Video Cameras forum

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Which small camcorder

by sgoody2 / August 13, 2007 10:24 PM PDT


I am looking to buy a new camcorder now that my old JVC is broken (the screen has stopped working).

Having been around the shops here in Tottenham Court Road, the array of models is staggering, and I am now more confused than ever.

I am looking for a good quality end result, but with a camera that is small enough that I will take it with me on most relevant occasions, and mainly will use it for holidays and to record my daughter growing up. I feel if the camera is too big, I am unlikely to use it that often, and it then defeats the purpose. Ideally it should be the kind of size that will strap to my belt without looking like a massive bulge, or that could fit in a medium sized handbag (my wifes!)

I have HD tvs at home (but not an HD DVD player yet), and to date I tend to download my mini DVs onto my PC and cut DVDs from them, doing copies for my family (who dont all have HD Tvs yet).
Also, my PC is a 2 year old Vaio, I have basic editing software, but not HD software, and I did make DVDs using my old PC downloading the mini DVs onto my PC etc.

Some cameras I considered were:

Sony HDR SR1 (only runs on Hard drive and is quite bulky)
Panasonic HDC SD1 - (runs on SD card)
Panasonic SDR s 100 (very small, may be too much of a gimmic)
Canon HV10 (I think this may be outdated but is still on sale). The size is quite good, but apparantly not that easy to use. This is probably the model that I think best suits my needs.

Then today I read about 2 new cameras
Canon HG10
Panasonic HDC SD5
both of which also sound good, but not available yet.

So, am I missing something, do I need to bother with High Def, or are latest models likely to be high quality anyway, and which camera gives the best blend of performance against small size, and which format should I go for - SD, mini DV or a hard drive (although I am slightly worried that I may run out of room and then be stuck). Also, if I record in HD, but make non-HD dvds, will the quality be better or worse than if I was recording in non-HD in the first place?

The other alternative might be to just buy a cheap replacement to my JVC now (there are loads on ebay for

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Read this former reply (link only)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 13, 2007 10:37 PM PDT
In reply to: Which small camcorder
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One thing that would help...
by whizkid454 / August 14, 2007 1:37 PM PDT
In reply to: Which small camcorder

Your budget.

Some answers to your end questions:

do I need to bother with High Def, or are latest models likely to be high quality anyway-- HD is the highest quality picture available as of now. Now, since we are talking about video, the way the frames are stitched together and processed (compression) will give the final overall result.

which format should I go for - SD, mini DV or a hard drive-- Please search the forum for "flash", "miniDV, and "hard drive". What I would type out right now is what is already in former posts.

Also, if I record in HD, but make non-HD dvds, will the quality be better or worse than if I was recording in non-HD in the first place?
-- Yes, downgraded HD video tends to look much better than original SD video, picture quality wise. Plus, you then have the footage available to make HD movies when Blu-Ray or HD DVD burners/players become cheaper.

From now on, the number of HD camcorders will keep climbing. Why? Because HD technology is the newest thing. If you can wait, there will always be something better down the road. Then again, you would have to keep waiting and waiting and waiting and......

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