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High Def Camcorder Help.........
Old 01-22-2009, 11:01 AM   #1
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High Def Camcorder Help.........

DW has given me a mission/project:

Find a camcorder that will take high definition video, and does not use minidisc or flash memory. It does not need to have a digital camera included, but that would be ok.

At least 30gb of memory, plus the ability to burn DVDs through connection to a computer.

A good manufacturer, like Sony. We have a 10-year old Sony that works fine, but would like something smaller and easier.

The final thing is - under $600.

I have been researching these things online and I am confused beyond belief. Help!
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:43 PM   #2
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When you say: "does not use minidisc or flash memory" and " At least 30gb of memory" - does that mean you will only consider HDD?

I was researching these a while back, and my head was spinning also. Decided to wait until I was ready to buy, as things would change fast anyhow.

At any rate, I agree that you don't want it to save to mini-disc, those can be problematic. And I hate tape. But flash prices are really dropping fast, not sure why you would rule that out.

Also, are you *sure* you want high-def? DVD quality is darn good, and high def will take more time and horsepower to edit on the computer, plus a fair amount more storage space.

-ERD50
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:08 PM   #3
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If you are interested in going for an off-brand model the SupercamHD meets most of your needs. They were selling at MacWorld (I picked one up $300) and were also at CES. The one they are selling is true 1920x1080p with an 8GB camera built-in. So far I can't find much wrong with this Camcorder. The web site says 1440x1080 but it supports 1920x1080.

It's available at Supacamhd.com

Pros:
True HD support
No tapes uses SD memory cards (16GB card is ~$25 at amazon, 32GB card is available but they are ~$120)
Very small and light (might be a con for some), about the size of an iPod but 2x as thick
Records on battery for over 2 hours
accys included (except memory card)
Getting video to computer is easy, just drag the movie file to your computer when you plug into the USB port. It plays in Quicktime.

Cons:
Not name brand
Fixed focus
Less than perfect low light performance video is a little jumpy.

Another no-name is Adaptek
video on this one is 1440 x 1080 at $155
Amazon.com: Aiptek A-HD+ 1080P High Definition Camcorder (Silver): Camera & Photo

brian
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
When you say: "does not use minidisc or flash memory" and " At least 30gb of memory" - does that mean you will only consider HDD?
ME? No! DW? YES!

Quote:
Also, are you *sure* you want high-def? DVD quality is darn good, and high def will take more time and horsepower to edit on the computer, plus a fair amount more storage space.
Some geekhead "guru" told DW it was a WASTE to buy anything but HD and she believes him 100%........
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:47 PM   #5
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FD,

Hard drives in a Camcorder were a good idea when memory was expensive but now, not so much. If you want something to last, less moving parts are a good thing. One small jolt when the camera is writing to the drive and the HDD is toast and any scratches on the housing will be seen as "abuse" and void what little warranty you have on the device.
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Old 01-22-2009, 03:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude View Post

Some geekhead "guru" told DW it was a WASTE to buy anything but HD and she believes him 100%........
Well, it's a personal decision. It may well be worth it to her for the higher Q picture. I'd just be sure to compare side by side to make sure that the $ diff (whatever that is these days) is worth it, as those other 'costs some with it (slower to edit, more storage required).

For family videos, I've found that the *content* is the thing. We have got as big a kick out of our old VHS and old family 8mm (or whatever that celluloid stuff was) as our new mini-DV recorder. Getting down to nitty-gritty quality comparisons just isn't a thought when you are watching your little one performing some little act that you forgot totally about.

Come to think of it, I'd pay more attention to the zoom (wide angle) and light sensitivity that I would the pixel count. I'll take a DVD quality shot that I can see over an HD shot that is buried in shadows any day! And the wide angle lets you get the whole group in a shot. Although I guess the 16:9 helps here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by brianinsf View Post
FD,

Hard drives in a Camcorder were a good idea when memory was expensive but now, not so much. If you want something to last, less moving parts are a good thing. One small jolt when the camera is writing to the drive and the HDD is toast and any scratches on the housing will be seen as "abuse" and void what little warranty you have on the device.
Are those HDDs the same kind as in iPods? They seem to hold up pretty well, but if I were to buy an HDD camcorder I would want to know that the HDD was easily replaced, and not a repair that would cost more than a new camera. I think you can get the drives pretty cheap now.

-ERD50
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