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Camcorder

Rot-KatzeRot-Katze Pensacola, Florida
edited Sep 2003 in Hardware
For my birthday, my parents have agreed to getting me a camcorder :)

I know nothing about the things really, all I know is I want something I can easily put on the computer for editing and such, and to send people movies via email. And it must be able to take still photos (doesn't have to be spectacular MP) and must be durable, as I will be filming alot of motorsports and offroad videos

I have a 600 dollar budget, I cannot excede that at all..


Any information, advice, opinions are welcome


-Thanks :)

Comments

  • CammanCamman NEW! England Icrontian
    edited Sep 2003
    I bought the Sony TRV250 Digital8 camcorder and I LOVE it.

    Has onboard transfer capabilities of standard RCA out (cable included) S-video out, IEEE1394 ('FireWire' or 'I-Link as Sony Calls it), and USB2 (cable included for USB2) comes with software for transferring as well, which is pretty decent for getting the video onto the actual computer, editing software it comes with isnt that great. The camera is $400, and its a great value IMO. The digital8 pictures has a lot more lines of resolution than a standard Hi8 picture (not sure of the exact specs, check sony's site). It has a "photo" option which I dont really use, just freeze frames for 5 seconds, the software it includes allows you to transfer them as picture by screengrabbing basically.

    Has lots of onboard editing things which I also dont use because its much easier on PC, but they're there as well. Lots of effects, mosaic, b/w, blur, etc.

    Also has NightShot infared for night recording, works quite well, an adapter can be bought that amplifies the infared so you can shoot farther in the dark. lots of great features, I highly recommend it! the video transfer under "Highest Quality" and especially when shot in 16x9 are spectacular.

    The videos "The Box" and "Blown out of proportion" on my website were both shot completely using the TRV250 Sony Digital8, but keep in mind the video has been compressed for the web! The version I outputted to VHS using the full video (several GBs after editing) looked a lot better, but even the internet compressed versions came out quite nice. (Blown out of proportion actually is a lot better looking than the box, because I was having transfer problems during editing of the box and I had to edit on my 500mhz laptop! yikes! so thats why the video seems a little jumpy at times, not the fault of this great camera tho!)

    The next model up The TRV350 is identical except it takes the Sony Memory Sticks for storing the photos (which I dont think is worth it, its better to stick to a digital camera, the video looks great, but the lens isnt high enough resolution for good digital pics) and it has "Super NightShot" which is just like a stronger infared transmitter, which if you really need it (i think is unneccessary) you can buy the even better adapter from sony for like $80 or something and attach it to the 250, the super nightshot isnt as good as this adapter. And for these two rather lackluster "additional" feature, the camera costs an additional $100! not worth it IMO.

    and since it's only $400, maybe you can get your parents to buy you some accessories too (assuming your $600 budget) maybe like a bag for it, some of those nice evaporated metal tapes (theyre awesome picture, but like $20 for TWO! glad I know someone who works at bestbuy with the crazy discount... :D ) and maybe another battery, the standard it comes with is 2hrs, but for like $99 they have a super long length 11hr battery! they have some smaller ones for like $60, like 4 or 5hrs.

    hope this helped!
  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat Head Cheezy Knob Pflugerville Icrontian
    edited Sep 2003
    Sony !!! Make sure it has Image Stabilization. There is nothing worse than trying to watch video that shakes. Another plus for the Sony's are their InfoLitium batteries. they charge fast, last long, lightweight and don't have memory like the old Ni-Cads.
  • CammanCamman NEW! England Icrontian
    edited Sep 2003
    oh yea, the TRV250 has SteadyShot (Image Stabilization) works quite nice as well. Just a little note too, they have a nice Ambico Tripod at Best Buy that costs like $70 or $80, I got it on ebay, exact same thing in brand new packaging for $35. Its quit tall, has bubble level , and removable camera mount, its really nice, check ebay for tripods, there are a lot of nice ones for cheap!
  • NixxerNixxer Nottingham, UK
    edited Sep 2003
    I have the TRV250 too. Very good camera, excellent quality and PC connectivity. I'd recommend it to anybody who wants a cheap Digital 8 video camera.

    You have to stream the video to a PC in realtime with this model, but with the ones with the memory sticks, you can transfer.
  • CammanCamman NEW! England Icrontian
    edited Sep 2003
    Nixxer said
    I have the TRV250 too. Very good camera, excellent quality and PC connectivity. I'd recommend it to anybody who wants a cheap Digital 8 video camera.

    You have to stream the video to a PC in realtime with this model, but with the ones with the memory sticks, you can transfer.

    Yeah thats one of the features of the memory stick but I figure I probably wouldnt use it much, because I like to record a lot of stuff all at once, and you cant really store much on memory stick unless you buy a whole bunch of them, and the streaming is quite easy imo.
  • Rot-KatzeRot-Katze Pensacola, Florida
    edited Sep 2003
    any thoughts on the MiniDV cameras?
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Sep 2003
    I've played with a Sony miniDV camera, I'm sorry I don't know the model. I though the resolution was good (720x480 NTSC), but it always seemed that images had jagged edges, and it didn't respond well to freeze-frames.
  • Rot-KatzeRot-Katze Pensacola, Florida
    edited Sep 2003
    Well I've been looking at the Sony's, but what do you guys think of a Panasonic?

    This one to be exact: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1055389160892&skuId=5685859&type=product&productCategoryId=cat04015

    I like alot of the features of it..and the price seems to be right-on, but I was wondering about the Stablizing issue, do you think it will shake, or do most the camcorders nowadays have some sort of Image Stabilization?

    Any opinions on it?
  • edited Sep 2003
    That panasonic isn't bad.

    I have a sony TRV25 mini DV. You will definately want the "pass through" feature of the sony brand cams so you can easily put your taped footage onto your hard drive for editing and compression. Only thing is try them out at the stores to get the feel of what you like and then go buy it at B&H photo or Onecall. Be sure you know the real megapixel of the camera and how the pictures taken will look.

    A few samples of my TRV25 miniDV www.heavenlyhive.com
    some are nightshot for use in the clubs. You can use freeware or trial versions of software to capture the video onto the computer and then use things like TMPGenc or Cinema Craft Encoder or anything you want to do the editing and compression.

    Image stabilization is only for hand held use and not for major stabilization needs if you want to have the camera with you while you ride. You would need a special mount for that.

    The lcd size isn't really important. Batteries are. Ease of setting menu options is also important. Try to get a camcorder that you can get to the menu without having to open the lcd to access the menu button.
  • Rot-KatzeRot-Katze Pensacola, Florida
    edited Sep 2003
    Going to the exchange in the next few days..going to do a price scout.

    I'll let you know what I come up with
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