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Old October 26th, 2004, 05:43 PM   #571
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Both companies have plenty of good reputation, and for a variety of reasons.
I haven't used either of these cameras, but I say go with the 3ccd cam.
The Gs400 is a solidly fine looking entry point image maker's dv cam. The Xi is a curious looking consumer experiment with subsequently mixed reviews.
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Old October 29th, 2004, 05:09 AM   #572
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Thanks everybody,

I've made up my mind. I read everywhere the GS400 is better so it will be the one.

I just need to find where to buy it (maybe in Singapore) and open my wallet (so painful but so good when I can play with a new toy).
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Old November 12th, 2004, 10:21 AM   #573
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Which Cam

I realize this is gonna open a can of worms but.......

I would like to purchase a "good" dv camcorder for my son (broadcast major in college). I am not looking for a production or pro model, but rather one that he can use when the urge hits him. (no doubt there will be more footage of parties than anything else)

My requirements are: auto/manual focus; auto or manual aperature/shutter; firewire in/out; component or svhs out, audio (stereo) in/out; external mic and headphone jacks. Prefer at least a 14x zoom.

I don't have a clue if this is within a budget of $1,000 or less (new or used).

Assistance would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks - David Bird
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Old November 12th, 2004, 12:06 PM   #574
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You really cannot get there from here with your budget.

Also, no camcorder I know of has component output in the sense Ithink you mean. They have Composite and S-Video plus firewire.

Without having a specific camera model in mind, you probably will have to come up with around $500 more to match your requirements even for a reasonably new camera.
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Old November 12th, 2004, 01:08 PM   #575
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Canon Optura Xi, Optura 30/40, Optura 300.
Panasonic GS200/GS400
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Old November 12th, 2004, 05:32 PM   #576
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The Panasonic GS400 is probably the best "cheap" cam out there right now. A little more than a grand, though, I think.
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Old November 13th, 2004, 06:31 AM   #577
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Save up another thousand or so and go on eBay and purchase him a Canon GL2. It has 20x zoom, and great features, and is a 3 chipper.
Because im that...damn...good.
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Old November 13th, 2004, 09:53 AM   #578
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Be very careful if you plan to buy electronics off Ebay.

An alternative to spending $2000 on a GL2 is to save up about $1200 and buy a used GL1.
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Old November 13th, 2004, 10:05 AM   #579
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If you feel like you're going to buy from Ebay, be sure to read Dylan's article, "How Not To Get Scammed on Ebay"

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Old November 13th, 2004, 08:49 PM   #580
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For school, it probably doesn't make sense to get ANY camera if you can borrow them for free. Some don't let you borrow stuff for personal projects, but they will let you borrow equipment for school projects. The school should have $3-4k mini-DV cameras or better.

For personal use it might make sense to get a camera (i.e. family videos, personal film/video projects you feel like doing). A professional-quality camera will run about $3-4k upwards (and the accessories cost about that much too). For family videos and such, $1k is definitely enough.

You can still do film/video side projects with a $1k camera. The video quality from consumer cameras now is pretty good. You may need to pay attention to sound however- leave a few hundred for accessories. You can buy a microphone when you realize the sound is crappy.

2- For film/video projects, you can always manage to borrow stuff or rent stuff for free. Some classmates might have their own cameras.

3- Be careful on eBay. You can certainly get a great deal. But:
-You might get scammed (they like to sell expensive items like camcorders and laptops)
-If you buy used/refurbished the camera might need repair. Check for important accessories (battery, charger, A/V cable, lens cap). You can ask the seller why they are selling the item and how much it has been used.

Bidding on eBay:
Avoid getting into bidding wars there. When I see people bidding on an item I am interested, I want it more and will pay more to win the item. That doesn't make sense however- other people bidding on an item does not change the value of it. You can get a program called Bid-O-matic to bid so you don't get bidding crazy:

It takes some effort to configure it properly.

Bid-O-Matic should be set to bid at the last moment. This is one of the best bidding strategies as you do not generate greater interest in an item by doing so (and you don't get into bidding wars).

Things to consider when bidding:
-what past auctions have gone for
-retail value of item (Check B&H...
-taxes (possibly none on ebay)
-can you pay for item? does the seller ship to your country?
-risk of getting scammed; You can guess the % of the time you get scammed. It should be at least less than 20%. I chose that figure because it's very highball. Take that percentage and add it onto your expected bid price. That's about how much the item will cost you *on average*. However this does not take into account emotional costs- I would feel really bad if I got scammed on eBay.
-risk of defective used item

Other eBay notes:
Items which start off at $0.99 generally sell for a higher prices than items listed at reasonable prices. Paradoxically, the items which ARE deals are the ones that list at higher prices. What usually happens is that bidding wars ensue. Sometimes the item sells for higher than retail value.

However, DO bid on items that list at 99 cents... some of them will pickup less interest and sell at a low price. I would use a bidding program or service (i.e. bidsnipe) to bid on these items.
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Old November 14th, 2004, 03:53 PM   #581
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Thanks for all the responses..

I personally own a Pana AG DVC200, which I am NOT going to give my son....then he could have professional quality footage of his parties...

I have looked at several cams that seem to fit my requirements if not my budget...

Have had realitively good success on EBAY, but I'm aware of the pitfalls...AND I am definately aware of the good old "bait and switch" that many of NYC shops use.

I think my best bet is to decide on the cam, then start hitting the forums that I trust (like this one) in the "for sale" areas....

Thanks - David Bird
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Old November 14th, 2004, 06:01 PM   #582
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Help for new camcorder purchase...

I am currently caught in a mini dilemma and getting any help would be appreciated.

I want to purchase a new camcorder and I'm looking at the Sony VX2100, PDX10, Canon GL2, Panasonic DVC30. I've already done a search on the comparisons between all of them, but I still can't make up my mind.

1. I'm on a tight budget and would prefer to spend under $2100-2300 USD ($3000 CAD w/tax included), the less the better.

2. Are there any authorized dealers (in Toronto prefably or any U.S./CDN online retailer) who still carry the VX2000 brand new, or perhaps could get ahold of the left over inventory if they are even available?

3. One thing I like about the VX, GL2, & DVC30 is not only the manual features, but the handle, which I find useful for my purpose. However, is it possible to find aftermarket handles for the Sony PDX10 or any other camcorders which don't have a handle?

4. My use of the camcorder will be for shooting car enthusist events (day & night shots), sporting events (day), and occasionally social or wedding events (indoor/outdoor) to help a friend out with his filming business. I am leaning towards the VX2000/VX2100 due to it's low light shooting advantage, but is there a big difference from the rest I listed if I shoot indoor low lighting events, the downtown nightlife on streets, or car cruises at night with little street lights?

5. I currently use a Sony DCR TRV-17 and was wondering if I would see a big difference for shooting in low light (indoor with only an incandescent light) with the GL2, DVC30, PDX10?

Sorry for the long post.
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Old November 15th, 2004, 01:15 PM   #583
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Those are all good cameras and you won't go too far wrong with any of them. None are perfect, ofcourse, and I can't tell you what camera to buy, but I will say that I am very happy with the vx2000. It does a great job with lowlight.

I am not comfortable buying high end used equipment. The price difference usually isn't that great, and you never know what you are getting. The vx21k looks even better so I think you'd be better off with the latest model.

I bought mine throug B+H, I'm sure they could advise you about shipping to Canada.

Bear in mind, that you are going to have to budget for a wide angle filter (about $200) and some audio (low end about $200 on up)

Good luck
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Old November 15th, 2004, 01:58 PM   #584
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There are after market handles out there that attach to the tripod mount and wrap around the side of the cam to the top like a sideways U. I was looking for a handle that could attach to the accessory shoe, but was informed that a company most likeli wouldn't make one becasue of possible damage (ans subsequent complaints) if the shoe can't support the weight of the cam.
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Old November 15th, 2004, 02:14 PM   #585
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Hi Mike,

I think your question is going to be tough to answer, because probably very few, if any, of us have done hands-on, side-by-side objective comparisons of all the cameras you mentioned. Opinions on the cameras tend to be quite subjective anyway -- usually biased in the direction of what the person has most recently bought him/herself.

Undoubtedly, they're all good cameras...but as consumer cameras, they all have their limitations, as you'll read throughout

If you are doing a lot of work with your friend, perhaps you might lean toward a camera compatible with the work he does? I'm guessing car shows wouldn't generally demand widescreen, but if weddings will be a big part of your work, I'll bet a lot of brides these days expect nice widescreen DVDs (just guessing because I don't do weddings!).

None of them will do everything best. I would say to make sure that the camera will at least do all of the kinds of work that you anticipate needing it for, then pick the one that best does the one thing that you've decided is most important.

Depending on your work, you may need to leave a little budget for audio gear, too. By way of example: after I got my GL2 a couple years ago, I realized that I needed better audio, especially for voiceovers. A couple of XLR mics (AT897 and a Senn 815s), a Sign XLRPRO adaptor, and various accessory bits cost me somewhere around another $400 (not counting the Senn G2 ENG that I bought later and now couldn't live without). Even with my new XL2, the audio gear is essential.

Probably not the kind of answer you were looking for, but I hope it helps you to weigh the various features of cameras you might buy.
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