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Old January 5th, 2004, 03:33 PM   #1
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Low cost manual focus camcorder

Hi all,

I'm looking for a camcorder with a manual focus. The criteria in order of importance are:

1) Cost
2) 3 CCD
3) MiniDV (otherwise, digital8)

Camera can be new or used...it's going to be butchered anyways.

Thanks,

Brandt
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Old January 5th, 2004, 03:41 PM   #2
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Is there such a thing, other than the XL-1 with a manual lens? AFAIK, all the other prosumer 3-chippers have a servo focus ring that just spins round and round...
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Old January 5th, 2004, 03:50 PM   #3
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Yeah, that's what I'm really looking for...something along the lines of the MX line from Panasonic. Anything with a focus servo ring.
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Old January 5th, 2004, 04:48 PM   #4
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Does it have to be able to record?
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Old January 5th, 2004, 05:38 PM   #5
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Not necessarily, but it needs to be able to output somehow to display or to a recorder. S-Video or RCA out would be fine.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 04:03 PM   #6
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Anyone have any ideas on this? I know it's a common feature, but it's a hard one to do a search on.

I plan on getting a GS100K one of these days, but need a cheaper camera I can experiment with and need a readily adjustable manual focus ring on the lens assembly. The little rotary menu switch on my bottom of the line JVC just doesn't do it readily enough...lots of searching.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 09:43 PM   #7
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Most people find servo focus hard to use, especially when there are no markings.

At least spinny wheel focus is better than menu focus which is better than no manual focus at all. What do you need to do? If shooting in low light (where autofocus tends to crap out) then a wheel controlling focus will be better than manual focus stuck in a menu (i.e. low end Sonys).
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Old January 7th, 2004, 10:31 PM   #8
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Well, when I need a donor camera, I go looking for one that has been abused somewhat or no longer records. There are a ton of non-recording camcorders out there.

I've purchased the top of the line Sony Hi-8 camcorder for $50 because the guy dropped it on the viewfinder. Everything else works very well and it makes a good copystand camera. Top of the line Sony Hi-8 cameras have manual controls for everything but sound level.

Another source would be a non-recording VX-1000. Should be worth maybe $200-500 depending on condition. Lots of them out there with inop viewfinders because the little flex circuit has broken.

Otherwise, you might look for a older pro camera.

Then just feed them to your recorder, whatever you are going to use.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 11:40 PM   #9
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Thanks, Mike. Would these be Ebay items? If so, I've never seen a deal like the ones you mentioned.

A VX-1000 with a dead VF would be ideal, especially at that price point.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 05:17 AM   #10
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Older pro cameras

I'm with Mike on this one - you can get some pretty good deals on old pro cameras on Ebay - but caveat emptor!

If you are going to record to another device, then you don't need your camera head to be from a DV camera.

I bought myself a complete Ikegami HC230 for 350...

Regards,

Julian
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