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Quality CAMCORDER

Old 02-04-2005, 12:26 AM
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CAPtain232
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Default Quality CAMCORDER

What do you guys think is the best option?

The MRS. and I are planning on having a youngster in the house sometime this yr. I want a camcorder that will take quality video indoors and out. I also want a camcorder that will take good video of airplanes near and FAR. It seems that the more you spend on a camera, the less optical zoom it has. Digi zoom isn't even worth having. Done searches and found several reviews on DVs and I am thinking about getting the PANASONIC PV-GS200 and the optional 2X telephoto lens for a total of 20X zoom. One of the revies that I read rated this one #7. The six that rated higher were AT LEAST $500 more.


I would sure appreciate any input. Let me know how your camera performs in low light and in the great outdoors. ALso I would like to know how good the video is from a good distance for flying purposes of course. List the make and model if you would.


THANKS GUYS
Old 02-04-2005, 10:47 AM
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MinnFlyer
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

Jeff, here's the best advice I can give you:

Don't have kids!



But seriously, the PANASONIC PV-GS200 is excellent, and don't go all out for zoom just yet. Long range zoom is VERY difficult to hold still, and let's face it, most of the stuff worth seeing (Flying wise) is done at a relatively close range.
Old 02-04-2005, 11:17 AM
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tadracket
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

Invest in a tripod (if not already owned). It helps us shoot car vids. And the kid thing, mine just turned 1 and he is the greatest gift I have been given.
Old 02-04-2005, 11:21 AM
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

Depends on your budget and how much quality you want/need. If you want the best you go with a 3CCD chip camera. These cost more but give better color.

I used to have a single ccd canon camcorder but sold it last year within a month of having it because it would not focus well on the airplanes we shoot for reviews and the color was washed out. I dumped it on the bay and lost $100 in 30 days to cut my losses and picked up a single ccd sony trv27 back then which does a nice job and was well under a grand. I think $700 back then so I'm sure they have better, faster, cheaper now. The high end canon 3CCD's are well respected but also come with a higher price tag. Again depends on your budget and goals.
Old 02-05-2005, 01:38 AM
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CAPtain232
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

Thanks guys....

Marc,
the PV-GS200 from PANASONIC is a 3ccd camcorder. Right now they are around $700. There is an outfit on tebay that is selling them with tripod, lenses and a BUNCH more stuff for about $890...

From all of the reviews that I have read, seems they are one of the best for less than 1G.
Old 02-05-2005, 09:33 AM
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mvigod
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

Yes...that I have also heard is a good unit. Originally I almost bought one of the less expensive 3ccd panasonics but went single chip since ultimately most of what I do ends up on the web and compressed and I didn't think the extra money at the time was justified since a wmv file would compress much of the quality.
Old 02-05-2005, 12:06 PM
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sol2die4
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

Found it for you for only $569!

http://www.amphotoworld.com/product....IFBHJJOIOFGFED
Old 02-09-2005, 12:47 PM
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

As a high school teacher of video production, I can tell you that Sony is by far the best cameras I've ever used. they may not be the cheapest, but they are superior in durability. EVERY Canon we have is now broken, not from abuse, just lots of use, while the Sonys are still running perfectly.

Also disregard digital zoom specs. They are useless. look for the highest optical zoom you can afford. I just purchased another one for school use from B&H Photovideo for about $420.00. It's a small Sony. www.bhphotovideo.com isn't the cheapest place, but you can not beat their service and selection.


Mike
Old 02-11-2005, 02:16 PM
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STLPilot
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

I just picked up a Sony DVD 201 and love it.

The software it comes with sucks though. Gotta find something else.
Old 02-11-2005, 06:23 PM
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LSP972
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

I have the Sony TRV-22. It does everything you specify; and, of course, is discontinued. I believe these things have shorter marketing cycles than computers.

The HC series replaced what I have, and they are already on their second generation of that model. Also, I'm told the sensor isn't as good, meaning less-quality video.

The Sony line one step above the HC series has probably got what you want. I'll second the top-shelf Sony quality; I have two Sony digital cameras and a Sony HDTV in addition to this camcorder, and they are all excellent. The Sony camcorders seem to get consistently better reviews in regards to the video quality, low-light performance (important when chasing a child around the house in the evening), and overall utility. From what I've read, Canon scores lowest in low-light quality video. I cannot stress enough the importance of this when doing "family" stuff. You can buy auxillary lights that attach to the camcorder, but then your work looks like the 16mm stuff your dad took when YOU were a kid.

The only problem I've found with mine is that the on-board microphone is too sensitive to wind noise when outside. This is easily rectified by PFM'ing a piece of open-cell foam over the mike grill. Looks a bit rough, but works like a champ.

One last caveat; be VERY careful when buying on FleaBay or from a bargain-house located in New York city. Lots of gray-market fleecers out there. I'll also second the recommendation of B&H Photo; a bit more $$, but genuine US-warranty merchandise and excellent service.
Old 02-24-2005, 08:28 AM
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

I personally don't see a quality difference from the HC series and the TRV series Sonys.

Mike
Old 02-24-2005, 12:25 PM
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J_R
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

I bought my wife the Sony HC 40 for Christmas. Be aware that it literally shoots in the dark. It should; it has a built in IR beam. Also be aware that color in the IR mode is almost non-existent. There is another setting that allows somewhat better color with the first level of IR IF there is at least some reasonable level of ambient light.

I will also second Steve Campbell's warning. There are refurbished units, non-warranty grey market units, and non-English language units advertised on the net.

With some persuasion, I managed to get the local Best Buy Store to match the best real price I found. They did not like it, but they did it. Initially, just get the camera, and use it for a while. Perceived needs of things like a 2x lens may be found to be unwarranted.

Also, to reiterate a previously made point, these things change fast. Since Christmas, the HC 40 has already been replaced by the HC 42. Check the manufacture's site for the current model before purchasing, or at least get a great deal on a close out of the older model.
Old 03-06-2005, 08:58 PM
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Big_Bird
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

sol2die4, I looked at the site that you linked and realized that it was A&M Photo World. I've been lusting after a Sony DVD-301 and in looking at the bargain adds on the net I see it listed at $469 on A&M. Most of the other sites range from $669 to $899 and higher. I guess that kind of bargain scares. Any product that they list is unbelievably cheap compared to the rest.

I would like to stick with a Sony so what do you guys, from personal experience, recommend in the $500 to $600 range. It will be used almost exclusively at flyins.

Ken
Old 03-27-2005, 06:33 PM
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

i have a sony hi-8 and i want to make vids of my rcs how do i transfer them to my pc when i still use a tape not cd
Old 03-27-2005, 06:46 PM
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

You need an analog video input card and software.
Pinnacle systems sells a Studio 9 version that includes an input card with both firewire and analog (RCA) inputs.
I honestly havent tried the analog inputs on mine since my camcorder is firewire equiped.
Also has stereo inputs...
Old 03-28-2005, 11:34 AM
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CHM
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

I have the Panasonic 120 and I love it. It does okay indoors. It really shines outdoors! The problem with these tiny digicams is trying to hold steady. I taped the freestyles at the Tucson shootout on Saturday, then went back to the hotel to watch them. SHAKEY! So on Sunday I attached the tripod but left the legs collapsed. I let two legs hang down and rested the third leg on my shoulder and shot the video looking through the veiwfinder. Awesome! A poor man's steadycam! My friends think the video I shot is better than some of the propwash tapes. It's not the best camera in low light though.

I'm going to experiment with a weight screwed into the tripod mount just to help stop the shakes.

Chuck
Old 03-28-2005, 01:09 PM
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

bad boy 2 , i have a ALL-IN-wonder 9000 video input card it allows you to input video via anolog, sv, and cable, it also comes with pinnicale studio 9 (i think) which is a pretty easy video editing software to use. all i ahve to do is hook up my dv cam press play on it and record on the hard drive and then i can burn them to DVD's it makes great home videos i have made dozens of them its really easy , but i have found the all in wonder by ati is proablly the best way to go cause you get the graphic card and capture card all in one (hence the name)
Old 03-28-2005, 02:42 PM
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

Chuck, here is a Gizzmo that I made about 3 years ago to help with the shakes. The EIS on the Panasonic camera that I have is pretty poor but this balancing device makes a world of difference while taping planes in flight. You need to adjust the length and weights so that the camcorder is neutrally balanced while you are looking through the eye piece. The added mass vastly smooths things out and it is very comfortable to "wear".

The Gizzmo is made from 1" schedule 40 PVC pipe. There is a lolly pop shaped piece of wood in the front end to hold the quick disconnect. I used foam insulation tubing on the sides for shoulder cushions. Not only does this thing work good but you'll get lots of looks at a flyin. It is good up to about 75 degrees but gets pretty hard on the neck much more than that.

Ken
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Old 03-28-2005, 03:55 PM
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

Thanks Ken, it looks like a good idea. I got to snooping around on Google and found this site: http://homebuiltstabilizers.com
Check it out!

I'm fairly new to digicams and video editing. I bought Pinnacle Studio 9 AV/DV with a cpature card for about $80. It comes with a firewire card and cable. The card also has RCA inputs so you can plug in a VCR and convert your old VCR tapes to DVD. My Panasonic digicam does analog to digital pass thru so I can run the VCR into the camera and go out firewire to the computer. Studio 9 is okay, but you get what you pay for. If you keep up with the updates it seems like they have got most bugs out.

Old 08-19-2005, 10:47 PM
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

this is the camera i am thinking of going for. Ignore the sticker price.

http://www.panasonic.ca/english/audi...er/pvgs250.asp
Old 08-20-2005, 04:07 PM
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

I have a Canon Elura 60 which I got about a year ago. I found the zoom button was well positioned. I tried several zooms and found many to be too sensitive or poorly positioned and just too darned small.I am happy with it. Now I need to find decent editing software. http://video-editing-software-review.toptenreviews.com/ Any body have info on the top 2, PowerDirector or Ulead? I also need to upgrade my PC. I was going to get a MediaCentre OS but I see the Muvee program scored poorly... Hyper threading , dual cores etc, etc this stuff can drive u nuts
Old 08-28-2005, 12:59 PM
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

in my, personal, own opinion, i can't stand sony handicams. They just aren't good quality, there are so many of them, and so many people have them, i don't get why they think handicams are good. I have a GL2 and a few homebuilt stabilizers, a 'steadicam' clone, out of steel pipes and springs, a crane with a pan/tilt servo head (radio controlled, duh ) that runs on tracks made out of pvc (excellent for moving shots on uneven terrain) and a $400 tripod, thats really old, but its got a fluid head on it, and thats all that matters
Old 09-09-2005, 12:52 PM
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER


ORIGINAL: Steve Campbell

I have the Sony TRV-22. It does everything you specify; and, of course, is discontinued.
I also have a Sony TRV-## Hi-8 camcorder. It works great if you are shooting the plane on the ground. Once the plane is in the air, it tries to compensate for the bright sky and as a result, the plane usually turns out very dark:

* [link=http://www.warbirdobsession.com/tf_p40/movies/tf_p40e.wmv]Top Flite P-40E[/link] - WMV
* [link=http://www.warbirdobsession.com/h9_mustang/videos/h9_p51.wmv]Hangar 9 P-51D[/link] - WMV

Am I missing somthing?
Old 09-22-2005, 10:17 PM
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marjamar
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Default RE: Quality CAMCORDER

Took me a long time to buy a really high quality camera (many years in fact), but I now own a Panasonic DVX-100A and love it. I have ambitions to do some outdoor videography (as I can find time) and really wanted to do it in as close to filmlook as I could afford. I've had this 24p camera now for about a year and have shot maybe 15 tapes worth of footage altogether, so I guess I have invested about 250 bucks per tape so far. I also bought a "DVRig Pro" shoulder mount for this camera and use it almost as much as the camera - It is really an excellent addition to any 3CCD camera if you want near steadycam shots in a fast action format.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is be sure you get what you need, but maybe not exactly what you want. I don't regret my purchase for a minute, but over the years I've learned to enjoy some toys that do actually cost more then I really needed to spend. And, I am still going to do some of that videography .

-Rodger

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