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#209070 - 05/22/08 05:31 PM Looking at inexpensive camcorders - need advice!
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Ok, I know that someone here will have a better understanding of the topic than I.

In a nutshell, I'm thinking of buying a relatively inexpensive (~$400) camcorder. I don't want to spend a whole lot of money on one because, frankly, I won't use it a whole lot. I have my DSLR for 'real' photography, but I have found myself occasionally wanting to shoot video. Vacations, parties, family events, that sort of thing. Nothing fancy. I bought a no-name flash memory 'camcorder' at the local big box store for about $100 and it was a total piece of junk. My 'backup' digital camera takes better video than it did. But even its video is barely usable for anything other than YouTube quality. So I'm looking for something that has decent enough quality to look good on a regular sized TV.

Several years ago I bought a Sony miniDV tape based camcorder and simply hated the process of getting the video from tape to PC. While the picture quality was good, I couldn't stand the whole winding the tape and 1:1 video transfer to PC process. Always felt like my video was trapped on those stupid tapes. It was returned.

Today there are several miniDVD and HDD based ones that look appealing to me which have obviously moved beyond the MiniDV tape handicap. The price point has fallen enough to put these in the realm of 'worth it' for me.

Here's where my Axiom friends come in. Does anyone here own a miniDVD or HDD based camcorder that they'd like to recommend? Any bad experiences that you've had with a certain model or brand that I ought to stay away from?

I sort of like the look of the JVC Everio GZ555, which I've found online for about $350. Seems to get fairly good reviews (though not excellent). Sony obviously is a big player, but they have such a myriad of models that it's hard to pick out one that works for what I want. I don't want one of the '380k' imager models, as I know that the picture quality will be pretty poor. Yet I don't really want to spend $1,500 for their latest HD model either. There's one that's like a 'SR200' that looks interesting.

Speak up, ye camcorder wizards!

Thanks in advance!
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#209104 - 05/22/08 11:35 PM Re: Looking at inexpensive camcorders - need advice! [Re: PeterChenoweth]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16257
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I'd seriously consider the flip. I've never used one myself, but they've been reviewed well, are dead simple to operate, and the video quality (with adequate lighting) is good.
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"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#209105 - 05/23/08 12:36 AM Re: Looking at inexpensive camcorders - need advice! [Re: PeterChenoweth]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10359
Peter, you might study the reviews at Camcorder Info . Within your budget, the JVC, as well as the Canon 50 and Panasonic 320 look interesting.
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#209129 - 05/23/08 10:37 AM Re: Looking at inexpensive camcorders - need advice! [Re: JohnK]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
I appreciate the advice. I'll look into the Flip, though I'm slightly leery of it because that's the same sort of one I already bought that was useless.

I've been browsing Camcorderinfo and it's a pretty good site, though the constant advertisements between links is highly annoying. They also don't seem to have reviewed all that many camcorders. Good forum though.
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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