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Rookie needs advice about which camcorder to purchase

I'm looking to purchase a camcorder to conduct genealogical interviews. I've never owed one and I want something that is easy to use, compatible with software for video editing and can be used is less than bright light. I'll be recording indoors for the most part. I want to keep the purchase price under $750. I hope someone can give me a few tips.

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start here...

In reply to: Rookie needs advice about which camcorder to purchase

You are looking for the largest imaging chip (CMOS or CCD) area you can afford (1 big chip or 3 chips together). You should consider an external mic-jack - and add an external mic to your budget. And a tripod. And possibly an extra high-capacity battery.

While the 2007 models have been announced, they may not be listed here - but you can read about them at - many of them are not yet available.

Pretty much all consumer camcorders are "easy to use, compatible with software for video editing and can be used is less than bright light."

What video editing application do you plan to use? Does your computer have a FireWire connection? Do you have a lot of available hard drive space? Does your computer have a DVD burner? Do not even think abut the DVD-based camcorders.

When "low light" capabilities are discussed - it is generally in terms of really low, dim, "murky" light. "Typical" indoor light - with some lights on or the curtains/blinds/shutters open during the day, does not normally fall into the category of "low light".
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In reply to: start here...

Thanks for the quick reply. I had planned on the external mic. I already have mics and a mixing board as well as a tripod. I plan to purchase a computer to be used with this set up and will make sure it has a FireWire connection. Thanks for the tip on the battery. I also plan to stay away from DVD-based camcorders. I've been doing some basic research on software but I have not found one I'm sure about yet. I'm just starting to flesh this all out. I want to be able to do these interviews, utilize old photos, old records, etc. in order to produce family history packages. I've been doing audio reacordings for some time but I want to branch out and offer more.

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All the more reason to go minDV.

In reply to: Thanks

The tapes are far more robust than DVDs or hard drives. They are also inexpensive storage. One good scratch or drop/bounce and the other types of storage could be irretreivably damaged.

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