Jump to content
  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 12 Guests (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online

Ready For First Camcorder


konabrad

Recommended Posts

:) I've been using my 5mp still camera for low res video clips and now ready to make the move to a real camcorder. Reviewed tape, DVD and hard disc drive models and was ready to go with a Sony DVD model. And then the Consumer Electronics Show in January previewed a bunch of newer models and I started over. The new hard drive model looks impressive, but no reviews out yet.

Final the question. Is the recording media type really just a personal preference, or are there some major advantages/disadvantages that I should be concerned with? I really want to bring my DVD movies to life!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:) I've been using my 5mp still camera for low res video clips and now ready to make the move to a real camcorder. Reviewed tape, DVD and hard disc drive models and was ready to go with a Sony DVD model. And then the Consumer Electronics Show in January previewed a bunch of newer models and I started over. The new hard drive model looks impressive, but no reviews out yet.

Final the question. Is the recording media type really just a personal preference, or are there some major advantages/disadvantages that I should be concerned with? I really want to bring my DVD movies to life!

 

I don't have a good camcorder, but from all who I have asked questions, the tape models are still superior when it comes to the quality of the video.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:) I've been using my 5mp still camera for low res video clips and now ready to make the move to a real camcorder. Reviewed tape, DVD and hard disc drive models and was ready to go with a Sony DVD model. And then the Consumer Electronics Show in January previewed a bunch of newer models and I started over. The new hard drive model looks impressive, but no reviews out yet.

Final the question. Is the recording media type really just a personal preference, or are there some major advantages/disadvantages that I should be concerned with? I really want to bring my DVD movies to life!

 

You MAY wish to re-reconsider.

I just got a Fuji S9000. It's a 9mp still camera (w/tons of bells and whistles).

But it also takes 640 x 480 movies at 30 fps.

 

This is VERY near the resolution of regular camcorders. (too close to call).

I couldn't tell any real difference in quality when the finished product was on my 35" TV screen.

 

Let's say I no longer carry a still camera and a camcorder; just the camera.

 

A 1gig CF card will gather more than a half hour of movie, continuous or short snips.

 

I use a SanDisk "Ultra" CF card in-camera and carry a spare card plus extra AA batteries.

 

Still pics from a camcorder, at best, are only fair.

 

If your object is ONLY movies, sure, go with a camcorder AND carry a still camera "just in case."

 

BTW: Take a look at Sony's new High Definition camcorder.

It IS big bucks but is the cheapest way to go HighDef.

 

Oh, the media question:

Existing tape is OK but can strech (and my old tapes get mould).

I have not tried the DVD ones but hear they are slow (?) and big (?).

The most-attractive seems to be the mini-hard-drive models. Just pop the drive into an adapter and go directly into your PC...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of it is personal preference, but I can tell you right off why I wouldn't have a device that records to hard drive or memory cards. What do you do when it's full and your on vacation? Nothing.. no more video. Period. With these devices, you have no choice, but to have a way to transfer the data so you can record more. Prehaps this wouldn't happen often. But it will certainly happen at the most worst moment. With miniDVD and tape devices, that just isn't a problem. Have an extra disc or tape and plop it in.

 

The other issue is editing. It just isn't recommended to do heavy editing on MPEG files whether MPEG2 or MPEG4. It's rather technical, but to make it short, these files are heavily compressed. They need to be uncompressed to a temp file, edited and then recompressed. This can affect quality. If you're really, really picky about quality, then you will notice it. MiniDVDs are nice if you do not want to edit the disc. Getting the files into the editor may not always work.

 

For editing purposes, tape is still the best choice. DV AVI files are still somewhat compressed, but not nearly as much as other formats. ALL video editing software that I have ever used is designed to capture and edit this format. Until software is actually designed specifically to handle the problems in editing MPEG, I recommend tape devices.

 

my7551 - mold on tape? Those must be REALLY OLD. LOL Or you just aren't storing them correctly. All media can deteriorate with age. Tape stretching isn't that much a problem any more with new polymer technology. One study showed that some home burned DVDs only lasted 5 years if not stored or handled correctly. Even a hard drive over time could lose the magnetic data. Regardless of what type of storage you use, it's a good idea to make fresh copies ever so often so you don't lose those precious memories.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest mlpasley

DV tape is the method that the new $2,000+ hi def camcorders are using so it's not outdated technology which some makers of camcorders that record directly to DVDs would have you believe.

 

My recommendation would be to visit the websites of several camcorder manufacturers and check the specifications for camcorders.

 

Get the highest capture resolution(sometimes called effective pixels). The better the resolution, the better the final result. The highest that I've seen in a reasonably priced camcorder was 1080i. And a higher price doesn't necessarily mean a better picture.

 

Then if you have an IEEE 1394 (firewire) port on your computer, look for a camcorder that uses that port to transfer video to the comuter.

 

Then take a look at the camcorder and look for one you like. If you have a huge hand or the buttons or touch screen are difficult to use, that can be a major annoyance. I made the mistake of getting one that you have to take off a tripod to change the tapes. Of course, when I bought it, I didn't realize that I'd be using a tripod.

 

Take some time and read about several camcorders. You'll never get complete information from a sales person because the information isn't readily available to them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More fuel for the fire:

I'm pretty experienced with camcorders and there are advantages for each.

 

Take the old GIANT machines that sat on your shoulder and ate full-sized VHS tapes:

They were heavy but the resulting movies were no-less (TV viewing) quality than today's VHS-C or minitape.

These bulky machines were/are superior in keeping operator-movement minimized and films were less-jerky.

 

Came the smaller (now mid-sized) machines and, even with image stabilization, more jerky films. People started to think "tripod" cancelling the downsized machine advantage.

 

Came the "Palmcorders." Panasonic led that super-small machine group. Yep, they could fit into a big coat pocket but jerkey really shows up. Tripods or monopods were nearly "musts."

 

Now I won't disagree that a properly-used camcorder is about as good as it gets IF your expedition is movie-specific.

What I'm suggesting is that with a good still camera, lots of MPs, and 640 x 480 30 fps mode, you can have the best of still AND good movies. I've tried to find the exact numbers (specifications) but camcorder specs are in "lines." Visually, I see no real difference in finished product.

 

Traveling (trip to Rome for 3 weeks?) with both:

Camcorder requires a stack of mini tapes, recharger for its propriatory battery (s), and low chance of finding a battery replacement at a local store.

A camera requires a couple of memory cards (over 200 best-resolution pics on each), charger for AA batteries (or you can get AAs anywhere).

 

So, when the tapes or memory cards are full, that's the end

BUT

I have a device called "Burn Away." (Google it and similar). It takes your memory card (several varieties) and burns the card's contents to a DVD. You then clear the card and you're good-to-go for the next day.

THE advantage if the DVD is that the airport X-rays (etc...) can't zap your vacation pics or demagnatize your tapes. (This same advantage would go to camcorders that shoot direct to DVD).

 

Looking back at my vacation tapes, I note that the LONGEST run was about 5 minutes. The rest were a bunch of very short clips.

 

I'll continue to maintain that a good still camera that meets my described specs will get you the best of stills and the near-best of movies, all in one device.

 

Of course you COULD have the wife carry one while you use the other.

Sooner or later she will NOT be amused...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have a good camcorder, but from all who I have asked questions, the tape models are still superior when it comes to the quality of the video.

 

Yes, I've read similar articles. It also seems tape models are less expensive. However, I don't believe you can edit on camera nearly as easy as you can with a DVD or HDD model. Tape seems just soooo "linear".

Thanks for the reply,

Brad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you know of any still cameras that will take more then about 60 seconds worth of "movie" files? Mine takes great videos in the "mov" (quicktime) format but it is limited to 60 seconds. Depending on what you are going to film, that may not be enough. (sporting events). I agree that less than 60 seconds is great for general vacation shots of people standing in front of (name the spot)

 

I really don't think that airport scanners will damage either but I do know that you can ask that the camera or camcorder be manually inspected if you have doubts. Computer hard drives go thought the scanners all the time without a problem.

 

I'm ready to upgrade both my old, non-digital camcorder and my digital camera so this thread is really a treat. Now - anyone know where I can get a GREAT deal?

 

More fuel for the fire:

I'm pretty experienced with camcorders and there are advantages for each.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You MAY wish to re-reconsider.

I just got a Fuji S9000. It's a 9mp still camera (w/tons of bells and whistles).

But it also takes 640 x 480 movies at 30 fps.

 

This is VERY near the resolution of regular camcorders. (too close to call).

I couldn't tell any real difference in quality when the finished product was on my 35" TV screen.

 

Let's say I no longer carry a still camera and a camcorder; just the camera.

 

A 1gig CF card will gather more than a half hour of movie, continuous or short snips.

 

I use a SanDisk "Ultra" CF card in-camera and carry a spare card plus extra AA batteries.

 

Still pics from a camcorder, at best, are only fair.

 

If your object is ONLY movies, sure, go with a camcorder AND carry a still camera "just in case."

 

BTW: Take a look at Sony's new High Definition camcorder.

It IS big bucks but is the cheapest way to go HighDef.

 

Oh, the media question:

Existing tape is OK but can strech (and my old tapes get mould).

I have not tried the DVD ones but hear they are slow (?) and big (?).

The most-attractive seems to be the mini-hard-drive models. Just pop the drive into an adapter and go directly into your PC...

 

I have taken many short video clips with my 5mp still camera. The problem here is not the resolution, but the frame rate, which is about 20 fps. This makes for a choppy video. Also, there is no image stablization like on a camcorder. Regarding HD, I did a little research. Yes, they are expensive, although coming down. It seems the only way to retain the HD recording is to play it back directly to a HD televsion. If you export the video to Roxio or any other similar software to edit and build a slideshow or movie, you lose the HD qualities once a DVD is burned. Even with a true HD DVD, as far as I know there are no true HD players currently on the market. Life is full of compromises.

Brad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have taken many short video clips with my 5mp still camera. The problem here is not the resolution, but the frame rate, which is about 20 fps. This makes for a choppy video. Also, there is no image stablization like on a camcorder. Regarding HD, I did a little research. Yes, they are expensive, although coming down. It seems the only way to retain the HD recording is to play it back directly to a HD televsion. If you export the video to Roxio or any other similar software to edit and build a slideshow or movie, you lose the HD qualities once a DVD is burned. Even with a true HD DVD, as far as I know there are no true HD players currently on the market. Life is full of compromises.

Brad

 

30 fps (frames per second) is the newer rate on most "good" (newer) cameras but the older rate of 15 fps is usually offred also (economy mode).

Image stabalization IS offered on many/most.

I have several cameras.

My Konica/Minolta Z5 (5MP) has I.S. and 30fps (for some reason K/M dropped the frame rate to 15fps for their newer Z6).

My Casio 7MP has 30fps and I.S.

My newest Fuji S9000 has the 30fps but NO I.S.?

On ALL of the above you can shoot for as long as you have card-space and/or battery power.

Oh, you do need a fast memory card. DO NOT even consider movies on a camera that uses Xd memory cards! They are not fast enough yet. Their near new type M won't do it and bad reports on their lates type H say still no good. SD, CF, microdrives are fine.

 

Sony's newest consumer HD toy is about a thousand bucks!

THEN you have to shuck out more loot to get all the other stuff to "upgrade" your system.

 

sknis (somehow I can't reply direct to your post????

But, if you have ever tried to buy a camera online/mail from one of the MANY NY dealers, you probably had a bad experience or two (like me). Well, I tried a place called "Abe's of Maine" thinking; great! not NY! Well Abe's IS in NY but they treated me well, the product was as-described, much lower-priced than market, and it arrived promptly. Google them and check their prices on whatever interests you.

 

THE site for fair reviews on cameras and camcorders is "Steve's Digicams."

There's a forum available too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I concer, I have a Casio 7MP and it takes great video, not, maybe to the quality of a reg video, but it is great for a person that just wants to take video occasionaly. I too can take a video as long as my memory card holds and and battery lasts. My battery life is long.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

THE advantage if the DVD is that the airport X-rays (etc...) can't zap your vacation pics or demagnatize your tapes.

This is such an old myth. I've traveled many times and my tapes have never been erased or damaged by the security devices at airports. If this were a fact, there would be 10s of thousands of upset business travelers with laptops.

 

lots of MPs, and 640 x 480 30 fps mode, you can have the best of still AND good movies.

 

Can't convince me of that. A still camera is NOT designed for video. Most of them still use a high compression Quicktime format. Yes, even that Fuji S9000. I own the S7000 which creates the same file format as your S9000. 640X480 @30fps creates all kinds of problems because the frame rate does not match NTSC. Add to that the codecs needed. Personally, I would never use my still camera again as a movie camera.

 

But we can agree on one thing --- STAY AWAY from any mail order camera store in NYC! LOL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Casio makes avi files and has worked with every program I have tried it with. I am not saying it is the same as a video camera, in my case, I take more stills then video, however, there are times I like taking video and it works just great. One of the reasons I love Roxio so much is I can mix stills with video. It makes the slideshows more interesting. Now if I still had children at home and wanted to document all their activities a video camera would be important. I have an older camcorder and very seldom used it. That is why they make different cameras for different needs. I was just happy to get a still camera that produced an acceptable video. I have to say it takes better quality video then video does still. With that said, to each his own. :):huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My vote goes to Gary. I suggest if you want great still digital photos, stick with a still digital camera that has a decent pixel rate. AND, if you want great video, then stick with a good quality camcorder. For all the others that want a blend of the two, then go with one of the other cameras. I too have traveled a lot and have never had any problems with used miniDv tapes or new ones. Also, for those that are considering the newer camcorders that have the built in DVD disk, do a little home work and I suggest you will find some qualities that you didn't expect.

 

Frank..........(BTW, my wife carries her own camera stuff and I carry mine. Well, I carry her's once in a while :D:huh::) )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apples and Oranges:

 

There is no dispute that a camcorder is the best IF all you are going to do is ONLY shoot video

and

there is no dispute that a still camera is best IF all you are going to do si shoot stills

and

there is no dispute that stills taken out of a video are POOR quality.

 

My whole point was/is that if you just "go," with nothing special in mind, carry the good still camera. You get the best stills AND "good" movies.

Now, there IS some dispute on how good is good.

My experience is that, HOWEVER you get to the final product (Videowaving/transcoding[?]viewing on big TV), the movie clips shot on my still cameras show no REAL difference than camcorder shots.

OK. There IS a difference, but IF that (little?) difference is THAT vital, then you would have taken BOTH a still and a camcorder with you. When you get home, you will probably find that whichever one you took that vital shot with was wrong and you should have used the other.

 

Try car-think:

If all you do is go to the supermarket to buy food, all you need is a Geo. [camcorder]

The Geo isn't going to be much good when you need 4 x 8 plywood from the lumberyard.

A Chevy pickup will get you the food and the lumber. [good still camera]

Each vehicle has advantages, but the Chevy PU can do both.

 

Homeland Security: In the days of yore, I too traveled with REAL film and had minimal problems. VHS-C tapes survived.

Nowadays, when you have to take off your shoes, suspenders, and belt, well...it's different.

The HiTec zappers ARE more potent, and getting more so every day.

Would you want to RISK those vacation shots of Rome and London to an airport security system approved by the US government?

Remember this is the same bunch that gave us Iraq!

 

Batteries: So you have a big disaster and both your regular camcorder battery and spare depart. What then? In a MAJOR city you MIGHT get lucky and find a replacement for Panasonic Z123XR456M, but the odds are great that you won't.

If your AAs give up, you can get them anywhere, even the Navajo trading post on the Reservation has AAs.

 

Knock on wood, but all my newish still cameras do well for me. There are free file converters on the web so the .mov difficulty is gone.

For add info: The specs on my Casio are 27 fps????? But it's just fine.

 

So, it's been a pleasure posting with you all, but most of the pleasure of chatting/posting is lost when I have to return the next day to see if my "pre-viewed" post has been approved for posting.

 

So, Adios amigos.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks all for the lively discussion on camcorders. The TAPE vs DVD vs HDD debate is still raging in my head. There are some very decent cams out there regardless of media type and still trying to sift through them. And yes, it looks like it's going to come down to personal preference. I'm still somewhat puzzled about editing though. I've rendered a number of my .mov clips (from my still camera) to mpeg so I can use them in VideoWave productions and don't notice a lack of quality because of the compression issue. Can anyone elaborate on what editing problems they have experienced?

Brad :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have never had a problem putting my .mov clips into videowave, however, if you are going to render them you might have more success if you render to .avi for editing purposes. That is if you have enough HD space.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Well, how about a report on what you got?

 

I did want to add some negative experience I had with video taken on a digital still camera with an Xd card.

 

Drop-frame-city!

 

The CF card is still fine with full frame-rate and good video quality.

 

I'm going to bet, unless you changed your mind and bought a used Honda motorcycle, that you got a TAPE-type Palmcorder.

I try to keep tabs (waiting for cheap HD) on camcorders and the quality/lower-price of the Panasonics make them attractive.

Of course I could be wrong, but... :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...