Monday, October 22, 2007

your input requested

I want to buy a camcorder.
Is that what they're even called anymore?
I want a movie-maker camera.
I don't want a digital camera which can also take 35-second-long videos.
I know nothing about this area, so what can you recommend?
Or maybe, un-recommend?

15 comments:

christopher clark said...

Just bought one this summer. Sony is a great brand. Got mine at Wal-Mart for $200. Works great. Love it.

JC said...

I recommend going with a MiniDV camcorder. It doesn't skip (like the recordable DVD ones) and has a digital image so the picture quality is very good. Instead of shopping for a brand, I recommend you look at customer reviews on websites such as Pricegrabber.com, Circuitcity.com (you're not necessarily going to buy there), and decide for yourself. The price range is huge ($200-$1000) so you can also figure out which bells and whistles suit your budget. You will probably need a firewire or USB 2.0 connection to download the movie to your PC. You'll also be able to transfer to a VCR tape using standard RCA cables.

La Yen said...

The computer is the thing--you need to see if you can use the camcorder with your computer before you buy one and get all excited. Or see if you have a friend with a computer that you can use. We love ours, but couldn't use it with our computer. Because it was old. So we have almost three years of video. Now we have a new computer but have not been able to find the right cord. Because we are not savvy. So first, figure out if your computer will work with it, or if Papi's laptop will. Then find a Deacon to go shopping with you.

Yours Truly said...

We bought one when Dex graduated (with his graduation money) and I wish we would have spent a little more and gotten a digital camcorder instead of one with a tape. But, JC and la yen are right about computer compatibility and making sure you have the cords to transfer the material. I also would recommend skipping transferring to tapes all together and just burning your movies onto DVDs, if that is an option. Obviously it costs more to have that kind of software (and hardware), but it will save money in the long run because you won't have to transfer the data from your VCR tapes to the DVDs later (not a big deal from what I understand as long as you have all the cords, etc). Also, DVDs are relatively inexpensive and last longer. Good luck! What an exciting purchase!!!

~j. said...

What's a megapixel?

cabesh said...

To avoid a lengthy comment, I suggest reading about megapixels on wikipedia.

Like La Yen said, definitely make sure you have the right connection for your computer (USB vs. firewire).

And like, JC, I recommend a mimDV camcorder. We've had our for 4 years and LOVE it. I make "highlight" videos for the grandmas each mothers day, all set to music and everything.

compulsive writer said...

I have no idea. I'm just happy for you you're going to get a camcorder or whatever they are called nowadays!

sue-donym said...

Love my Sony Handycam Megapixel.

Nicki said...

We have a Canon Elura 100. I really like it because it's so small. My husband (Microsoft nerd) spent hours researching the best one for the money and it was between this one and the Sony Handycam. It was about $350. Good luck!

AzĂșcar said...

We've got a Samsung Mini DV. I like it most of all because it was free courtesy of the lady who wants pictures taken of her grandkids (I know, I don't understand it either.)

Don't stress too much about the cord, you'll probably need a firewire--they're not 'spensive, around 10 bucks. I know that my Windows comp came with a movie editing program, so you can check on Papi's laptop.

Also: I have Consumer Reports access; let me know if you want to use it.

Geo said...

I have no recommendations, but I'm watching over your shoulder on this one; we really want a camcorder too. Good luck.

Amy said...

www.cnet.com

Search video cameras under reviews. They're the best.

I recommend the miniDV as well.

Good luck! :)

Lyle said...

That techno gizmo is out of my league still. Just make sure it doesn't have any lead based paint [from China] on it.

JC said...

The free movie editing software is usually Windows Movie Maker. It's a free download for Windows XP if it's not already installed. Works ok for most stuff. Oh, and you can use your camcorder as a webcam when it's plugged into your PC.

Mary Beth said...

This is a late comment- did you already buy one?

We bought a new digital camcorder last Christmas. It's the SONY handycam Hard Disk Drive. It's the new kind with a hard drive built in. It doesn't use tapes or mini DVs. It's like a small computer and records right onto the machine. It's really easy, too. I can do all sorts of editing and stuff with it if I want, or I can just plug it into my computer, hit record, and it burns the clips I want to a full size dvd. It's freakin' AWESOME. I can take HOURS of video without having to change or replace anything.

It was a little more expensive than some of the others- but we won't spend any money on tapes or mini DV's, it's much easier all around, and again, it's freaking awesome. But that's just my opinion!