View Full Version : Favorite digital camcorders?
11-06-2002, 12:38 PM
We're wanting to buy a digital camcorder sometime before the baby comes. I've been searching on cnet.com but still haven't found anything great. Anyone have one they particularly like that works in both indoors/outdoors and day/night?
Mom-to-be Mar 8, 2003!
11-06-2002, 05:04 PM
Dh did all of our research (he's the camera whiz in the house) so I'm not sure exactly why we ended up with what we have, other than he said so. We have the JVC GR-DVL725U. We bought ours at a store called Video Only (they only sell video stuff so their prices were lower), but B&H has some good deals. Also, I would recommend waiting until the end of Jan or beginning of Feb. because a lot of brands are coming out with the newer models and you can get a better price on 2002s. Most of the time there isn't any real difference, quality-wise. We bought ours the week before we had Ainsleigh (but then, that was almost a month before I was due, so we thought we had plenty of time. we went to best buy while i was in labor to buy more tapes).
I've loved the camera, though I don't know if it's better/worse than others. It's pretty easy to work, the picture is so clear on tv (just like dvd quality), and the buttons are easy to use. One camera we saw had buttons that were so small, it made me feel like I had sausage fingers or something. But then, the entire camera could fit in my bra (ok, maybe not that small - but close!), so that might have something to do with it. I found the staff at Best Buy to actually be quite knowledgeable. But then, all the tech-geeks who got laid off last year (myself included) have had to find retail jobs in this lovely economy (I live in the SF Bay Area). Good luck - hope this helps.
11-06-2002, 05:07 PM
oh, forgot to say that yes, it works in/outdoors and day/night. it has a bunch of other functions that i don't know what they do. my parents have a sony they took to europe and then they edited their footage, adding sound and clipping here and there, finally burning it to cd and it looks fantastic. we haven't edited any of ours yet, but supposedly we can. HTH
11-06-2002, 05:14 PM
I highly recommend the Canon ZR series. They are small (which means that you will be willing to take them on vacation with you) and good quality with a nice digital zoom. They do very well in day and reasonably well at night. The best part is that if the picture is too dark it will be immediately obvious on the viewfinder so you can turn on light (instead of looking at the film hours or days later wishing you had done that!).
You will want firewire capability if you plan on downloading video to your computer, and you should decide how much of a digital camera feature you want/need. If you aren't too interested in using the thing as a digital camera too you can save yourself a couple hundred dollars.
No matter which one you are thinking of getting, go into a local store (doesn't matter which one) and spend a while playing with them to see which you like the feel of.
We got our Canon at Cameraworld of Oregon (www.cameraworld.com) and found it to be the cheapest place online. No matter what brand you buy I would check their price out. They also tend to have good prices on replacement tapes, extra batteries, etc.
11-12-2002, 08:44 PM
We love, love, love our Sony Mini DV which, if I remember correctly, is a DCR-TRV-11 (this model has been replaced/updated since ds's birth, but there are some newer similar ones). The camaera is wonderful indoors and out and has a "night shot" infared system for taking great footage in the dark.
& Jack, 18 months
11-14-2002, 11:41 AM
We have the Olympus D-510 Zoom, which I like a lot. However it eats batteries like crazy and does not have a standby mode for when you're hooked up to the PC, therefore if you forget to unplug it your batteries will drain just sitting there. Another negative is that it does not save your settings for the picture quality after you turn it off, so you have to go into the menu each time you turn it back on if you don't like the defaults. Also you just have to buy a new memory card because the one it comes with is so small it's useless.
I have been really pleased with the quality, and it's been dropped several times. The only time it got damaged was when DH actually dropped it on the lense, while the lense was extending. They fixed it for free.
Mommy to Jonah
(edited to correct the model number...oops!)
11-15-2002, 05:46 PM
I agree. We have a ZR25. It's about middle of the road (or was a year ago) for digital camcorders. It's easy to hold, easy to use, and easy to carry. I like the features it has, although I haven't used them all yet. We've been very happy with it.
11-19-2002, 02:59 PM
We bought a Pansonic PCDV-52 at 6th Avenue Electronics in NJ. They were running a 7:00am - 8:00am Labor Day special. The camcorder sells for $499 at most stores, that morning they had it for $299 Plus they gave you a $50 credit towards any accessories (Which I used for a free long life battery).
I like the camcorder because it is simple and has a 600,000 megapixel resolution (which is quite high for a camcorder, the cannons have 200,000 - 400,000) which results in a very sharp picture.
Since I bought the camcorder I have seen them run a sale for $379 a few times. It is quite possible they might run the sale for $299 again the day after Thanksgiving.
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