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Old December 29th, 2008, 11:56 AM   #1
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Cheap HD cameras..?

I bet this subject has been done to death already here, but can I quickly ask what the consensus of opinion is about the really budget end of the spectrum - under $300 (or 200 over here)?

For now I'd only ever rent a decent HD camera because I don't have sufficient workload to justify owning all the kit. But something cheap to try ideas out with, or grab some cutaways would be very useful.

Links to sample material would be much appreciated.

Cheers!
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Old December 31st, 2008, 11:34 AM   #2
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I think the best bang for the buck is the Canon HV20/HV30 because they have the most manual features, external mic in, 24p and great image. However, the HV20 is discontinued and the HV30 is around 550. The Panasonic HSC-sd9 is also a good option, but again is more than $300.

You can find samples on vimeo or youtube.

Another option is buying used. I have an HV20 for sale in the classifieds, but I'm actually looking for more then 300 because of all the accessories I have with it. Maybe you could find a deal on Ebay for one with the basic accessories or you can contact me if you want to work something out.

Best,
Andy
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Old December 31st, 2008, 03:11 PM   #3
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Andy is absolutely correct with saying the HV20/30 gives the best "bang for the buck".

The Panasonic series mentioned has no mic input and lacks a lot of the working features of the Canon.

Save nickels, lotsa nickles! And go for one of the Canon's as soon as you can. Watch the classifieds for used, but the new price on the HV30 seems to have dropped a lot.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 06:54 PM   #4
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I'll echo the recommendation for the HV20/30. I have a 30 and it matches well with the XH A1. There's some conjecture that the HV30 won't be manufactured for much longer and that tape is a dying medium in that market segment. If you're interested, you should move fairly soon.

I you're willing to go with different storage like hard drive or memory card, the prices will come down over time, but I don't think they'll enter your price range any time in 2009. At least for any camera that is worth anything.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 06:12 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I'm impressed by the HV30:
YouTube - Canon Hv30 Test (HD 720p )
"24p, TV shutter 48, Locked Exposure, No Attachments, just original lens"

Surely if it is discontinued, the price will come down...?

Anyone know if it does 25? I would expect that be standard in PAL countries, but I'm not sure.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 06:26 PM   #6
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Yes the PAL version does indeed do 25p. It is possible that the price could come down once discontinued..but the cam was/is a very popular cam. Like the GS400 (by Panasonic 4 years back) it could actually increase in price because of its popularity.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 06:30 PM   #7
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I notice the European 25p version doesn't offer 24p: https://store.canon-europe.com/store...ctID.104592200 but the American one offers 24p and 30p.

Rather strangely I can get the American 24/30 model here in the UK substantially cheaper than the 25.

Vimeo don't encode at 25 (yet) and our TV system here is 25.

So, is there a hack to allow a 24/30 model to shoot 25p..?

(probably not, I would guess, but always worth asking)
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Old January 7th, 2009, 07:13 PM   #8
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Canon has now announced HV40, with some changes over HV30, and you may some close out deals on it.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 05:11 AM   #9
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Little improvement it seems: 'the HV40, adds just a customizable button and “true” 24p, without the need of pulldown removal' Eugenia’s Rants and Thoughts Blog Archive Regarding the new Canon cameras (interestingly she notes "You will still need to zoom in at around 75% to get some nice-looking background blur." Ahh...)

Now the HV-40 is here maybe we'll see the cost of HV-30s drop a little. Curently refurbs are going for insane prices - I'm hoping there's a small glut after the Christmas returns get processed which will drive prices down, and then there's the effect of the recession... (seems mean to think that)

On the other hand the S10 and S100 sound interesting. Canon Consumer Camcorders Any thoughts?

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Last edited by Karel Bata; January 8th, 2009 at 11:13 AM.
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