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Help with purchase of new Camcorder?!?

by dkxnyc / December 3, 2008 5:33 AM PST

Hello all,

I've read a bunch of guides and posts on what to think of when you purchase a camcorder, but I can not find anything that matches my specific situation (my father's actually)

My father is studying in the medical field. He has 2 purposes for this camcorder.

First: He gets a stream from his university and he would like to record it all. This last about 1 hr to 1hr 45 mins.

Second: He would like to take it on the road and use it to record live classes as well.

The main problem is the fact that there are MANY lessons and recordings he will have to do. He will use it often and for long periods of time. I plan on purchasing an external hard drive for all of his recordings, but I am afraid that the camcorder will wear down really quickly.

He would prefer to spend around $300-400 on the camcorder, but I am worried that there are none in this price range that would last for a long period while taking this beating. Is there any camcorder that would work for his situation?

PLEASE HELP!

Thanks in advance.

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The best idea I would suggest...
by whizkid454 / December 3, 2008 7:12 AM PST

MiniDV camcorders are the only "quality" camcorders in that price range, but even then you'll get near the bottom of the barrel. Remember, you get what you pay for. Also, you'll need many tapes and probably many batteries if you don't have access to AC power along the trips.

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How much would he need?
by dkxnyc / December 3, 2008 7:56 AM PST

What is the range he should spend for a camcorder for his specific intentions?

He doesn't need perfect clarity or anything like that.

Camcorder that can take a lot of use and would be able to 2-4+ hours worth of information (he will transfer it to his external hard drive right after it)

He has months worth of information that he will need to record, and he needs a camcorder that can handle the long amount of use it will endure.

Thanks for helping

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It's really up to him.
by whizkid454 / December 3, 2008 10:30 AM PST

The "sweet spot" for a balance in cost vs. quality is around $500-700. Once around there, many options are available. What do you mean by "take a beating"? This is important because if you are speaking literally that the camcorder will be tossed/thrown/rough handled... a hard drive camcorder may not be an option. If you just mean that it will get a lot of frequent use, then that really won't be as big of an issue (camcorder choice wise) as would be the quality you would get from any camcorder in the $200-300 range.

Just to clarify. Tapes hold 60 minutes of video at one time. Advice is to never reuse tapes. Hard drives can hold as much as the capacity of the hard drive (usually anywhere from 5 hours (in HD) to 100 hours (in lowest SD)) and are, obviously, reusable.

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Check this site out to filter by price and read reviews
by way299 / December 3, 2008 2:29 PM PST
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