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Which camcorder?

Discussion in 'Digital camcorders' started by campbuds, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. campbuds

    campbuds Member

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    Ok... we have our first kid on the way and family scattered all over the place and want to be able to make DVDs to mail to family and also we want to be able to upload videos.

    I have a DVD burner on my computer. I want something that is easy to burn to DVD without having to spend hours at the computer to do so, but I also want good quality and a camcorder that is made well and will last.

    So... what kind of recorder should I get (ie. minidv, dvd, hard drive, high def) What brand and model should I go with? Lastly our price limit is around $300 to $350.

    Thanks for your help, I tried to give as much info as possible.
     
  2. PFloyd

    PFloyd Regular member

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    I'd go with MiniDV.
     
  3. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    I second what PFloyd said. MiniDV is tape. There are camcorders that record to mini DVD's, and there are some that burn to hard drives.

    Neither of those two options has the quality of good old tape.
     
  4. campbuds

    campbuds Member

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    I understand that the quality is better on minidv, but what about the other stuff I want to do with the recordings?
     
  5. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    You get a program like Roxio EMC 9 or N-ero 7 to do whatever editing you want, or if you don't want to do any editing, burn it directly to a DVD.

    Both Roxio and N-ero are coming out with new versions of their software, but there are other programs out there, too.
     
  6. campbuds

    campbuds Member

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    I guess my concern is when I try to record video from my TV tuner it turns out choppy and awful, and I don't want that issue with a camcorder when I try to transfer the video from it.
     
  7. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    The tv tuner and your camcorder are two totally different animals. Your DV tapes will be much higher quality than you get from your tv tuner.

    If you get a miniDV tape camcorder, make sure that you get one that has a firewire port and you have a firewire card or built in firewire.

    You will need to buy a firewire cable, and don't get a cheap one. Belkin makes some good one for about $37 US.

    You will also want to make sure you have a large hard drive, because you should capture as DV-AVI files. The quality is much better than capturing at mpeg2, but the size of the files is large.

    I purchased the Sony DCR-HC96 in January, for about $550. My budget was around $400, but my wife and I both use it to video our grandkids, when they are able to visit us. I figured that they were worth the blown budget. :)

    The extra money was worth it. The video is fantastic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2007
  8. whassup

    whassup Regular member

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    Also remember that the final quality of your DVD depends on multiple factors:

    1) The quality of your encoding engine.
    2) The bit-rate of your encode.

    Most "all-in-one" solutions, which is what I assume you're looking for, have horrible encoding engines and give no control over the specs of the encoding.

    More convenience=Poorer quality
     
  9. campbuds

    campbuds Member

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    while i truly appreciate your input,I really don't understand what you sre saying
     
  10. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    In an indirect way, he is saying that you want your burned DVD to have video quality as close to the quality of what is on the tape, and some programs don't do such a good job of encoding, so the quality is not near as good as what is on the tape.

    If you capture you files as DV-AVI from your video camera, via firewire connection, and use Nero to edit and burn you productions, you should get a good quality DVD.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2007
  11. campbuds

    campbuds Member

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    what do I need to do to record it to DVI?
     
  12. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    A firewire cable, and Nero will do the trick.
     
  13. campbuds

    campbuds Member

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    any recommendations on which manufacturer to go with? Maybe some info from consumer reports?
     
  14. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    Let me give you my two cents.
    I would not go for a Hard Drive camcorder. They offer hardly any advantage over the other two types.
    If you are happy just to shoot the video directly to DVD, you don't want to edit out anything, you don't want to combine various scenes into one movie, don't want to convert it to other formats (e.g. to upload them on the internet or email) go for a DVD camcorder. The quality is a bit less miniDV, but still good enough for the average consumer.
    If you want to do at least one of the things mentioned above: go for miniDV. They offer the best quality and the material is simple to transfer to your PC and every video application (for editing or converting to DVD) will recognize it.
    A good source for camcorder reviews is http://www.camcorderinfo.com Select a few models in your pricerange and read the reviews. In the reviews you see on what specs the camcorders are rated. This will also help you to determine what is importnat for you.
     

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