camcorder recommendation

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camcorder recommendation

Postby skimore » Wed Dec 28, 2005 9:27 pm

Looking to get new camcorder for skiing....looking for feedback, good or bad on what others are using
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re: camcorder recommendation

Postby riverc0il » Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:05 pm

i have a panasonic pv-gs15, last year's model. respectable camera on the upper end of the smaller consumer handheld line. 24x optical zoom but i can rarely get in that close. i would recommend going for quality CCD (sp?) over extremely high zoom. 20x optical is more than enough. don't pay attention to digital zoom (800x hahaha! :lol: ). just turn it off and never use it. also, i recommend not paying attention to photograph still info. you are buying a camcorder, not a digital camera. for use skiing, small and dependable and sturdy are very important. nothing worse than getting to the run of the day, whipping out the camcorder, and having an error message appear on the screen (i have had this twice, though due to my own fault for not buying a tape head cleaner). also be sure to get something that is comfortable in your hand with easy to use buttons. i think sony has a touch pad LCD screen which would drive me nuts so i avoided those models. you may wish to consider a movable eye piece if you want, most folks just use the LCD screen, preferably one that doesn't glare too badly in direct sun light. good luck.

just as important as a good quality camcorder, editing software can make or break your project. pinnacle studio 10 and the latest ulead studio are really good. i prefer pinnacle but i think studio has better transitions and picture pan options. plus pinnacle makes you pay to unlock high end features which drives me nuts.
--Steve

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"Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs
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re: camcorder recommendation

Postby skimore » Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:35 am

thanks for the info. Are you happy with your Panasonic?
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re: camcorder recommendation

Postby kirbyk48 » Thu Dec 29, 2005 1:12 pm

I have a Pamasonic DV-102 that I bought about 3 years ago. It's fairly big by today's standards but has a 10x optical zoom and seems to work well in cold weather (-20 at Tremblant) which can drain batteries quickly. I've skiied without poles on a gentle slope trying to aim it down the slope with reasonable success. Lots of wind noise, but you can edit over that if you wish.

That said, I would make two suggestions: (1) if you have $500 or more buy a camera with an AV jack and then buy an external camera. You can mount it on your helmet and be the next Warren Miller. The AV jack is the key. I think Samsung has a SportsCam that is supposed to be a bit more rugged that would work or (2) on a very limited budget buy the under $100 Oregon Scientific ATC-1000 sports camera. Shaped like a hot dog, it's really only a lens with SD memory, powered by 4 AAA batteries. It comes with grips and velcro straps to mount on your helmet, bike handlebars, worn as a headband, etc. I asked my daughter for one for Christmas and she obliged. Video quality is poor compared to a camcorder but a 512meg SC card will get you about 20 minutes of video.
Looking forward to trying it out next month.

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re: camcorder recommendation

Postby riverc0il » Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:46 pm

i think helmet cams are over rated. i have seen very few scenes that were made with helmet cams that were very good since most of them are angled poorly and usually only capture the snow and skis. the scene at stowe from meatheads born from ice with the big huck was cool though.

i am happy with my panasonic. i got last year's model for a really cheap price, i think i might have expected more for full price. here are some samples of movies i have put together:
http://www.thesnowway.com/movies.htm

please note that the video size is 25% of what the cam actually produces and the quality has been significantly reduced to keep file size under 10Mb for bandwidth purposes. those vids were made with pinnacle studio 9 for software reference. i think their current year equivelents made some improvements, most notably they are A LOT smaller and have a higher zoom range on their models. this is a great site for reading reviews:
http://www.camcorderinfo.com/
--Steve

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re: camcorder recommendation

Postby riverc0il » Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:47 pm

you should also consider how you plan on transferring your video to your PC. make sure you have the appropriate hardware for transfer. firewire is the way to go. most current comps are built with firewire standard but if you have an older machine, firewire card could be a needed extra. there are other ways of transferring video, just make sure you get a cam that works with your current comp setup.
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Re: camcorder recommendation

Postby bethaniax » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:49 am

How can you transfer camcorder tape onto a computer? I would like to buy a camcorder that uses tape because I've heard it's the best format quality. I should be filming short movies. I will be editing my footage using a computer with something like Windows Movie Maker so I need the format to be 'editable'. I am unsure, however, whether tape will be able to do this, and also I don't know how to get the recorder tape onto a digital format for my computer.
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Re: camcorder recommendation

Postby Marc_C » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:46 am

bethaniax wrote:How can you transfer camcorder tape onto a computer? I would like to buy a camcorder that uses tape because I've heard it's the best format quality. I should be filming short movies. I will be editing my footage using a computer with something like Windows Movie Maker so I need the format to be 'editable'. I am unsure, however, whether tape will be able to do this, and also I don't know how to get the recorder tape onto a digital format for my computer.

1) Tape formats are being phased out. There is no quality difference between tape and flash memory camcorders at anything other than the highest quality HD, and there's far more that can fail in the field with a tape unit. For example, of the 72 camcorders at Newegg.com, only 2 use tape.

2) Any current camcorder that still uses tape already records in a digital format to the tape. There are virtually no analog camcorders still being made. Transferring from DV tape to computer is fairly easy: connect camcorder to PC, start up your video capture/editing software, and use the transport controls in the software to control your camcorder.

3)At one time pretty much all camcorders used Firewire for data transfer, however, for greater compatibility across more machines, many manufacturers are switching over to USB. It's not a big issue if you purchase a camcorder that only uses Firewire and your PC only has USB ports - 2-port firewire cards for a PC can be found for $15 and there are firewire-to-usb adapters as well.

4)You'll want to use capture/editing software that is far more robust and versatile than Windows Movie Maker.

See http://videoguys.com/ for a wealth of information.
-marc
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Re: camcorder recommendation

Postby Geoff » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:17 am

Personally, I would buy a Panasonic HDC-TM300K if I were looking for high def and something that worked on the slopes. It has an electronic viewfinder so you can actually use it in bright sunlight. It is flash-based (internal plus SD card) with no hard drive so you can use it at high altitude. 12x optical zoom. Unfortunately, it has a $1300 MSRP and you don't see discounts of more than 15% yet.
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Re: re: camcorder recommendation

Postby riverc0il » Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:53 pm

riverc0il wrote:you should also consider how you plan on transferring your video to your PC. make sure you have the appropriate hardware for transfer. firewire is the way to go. most current comps are built with firewire standard but if you have an older machine, firewire card could be a needed extra. there are other ways of transferring video, just make sure you get a cam that works with your current comp setup.

Holy crap this is a huge bump! Four years old? Suffice to say, MiniDV is OUT now, don't even bother. So Firewire is not needed. Most camcorders will transfer with either a USB cable or a sD Card. If you purchase a camcorder that requires a a sD card and does not have internal memory, be sure to pay the extra money to get something of decent quality that is fast and high enough storage space so you will not be left short.

Since you will likely not be using tape (unless you really want to for some odd reason), you should be prepared to have a backup storage unit to save your files to. An extra hard drive can be useful. If you have a desktop PC and plan to edit video, a high speed internal drive can not be beat. Though if you just need a place to save video, go with an external.

If you get an HD camera, you will need a faster computer with more memory to edit the files than standard def. My most recent camcorder purchase was specifically for standard def for this reason as my four year old PC is not up to spec for editing HD video. As mentioned before, unless you are just posting short random clips to YouTube, you should budget for video editing software to get the best possible product. Pinnacle Studio and Sony Vegas are the two best options though I think there is one other major player out there for the consumer market.
--Steve

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Re: re: camcorder recommendation

Postby Admin » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:33 pm

riverc0il wrote:Holy crap this is a huge bump! Four years old?


Thank the spam poster. :lol:
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Re: re: camcorder recommendation

Postby Marc_C » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:51 am

Admin wrote:
riverc0il wrote:Holy crap this is a huge bump! Four years old?


Thank the spam poster. :lol:

I didn't even notice the prior post dates when I replied, and although asking about transfer from tape in 2009 seemed kind of odd, it's not entirely out of the realm of questions a clueless noob might have. These spambots are getting better in their AI programming.
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