Yet another ‘what camcorder should I get’ question

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    • #42834

      I’m in the market for a new camcorder after my tax return comes in.

      I’d like to get a good quality camcorder (subjective, I know) and have aspirations for making some movies with my family/friends. I currently have an old Sony Hi-8 camera that does not do well with green-screen effects and video looks just plain bad.

      There were a few cameras I was looking at, and was trying to stay around $1000. I met a guy at the local political caucus that has a used Canon XL-1 and is asking $1200. I was also looking at the Sony HDR-HC7 ($970), the Panasonic PV-GS500 ($700) and the JVC GZ-HD7 ($1000). I know there’s some variety there.

      I’m not sure I need HD – I don’t currently have a HDTV, nor computer equipment. I do use Vegas Movie Studio Platinum v7, so it is able to edit HD video, though my computer is near the minimum requirements that Sony recommends for editing HD content.

      I thought that getting a 3CCD camera would help on the green-screen effects and picture quality in general, but have also read decent reviews on the Sony camera. Is a 3CCD camera that important – or will the HD quality suffice?

      I’m not picky about the hard drive vs. tape issue. I like the idea of the focus ring on the JVC and XL-1 cameras and some manual controls were high on my list of requirements. I don’t want to spend $1000 and then find out I picked the wrong camera – if you know what I mean. I also wanted to get a camera with mic and headphone jacks and other features that the ‘pro’ cameras have. Should I be looking at different models altogether?

      Ease of use for the rest of the family is somewhat of a concern, though rather low on the list.

    • #179387

      OK, I think I’ll have to add the Canon HV30 to the list.


    • #179388

      That settles it. Thanks for the advice –

      I chose the Canon HV20.

    • #179389


      Glad we could be of help! πŸ˜‰

      Seriously though, the Canon HV20 or HV30 would be good choices. If you’re doing green-screen compositing, progressive scan might help a little. (The HV20 can do progressive at 24fps, but the HV30 can do it at both 24fps and 30fps.) If you’re planning some ambitious movie-making, you might also consider the Sony HVR-A1U. It’s a low-cost professional hi-def camcorder that has gotten good reviews; yet many people overlook it.

      Of course, a good story can be more important than the quality of the camcorder.

      Ken Hull

    • #179390

      I think people are getting tired of this thread title everywhere they go. I’m sure you’ve researched it by now and hope you’re happy with the HV20.

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