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Thread: Digital video camera

  1. #1

    Digital video camera

    I want to purchase a video camera.... $$$$ is an important part of the equation, sound quality is also important. I am looking for a camera under $500.00
    More under the better..

    Not sure what else is important .... Things are changing too fast with this technology.

    What do you have ? What do you like/dislike about your camera.

    I have still shots covered --- do not need a camera for that.

    Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it
    still sings!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    I would not go with a tape based camera at this point. I've actually got a little Sony that does a pretty darn good job.

    This is the newer version that has steady shot image stablization.

    These things are so small you can fit them in your shirt pocket, they take HD movies, and cost less that 150$....

    I find that since it's smaller, I'm more likely to take it with me and actually use it...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    What are you going to be video taping Paul? Are you needing a zoom lens or is it all for close up? There are some DSLR cameras like the canon rebel ti versions that can do HD video, but allow you to use various lenses for different settings. I've got a sony as well, but with the dvd-rw, which is a little older. I like the camera itself, but I wasn't very happy with the steps I had to go through to convert the dvd to something I could email. Had to end up using third party software. They've probably improved this, but I think the dvd-rw takes more power to run and shortens the recording time too, so I'd probably go with the type Brent recommended myself next time or a DSLR with the capability.

    He's right though, I find myself grabbing the camera that is the least obtrusive when I go to places/events that I'd want to use it. I've only lugged my DSLR on one trip with me, between lugging it and my laptop I was wore out at the end of the trip.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Gallian View Post
    I want to purchase a video camera.... $$$$ is an important part of the equation, sound quality is also important. I am looking for a camera under $500.00
    More under the better..
    It's like the old bromide, 'Fast, good and cheap - pick two!'. No under $500 camera will have good sound. Using the built-in mic will NOT be good sound. Decent sound equipment can cost more than $500!

    All that aside, I have a Canon HV-20. Tape based HDV camera. Today I'd get its sibling with SD card instead of tape. Much more durable. The tape transport is VERY small and fragile in a small camera. On the plus side for tape is it's cheap to store ALL the original footage.

    Many of the less expensive camcorders don't have a viewfinder. You frame and shoot from the pop out LCD screen. This might be OK for you. Depends on what you shoot. I find them tough in bright light.

    For sound, make sure the camcorder has a mic port. After being frustrated with the built-in mic, you can upgrade to external mic.

    Use a tripod whenever you can and learn how to light the shot properly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    Try to find one with a hard drive. And beware of specialized formats. Figure out which video editor you're going to use (final cut?), and find a camera that outputs to a format the software handles easily.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    And if you don't need the latest generation, don't neglect to check out Ebay or the like. Often times people get these things, use them for a few days/weeks, then put them on the shelf. Then sell them a few years later for a significant discount...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Southern, Illinois
    I just gotta mention the Flip Ultra HD ($179). I love that video camera. It's perfect for what people call "shoot and share" and does a decent quality job. It is so easy to use. I also have a canon video camera but it never gets used these days.

    Here is a quick video I did of me and my boys on a hike. Go to the end if you want to see my mug. Youtube does not do the quality justice.

    Here is another video of my tractor.
    Last edited by Doug DeVore; 11-09-2010 at 08:42 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
    I have a Panasonic and find it very solid and capable. CNET puts it in the top five and it's under $500. Test freaks also gives it a for under $500
    HDC-SD60 and there are more expensive models that get great ratings too.
    That's the one I recommend FWIW

    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Doug..nice videos. I was wondering about the flips...Think I'll get me one. Thanks. Oh...and now I have serious tractor envy.
    Last edited by Ted Calver; 11-10-2010 at 01:15 AM.

  10. #10
    Thanks for all of the suggestion.. Still a hard decision to make .

    I like the tractor movie -- thanks
    Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it
    still sings!

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