most durable brand of camcorder

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    • #42874
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I am searching for a halfway decent camcorder used to make some action and documentary films. I’ve been looking at sony and panasonics because that what im most familiar with. If anyone has any suggestions about a good sony/panasonic camcorder for around $300-$500 please let me know.

      thanks Jesse

    • #179511
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Here’s what I’ve seen with camcorders. In consumer grade (the $300-$500 range) the brands seem very equally matched. Back when I managed a public access studio, we used mainly JVC and Panasonic camcorders. They both got beaten up by our users but usually continued to work. Our engineer preferred JVC over Panasonic because the JVC’s were easier to do repairs on. But it seemed that Panasonic’s had more features for the price. And I think that might be how you should decide. It may be that Sony’s are a bit more rugged (but I’m vested in Sony’s so I am biased) at a cost of fewer features.

      So I’d recommend using C-net to get accurate ratings. Their reviewers are very good at identifying the pros & cons of equipment. And they usually have a number of brief user generated reviews to get an idea of how they are in real life conditions. You can set up a search & comparison with brand and price parameters. (C-net is also a great place to locate freeware, shareware & trial versions of any software you may need or desire. It is also called download.com) I think once you see the difference in features, you will be able to make a good decision. But I do secretly hope it’s a Sony. 🙂

      Good luck in your search. And one thing a lot of folks forget about is actually handling the camcorders you’re interested in. Just how it feels in your hands and where the controls are located will be a major factor in how you actually use the camcorder. Confusing menus and buttons you can’t push without looking are common shooting complaints that handling can help identify. Even if you decide to buy over the internet, Best Buy (et. al.) provide camcorders you can handle before you buy. Use them.

    • #179512
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      So if you don’t like sony you must not like vegas either? If not than whats a good editing software for windows XP for around $200 or less

    • #179513
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I’m sorry. I must have misstated. I LOVE Sony!!! My five camcorders are all Sony, my two editing systems are based on Sony VAIO’s, I use a consumer version of Vegas (and lust after Vegas 8.0), I compose music using Sony ACID and archive on Sony DVD’s. My home receiver & VHS VCR are both Sony’s. And I recently got a Sony MP4, web sharing camcorder/camera I just love using.

      So I admit I am horribly biased towards Sony products. My first NLE was Sony Screenblast and I’ve upgraded that to Vegas Home Studio 6.0 with DVD Architect 3.0. I have no problem creating programs that blow the socks off most of my customers, of course they expect it after the first program. Vegas Home Studio runs around $70 retail and is fine for SD editing, even when I add in HDV footage to my SD programs. But I would really like to get Vegas Home Studio, Platinum Edition. They added both full HDV support and much better color correction tools. It seems to retail at around $110.

      But let me be clear, I don’t think Vegas is a better NLE than the consumer versions of the other industry standard pro packages. I started using it so I wouldn’t have any compatibility issues (as unlikely as they are) between my camcorder, computer & software. An extra benefit for me was that I was already familiar with the Vegas interface since it was based on their music composition software, ACID. Which I find is mentioned routinely in artist interviews. So while Vegas isn’t in the top 3 pro NLE’s (it is 4th), ACID and the loops it uses are music industry standards.

      But let me close by reiterating, I personally prefer Sony for all my electronic devices without having really tried anything else. I have worked on an ancient AVID NLE that really sucked, but it was the age of the software that was the problem. Alpha channels and video files captured on other systems were nearly impossible to use because they weren’t standardized when this version was written. (And what really annoyed me was not being able to trim video on the timeline, trimming had to be done before the clip was added. I’m sure that ain’t the case any more.) So anyway, I know Vegas Home Studio to be perfectly usable for the majority of projects solo independent producers are likely to do. And I’m sure the Platinum Edition would work even better. For me! Hard to say about you, if you are already familiar with an NLE interface you’ll likely feel more comfortable using the consumer version of that NLE.

    • #179514
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Well Panasonic has the SDR-S10P which is waterproof and shockproof. But it records onto an SD card which will probably result in low quality.

      Sony Makes the Handycam DCR-HC52 which stayed alive for a good amount of time in a blender: http://youtube.com/watch?v=fY8MqWBIHvo

      Here are some links:

      Sony Camcorder: http://reviews.cnet.com/camcorders/sony-handycam-dcr-hc52/4505-9340_7-32775767.html

      Panasonic Camcorder: http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-camcorders/panasonic-sdr-s10p1-camcorder/4505-6500_7-32738879.html?tag=prod.txt.1

    • #179515
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Ok so if I’m going to buy vegas which one should I buy? theres the Vegas Pro which is $549.95 a little out of my price range and theres Vegas Movie Studio Platinum Edition for $114.95 still a little high but if its a great editing software I wouldn’t mind paying the extra money, and then there is Vegas Movie Studio for $74.95 a fair price but will It have enough features for editing or not? just let me know.

    • #179516
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      As I see it, there are two reasons to choose the Platinum Edition. The number one reason would be you have to edit in HD. But I have no reason to edit HD. I don’t have an HDTV and no one I know does either. But more importantly, I’m not going to spend the dough to upgrade to the Blue-ray DVD recorder I need to send HD video into the HDTV I don’t have. And I don’t have clients that can actually utilize HD video. And I don’t see that changing for several years. My clients are not broadcasting my work, is is generally cablecast on the government cable channel or delivered for home playback on ordinary DVD’s into ordinary TV’s. Using HD at any point would create more problems than it’s worth.

      Now the reason I’d like to get Vegas Platinum is for the color correction upgrade. I am frequently mixing video from different camera sources. When I work for the city, I’m mixing my VX2100 with their PD150 and a full size DVCAM camcorder. All of them are look great individually, but each camera has tiny differences in their pictures. So I will use the color correction tools to make the cameras match. Vegas Platinum has the color correction tools that Vegas Pro uses, so I’d have both greater control & easier adjustments. Now it’s nothing personal, but I don’t think you’ll be making color corrections for quite some time. You don’t really need to do anything Vegas Studio can’t handle when you’re only using one camera. And to be honest, I don’t have to have “better” tools. I can already do what needs to be donw with the software I already have.

      Now the reason Vegas Platinum is more expensive is because it includes a bunch of NewBlueFX plug-ins for video effects, transitions and audio fine tuning. While it is very nice to have more options, good video comes from good shooting. Fixing it in post generally means you’re hoping to hide poor quality production with some kind of trick. And that almost never works. You can’t really fix poor video or audio, although sometimes you can make it a little less bad. You’re better off concentrating on getting it right while you’re shooting.

      So I’d have to advise you to start out with Vegas Home Studio (and register with Sony.) I’ve found it to be more than adequate for several years. And when I can justify it, I’m planning to upgrade to Platinum through Sony. The upgrade will cost far less than buying it outright (but the total for buying Studio & upgrading it to Platinum is more than Platinum costs.) And splitting the cost over a year or two works better for my budget while my wife is going to school.

    • #179517
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Platinum is a bit much but it’s worth every penny in my opinion. I bought a couple months ago and have been using it even when I don’t have a video to edit. It’s easy to learn if you know the basics like keyframes. It doesn’t take quality out of your videos like Windows Movie Maker or Pinnacle Studio. I would recommend using the trial version first to make sure you like it though.

    • #179518
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Yea I think that I’ll try out both trial versions and see if its that much better. If it is then I’ll buy it, or I might just upgrade to it later…

    • #179519
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      when you do get up to Vegas Pro 8, you’ll be very happy indeed. I have been using Vegas pro software for a couple of years and never have regretted it.

      John

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