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Old August 17th, 2014, 02:36 PM   #1
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new camcorder for amateur

Hello guys,
I need some advice on a new camorder.

At the moment I have Mini DV camcorder Panasonic GS400 and for pictures I use older Nikon D50.
To carry both on the vacations are really pain. Also I want to move to get better quality so full HD would be my choice.

I was thinking firstly to replace both just with a new DSLR which can record in FullHD, but after reading some posts, to make the shoot on the DSLR takes some time, but mainly for my wife would be hard to handle that.

So I am thinking to keep my Nikon and buy some small camcorder for vacation shoots.
Before when I was editing my footage I have used Premiere, now again after reading some posts, I am not really sure which bitrate I should choose to be available for the camera (50p/25p).

As mentioned I want to use it mainly for vacations and shooting of the kids.
Could you recommend some?

Thanks

Richard
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Old August 17th, 2014, 05:19 PM   #2
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Re: new camcorder for amateur

If you want to be in the $400 - $600 range and can buy used / refurb, check out any Canon with HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor. The most inexpensive camera with this FULL 1080 SENSOR is / was the Canon HFM40. There is a refurb HFM50 at Canon USA for $440 right now. You will see a handful of different model numbers because some have built in flash memory and some do not. The 3.28MP Full HD CMOS Image Sensor is on the new / current cameras, like the HFR50, but they are said to "support" 1080 and do not say they are "native" 1080. This is the HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor: Canon U.S.A. : HD CMOS Pro
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Old August 17th, 2014, 05:52 PM   #3
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Re: new camcorder for amateur

Google the specs on a Pana Lumix TZ60 as a vacation cam, excellent video, seems to have special appeal to former GS400 users, you should ditch your D50 altogether.
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Old August 17th, 2014, 11:36 PM   #4
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Re: new camcorder for amateur

I realize you are looking for a camcorder, but have you considered a Sony RX100M2?
Takes great HD footage (records OKish audio from the onboard mic), 20mp stills and fits in your pocket. The M3 version came out a few months ago so the M2 versions are quite a bargain.
I bought one just for holiday use and it has blown me away, stacks of features. Simple to use too. Came home the other day to find my teenage daughter (who has limited camera/computer know-how) had shot a video, uploaded Playmemories (free sony software) on the home computer and done a rough edit. She had also shot a few stills and were playing with those too.
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Old August 18th, 2014, 10:29 AM   #5
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Re: new camcorder for amateur

Thank you for suggestions, seems you are getting me into getting camera instead of camcorder.
Does it means that nowdays is better to carry little camera with full HD feature?
And it is real full HD or some pseudo feature?

Thanks
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Old August 18th, 2014, 12:51 PM   #6
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Re: new camcorder for amateur

Seems I have 3 choices:

1. Keep my Nikon D50, even only with 6MP stills, which I think is still good for regular pictures
and buy a new camcorder ,
for example this one seems nice , true full HD senzor

Canon LEGRIA HF R56 - LEGRIA HD Camcorders - Canon UK

I also like to have some manual control as I had on my GS400 (Manual focus/Iris)


2. To buy a new DSLR which supports full HD video. Here I am on 90% decided not to go that way
due to high prices of the lenses and hard handling/shooting (even for my wife)

3. To buy a compact like you mentioned Lumix, not sure If stills will be better than my old Nikon
also full HD is really true full HD senzor?


Thanks for any suggestions

Last edited by Richard Bacevac; August 18th, 2014 at 12:52 PM. Reason: mistake
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Old August 18th, 2014, 06:09 PM   #7
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Re: new camcorder for amateur

Given the age of your current cameras, they are radically outclassed even by many compact point and shoots... and the line between still cameras and video cameras is increasingly "blurry" - you can buy good still cameras that also shoot excellent video, and video cameras that can do decent, or in some cases very very good stills.

For family/vacation purposes where a shorter zoom should be OK, the RX100M2 is indeed a good compact option with quite good 1080p video that is NOT a "gimmick", from a decently sized sensor so you get near SLR quality pix too. If you wanted to bump up the budget, but get a very versatile camera with higher zoom, the RX10 is also worth a look - a bit bigger to carry, but pretty much should do a "professional" job for most anything. I actually carry both in a fairly small camera bag...

Keep in mind that if your computers/software are similar vintage, you WILL need to upgrade to be able to handle larger files and current CODECs.

You should be looking for a PAL model camera (25/50 rather than 30/60 of NTSC).
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Old August 18th, 2014, 07:28 PM   #8
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Re: new camcorder for amateur

I was thinking that perhaps the RX100M2 could be used for both stills & full HD video. Its so compact and versatile. The only problem I have with it is deciding I to video / still / panorama a spectacular view:-) Although you can video and shoot stills at the same time! Its a great all in one camera.
You can also buy cheap batts & chargers online if you need them.
It does have a short zoom, so Dave's suggestion of the RX10 is a ripper if you need the extra zoom, sensational camera.
Do a search online and watch a few videos and reviews.
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Old August 19th, 2014, 03:38 AM   #9
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Re: new camcorder for amateur

I used the RX100M1 for most every "casual" use, photo and video, for about a year, and the M2 when it came out, it's not bad, but the RX10 is worth the added size/weight in my book, so the RX100M2 became a "backup/second cam". Really hard to beat for the price, especially since the M3 was released.

The nice thing is that these cameras are good in "auto" modes, so you can hand it to someone with no experience but the ability to point, and get good results, and you still have manual controls available if you want them.
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Old August 20th, 2014, 02:04 PM   #10
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Re: new camcorder for amateur

RX100 II seems really nice, seen a couple of videos, but I was suprised that price is a little bit high.
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Old August 20th, 2014, 05:38 PM   #11
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Re: new camcorder for amateur

It looks high at first glance, but the larger sensor and overall "high end" image quality deliver... I had my doubts too, until I shot with the R1, and the R2 is even better...

Quite literally, it's a "pocket" camera that can cover many of the things one actually uses a camera for, while getting "pro" or at least close to pro results.

The RX10 looks even MORE overpriced, but once you shoot with one, you won't likely regret the purchase, I waited until I found a "deal" on lightly used, but haven't regretted the purchase of either RX camera, though I really didn't fully appreciate the stills until I put together a 4K capable computer system...
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Old August 20th, 2014, 07:24 PM   #12
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Re: new camcorder for amateur

Hunt for a good internet deal from a reputable dealer, bought mine through Kogan. Even shops should be ready to bargain seeing the M3 is out and they need to sell old stock.
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Old August 25th, 2014, 03:40 PM   #13
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Re: new camcorder for amateur

Thank you guys for your feedbacks.
I am really thinking about the Sony RX100.
In case I would stick with little camcorder what would you choose?

Thank you
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Old August 26th, 2014, 04:15 PM   #14
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Re: new camcorder for amateur

To be honest, it's a little hard to suggest a camcorder since the RX's have taken over most of the video duties...

I did add the AX100 to the mix, but it's a bit expensive, a bit "large" compared to many of the "small cams", and while it uses the same sensor as the RX's, it also adds 4K to the mix (there is a CX900 version with only HD). Probably a bit of "overkill" for casual shooting, but fits well with my mix of RX's, and a nice "video" camera.

There are still some "consumer" level small cams out there, but the market segment has been shrinking (along with "compact point and shoot" type cameras). Cell phones and tablets have been taking over "casual" photo and video for most "average consumers", so selection is thinning. Sony's answer is "enthusiast" cameras like the RX's and the AX that can produce much better quality than any of the "tiny" consumer oriented products. They do still have a few higher end "small sensor" models... as do Panasonic and Canon.

In terms of bang for the buck in "tiny packages", there's a reason the RX series cams have been hot sellers, despite being "pricey". If image quality is important, you do find you get what you pay for, although even "cheap" cameras are pretty good nowadays!
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Old August 27th, 2014, 01:37 AM   #15
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Re: new camcorder for amateur

Thank you Dave for feedback.
Do I understand it right that Sony would take better picture/video since Sony has 1" chip and
for example Canon Vixia HF10 which has 1/3" chip?

Thanks again for your help, trying to decide what route to go.
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