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Video camera recommendations?

Yesfan70

I'm famous now bitches! vvvvv
Famous
I think I may buy a video camera for the wife as a Christmas present. I hate the idea of not having one with a 2.5 year old kid. Our point and shoot Canon cameras can shoot video, but this doesn't seem to be good enough for us. I think a dedicated video camera's the answer.

What I would like is:

1) bang for the buck ($500 or less)
2) good in low light and night recording
3) a/v input for external devices
4) SD card compatible (not a necessity)
5) external mic*

I've been eying some of the Sony handycams, but thought I would ask opinions for which one of those or better offerings from other brands.


Thanks guys! :eek:bscene-drinkingcheers:


EDIT: I thought I would post some more specifics for those in the know. I know Canon is up there, but the last two point and shoots I have has been giving me a lot of problems. I would like to avoid that brand, unless they are my only option.
 

Flint

Dog Faced Pony Soldier
Superstar
For work I use a small Canon HD camera which records to SD cards. I love it because I don't have to convert the files or use their software to edit them. Also, SD cards are a dime a dozen all over the world, so when one card fills up before I can clean it off, I can just buy another.
 

Yesfan70

I'm famous now bitches! vvvvv
Famous
Flint said:
For work I use a small Canon HD camera which records to SD cards. I love it because I don't have to convert the files or use their software to edit them. Also, SD cards are a dime a dozen all over the world, so when one card fills up before I can clean it off, I can just buy another.


That's the only drawback to the Sonys. I think they still use their MemorySticks for their cameras. About every memory card device I have is SD equipped (TV, cameras, DVD-R, etc.). If the Canon(s) have an input for an aux video source, and the price is within reach, that could be the deal breaker for me.
 

Yesfan70

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Another question. What's the best retailer to deal with? Amazon? Crutchfield, Newegg? Etc....
 

GreatDane

Well-Known Member
Did you check out Orb's link? That's what I used 8 years ago for my last camcorder purchase.

The Vixia HF M40 is what it has as the one to get.
 

Flint

Dog Faced Pony Soldier
Superstar
I have co-workers who use Samsung video cameras and like them.

That's strange that your Canon point & shoot cameras have been bad, I have had exactly the opposite experience and consider Canon my absolutely only choice after getting screwed on Panasonic, Fuji, Sony, Olympus, and Kodak cameras in the past. I will only buy Canon point and shoot cameras right now because they are the only ones which work great and don't break 10 days after the warranty expires.

As for the camcorders... Why A/V input for recording?
 

Yesfan70

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Famous
GreatDane said:
Did you check out Orb's link? That's what I used 8 years ago for my last camcorder purchase.

The Vixia HF M40 is what it has as the one to get.


Oh yeah, that sight has been a wealth of info. I'm leaning toward that Canon but the reliability of my two p/s cameras has me concerned. Amazon has that camera listed for $419. They also have a Vixia HF M41 for a few dollars more. is there a difference, or is it last year's model?


Flint said:
....As for the camcorders... Why A/V input for recording?


Mostly for my home movies. I found a ton of old home movies my grandfather made in the 80s early 90s. It's no problem recording them to my DVD-R deck (which I have been doing), but a lot of the tapes are 20 minutes here and there and I don't know which ones have a lot of footage or which ones don't since he didn't label anything. I figured with the camcorder's SD card, I could load a bunch of footage on to it, then maximize the amount of storage on the DVD blanks so I don't have so many with so little footage.

Of course, if there is a way to record straight from my VCR to a PC (which I didn't think of at the time of my post), I'm game for that. It would have to be for my wife's laptop though.
 

Yesfan70

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Flint said:
Use your PC. You can get a A/V input device for $8. You'll be editing those movies on the PC anyway.

http://www.amazon.com/EasyCAP-DC60-Crea ... 55&sr=8-15

Other than that, my big needs for a camcorder are standard memory cards and formats I can use on any computer with any editing software, no matter how cheap.


A whole lot of 1 stars reviews on that product Flint. Is there an alternative that's better or is this just issues with Vista. A lot of the reviews I've read seemed to be problems with Vista.


For $8, I may take a chance. However, if there is a much better solution, then I don't mind paying more to avoid any headaches.
 

Flint

Dog Faced Pony Soldier
Superstar
There are hundreds of sub-$50 A/V input devices. I just picked the cheapest one I could find to make a point.

The ideal place for converting old tapes to digital is the computer, not a camcorder.
 

Yesfan70

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Flint said:
There are hundreds of sub-$50 A/V input devices. I just picked the cheapest one I could find to make a point.

The ideal place for converting old tapes to digital is the computer, not a camcorder.


Oh, ok. Any suggestions on that then? I have a Tascam US-100 USB interface for my vinyl. Is there a a/v version of that from them or other reputable brands?
 

Yesfan70

I'm famous now bitches! vvvvv
Famous
Well. I went with the Canon. The Vixia HF-M40 to be exact. The better low-light performance (and cheaper price) was what won it for me over the Panasonic HDC-TM900.

Hope it's more reliable than my last two point and clicks.
 

Yesfan70

I'm famous now bitches! vvvvv
Famous
Bump.

So far, I'm really happy with this camera's performance. I still got to go through all the ends and outs of the manual to fully understand what all it can do. Any of you guys have any good recommendations for some accessories? I purchased a bag and another SD card (32GB), but was wondering if I'm leaving anything out that might be must buys for this camera. Thanks.
 

Towen7

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Yesfan70 said:
Bump.

So far, I'm really happy with this camera's performance. I still got to go through all the ends and outs of the manual to fully understand what all it can do. Any of you guys have any good recommendations for some accessories? I purchased a bag and another SD card (32GB), but was wondering if I'm leaving anything out that might be must buys for this camera. Thanks.

Consider a tripod or monopod to help stabilize the camera while shooting. Does it have a microphone input? If so consider an external mic and boom.
 
D

Deleted member 133

Guest
So I'm WAY late to this thread but...

I'm super seriously considering the Canon EOS Rebel T3i.

Super camera (for a non-pro like me) plus 1080p video (at 24 or 30 fps).

Plus I'm already into the EOS line (going way back) so I have a variety of lenses, accessories, etc. to use.

If there's a good Boxing Day sale on them somewhere tomorrow...

Jeff
 
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