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Canon Optura Junior Watchdog
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Old June 4th, 2004, 04:04 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Silver Spring
Posts: 3
Help Pick a Camcorder

Hi, I need to replace my 5 year old digital8 camera. I am going to be travelling for 6 months, mostly in Southeast Asia, and that will drive most of my needs. Price isn't really the concern up to the ~$1500 level, so this is the list I have kind of narrowed it to:

Cannon Optura XI
Cannon Optura 40
Sony TRV-950
Sony PC330
Panasonic DV953

Since I will be on the road portability is a major issue, but my primary goal is the highest possible video quality for show on a 65 inch HDTV. I've though about shooting in widescreen mode, but my TV does an excellent job in converting 4:3 to 16:9 and I'm not sure if the cameras at this level can do it better.

Also I won't be carrying a still camera, so good stills matters, though mostly for internet use (see for example of pictures form my digital8, clearly not great quality but fine for internet) but the ability to print out at 4x6 or higher is nice.

I will be shooting alot of wildlife, so zoom matters some though I don't know if the difference between 10x and 14x will outweigh video quality issues.

Battery life also matters, I will of course pick up a larger battery than what is included, but it seems that some of the largest batteries(like Sony's) have longer life than others (like Panasonic's).

I am leaving in the fall , so I don't need to buy right now, though I want to play with it some before I go. I don't know if I should wait for new models like the HC1000 or the GS400.

Any and all comments, suggestions and help is much appreciated.
Avi Alpert is offline  
Old June 4th, 2004, 10:14 PM   #2
Obstreperous Rex
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,903
Images: 513
I don't know the Sony and Panasonic models; therefore I can't help you make an accurate assessment about them. I can tell you that either the Optura Xi or Optura 40 will take high-res 16:9, perfect for your HDTV.

Your best bet is to walk into a major electronics retailer such as H.H. Gregg, Goog Guys, Ultimate Electronics etc. where they'll have all of these makes and models on display, connected to video monitors. The one which feels right in your hands, and whose image you find most appealing on screen, will be the right one for you.

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Chris Hurd is offline  
Old June 5th, 2004, 01:52 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
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A setup I find useful for travelling is the Canon Optura Xi and a Canon G2 digital camera. Both are compact and most importantly, share the same batteries. Best of both worlds.

If you wait until the fall you might be able to pick up a Canon GL-2 for about $1500. Optical image stabilization and 20x zoom.
Michael Wisniewski is offline  
Old July 11th, 2007, 01:34 AM   #4
New Boot
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Murray, KY
Posts: 9
I recommend Optura 30

I haven't messed much with the other camcorders, but I highly recommend the Optura 30, which is almost identical to the 40. I'm a college student without much money, and that's why I made my first feature film using my handy Canon Optura 30. It works so well that I even had the characters in my movie using the same camcorder (I have two). If you're interested in seeing Optura 30 footage and screen grabs (most of which are unadjusted), then check out this page on my indie filmmaking web site. The image size is reduced from the original 873 pixels wide to 600 wide:

For optura 30 footage, check the Watch Movies page for the trailer for my movie, I Love Ashley Bailey, but keep in mind the trailer is compressed and that I've since learned to get even more out of the Optura 30. I highly, highly recommend this camcorder.
Eric Hovis is offline  

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