Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Other Camcorders › Need advice on upgrading from digital 8 camcorder › Hi, Owning 3 Digital 8 ca
Owning 3 Digital 8 cams shows a higher than average passion for the fun of video shooting. And these cams were produced when Sony was still interested in making a quality D8 product.
My comments/suggestions are:
Keep shooting D8. With good lighting you can shoot good stuff and show it off in a room with work produced on todays consumer state of the art camcorders and not elicit groans but instead quizzical looks in your direction about how you can produce such quality work with such an historical camera.
With S-cable and firewire ports on your D8 cams, you will be able to transfer your digital video to any format you want for the foreseeable future, using new products coming out throughout that foreseeable future era. For a DVD burner that you might buy in 2-years, if its a quality one, and if you can afford as needed repairs in the coming years, the foreseeable future window shoots up to 15-20 years. Today, right now, you can still buy yourself a turntable (aka record player) and a laser disc player. If the future speeds up and home products are not available for transferring to VHS, DVD or whatever, there will always be outside transfer services to do this for you. Within the past year, I had 3 reels of super 8 film shot at a rock festival 35 years ago transferred to miniDV for purposes of working on a doc about it. (No births, no deaths, no rampaging hell’s angels, and only one stoned MC who couldnt continue, so its not that famous.)
Check out all of your D8 cams to see how they are doing. Shoot the same scene with all three cams and check the results, ideally doing an A/B comparison with side by side TVs. If any arent up to par or are significantly behind the others, clearly mark and set aside.
Always have one of these cams with you. Practice quick draw. Can you retrieve from wherever you have the cam and be recording the family cuteness or the headline newsworthy event in 30 seconds, in 10 seconds???
Get other family members shooting with these cams. Do you have footage of them shooting you shooting them? Someone in your fam may have a latent interest/aptitude that could blow your mind. (Do Not Do This At Home WARNING: Shooting some video footage of a wedding reception for a friend, I handed a maid of honor (approx 8 years old) a D8 cam in the RECORD mode, comparable to one of yours, and told her to go visiting. Ninety percent of this footage is unwatchable, five percent is charming, five percent is priceless.)
Keep your D8 cams in the mix.
You D8s are solid cams but they dont make great images in low light. Acceptable images for many, but not great. For example, if you look in the shadow areas of stationary shots, you will see grain-like twitchy video noise. Some or all of these cams may have night shot." This is a very unrealistic effect, unless you are looking for a franken-monster Point Of View shot, a military night operations scope type of shot, or similar fantasy effect. O.K, for the effects arsenal, but limited normal usefulness.
Because of your passion for video as shown by your current collection of cams and active use of them, I would recommend that you add a Sony VX2100 miniDV to you collection. We spend half of our time when we need to supplement light just in order to see whats in the room. With the 2100, thats all the light you need in order to shoot very good video. You will not need extra video lights. In some magical way, the VX2100 takes what little light is in the room or outside, be it lightbulbs, lightning, birthday cake candles, or fireflies and amplifies digitally to produce highly watchable images with a minimum of noise. What the VX2100 gives you that most other cams available to regular mortals in the $500 to $5000 price range do not, LEAST OF ALL HD (hi def) CAMS, is the ability to shoot any time any where with whatever light is available when you show up. (I shoot at 1/30th BTW, which also gives me a movie look.)
Keep shooting your D8s but start shooting also with an VX2100. A good rule is One Cam Is Never Enough.
REGARDS … TOM 8)