HDV is choppy and fragmented. Canon's HV20 is one of the highest rated HDV cameras, and I own it right now (haven't sold it on **** yet). It is a great picture as long as there isn't a ton of movement, it is an interlacing issue that the AVCHD codec doesn't have.

I realize it's tough to be on the bleeding edge of technology, because tapeless cameras are very new, but I would say go for it. Just go to Costco and buy a 500 Gig firewire drive for $169 for backup, or surf around online and find a cheap external drive and just be sure to backup constantly. (which EVERYONE should be doing anyways. the second you say it'll never happen to you, it will. i speak from experience!)
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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Re: Camcorders

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy7jem View Post
Do jemsiters get discounts on the home-made porn
Trust me, you wouldnt want to see my fat ass naked.
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