01-03-2007, 04:28 AM
So I've been interested in buying a camcorder around the range of $300-$500. I'm not looking for anything fancy, as long as it uses MiniDV or a harddrive. And preferably a decent battery life that doesn't last an hour, if those kind of cameras even exist. Any recommendations? What do you guys use?
01-09-2007, 05:07 PM
I bought a camcorder about a year ago, a Sony one to be exact, that uses three lenses, which provide superb quality when filming indoors. Many cameras fail in this department in my opinion, but then again, I am a quality freak. However, mine was close to $800, so that's above your range.
Whatever camera you use, though, I suggest you stick to those that are miniDV (the little casettes). It will provide much better quality than those cameras that record directly to DVD-R's and also than those that record to internal hard drives, since you will have an uncompressed format that you can compress to whatever you wish later on. Those that record directly to DVD or a hard drive already compress what you are recording. Of course, if you use miniDV, it isn't as practical since you will have to make your DVD's yourself through some video software application. However, if you want practicality over quality, then buy those that burn DVDs directly or hard-drive based ones instead.
Also, make sure the camera you buy can transfer via Firewire. I know all cameras can transfer via USB, but there is a slight loss in quality when using USB than when using Firewire. However, it is very likely that you will have to buy the Firewire cable separately.
By the way, my camera is a Sony DCR HC90. The quality when filming indoors is astounding.
As for battery capacity, at least with Sony camcorders, they sell higher-capacity ones. I have the stock battery and a supplemental battery that lasts around three hours (or was it four?). Anyhow, the battery will deplete faster if, while recording, you use the zoom frequently and do playback and all sorts of things. If you just set to record and just point-and-shoot, the batteries last much longer.
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