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Needing to Purchase Camcorder for Preaching Lab

by HarinsGirl / December 12, 2007 6:45 AM PST

Hi there. I've done a preliminary search of the forums, been scouring CNet and PC Mag's reviews, and randomly looked at some camcorders in stores. I'm the Audio-Visual department's supervisor at a school in Kansas City, MO. I'm looking to purchase a new camcorder for the school's preaching lab. Here are some of the specs I'm looking for:

1. Easy to use- the preaching lab professor is not familiar with technology AT ALL. He has to be able to run the camera himself, after maybe a session or two with me.
2. Able to record up to 45 minutes of video- the men in the lab have to preach at least three (if not more) times in the semester. Their sermons are to be 30-40 minutes long.
3. Able to be mounted on a tripod/monopod. Handheld is great, but not for this instance.
4. I don't want to be converting dozens of miniDVs for these guys after they preach. I already have to do that for chapel (we record chapel sermons with our Canon XL1 and then convert it to DVD). I want the camcorder to record onto a media they can use immediately. A lot of these guys will use these sermons to send to churches as part of their resumes. I've mostly been looking at DVD and miniDVD camcorders. I know that the disc has to be finalized when finished, but it seems easier than converting a miniDV to DVD.
5. Durability/longevity- this camera has to last about five years. Five preaching lab classes per Spring semester, 10-15 guys in each lab, each preaching at least 3 times. It HAS to last.
6. Price- I've been given a price range of $800-1000. We'll need a new tripod for the camcorder as well.
7. We won't hardly ever use the camcorder with just the battery. It will be plugged into the wall.
8. Video/audio quality doesn't have to be the highest- it just needs to be enough for the guys to watch the videos and evaluate themselves.

Is there even a camcorder out there like this? I sure hope so...

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I'm going to say no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 12, 2007 10:37 AM PST

There are so many points that 800 to 1K camcorders miss those marks that I will just say there is nothing for you today.


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Okay then..
by HarinsGirl / December 12, 2007 11:58 AM PST
In reply to: I'm going to say no.

So, ignore the price range. I added it in because the sticky note at the beginning of the camcorder forum asked for it. Please advise despite the price range.

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Maybe something completely different?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 12, 2007 12:10 PM PST
In reply to: Okay then..

I had a "hard assignment" like that. This is how we solved it.

We used a video camera (any old camcorder with video out will do). It can even be one that can't record on tape. We wired that to a set-top DVD RECORDER.

The whole thing was strapped to some AV cart so they would power it up, check the monitor and then slip in a blank DVD+R, wait for the ready light and then press the record button. It did 2 hours on one DVD+R and the media played on most players.

Does that sound interesting? The cost was under 100 since we had the old camera, monitor and just needed the DVD recorder and AV cart.


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Now that's interesting..
by HarinsGirl / December 13, 2007 1:34 AM PST

You've definitely given me something to think about.. we'd still have to get some kind of new camera (seriously, the old VHS camcorder works maybe 30% of the time), but it would definitely be cheaper than some of the other options.. what do you recommend for the DVD recorder? (or should I slip into a different forum?) Happy

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Just sharing the one we used.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 13, 2007 3:24 AM PST

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