Video Cameras forum

General discussion

New CamCorder User

Hello to All,
I hope someone can help me. I have never had a camcorder and want to get one, but will all the different types out there now I am so lost. Also add to the mix I am in the stoneage when it comes to doing anything on my computer. So what I need is a simple point and shoot, that can work inside and out. And also can take still shots, but does not take alot of computer skill to make it all work after my vacation. Oh and if it's not too much trouble I would like it to be no much money also.
Thanks in advance for any help and info.

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my 2 cents

In reply to: New CamCorder User

well brace yourself, these things require a certain amount of techinical fussing. I am not an expert, I can only give you my experience with a sony trv38 which is in the 800$ range.

this is a fab camera-- nice video, nice big LCD screen which was a major selling point. The still phjotos are very basic, very grainy, nowhere near the quality of a cheap still camera-- don't know for sure but I think this is common, so maybe you should get a still camera for stills. getting the video into your computer is easy if you have a firewire port on in, if you don't you'll have to install a firewire card for it. After that, it's pretty simple-- you connect the camera to the computer using the firewire card (you can also use USB but it doesn't work as well for me-- USB 2.0 may be a diffferent story). the firewire shouldn't need any software. (firewire is pretty cool, it allows you to control the camera's play functions AND record back to the camera wehen finished). then you have to learn whatever software you're using to import and edit the video. most of it is either poor software or expensive. I use premiere and there is a lot to learn in that program.

note you need a pretty fast computer -- 600mhz to 1 ghz at least, and a second hard drive for the video media is recommended but not absolutely necessary.

if you're planning to export your finished show to DVD or VHS well that's a whole 'nother layer of hardware and learning how to do. also when they upgrade the software or the hardware everything you own becomes obsolete (so what else is new). it never ends. --fj

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Re: my 2 cents

In reply to: my 2 cents

Thanks for taking the time to reply, I do have a still camera, so I guess I'll just use that. Do you know if with Sony's I can only use Sony prod.'s? I heard that somewhere.
Thanks again for taking the time to answer me that was very nice of you. Hope you have a great day.

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Re: my 2 cents

In reply to: Re: my 2 cents

well, getting to the end of my knowledge, but firewire is generic, the memory stick may be sony only but that's not important in the trv38. the tapes I think are standard mini dv, so that's not proprietary either . . . the trv38 also has a USB port out (altho that's mostly for stills) AND it takes analog video in (and out), converts analog in to DV out-- handy for putting VHS tapes into your computer without having to get a capture card other than firewire.

it also has a mount for a better microphone. the only problem I have with the trv38 is you have to take the tripod mounting boot off in order to change tapes, which is a real pain if you're in the middle of something and need to do it fast. --fj

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