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Which of These Camcorders is the Best Deal

 

New member
Username: Dnamertz

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-07
For now, I've narrowed my search down to the following 4 memory card camcorders:

Panasonic SDR-S7 $249
Canon FS100 $299
JVC GZMS100 $249 (includes 4GB SD card)
Samsung SC-MX20 $229

The prices mentioned are recent prices I've found at local stores. Are any of these good cameras? What are the pros and cons of each?
 

New member
Username: Startlifeendlife

Post Number: 8
Registered: Dec-08
Okay, all four are OKAY cameras to me, but they could be great cameras for you. It depends on what you want to use your camera for. If it is just for some home videos and maybe you tube stuff these should do just fine. However, if you want to use it in anyway for anything that has to look a bit professional then you might need to upgrade a little.

If you are sure that a memory card camera is right for you then on most points these cameras are about the same.

They all have the same ccd chip size which means they will all do about the same in low light despite what lux number they published with their specs.

I normally like panny but when it comes down to it from the specs it looks like the cannon and the jvc have it. take a look at this page it might help. if you have any questions let me know.

http://reviews.cnet.com/4504-4_7-0.html?id=33316929&id=33024997&id=32786399&id=3 2815188&&tag=boxcoco
 

New member
Username: Dnamertz

Post Number: 3
Registered: Dec-07
I will be using the camera entirely for home movies. I would like the video quality to be decent when I play it back on my TV over the years, but I would also like the ability to easily edit some videos occassionaly (which is why I've ruled out Mini-Dv).

What about the file format that each of these 4 cameras records in? Are there any that are better when it comes to recording in a file format that is recognized by most video player software?

By the way, when I clicked on your link nothing came up.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ieee488

Post Number: 130
Registered: Dec-07
You've got to be kidding if you think that editing videos from mini-DV camcorders is harder than editing files produced by these type of camcorders.

Nothing is more supported than DV-AVI.

I'd suggest more research.
 

New member
Username: Startlifeendlife

Post Number: 9
Registered: Dec-08
sry about the link. all it was is the four cameras compared next to each other in a chart on cnet.com if you go to www.cnet.com and seach each camera it will give you all the info i had.

I don't know each file format, but the brand names indicate that they would all be easily playable. If they are not, then all you would need is a free file converter from the net so i wouldn't worry about that.

If you are set on these four the one I would personally pick is the cannon. I like cannons when i was buying my mini-dv panny cannon was my second choice.

A quick note on the downside of using sd cards for home movies--you will have to burn everything to dvd to back it up because you cant trust a hardrive to stay alive forever, or you will need a ton of sd cards. The reason i still like mini-dv is because the mini-dv tape is a physical backup. But you are right about the ease of editing, with mini-dv you have to play the whole tape into the cpu but every editing software supports it and you can watch it while you play it back to the cpu.

But, back to the cameras discussed, they won't be HD but they picture quality will be acceptable, especially in good lighting. You will experience noticable fuzz or noise in low light scenes.

For the price, I think you will be pleased with the cannon or the jvc but I trust cannon a little more.
 

New member
Username: Startlifeendlife

Post Number: 10
Registered: Dec-08
LK, we are talking about the fact that the file can be copied in. I agree that dv-avi is more supported but lots of software supports these files now.
 

New member
Username: Dnamertz

Post Number: 4
Registered: Dec-07
LK, everything I've read says you have to transfer Dv tapes to your computer in real time. So if I want to edit, getting it onto my computer will take much longer.
 

New member
Username: Dnamertz

Post Number: 5
Registered: Dec-07
I'll look into mini-dv, but I have a couple questions. When you transfer a tape to your computer (lets say it's a 30-minute tape) does it create one 30 minute file on your computer?

Also, do mini-dv tapes have a long shelf life? Are there any other drawbacks to mini-dv tapes other than the real-time transfer?
 

New member
Username: Dnamertz

Post Number: 6
Registered: Dec-07
Consumer Reports rated the Canon ZR900 as the best mini-dv camera out of those they rated. But in reading user reviews I've heard many people complain about the noticeable noise the tape motor makes. Sure, the ZR900 & ZR930 have the option to connect an external mic, but that makes the camera a lot less compact. I'm looking for a camera that is convenient to carry around, so the external mic takes away from that. Are there any ZR900/ZR930 users who can tell me if the tape noise is really that bad...and does the ZR950 have the same problem?

I've also read some reviews about computers not recognizing the camera when connected via the firewire connection on the ZR900/ZR930. Anyone have this problem on a PC using WindowsXP? I see the ZR950 also has a USB connection, but can that be used for video transfer or is that only for still pictures?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Startlifeendlife

Post Number: 11
Registered: Dec-08
Generally, the way you import the video is through an editing program.

For instance, i just made a video that had 40 min. of raw footage. The file is made in a folder and it is 40 min long. However in the editing screen on windows movie maker, the footage got cut into clips every time I had paused shooting and then pressed record again.

So your actual raw footage ends up in a huge chunk, but the editing software makes it easy to work with.

I've read 10-15 years for mini dv. and 5-15 for dvds.

there are only 3 draw backs to mini dv

1) you have to buy tapes (although prices have dropped)

2)you have to fast forward and rewind the tape like a vhs instead of skipping like a dvd

3)Real-time trasfer

Considering that Standard definition dv is alot less compressed than an sd memory camcorder you will end up with better quality video when you play it back than with an sd camcorder.


honestly, the real time editing is not complicated and you can start the capture and walk away for however long your video is. The greater resolution mini-dv has is worth it. The prices for standard definition mini-dv have dropped lately.

I have a Panasonic gs-500 and have used it as a second camera in a video shoot and the footage in good lighting was almost the same as the other 3,000 dollar camera we were using.

Just check out the low end ones. At best buy they start at 200 dollars.

I work with a film group and we don't shoot on anything but mini-dv. Most of us started on sony's, but years later mine is the only one that still works great--the Panasonic.

Think of this, if you only burn to dvd some of your home movies and keep the rest on your computer, if it crashes they are gone. And if you rip the videos back from the dvds you will lose quality, mini dv tapes are loss-less quality back ups for at least 10 years. If an SD card gets scratched its gone.
Mini-DV tape is actually made out of a metal and is protected in a cassette.
I just trust it more.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Startlifeendlife

Post Number: 12
Registered: Dec-08
If the users say it is loud it probably is. The usb on my camera transfers both video and pictures but is a slower connection than the fire wire so sometimes the audio/video will glitch or not be synced.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Startlifeendlife

Post Number: 13
Registered: Dec-08
Sometimes low-end editing software wont recognize a firewire. I had that trouble with windows movie maker before. 8 times out of ten the usb works fine...if it doesn't you have to do it again.
 

New member
Username: Housecats4

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-09
Hi I am new here this is my 1st time. I have a DCR-TRV460 Sony but I didn`t get the software with it. I need Picture Package but can`t seem to get any infor on it. I have had the camcorder for over a year to put my 8mm tapes on DVD just never got around to it. Now want to do it and no way will it let me. Windows movie maker will let me put the videos on cp but can`t burn to DVD any help would be great Thanks
 

Silver Member
Username: Ieee488

Post Number: 132
Registered: Dec-07
Kathleen,

Just so you know, you should have posted your question instead of hijacking someone else's topic.

You need to use Firewire. There is no other way to do it. USB won't cut it.

To save yourself a lot of headache and hassle, buy a Sony DVD recorder with a iLink such as RDR-GX257.

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=1055 1&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921665548556
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