I notice that both of the


I notice that both of the camcorders you mentioned record to an internal hard drive. That’s become a popular feature in the last year or 2. But most of the "serious" amateur videographers here prefer camcorders which record to miniDV tape cassettes. The reason is that they can get a slightly better video quality.

When the hard-disk based camcorders record, the information is encoded in an MPEG format. Now, that’s not neccesarrily bad. The problem is that MPEG is a "lossy" encoding process, meaning that a small part of the information in permanently lost when MPEG compresses the huge amount of visual data, so that it fits on the hard drive. Now, some "lossiness" is acceptable. For instance, the DVDs you buy or rent are encoded with MPEG. But if you are going to edit MPEG video, then re-encode the result to MPEG or some other "lossy" format, you’ve got a double-degradation of the video.

On the other hand, if your camcorder records to tape, the encoding is higher quality, and can stand a "lossy" encode when you’re done editing. (Of course, if the goal is to produce a highly compressed web video, displayed in a small window, then this doesn’t make much difference.)

I’m not familiar with which consumer camcorders are the best in low light, but as a rule-of-thumb, the larger image sensors (CCD or CMOS) can handle low light better. And if you are willing to spend a little more for a "prosumer" camcorder, the Sony VX2100 is famous for its low-light capabilities.

Hope this is of some help, πŸ™‚
Ken Hull

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