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Old June 26th, 2004, 10:06 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Danville CA
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Requirements of very good camcorder

For several weeks I have been teetering on buying a camcorder. My applications will always be amateur so I don't want to put more than $1K into the camera although I could push that limit if I could see what it buys me with some confidence.

I've looked at videos taken with high-end consumer cameras costing around $1k. The video is not very good with very high contrast and lines, such as edges and powerlines, that pixellate during pans or zooms. The autofocus doesn't work too well either. Compared to commercial TV, the pictures are blurred. Compared to still photography, the video image quality is horrible... but I can compromise because of the benefits of motion.

So, what kind of camera takes sharp (non-blurry) video, has good color without excessive contrast, does not pixellate on edges... in summary, is a close approximation, if not the real thing, to a professional camcorder? Is it neccessary to have three CCDs and if so, what is the minimum size of these CCDs?

Thanks for your comments.
Bill Lapson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 27th, 2004, 01:10 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 4,448
You might want to look at the Sony TRV-950 as a 3-chip camcorder. It's about 50% more than you want to spend. However, nothing is going to get you the quality you are talking about unless you get into more professional cameras, and that would be way overkill for home moviemaking, I think. You might be satisfied with one of the low end 3-chippers. The Canon GL2 would be in that same category, but it costs more than the Sony. Panasonic has a new one coming out that's comparable to the Sony, apparently.
Bill Pryor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 27th, 2004, 04:20 PM   #3
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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Are you ok buying used?

There are very ways to go about it:
Buy it from a camera shop.
Private selling. You can find people online through forums.
Ebay (riskiest- you have to be careful about scams).
Pawn shop?

As far as new cameras go, the Optura Xi and the Panasonic PV-DV953 are considered good bang for the buck. Both are not that good in low light.

You can get very reasonable quality with cameras such as the VX2000, PD150, XL1, and Panasonic DVC80 and DVX100. These can be professional cameras if you have talent + experience + paying clients. The cameras are in the $2k-4k range without accessories, which may be out of your budget. To get pro results you may also need a good tripod, decent sound gear, lighting gear, and other accessories. Those items will really inflate the price of the whole system.
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