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Fred Garhart November 1st, 2003 04:08 PM

Cam advice
I've been reading around here for about a week. Would the PV-DV953 be a good camcorder for me? Are there any good smaller Sony camcorders? I own a Sony TV.

I have never owned nor used one before. I want something small and something of quality.

Frank Granovski November 1st, 2003 04:57 PM

Welcome to DV Info!

What are you planning on doing with a cam? (What do you want to shoot?) What are your expectations?

Fred Garhart November 1st, 2003 05:39 PM

I do not want to video record anything professional. I want to be able to carry it around with me and get some good video of different things and put it on a VCR tape, so that I may view what I recorded (things of interest, parties, animals, people, maybe some hockey). I also want to get a small padded, water proof bag for the cam. I'm new to all this. I have been doing a lot of reading here, and picked up a few things.

Frank Granovski November 1st, 2003 08:08 PM

Yes the PV-DV953 is a very good consumer cam, and so is the Canon Optura Xi and Sony TRV70. Just pick one, but try them before you buy one. Personally, I like the 953 and Xi. Also, I believe the Xi is a tad better in lower light. A Lowepro Nova 2 is a good bag for these cams, don't forget a UV filter to protect the lens, buy an extra battery and stick with 1 type of miniDV tape---stay away from the wet lube kind. Happy shooting.

Here's a tape link with lots of good tape links:


Perhaps some other members can give you some further advice, but it is the weekend, you know.

Frank Granovski November 2nd, 2003 02:46 AM

Sorry, I just re-read your post and saw that I suggested a Nova 2 bag. Make sure that you look at the new replacement model because it has a built-in rain cover, the older one Novas don't have a rain jacket.

Brian De Leenheer November 2nd, 2003 07:45 PM

I recently tried several cameras (Optura Xi, PV-DV953, TRV-70, TRV-39) versus my old TRV-11 and I found the Xi to be the worst of the bunch in low light. The image and colour were not bad but the autofocus would search around like crazy so unless you are focussing manually, forget it. The 953 was not as bright as the Sony's but the colour was nice and it did not have the focus problems. Ironically enough, my TRV11 was the best of the bunch in low light. In good lighting, I thought the 953 was the best with the Canon a close second.


Tommy Haupfear November 3rd, 2003 08:33 AM

I'll second that Canon Optura Xi focus issue. It really does struggle in low light.

The Optura Xi also has a problem with high contrast areas like tree lines and blue sky. Where my past cams would show a deep blue sky and clouds the Xi shows a powdery blue with no clouds.

Frank Granovski November 3rd, 2003 07:02 PM

How bad is this searching? Is that on a tripod with zooming, panning and tilting?


Brian De Leenheer November 3rd, 2003 07:48 PM

The filming I was doing was handheld panning, no zooming, no tilting but I was not using a tripod. I even noticed the problem in moderately lit indoor scenes. It was bad enough that despite the nice colour, I would definitely not use this camera indoors.


Frank Granovski November 3rd, 2003 07:55 PM


I would definitely not use this camera indoors
I agree. That's why I'm hanging on to my very older DVL9500 cams.

Dave Largent November 4th, 2003 08:37 PM

Figures about the Xi: it's all those pixels. I don't think the average Joe has much use for a camera that can't be used indoors.

Frank Granovski November 4th, 2003 08:54 PM

That's why I'm hanging on to my very older DVL9500 cams. They're great for indoor/low light shooting. The next best thing would be the more costly VX2000. But, no thanks. I need my spare cash to pay for my bad habits. :)

Fred Garhart November 5th, 2003 01:25 AM

He Ha! I looked into that camcorder case you suggested, Frank. I could not find the new one with the built in rain cover. Then I emailed Lowe Pro, and they replied saying that B&H in New York USA has them. So I called B&H about it and they said they have them. While I was on the phone, I also asked about the Panasonic. They gave me a USA price. Then I called my bank to see how much this would cost me. I just about dropped! I would save over $700 CAN Dollars! What the $3@*!'s going on? Hell! I'm going with B&H. I figure that this old cow poke's goin for it next week. The hell with Calgary dealers.

Thank you Brian for that information. The Panasonic PV-DV953 felt and looked like a much better camcorder than the Optura XI.

Frank Granovski November 5th, 2003 02:30 AM

This cam is a lot cheaper in the US. Don't ask me why because there is only 1 reason for this. (We get ripped off in Canada---oops, sorry.)

If you're going with that order, get an extra battery and a UV filter (for lens protection). You might as well include that with your order.

Have you thought about tapes? Fuji tapes are good and you can get them cheap at Super Store. Don't buy different brands of tape:


Good luck, and have fun!

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