Digi Camcorder - Which brand / model do you recommend?

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Digi Camcorder - Which brand / model do you recommend?

Postby vfong1 » Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:02 am

Digi Camcorder - Which brand / model do you recommend?

vfong1
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Postby thebusybee » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:55 pm

DH keep up with latest tech on DigiCam stuffs, he surfs on gadgets everyday, so i learn a bit from him.

There are way too many models out there, no wonder we are spoil for choices.

First of all, go to the store to take a look at diff brands and models.

Before that, ask yourself what are the main features you're looking at :

* Size and weight -
bulky and heavy ones deter you from bringing it out alongside with kid/baby stuff.

* Price range -
generally the higher price the better, but there are some older models out there offer good price for the features it bear.

* Media (i.e. DVD, Harddisk, Flash etc...) -
for ease of transferring files out to PC and backing up, after all, it's about sharing the moments with family and friends right? Best to go for those common media used in phone, DigiCam and other gadgets.

* Fast start up -
you won't want to miss precious moment while waiting for it to boot up. Good for recording baby/toddler.

* Stabilizer / anti-shock -
i think most models have it now, unless you have steady hands.

* Zoom lens -
higher optical zoom's best for long distance shooting, avoid using digital zoom even there's one - gives blur image.

* Battery life and type -
LCD burn out batt fast, need to buy extra (higher cost for special/new types). DH bought cheaper spare ones (oem ones) on ebay, so far so good.

* If clarity is top of your list, then go for Sony's high-end HD cam-corder, but prepare to buy many harddisk/DVD to back them up as the file size is HUGE. The higher resolution and frame per second the video is, the bigger space u need for storage.

Frankly speaking, the most expensive Video Cam / Digi Cam won't produce interesting contents by itself - the person behind the camera's the key to that.


Tips
I'm not an expert and only started to use video cam after the birth of DS, but just to share my personal view:
(i prefer still images than video, in terms of scenery and people, the moments are more precious than moving images)

*If taking kids/baby, anticipate what's gonna happen, take SHORT clips to capture the juicy parts only. Viewers (including yourself) want to watch video with interesting contents with variety. Save time in editing too. (DH always joke about imagining our son taking his whole life to view the videos we took of him 20 years down the road, at the rate we're shooting)

*Most Digital Cam has video function now, Canon's one of the best (those can take continous video, not limited to time one).
We've recently switched to Digital Cam with Video function - Canon Poershot TX1 - it's small, compact, easy to carry everywhere we go. Especially when traveling, we don't have to carry so many bulky stuffs while handling a child. Before that we used to carry 2 cameras - a DSLR and a point-and-shoot, then upgrade to a DSLR and Video-cam, now only 1 small compact 2-in1 (without extra bulky chargers/transformers of diff products). Another plus point is - we could compile the same event/date together in the same media and folder while backing up.

*Before buying the particular model, ask if any people you know own one, borrow it to have a hands-on shoot for a couple of days. You won't want a white elephant sitting on the shelf........

*Search for video clips online using that particular model (owner's version) to compare the quality.

*Read up online reviews.

Those are all i can think of, hope u understand them. :-)

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Postby vfong1 » Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:27 pm

thebusybee wrote:DH keep up with latest tech on DigiCam stuffs, he surfs on gadgets everyday, so i learn a bit from him.

There are way too many models out there, no wonder we are spoil for choices.

First of all, go to the store to take a look at diff brands and models.

Before that, ask yourself what are the main features you're looking at :

* Size and weight -
bulky and heavy ones deter you from bringing it out alongside with kid/baby stuff.

* Price range -
generally the higher price the better, but there are some older models out there offer good price for the features it bear.

* Media (i.e. DVD, Harddisk, Flash etc...) -
for ease of transferring files out to PC and backing up, after all, it's about sharing the moments with family and friends right? Best to go for those common media used in phone, DigiCam and other gadgets.

* Fast start up -
you won't want to miss precious moment while waiting for it to boot up. Good for recording baby/toddler.

* Stabilizer / anti-shock -
i think most models have it now, unless you have steady hands.

* Zoom lens -
higher optical zoom's best for long distance shooting, avoid using digital zoom even there's one - gives blur image.

* Battery life and type -
LCD burn out batt fast, need to buy extra (higher cost for special/new types). DH bought cheaper spare ones (oem ones) on ebay, so far so good.

* If clarity is top of your list, then go for Sony's high-end HD cam-corder, but prepare to buy many harddisk/DVD to back them up as the file size is HUGE. The higher resolution and frame per second the video is, the bigger space u need for storage.

Frankly speaking, the most expensive Video Cam / Digi Cam won't produce interesting contents by itself - the person behind the camera's the key to that.


Tips
I'm not an expert and only started to use video cam after the birth of DS, but just to share my personal view:
(i prefer still images than video, in terms of scenery and people, the moments are more precious than moving images)

*If taking kids/baby, anticipate what's gonna happen, take SHORT clips to capture the juicy parts only. Viewers (including yourself) want to watch video with interesting contents with variety. Save time in editing too. (DH always joke about imagining our son taking his whole life to view the videos we took of him 20 years down the road, at the rate we're shooting)

*Most Digital Cam has video function now, Canon's one of the best (those can take continous video, not limited to time one).
We've recently switched to Digital Cam with Video function - Canon Poershot TX1 - it's small, compact, easy to carry everywhere we go. Especially when traveling, we don't have to carry so many bulky stuffs while handling a child. Before that we used to carry 2 cameras - a DSLR and a point-and-shoot, then upgrade to a DSLR and Video-cam, now only 1 small compact 2-in1 (without extra bulky chargers/transformers of diff products). Another plus point is - we could compile the same event/date together in the same media and folder while backing up.

*Before buying the particular model, ask if any people you know own one, borrow it to have a hands-on shoot for a couple of days. You won't want a white elephant sitting on the shelf........

*Search for video clips online using that particular model (owner's version) to compare the quality.

*Read up online reviews.

Those are all i can think of, hope u understand them. :-)


Thanks for your informative reply. Really useful!

vfong1
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Postby fo12eal » Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:27 am

I'm using SONY. So far so good... Bought it from a shop at Marina Sq. Same floor as Barang Barang...

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Postby kiasu_pig » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:14 am

if you have decided on a videocam, take note that the optical lens of videocam usually are not wide e.g. 50mm (equivalent 35mm). So it is very important to get one that can fit a wide-angle conversion lens kit. But when getting a wide-angle conversion lens, make sure that the conversion lens can be controllable thru' the videocam control.

this probably sounds technical, so it's good to make a trip down to any SONY SHOWROOM, and the friendly personnel would explain and demostrate to you all about the above feature.

:celebrate:

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Postby watchthewaves » Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:37 am

If you don't want to bother too much about comparing all the specs of the various models, and are simply into point and shoot, good video quality, good in indoor/low light situations, simple/no editing, then get the Panasonic TM200. It's probably around $1500 or just under that.

I would rank Sony, Canon and Panasonic fairly close in terms of video quality. I don't like Sony's use of their proprietary Memory Stick. Everyone else uses the generic SD card. Also, in Singapore, Sony and Canon are much more expensive than Panasonic. I did not research the other brands much as it seemed like these big guys were leading the pack in their R&D.

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Postby lwm99 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:38 pm

If possible, get a HD video camcorder. There is too much difference between a HD and a Standard Definition camcorder.

The easiest format is using flash memory (internal plus option to add external). I find it better than those using hard disk.

Usually optical zoom is not an issue, as most camcorders in the market will have at least 10x, which is more than enough for most cases.

As pointed out, it is important to check how wide the camcorder can take. If you plan to add the optional wide angle converter, make sure you can a decent quality one. No point spend good money on a good camcorder but spolit the quality by a lousy wide angle lens.

One of the most important factors to consider is how the camcorder performs under low light condition.

Personally I will chosse one of these brands: Canon, Sony, Panasonic.

Refer here for reviews and forums: http://www.camcorderinfo.com/

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