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Video Cameras forum

General discussion

Advice Needed

by newjude / February 20, 2008 4:21 AM PST

I was soooo close to buying a DVD camcorder until I came across the "do not buy a DVD camcorder" posts. Here is what I need a camcorder for: I am in training and must record one hour sessions with a patient (of course with permission, guarded access, all the ethical and legal requirments in place). These sessions are played back for myself and a supervisor. I need a camcorder that is very easy to use, results that are very easy to replay, one that records good pic in an artifically lit office, that has VERY good sound, has an external mic jack and that is under $400. Are the newer DVD camcorders still not good? I do not need to edit (nor am I allowed of course), I will not even be behind the camera as it will sit on a shelf during the recordings. Is this enough information to solicit some suggestions? Thanks.

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Take a look..
by whizkid454 / February 20, 2008 4:34 AM PST
In reply to: Advice Needed

at the Canon ZR800 and see if it fits your needs. Also, Canon released updated versions to this camcorder (ZR900, 930, 950) with the 930 having the mic-in jack. Check them out and see what you think.

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I'll check them out but
by newjude / February 20, 2008 10:51 AM PST
In reply to: Take a look..

does this mean the DVD camcorders are still too lousy even for what I'll be using it for? Also, is there a link to how to actually use a mini-dvd (ie. play it on a dvd player through to a tv set). Thanks for your reply and for yours and others' postings.

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DVD is bottom of the barrel...
by whizkid454 / February 21, 2008 6:06 AM PST

Why not step up to something better? Seriously, the issues with miniDVD camcorders far outweigh the positives.

If you happen to end up with a miniDVD camcorder, the tutorial is in the manual, step by step.

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the method to connect a camcorder directly to a TV
by boya84 / February 21, 2008 10:12 PM PST

for playback are the same - it does not matter if it is a DVD, hard drive, flash memory, miniDV tape, Hi8 tape, Digital8 tape, VHS, VHS-C or other electronic camcorder.

I agree with whizkid - stay as far away from DVD based camcorders as possible.

MiniDV tape is best available quality. Hard drive and flash memory are next in quality because of the way and amount the compress. BUT, because miniDV tape has been around, they are generally more affordable.

When you THINK you have identified the camcorder you want, DO NOT BUY IT yet... go to the manufacturer's site and download the manual for that model. There are instructions for connecting to various things - typically including directly to a TV. For what it is worth, the camera will come with an AV cable. It has three plugs:

Yellow is video
Red is right audio
White is left audio

If you connect to a TV that was purchased in the last couple of years, check where one would plug in a VCR or game console. Those colors will match up. If the TV is older than a few years, an adapter may be needed - but you can come back here and we'll work through it with you.

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Moving along
by newjude / February 23, 2008 6:31 AM PST

I have gone to Canon's site but could not find a manual for the ZR930. So I went to a store (don't know if we're allowed to mention names here) to check out a camera, handle it etc. They didn't the zr930 either but i did look over a minidvd camcorder, open and close things, etc. I've never even held a camcorder before?!! I appreciate the help I'm receiving here and the offer of continued assistance.

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