Shopping for my first digital camcorder

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    • #42188
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Looking to pick up a digital camcorder. Have been trying to do some online research, but, basically, have had trouble with too much personal-biased reviews and comparisons. Wondering if anyone here has some good online sites to try or just some personal reviews of their own.

      Some that I am weighing heavily thus far: Canon Elura 60/65/70, Panasonic PV-DV70, Panasonic PV-GS120,
      JVC GR-DX307.

      What I am looking for:

      Analog-to-digital pass-through/conversion. A must, no question about it.

      Decent to good low-light capabilities, which seems to be the gripe of most of the reviewers I have found.

      Priced as close to $300 on the net as possible, but, up to about $500. I don’t have many qualms about buying from some online merchant as opposed to say, Bestbuy if it is a good sized price difference.

      Capturing still images to a memory card and not just to tape.

      Good audio capability.

      Absolutely no touch-screen like is on a lot of the Sony’s. I hate that.

      Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanx.

      OXX

    • #177550
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Check out Camcorderinfo.com and Cnet. IMO, they both do good reviews.

      The Panasonc PV-GS120 is said to have poor image stabalization. I really haven’t checked out any of the other camcorders on your list. But, if good low light performance is important to you then I would take heed to those griping about it for the models that you are considering. HTH. Good luck.

      leahdax

    • #177551
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I have been reading around both of those. Just so hard to compare similar things unless somebody has actually done first hand work comparing the two side by side, ya know?? Two could both say they have good image quality and poor low-light, but which is “better” and which is “worse” is just hard to compare. Thanx though.

      OXX

    • #177552
      AvatarTomScratch
      Participant

      Hi,
      All of your specs are met by earlier Sony Digital 8 camcorders, but not the current models due to the current models having touchscreen. I absolutely agree with you on this; I would not touch their touch screen camcorders.
      I own, still use, and can recommend these earlier Sony D8 models which have larger CCDs than the current models, and no touch screen: DCR-TRV830 and DCR-TRV520. Unfortunately, they appear not to be available on the new camcorder market. I favor low light environments and find that these cams produce very good results in low light (e.g., video noise of the amateur-looking creepy crawly kind is minimal or completely absent) when I shoot at one-thirtieth or one-fifteenth of a second shutter speed. BTW, the batteries for the 520 are same as for Sony’s VX2100. That was a sensible call on Sony’s part; taking these high caliber D8 camcorders off the market was not — from the consumer’s standpoint. (Perhaps Sony figured they would compete with some of their mini DV models!)
      Good luck with your camcorder search and decision!
      REGARDS … TOM

    • #177553
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Thanx for your input. I am trying to stick to MiniDV, but I’ll keep your recommendations in mind. Thanx.

      OXX

    • #177554
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I just bought the Canon ZR200. Brand new line of camcorders from Canon. I believe it has what you are looking for, certainly the analog/digital pass-through. And it is within your price range. You can get it cheaper, but I went local at Best Buy for $399. This model (specifically the ZR 300) received a review on camcorderinfo.com yesterday that found MUCH improvement in low light conditions from last year’s models!

    • #177555
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I ended up getting a Panasonic PV-GS120. Found it on sale at CircuitCity.com for 499. Apparently because they were closing it out, which is bad since the SECOND time I went to use the camera, it will not turn on. Battery and AC adaptor alike, nothing, nada, zilch. And since it appears I got the last one circuitcity had in the COUNTRY, I can’t exchange it. I could return it and go buy somewhere else, but that time element wouldn’t be much better than just getting it warranty repaired, so, I have sent it off the Panasonic today to their Illinois service center. We’ll see how well that works out. I’m bummed.

      OXX

    • #177556
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      What a waste of time and money!
      I never trust those on-line shops. Though I’ve done some good deals on-line, like camcorder batteries, tripods etc.

    • #177557
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Too bad. Sorry about that. If I had seen that one I probably would have ordered it from Circuit City. I am pretty happy with my 1 CCD purchase thus far though. Let resellers.com know what happens eventually.

    • #177558
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      MarieBoyer Wrote:

      I just bought the Canon ZR200. Brand new line of camcorders from Canon. I believe it has what you are looking for, certainly the analog/digital pass-through.

      We’ve been using Canon ZR camcorders in our high school media lab for a couple years. Beware: they keep losing features. The ZR40 had LANC, SVHS, mike in and headphone out. The ZR60 dropped LANC. The ZR100 line has dropped LANC, SVHS, mike in and headphone out! It’s little more than a toy.

      None of the existing ZR series have mike in. You have to jump up quite a notch to get this feature. As our ZR camcorders begin to wear out we’ll be switching to the Panasonic line. They have mike in on fairly inexpensive models.

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