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#110650 - 09/14/05 01:41 PM Shopping for a consumer DV camera
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16227
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
My grandma and parents want to buy us a digital video camera so that when we move to Virginia we can keep them updated with videos of the kids and such. Being an Axiom owner, I'm in the bang-for-the-buck category of gadget shoppers, but I'm not sure where to start looking.

I know that I want about a good optical zoom, image stabilization, recording to tape (not CD/DVD), FireWire output, better than decent still image capability (captured to flash or SD card), and that I don't need any in-camera effects/titling/faders since I can do all that on a computer. I also know that the 3 CCD cameras take better looking video, but are likely out of the target price range.

That being said, are there any brands I should gravitate towards or avoid?
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#110651 - 09/14/05 01:43 PM Re: Shopping for a consumer DV camera
royce73 Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 170
Loc: New Jersey
I have a JVC and I am more than happy with it. Definately cheaper than the Sonys, so it is definately a bank-for-the-buck product in my opinion.

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#110652 - 09/14/05 01:46 PM Re: Shopping for a consumer DV camera
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10694
Loc: Central NH
I have a tendency to gravitate towards Sony and Canon, but I'm really not familiar with the consumer-level units to make any specific recommendations. Sorry!
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#110653 - 09/14/05 02:12 PM Re: Shopping for a consumer DV camera
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16227
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I just look at a few review sites and I really like the Canon Elura 90. Not sure how about the price, though (under $500 after a $50 rebate). Perhaps I should ask them what the budget is -- it'd make looking easier.
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#110654 - 09/14/05 02:33 PM Re: Shopping for a consumer DV camera
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
I have Sony's DCRTRV480 and it works fine and dandy for me. When it comes to video cameras I have had nothing but good luck with Sony.

Buddy of mine is a Sony rep, if you want one let me know and I will ask him for a price direct from him.

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#110655 - 09/14/05 04:25 PM Re: Shopping for a consumer DV camera
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16227
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Thanks for the offer! I'll have to look at what Sony has available.
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#110656 - 09/15/05 04:19 PM Re: Shopping for a consumer DV camera
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3826
Loc: Up yonder
I like Cannon. I think they are the best on the market for the price. Sony has what some folks consider a better lens (Zies), but the Cannon’s have a better image stabilization. The Cannons use a “floating” optic vrs digital.

Two years ago I bought the Optura 200 MC and love it. If I were to buy a dig cam today, I’d give the Optura 500 a serious look. It’s one step down from the 600 and about half the cost. You can find the 500 for about $600. It’s got a 10X optical zoom and a 4 meg still picture pixel rate. My 200 has a 1.3 meg pixel rate for stills.

Some points to consider with these little buggers. 1) comfort 2) zoom 3) still shots 4) battery life 5) size 6) the screen illumination

You should really hold a few. I prefer the palm cameras like the one I have. Keep in mind that you will usually use the screen while shooting, but sometimes, you will have to use the view finder due to ambient light.

Get at least 10X optical zoom.

It’s pretty darn handy to have the ability to take stills so you aren’t packing around the dig camcorder and another camera. Make sure the camera has a separate memory stick for stills. Saving them to the tape sucks.

These things suck down batteries pretty quick. And they recharge slowly…..this is a biggie to consider.

Too small is sometimes just too damn small. Again, hold a few to see what’s comfortable for you to hold. Light is good, but too light makes them wiggly in your hand.

There is a big difference with screens. Some don’t work worth a crap in the daylight. My Cannon works remarkable well.

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#110657 - 09/15/05 06:15 PM Re: Shopping for a consumer DV camera
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16227
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Thanks for the tips. I think I'll drop into a Best Buy and hold a bunch of different cameras. I have big hands, so I'm not sure if the more compact Opturas will be to my liking.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#110658 - 09/16/05 12:59 AM Re: Shopping for a consumer DV camera
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
I'd steer you towards Sony, Panasonic used to have some good consumer cameras, maybe still do?... Canon's got a great PR wagon, but even their prosumer cameras suffer from some giant flaws (green shift anyone?) and their full pro lenses ($30,000 12x ENG lenses up to $100,000 55x box lenses) and considered "base equipment" (with Fujinon lenses being prefered by shooters)

Bren R.

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#110659 - 10/03/05 02:22 AM Re: Shopping for a consumer DV camera
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16227
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
It has come down to two cameras:

Canon Optura 40


Panasonic PV-GS150


The major difference between these two is that the Panny uses 3 CCDs (one for each primary color) instead of just one. This theoretically result in better video quality, but the single CCD Canon's video quality compares really well to it. I can get both of these cameras for right around $500, although the Optura would be a refurb at that price.

I cannot decide which one to get. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#110660 - 10/03/05 04:23 AM Re: Shopping for a consumer DV camera
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10309
Peter, I suppose that you studied the reviews at camcorderinfo.com, which rates the PV-GS150 a bit higher.
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#110661 - 10/03/05 05:26 PM Re: Shopping for a consumer DV camera
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16227
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I did, John. I asked this question at another forum and didn't get a single vote for the Canon. I think my mind is made up. I'm going with the Panasonic.
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"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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