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Old 03-16-2005, 02:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
Looking for a Camcorder,I have no idea where to start...

I'm looking for a camcorder,but the problem is i don't know where to start looking.I got a digital camera and read about what to look for in one,But What the heck do you look for in a Camcorder/video camera ? Do megapixel matter in a camcorders...I guess i'm look for information for the best picture quality and best zoom,i somewhat understand about optical zoom and digital zoom,but would like more info about that.

Anyways i'm on Circuit city website and they have a list of what kind of cameras they carry,

Digital8 (2) ????????????????

Hi8 (2) Hi8 I heard that some where,but have no clue what it is.

Memory card/internal (6) Point blank answer,memory card

MiniDV (24) ????????????

MiniDVD (5) I guess it records to a DVD ?

S-VHS-C (1) I understand this one,it's obvious

VHS-C (2) I understand this one,it's obvious

Last edited by LLL2; 03-16-2005 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 03-16-2005, 02:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
Start here.

What do you want to do with the camera? Will you be editing on a computer? How much do you want to spend? Answer these questions, then I can help more. Also, try searching the site a bit, i'm sure you can find some good info. Good luck.
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Old 03-16-2005, 04:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
shakran's Avatar
for digital vs. optical zoom, the easiest way to get it is to throw out the digital spec. The optical zoom is the only spec that matters. Digital zoom just zooms in the same way Photoshop does when you zoom in - - -so you end up with bigger and bigger pixels. Digital zoom over 120% of original is pretty useless.

Beyond that, what Outdoor said - it depends on what you want to spend and what you want to do with it.

General things to watch for, though, are image stabilization (Canons are really good at this) so your video isn't so shaky when you go handheld. I also like larger cameras. It's pretty tough to find a decent sized camera (my definition of decent sized is one that goes on your shoulder - keeps you steadier off the tripod) unless you start looking into prosumer gear and then you're looking at anywhere from 2 to 7 thousand bucks. I'd certainly, though, avoid those tiny little cigarette-pack sized cameras.

Also, invest in a decent tripod, and then use it. Often. The reason people make fun of home movies so much is because they all look like they were shot in an earthquake. Keep your video steady and your home movies will be much more enjoyable.
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Old 03-16-2005, 05:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
I read your emails.
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Location: earth
The Hi8 is very old, cheap though if you want to buy one now. but older technology. I've got a Canon Zr-80 miniDV camcorder that I bought last year, works well, very easy to use. I did alot of comparison shopping and most of the models and makes were the same, only the *extra's* seperate them. the zoom is nice, but one thing to remember with the zoom is that even the littlest zoom on a camcorder is magnified when watching the tape back again later on. can get really dizzy so I don't use it too too much.
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Old 03-17-2005, 10:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Hoosier State
Basically stay away from Hi-8, VHS-C, S-VHS-C, they may be cheaper but the bulky construction will wear your arm out during one family picnic.

Mini-DV and Digital 8 yield about the same quality but DV tapes are smaller (thus holds a little less footage). Mini-DVD records straight to blank 3" DVD but I'd prefer shooting on tape then transfer to PC for editing.

Do some research on Google, it's not that hard!

Decided how much you want to spend. Get the most OPTICAL zoom possible. Some models have low light, image stabilization and digital camera built-in. I'm on my 4th camcorder now, current one is a Digital 8, though bulky but has served me well for over 5 years now.

By the way, get one with Firewire connection if you can. It connects the camcorder to your PC, you will need to get a Firewire (IEEE1394) card if your PC doesn't already have one. USB 2 connection is fine and is rated a high transfer rate than firewire but in reality it's actually slower.
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Old 03-17-2005, 02:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
Originally Posted by outdoor
Start here.

What do you want to do with the camera? Will you be editing on a computer? How much do you want to spend? Answer these questions, then I can help more. Also, try searching the site a bit, i'm sure you can find some good info. Good luck.

Tell you the truth I don't know why I really want a camera.Guess Just another toy to just play with.Yeah it would be cool to edit it on the computer,so yes i would like tthat.Hmm,depends i guess no higher then 500 ,however if it's a good deal,as in i learn about these things and i see a great deal,i 'll spend a little bit more.
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
If your editing on a computer...I'd stay with miniDV format. The tapes are pretty inexpensive and it's super easy to put the footage on a computer. Just buy something nice, but don't spend so much that you are afraid to ever take it out of it's case. Good luck and have fun. This is one of those hobbies that can get expensive fast, so watch out. Look around online, and if you have any specific questions, post them back here.
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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just keep in mind if you're on miniDV to pick a brand of tape and stay with it. Different brands use different types of tape lube, and if you mix 'em, you'll clog your heads.
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camcorder, i, idea, start

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