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Best Mini Dv Camera for Under $500

I'm not looking for the best value, I need good video quality, don't really care about low light performance, and one that's easily available via best buy or circuit city. My ideas are the Canon Zr 850 but alas it has no acessory shoe for a mic, but it has a mic port. Any suggestions or comments. Btw I would use the camera for making movies as a minor hobby.

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Just to clarify...

In reply to: Best Mini Dv Camera for Under $500

The ZR850 doesn't have a mic-in jack either. I'm afraid if that's what you're looking for, the ZR800 is what you will look at.

For the best video quality, take a look at an older model, the Panasonic PV-GS300. It uses 3CCDs which seem to perform better than single CCD configurations (i.e.ZR800/830/850) in brightly-lit situations.

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Be careful on the ZR800...

In reply to: Just to clarify...

Yes, it does have a mic-in jack... but it does not have manual audio control. If you are in a loud audio environment (recording a rock/metal/PA using band, for example) it is possible that the audio will be really muddy. This cannot be fixed in post production.

If "normal" audio levels, it should be just fine.

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In reply to: Be careful on the ZR800...

ill take a look at the other one, if the video quality is better that the zr series ill buy i bc quality matters most to me, the audio

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In reply to: thanks

Panasonic PV-GS300 not bad but hard to find, Panasonic PV-GS400 $1000+,Panasonic PV-GS500 $750+, I think im going with the zr series unless theirs a cheaper camera with better quality and maybe an acessory shoe

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What I usually say...

In reply to: expensive

You get what you pay for.

Some think they're doing themselves a favor by buying something that they think is good enough, yet when they use it, it's not up to their standards. Then one must return it (possibly paying a restocking fee) and buy a different one.

If an accessory shoe is wanted, perhaps the Sony HC48 or HC96?

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there are lots of ways around...

In reply to: expensive

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if your camera budget is $500,

In reply to: expensive

what is your mic budget?

What are you taping?

Stereo? Shotgun? Wireless? Clip on or handheld? Camera mount? Have a helper and a boom-pole?

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My budget and a new idea

In reply to: if your camera budget is $500,

For a mic I was thinking shotgun.I plan to spend no more than $175. I would be taping home movies for fun a perhaps certain video contests. And I did some research the Panasonic Pv-Gs320 sounds like its everything I need, good quality and a acessory shoe but its a cold shoe and I have no idea what that means.

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Minor Problem

In reply to: My budget and a new idea

I think the PV-GS320 is a good choice however the firewire port is under the battery. So how am I supposed to upload video? Maybe ill go with something else.

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What difference does it make that the FireWire port

In reply to: Minor Problem

is where it is? If the port is under the battery, then remove the battery and connect the FireWire port. So... you need to use the AC adapter. Is that an issue? Are you going to be editing in the field where there is no power?

You are aware that the Panasonic PV-GS320 has no mic-in jack... at least according to the Panasonic site...

Scroll down to "Microphone (stereo mini) No"

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A "cold shoe" is a mounting

In reply to: My budget and a new idea

"bracket" that has no electronic connection into the camera. Using an external mic requires the camera to have a mic-in jack.

To contrast: A "hot shoe" example would be like the proprietary Sony "active interface" that allows connecting only Sony proprietary mics which allow connection using the "active interface". These special Sony mics do not connect using a normal 1/8 inch/3.5mm mic-in jack.

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In this particular case, the cold shoe

In reply to: My budget and a new idea

would likely be used to mount a video light with it's own battery...

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Whay are you so focused on an

In reply to: My budget and a new idea

accessory shoe? Add one by using a camera bracket. $8-$12.

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Ok and thx for the help

In reply to: Whay are you so focused on an

I knew it had no mic jack but i thought a mic might work with the accesory shoe. And i was unsure how to connect via firewire if the battery was out, i new at this editing buisness. And i guess if i could buy a bracket to hook up a mic then this camcorder is the one I'm going with. Thanks for all your help.

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hmmm... if you are lookinat the GS320, it does not have

In reply to: Ok and thx for the help

a mic-in jack, so there is no need for an accessory shoe - unless you are planning to use a video light.

If you are looking at the ZR800, it has no accessory shoe, but it does have a mic-in jack... so if you use an external mic and want to camera mount it, you need the bracket with the cold shoe. But the ZR800 does not have manual audio control.

For the Firewire connector - I'm not going back to to check, but typically, it is recommended that you use AC power (not battery power) when you are importing video from the camcorder to a computer. This merely makes it a requirement.

Whizkidd's recommendation of the Sony cameras may be what yuo need to move toward.

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