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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
i want to get a video camera for filming biking and making/editing movies on my computer. Could you please suggest some good mini dv video cameras to look into and what features/specifications i should be looking for. the most i want to spend is 300?
 

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Amazing Larry104 said:
i want to get a video camera for filming biking and making/editing movies on my computer. Could you please suggest some good mini dv video cameras to look into and what features/specifications i should be looking for.
sony hcr 42/32/22 i think those are the models....

pm raptordude.
 

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my cassio exilm is cool because it takes stills and video w/ sound. 7.1 mega pixels and almost no shutter lag. plus it has this best shot thing for different types of pictures. the videos i've taken with it are super clear and not blury or anything...
 

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scabrider said:
my cassio exilm is cool because it takes stills and video w/ sound. 7.1 mega pixels and almost no shutter lag. plus it has this best shot thing for different types of pictures. the videos i've taken with it are super clear and not blury or anything...
camcorder nate
 

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300 dollars will not get you in the door to a good market...If it IS possible, save up some change and you will be in a entirely new market of Camcorders that are superior. (Ones that are less conventional, and more professional).

Anyway, 300 dollars puts you in the Sony HC-21 market. The camera is decent, and does what it should without any bells and whistles. It lacks a lot of what the HC-32 and HC-42 have (I own the 42).If you get another 150 dollars then you could possibly afford the HC-32 which is the standard digital camcorder from Sony. Offers the Handycam Station which comes in rediculously handy, still photos, higher resolution, better Apeture, better lens, all and all a better camcorder. Also for 300, is a Cannon ZR solution. Its a pretty good camera for the money, but I don't have any experience with Cannon camcorder. I would honestly purchase one though, Cannon makes great cameras and camcorders.

Expect to pay a lot though if you want your movies to look good. In order to edit them on your PC, you will need the following things:
1. A large hard drive: Check and make sure you have lots of space before you go out and buy a camcorder. About 5 minutes of DV tape equals 1 gigabyte on the PC. Space gets eaten up quickly especially if you wish to make a long movie.
2. Firewire Port: Camcorders with DV format only transfer with Firewire. Its very fast and smooth and allows the camcorder to digitally transfer it onto your PC without any big hassles.
3. Editing Software: This is going to run you a lot of money believe it or not. I run Sony Vegas Movie Studio which comes with the actual editing software and the DVD Creator. I think it costs about 600 dollars, I am not sure. My dad bought it for me for my Birthday or Christmas a while back...can't remember. I am sure they're are cheaper ones that will certainly do the trick, but don't expect it to come with the camcorder, you will have to purchase your own. (For the sake of non newbie-ness...don't use Windows Movie Maker)
4. (Optional): DVD Burner: It comes in handy because you can burn your edited movies onto DVD. Also comes in handy cause you can burn all the material your recorded onto your DVD to save forever, and save hard drive space at the same time.

It's really going to depend how into it you will be. I honestly wanted to buy a cheaper camcorder and sort of "Half Ass it". I decided to save up and go with the Sony HC-42. I LOVE the camera and have spent a LOT of money in extras. Overall my camera as well as helmet camera right now are worth about 1,400. The great thing about the HC series of camcorders is that they are very acceptable to any addons you with to put on in the future. There are a wide array of lenses, Telescoping, Wide and Fisheye. Loads of batteries to choose from (I got the 7 hr.). Microphones galore and they are compatible with basically any brand of helmet camera. (Not ENTIRELY sure about the HC-21).

If you're set on 300 dollars, start shoppin'. If you can save up a bit more, explore your options. I hope this post helps, because it does cost quite a bit to have a good movie put up online.

-Kyle
 

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scabrider said:
my cassio exilm is cool because it takes stills and video w/ sound. 7.1 mega pixels and almost no shutter lag. plus it has this best shot thing for different types of pictures. the videos i've taken with it are super clear and not blury or anything...
All these new digital cameras advertise "TV Quality Video" when in reality they're not NTSC certified and formatted. You can make a video out of them, but they're rediculously cheesey and not as high as quality.

And they eat up space on your flash card which is not as conveinient as a digital tape. A mini DV tape holds 12GB for about $2.00 Try doing that with Flash Cards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Raptordude said:
300 dollars will not get you in the door to a good market...If it IS possible, save up some change and you will be in a entirely new market of Camcorders that are superior. (Ones that are less conventional, and more professional).

Anyway, 300 dollars puts you in the Sony HC-21 market. The camera is decent, and does what it should without any bells and whistles. It lacks a lot of what the HC-32 and HC-42 have (I own the 42).If you get another 150 dollars then you could possibly afford the HC-32 which is the standard digital camcorder from Sony. Offers the Handycam Station which comes in rediculously handy, still photos, higher resolution, better Apeture, better lens, all and all a better camcorder. Also for 300, is a Cannon ZR solution. Its a pretty good camera for the money, but I don't have any experience with Cannon camcorder. I would honestly purchase one though, Cannon makes great cameras and camcorders.

Expect to pay a lot though if you want your movies to look good. In order to edit them on your PC, you will need the following things:
1. A large hard drive: Check and make sure you have lots of space before you go out and buy a camcorder. About 5 minutes of DV tape equals 1 gigabyte on the PC. Space gets eaten up quickly especially if you wish to make a long movie.
2. Firewire Port: Camcorders with DV format only transfer with Firewire. Its very fast and smooth and allows the camcorder to digitally transfer it onto your PC without any big hassles.
3. Editing Software: This is going to run you a lot of money believe it or not. I run Sony Vegas Movie Studio which comes with the actual editing software and the DVD Creator. I think it costs about 600 dollars, I am not sure. My dad bought it for me for my Birthday or Christmas a while back...can't remember. I am sure they're are cheaper ones that will certainly do the trick, but don't expect it to come with the camcorder, you will have to purchase your own. (For the sake of non newbie-ness...don't use Windows Movie Maker)
4. (Optional): DVD Burner: It comes in handy because you can burn your edited movies onto DVD. Also comes in handy cause you can burn all the material your recorded onto your DVD to save forever, and save hard drive space at the same time.

It's really going to depend how into it you will be. I honestly wanted to buy a cheaper camcorder and sort of "Half Ass it". I decided to save up and go with the Sony HC-42. I LOVE the camera and have spent a LOT of money in extras. Overall my camera as well as helmet camera right now are worth about 1,400. The great thing about the HC series of camcorders is that they are very acceptable to any addons you with to put on in the future. There are a wide array of lenses, Telescoping, Wide and Fisheye. Loads of batteries to choose from (I got the 7 hr.). Microphones galore and they are compatible with basically any brand of helmet camera. (Not ENTIRELY sure about the HC-21).

If you're set on 300 dollars, start shoppin'. If you can save up a bit more, explore your options. I hope this post helps, because it does cost quite a bit to have a good movie put up online.

-Kyle
im getting a new computer, it will have a big hard drive and a dvd burner mostlikely so thats not a problem. il have to make sure it has firewire. as for the editing software ill prob just use windows movie maker for a while :( casue i need money for other things. what "extra functions" do the better cameras have? would these extras help alot in making videos if i had them? im not really looking for professional equiptment i just want something that wont take unclear videos or be crappy.,thanks
 

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Amazing Larry104 said:
im getting a new computer, it will have a big hard drive and a dvd burner mostlikely so thats not a problem. il have to make sure it has firewire. as for the editing software ill prob just use windows movie maker for a while :( casue i need money for other things. what "extra functions" do the better cameras have? would these extras help alot in making videos if i had them? im not really looking for professional equiptment i just want something that wont take unclear videos or be crappy.,thanks
Well, the better cameras all have better quality features that enhance the overall quality of the video. A better lens, better zoom, better microphone, bigger LCD's and so forth. I'd like to say that all the HC series camcorders get it done, some better than others.

As for added features, the better camcorders feature: Universal Mounts for Lights, Microphones, and Night Shot Extentsions. Super Steady Shot is a VERY useful tool that helps counter the jitters you get with your hands as you hold the camera. If you want clear shots, this is worth paying extra for. The higher ends also offer still shots. They're definitley not has high quality as a Digital Camera, but are useful if you want to use remember the good times you had in not so high quality. Super Night Shot is also pretty usefull. I tested it out once and the shots came out like they should. Theres no range that much, and staying in Light is the best bet, but its a handy feature.

What you also get in the higher up modes is manual settings and adjustments you can make to tweak your camcorder slightly. If you're not very knowledgable about these, then don't worry a whole lot about having them. They're just nice to have in the future.

A feature I personally like is the Handycam Station. I can plop my camcorder on it, and can access my still photos, DV transferring, charge the camcorder, and project it on the TV. All from just plopping it on the little dock.

DV itself is a higher step up from Digital8, Hi8, or other larger tapes used in the past. With a newer camcorder you will already notice huge differences. Its not gonna be reasonably high end quality, but it'll get the job done if thats what you're looking for. (The Sony DCR-HC21)

If you're only looking to spend 300, get a Sony DCR-HC 21. It appears that you have the other equipment taken care of, so invest wisely in editing software. Windows Movie Maker is complete crap. You could pick up something cheaper that will do the trick. I would reccomend Sony Vegas, but its really friggin expensive. If you have a friend with a Mac, get over there and use iMovie.
 

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Raptordude said:
300 dollars will not get you in the door to a good market...If it IS possible, save up some change and you will be in a entirely new market of Camcorders that are superior. (Ones that are less conventional, and more professional).

Anyway, 300 dollars puts you in the Sony HC-21 market. The camera is decent, and does what it should without any bells and whistles. It lacks a lot of what the HC-32 and HC-42 have (I own the 42).If you get another 150 dollars then you could possibly afford the HC-32 which is the standard digital camcorder from Sony. Offers the Handycam Station which comes in rediculously handy, still photos, higher resolution, better Apeture, better lens, all and all a better camcorder. Also for 300, is a Cannon ZR solution. Its a pretty good camera for the money, but I don't have any experience with Cannon camcorder. I would honestly purchase one though, Cannon makes great cameras and camcorders.

Expect to pay a lot though if you want your movies to look good. In order to edit them on your PC, you will need the following things:
1. A large hard drive: Check and make sure you have lots of space before you go out and buy a camcorder. About 5 minutes of DV tape equals 1 gigabyte on the PC. Space gets eaten up quickly especially if you wish to make a long movie.
2. Firewire Port: Camcorders with DV format only transfer with Firewire. Its very fast and smooth and allows the camcorder to digitally transfer it onto your PC without any big hassles.
3. Editing Software: This is going to run you a lot of money believe it or not. I run Sony Vegas Movie Studio which comes with the actual editing software and the DVD Creator. I think it costs about 600 dollars, I am not sure. My dad bought it for me for my Birthday or Christmas a while back...can't remember. I am sure they're are cheaper ones that will certainly do the trick, but don't expect it to come with the camcorder, you will have to purchase your own. (For the sake of non newbie-ness...don't use Windows Movie Maker)
4. (Optional): DVD Burner: It comes in handy because you can burn your edited movies onto DVD. Also comes in handy cause you can burn all the material your recorded onto your DVD to save forever, and save hard drive space at the same time.

It's really going to depend how into it you will be. I honestly wanted to buy a cheaper camcorder and sort of "Half Ass it". I decided to save up and go with the Sony HC-42. I LOVE the camera and have spent a LOT of money in extras. Overall my camera as well as helmet camera right now are worth about 1,400. The great thing about the HC series of camcorders is that they are very acceptable to any addons you with to put on in the future. There are a wide array of lenses, Telescoping, Wide and Fisheye. Loads of batteries to choose from (I got the 7 hr.). Microphones galore and they are compatible with basically any brand of helmet camera. (Not ENTIRELY sure about the HC-21).

If you're set on 300 dollars, start shoppin'. If you can save up a bit more, explore your options. I hope this post helps, because it does cost quite a bit to have a good movie put up online.

-Kyle
for 800 what would you recommend and why??? Pros and cons???
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Raptordude said:
Well, the better cameras all have better quality features that enhance the overall quality of the video. A better lens, better zoom, better microphone, bigger LCD's and so forth. I'd like to say that all the HC series camcorders get it done, some better than others.

As for added features, the better camcorders feature: Universal Mounts for Lights, Microphones, and Night Shot Extentsions. Super Steady Shot is a VERY useful tool that helps counter the jitters you get with your hands as you hold the camera. If you want clear shots, this is worth paying extra for. The higher ends also offer still shots. They're definitley not has high quality as a Digital Camera, but are useful if you want to use remember the good times you had in not so high quality. Super Night Shot is also pretty usefull. I tested it out once and the shots came out like they should. Theres no range that much, and staying in Light is the best bet, but its a handy feature.

What you also get in the higher up modes is manual settings and adjustments you can make to tweak your camcorder slightly. If you're not very knowledgable about these, then don't worry a whole lot about having them. They're just nice to have in the future.

A feature I personally like is the Handycam Station. I can plop my camcorder on it, and can access my still photos, DV transferring, charge the camcorder, and project it on the TV. All from just plopping it on the little dock.

DV itself is a higher step up from Digital8, Hi8, or other larger tapes used in the past. With a newer camcorder you will already notice huge differences. Its not gonna be reasonably high end quality, but it'll get the job done if thats what you're looking for. (The Sony DCR-HC21)

If you're only looking to spend 300, get a Sony DCR-HC 21. It appears that you have the other equipment taken care of, so invest wisely in editing software. Windows Movie Maker is complete crap. You could pick up something cheaper that will do the trick. I would reccomend Sony Vegas, but its really friggin expensive. If you have a friend with a Mac, get over there and use iMovie.
it seems like whenever people upload videos to the computer from their camera its really bad quality. If you plug the camera into the tv its very clear but when you put it on the computer its all blurry. Does it really loose that much quality when you transfer it? If i were to transfer a video onto the computer then onto a dvd would it look like it how looks on the computer or how it looks on the tv?
 

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Get a Mac

Canon camcorders work ok, except in dim light. I have Elura model, it;s not as small as the Sony HC-32 but image quality is pretty good and is very sturdy unit. I had some bad experience with Sony. They have a big brand name, but they are not sturdy/reliable anymore. Samsung makes some nice robust small stuff.
As far as videos from digital cameras, they are ok for the quality, if you watch'em on your TV. I shot some nice short videos and it works pretty well with fast SD memory cards (if you get the regular kind it will drop fps and video will get jerky)

You've got to have the right software and hardware. I do all my video editing with an iMac and find that things work out very well and easy. It took me almost two hours, three install CD and a lot of swearing to connect my canon camcorder to the PC, and then still I had to buy some software (ranging from 100 to $500) to go make DVDs and video editing.

With the Mac everything came standard, iMovie, iDvd etc., so is very easy to get started and do some decent work right away. Just plug the camcorder with firewire and you are ready to roll (no drivers and DirecX and M$ crap)
If you want to move to the next level then yes, you have to buy some software.
Just my $0.02.
 

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Amazing Larry104 said:
it seems like whenever people upload videos to the computer from their camera its really bad quality. If you plug the camera into the tv its very clear but when you put it on the computer its all blurry. Does it really loose that much quality when you transfer it? If i were to transfer a video onto the computer then onto a dvd would it look like it how looks on the computer or how it looks on the tv?
that's not the camcorder, it's the program you are using or the way you are transfering it.

do not use the av cables to transfer the footage, use firewire. and when you select the format, don't choose wmv, choose dv-avi.

i learned this lesson the hard way and had to "re-record" all the footage to my comp.

Note: this is talking about windows movie maker....
 

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Raptordude said:
Well, the better cameras all have better quality features that enhance the overall quality of the video. A better lens, better zoom, better microphone, bigger LCD's and so forth. I'd like to say that all the HC series camcorders get it done, some better than others.

As for added features, the better camcorders feature: Universal Mounts for Lights, Microphones, and Night Shot Extentsions. Super Steady Shot is a VERY useful tool that helps counter the jitters you get with your hands as you hold the camera. If you want clear shots, this is worth paying extra for. The higher ends also offer still shots. They're definitley not has high quality as a Digital Camera, but are useful if you want to use remember the good times you had in not so high quality. Super Night Shot is also pretty usefull. I tested it out once and the shots came out like they should. Theres no range that much, and staying in Light is the best bet, but its a handy feature.

What you also get in the higher up modes is manual settings and adjustments you can make to tweak your camcorder slightly. If you're not very knowledgable about these, then don't worry a whole lot about having them. They're just nice to have in the future.

A feature I personally like is the Handycam Station. I can plop my camcorder on it, and can access my still photos, DV transferring, charge the camcorder, and project it on the TV. All from just plopping it on the little dock.

DV itself is a higher step up from Digital8, Hi8, or other larger tapes used in the past. With a newer camcorder you will already notice huge differences. Its not gonna be reasonably high end quality, but it'll get the job done if thats what you're looking for. (The Sony DCR-HC21)

If you're only looking to spend 300, get a Sony DCR-HC 21. It appears that you have the other equipment taken care of, so invest wisely in editing software. Windows Movie Maker is complete crap. You could pick up something cheaper that will do the trick. I would reccomend Sony Vegas, but its really friggin expensive. If you have a friend with a Mac, get over there and use iMovie.
#1---dont buy a VIDEO camera for its still photo quality. record the good times...thats what a video camera is for.
#2---What determines video quality is the type of CCD or CMOS chip the camera contains + horizontal resolution it provides. The larger the CCD or CMOS chip, the lower the Light (lux) the camera can record at without huge amounts of noise. higher resolution = a sharper, more detailed image. Accuracy of color's should also be a major factor in your buying decision. the camera's in your price range generaly come will a small 1/6 inch CCD and are ussualy rated at a minimum lux level of 7+. this basicly means that any low light recording you do will have lots of noise and very dull colors. the only Ok quality recording you can get is in direct sunlight or very well lighted areas. with proper software, like vegas for instance, which has amazing color correction, you can make a budget camera's video look 10x better then it really is.
#3---I tend not to use steady shot modes and stuff like that cause the camera digitaly stabalizes it, degrading video quality. if you want your video footage to look good, invest in a cheap, portable tripod---$15-$30 bucks.
#4---Digital8 is digital video(DV)
#5---If your not a proffesional, You gotta be on crack to shell out $600 bucks of editing software, especialy Vegas 4,5, and 6. Not only does sony allow you to DL the full vesion off thier site for a free trial version, all you need is a serial # to activate it and kill the 30 day trial limit. dont let online activation fool you. all you need is a key gen.
#6 ---- heres one of my videos---Im using an old sony digital8 camera with crappy colors, crappy low light, and an extra crappy lens. Edited using Sony Vegas 5.
http://media.putfile.com/mt-creek-vid-ent
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
JBsoxB said:
that's not the camcorder, it's the program you are using or the way you are transfering it.

do not use the av cables to transfer the footage, use firewire. and when you select the format, don't choose wmv, choose dv-avi.

i learned this lesson the hard way and had to "re-record" all the footage to my comp.

Note: this is talking about windows movie maker....
so when you used the firewire and choose dv-avi the quality of the video on your computer was the same quality as when you connect the video to your tv?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Master_Jako said:
#1---dont buy a VIDEO camera for its still photo quality. record the good times...thats what a video camera is for.
#2---What determines video quality is the type of CCD or CMOS chip the camera contains + horizontal resolution it provides. The larger the CCD or CMOS chip, the lower the Light (lux) the camera can record at without huge amounts of noise. higher resolution = a sharper, more detailed image. Accuracy of color's should also be a major factor in your buying decision. the camera's in your price range generaly come will a small 1/6 inch CCD and are ussualy rated at a minimum lux level of 7+. this basicly means that any low light recording you do will have lots of noise and very dull colors. the only Ok quality recording you can get is in direct sunlight or very well lighted areas. with proper software, like vegas for instance, which has amazing color correction, you can make a budget camera's video look 10x better then it really is.
#3---I tend not to use steady shot modes and stuff like that cause the camera digitaly stabalizes it, degrading video quality. if you want your video footage to look good, invest in a cheap, portable tripod---$15-$30 bucks.
#4---Digital8 is digital video(DV)
#5---If your on not a proofesional, You gotta be on crack to shell out $600 bucks of editing software, especialy Vegas 4,5, and 6. Not only does sony allow you to DL the full vesion off thier site for a free trial version, all you need is a serial # to activate it and kill the 30 day trial limit. dont let online activation fool you. all you need is a key gen.
#6 ---- heres one of my videos---Im using an old sony digital8 camera with crappy colors, crappy low light, and an extra crappy lens. Edited using Sony Vegas 5.
http://media.putfile.com/mt-creek-vid-ent
so digital8 is the same as minidv? if you transferred that video to a dvd would it look as clear as it does on putfile?
how bad would it be if you didnt use sony vegas 5?

what about pinnacle editing software? its pretty cheap but is it any good? i just want to be able to edit videos then put them on a dvd and have the clarity be equivilant to the clarity if you plug the camera directly into the tv,
 
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