which camcorder

18 replies [Last post]
norman55
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Joined: Feb 25 2001

hi

eldest son marrying next year & off to usa for 3 weeks

we would like to get them an HD camcorder for xmas to use next summer

budget £250 - £350

should we go hard drive or memory card or combination of both?

have seen 8GB sd cards at £20 each but which quality setting should they use & how long recording time would they get on each card

assuming two batteries should be enough

many thanks for advice

norman

Maxwell
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Joined: Jan 13 2007

I always feel one should make once s own decision when buying a camcorder. Do your research and follow your instincts.
Go to a camcorder shop and talk to a person who knows his stuff.
I had to make a choice between a Panasonic and Sony. Like you did not know what to go for. Did my research and played around with both camcorders and found Panasonic gave me trouble regards connecting to my computer. (Wont go into details). Went for Sony.
Mind you there is nothing wrong with Panasonic.
I think many members will gladly give you advice.
One advice i can give you?. Buy a spare battery. The longer the better.

foxvideo
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Joined: Sep 9 1999
Maxwell wrote:
....
Go to a camcorder shop and talk to a person who knows his stuff.
......

That's the last place I'd go for advice! - very few shops have true enthusiasts, they have salespeople! A shop will only quote facts and figures (and prices) to you with their own bias on profit margins and sales target figures. I'd guess very few camcorder shop staff have actually taken a camera home for the weekend and tried it out!

You need input from people that have actually bought the model you're thinking of and then go to the shop, see and handle the camera and then buy instore or online.

Dave Farrants Fox Video Editing

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

You might find something in the Samsung range gives you the price/spec balance you're after.

http://www.parkcameras.com/15176/Samsung-HMX-H200BP-Black.html?referrer=pricerunner

Maxwell
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Joined: Jan 13 2007

Dave i went to the Sony shop in Bath and he knew what he was talking about. I should have pointed out the likes of "Currys and PC World" are a no starters for advice. I fully agree with you on that statement.
It is very difficult to advice people on this forum or any other, what camcorder to buy. People need to learn some knowledge about a product. I and you could tell them what to buy in their price range. Like Tom said Samsung could be a option.
I guess i did not explain myself.

col lamb
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Joined: Jan 2 2010

Norman
I'd stick to Sony, Panasonic or Canon for camcorders.

Have a look at: -

http://www.panasonic.co.uk/html/en_GB/Products/Camcorders/1MOS+HD+Camcorders/HDC-SD60/Overview/3297260/index.html

List price for this camcorder seems to be less than £300

I have a very small Sony TG3 for holidays etc (now the TG5 at £400). Great compact camcorder, sound OK, not good in very low light.

If they are not interested in getting into serious movie making then a small compact digital stills camera which regords AVCHD LITE may be an alternative, my Wife's Panasonic compact gives very good video.

Col Lamb Lancashire UK ASUS P6X58D-E MOBO, 3.3GHz hex core i7 CPU, 12GB RAM, nVidia GTX580 GPU, W7 64bit, 500Gb boot, 1Tb RAID (Mirror) Store, 500Gb RAID (stripped), Edius 6.05, CS 5.5

norman55
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Joined: Feb 25 2001

Hi All
Thanks for advice - the main thing is that they have plenty resources (recording medium & battery) to make a recording of their great three week holiday
Guess it hinges on whether say five cards would do the job or one hard drive with space for card as backup
I suspect two batteries would be ample with opportunity to recharge each evening.

Interestingly the latest fun camcorders are smaller than a battery for my first video camera the Sony 4000 which connected via a cable to the Sony F1 portable video recorder which was slung over the shoulder. I think this was the first 'domestic' machine to introduce the backspace i.e. when you paused recording the tape rewound slightly to facilitate a clean edit.

Norman

Maxwell
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Joined: Jan 13 2007

Norman, yes 2 batteries are plenty. You will get one once you buy camcorder and they will be i hour.
Go for the SDHC card device for camcorder. Plus make sure you give them the receipt of camcorder to take with them.
I think in general you know what to go for. If you are going to edit on PC or Mac check out its compatibility with which camcorder you are going for. Both should be no problem, but........

norman55
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Joined: Feb 25 2001

Got a good machine for him with two batteries and two 16 GB SHDC cards. Thanks for helpful advice.
I used to keep on top of latest developments by reading 'Camcorder User' and similar mags but for a while have not had time to log on regularly enough to keep track of everything.

Gets a bit more serious next spring / summer when I update my Canon XM2 (SD mini DV) to an HD machine.

Norman

SonicOrbStudios
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Joined: Nov 24 2010

When researching video cameras, I really trust Camcorder Info as I know the people who run the site and they really know what they are doing and how to review the products they work with.

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/

Dave

John Disdle
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Joined: Dec 28 2000

After a recent holiday with bus - loads of people waving very small camcorders, my better half says my Canon HV20 is too big. Maybe something to do with the external mic!

I must admit, one that slips in a pocket is a nice idea. Preferably one using a SDHC card. Some have built in memory. What happens if this corrupts?

It's difficult to find anything comparable to the HV20. The canon HF M31 seems ideal, but reading the specs, it sounds like a nightmare.

camcorderinfo.co.uk

Noise in lowlight, and bright light! Screen too shiny suffering from reflection, and needing a firm press on the touch screen to operate anything.

Looking at Sony and Panasonic, there are many with better all round performance, but you lose the external mic . input. I dislike wind noise, but has this been improved with the newer models?
Anyone had any experience of stick on wind gags please?

Just seen the recent post by SonicOrbStudios. Just wonder why manufacturers make, and why we buy products reading these reviews.

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999
John Disdle wrote:
I must admit, one that slips in a pocket is a nice idea. Preferably one using a SDHC card. Some have built in memory. What happens if this corrupts?

In the 15 years we've been shooting to MiniDV tape there's been an avalanche of posts about crinkled tape, dropouts, LP incompatability, head cleaning, deck alignments, eject buttons that don't and so on. We've not long been shooting file-based, but the avalanche certainly isn't there. Sleep easy John.

tom.

John Disdle
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Joined: Dec 28 2000

Thanks Tom.

That`s reassuring. I`ve had dropouts, head cloging and LP incompatibility. But never a crinkly tape!

Merry Christmas.

norman55
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Joined: Feb 25 2001

Thanks for that Dave - good site - got it on favourites.

The new Canon XF 100 looks a nice machine at reasonable price but not AVCHD though I'm sure that won't be a problem.

Guess all main brands will do a good job - in the old days it was down to Tottenham Court Road to try them all out.
We live in Lancashire - is there somewhere nearer that stocks all brands? There used to be a belting shop in Bolton that had all equipment on useable display.

Norman

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

The small Canons are good value for money.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

col lamb
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Joined: Jan 2 2010

Norman

Shops aren't what they used to be Wildings in Chorley used to be Ok but have now gone way down market.

Sound and Vision in Farnworth (Bolton) used to have all kinds but now only AV kit.

The best in our area is Wilkinsons in the rotunda area of the Mall/St Georges shopping centre in the centre of Preston. There is the Sony Centre also there on the first floor.

UK Digital in Clitheroe have quite a few camcorders but they do not stock Canon camcorders.

All the best.

Col Lamb Lancashire UK ASUS P6X58D-E MOBO, 3.3GHz hex core i7 CPU, 12GB RAM, nVidia GTX580 GPU, W7 64bit, 500Gb boot, 1Tb RAID (Mirror) Store, 500Gb RAID (stripped), Edius 6.05, CS 5.5

Barry Hunter
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Joined: Nov 30 2001

If you`re going to buy a Canon probably best to invest in a good W/A lens! I`ve got an HV30, not bad except for the very narrow "Wide" appeture, so I bought a Canon W/A lens & it stays on for most of the time.

Barry Hunter videos4all.org

John Disdle
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Joined: Dec 28 2000

Thanks Alan.
They are, but as Barry has found. They lack the wide angle of others. When I get out and about, I shall try and get my hands on some Sony and Panasonic.

John Disdle
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Joined: Dec 28 2000

I eventually settled for the Canon HF M36. Small, light and comfortable to hold! The shiny screen can be a problem in bright sun, and although a Hoodman helps, it`s impossible to reach the menu. A large hat may help!
The lens has a slightly wider angle than the HV20, and I`m sure I shall have a few questions regarding the many flavours of HD.

I couldn`t get my hands on a Sony CX305, but it was more expensive. The Panasonic HDC SD600 was a shade smaller, but not as comfortable to hold.

The image stabilizer on these small cameras is quite amazing…..