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Old April 8th, 2005, 05:02 PM   #1
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Small, Cheap, Good Quality DV?

Looking for the smallest DV cameras we can find that still produce adequate image quality for use as video diaries people can carry around in their purses or whatever. Any ideas? Would like to spend less than $400.

Thanks!

Arne
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Old April 9th, 2005, 12:44 AM   #2
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The low-budget cameras that get recommended a lot are:

Optura 20
Panasonic GS70/GS120 (minor, minor differences between the two; GS120 is newer generation and not necessarily better)

Of those two, the Optura 20 is considered slightly better bang for the buck. There might be newer models of those cameras.

I think those are the only cameras that fit your price range, unless you want to look lower at something like the Panasonic GS40.

Some online dealers may show good prices on camcorders. If they are significantly lower than B&H (a site sponsor here), run them through resellerratings.com. Some are scam shops.

Optura 20 shows about $380USD + shipping. You can get these new on eBay (from eBay stores/retailers) although you need to watch out for taxes. Outside US, there are significant hidden fees to be aware of (please ask).

Unfortunately that camera may break your budget because...

2- I recommend you buy an external mic for the cameras, as the built-in mics generally are bad. Something along the lines of the Sony MS907/908 (one is the camcorder version). The Rode Videomic looks neat too, although it's a longer design which may not be good for the size issue.

Or at the very least, get that $30 Radio Shack lav that a few people mention. Check that it's in stock first. If you're really cheap, Renta Shack has a refund policy. (Should I also mention that returned items become open box and sell for less?). The lav may be better if they are not that close to the camera (and they are speaking directly to the camera).

3- Other useful accessories would be a tripod if you want them to keep the shot steady. A wide-angle adapter may be useful if they are shooting from up close... otherwise stuff gets cropped off.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 01:39 PM   #3
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Thanks for the great advice! I think we can blur over the $400 line if it means better sound....
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