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Recommend A Camcorder For Me
Posted by: Stavs
Date: February 17, 2006 08:56AM
Ok, I've STF'd, Ive asked before, but now I think I'm ready to buy. Here's what I want in a camcorder:

Small size
Good battery life
Mini DV (or hard drive would be cool)
Good quality-its for home use, vacations, etc. I'm not the next Senior Spielbergo
Works with Mac easily
No need for still images, I have a 7mp digicam
Price $300-$600 (less is always good)
Good warranty

I originally was thinking the Canon ZR's, but have heard some bad. CR recommends a Sony DCR-HC21

Thanks,

Stavs
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Re: Recommend A Camcorder For Me
Posted by: blusubaru
Date: February 17, 2006 09:07AM
Canon ZR's. I've had my ZR20 for four years now and it's been fantastic. Well over 100 tapes and playback for digital conversion to the Mac. Always use new tapes, clean heads regularly, get a bigger battery. Makes for a long, happy life.
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Re: Recommend A Camcorder For Me
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: February 17, 2006 09:35AM
I have a ZR80 and it is fine. Most Firewire cameras can also do video iChat.
The new hard drive JVC cameras are nice, but are USB only, and will not import directly into iMovie.
The show up on the desktop just like a digital camera, and you copy the file to the hard drive-them inport from iMovie.
Having a hard disk is nice, but a couple more steps on the import.
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Re: Recommend A Camcorder For Me
Posted by: Ammo
Date: February 17, 2006 09:48AM
I tried a Canon ZR200 about 6 months ago and liked everything about it but the audio. It seemed to pick up sound from every direction and there was always an annoying background hum on the audio track.

However, Canon has just updated its ZR line, and I see that one model, the ZR500 ($300), has a mic input jack. This sounds interesting to me, so I am waiting to see how it is reviewed.
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Re: Recommend A Camcorder For Me
Posted by: blusubaru
Date: February 17, 2006 09:59AM
You're going to get the audio hum on any camera. I frequently use a Sony PD150 (3 chip, $1,500 or so) and if you don't use the external miniboom mic, you still get a bit of a hum on that. My ZR20 has a mic input and I usually use a unidirectional, battery powered Sony mic. You can select the pick up from 90 to 120 degrees.
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Re: Recommend A Camcorder For Me
Posted by: lemmingboy
Date: February 17, 2006 10:58AM
I'd recommend the Panasonic PV-GS150. I got one about 6 months ago and absolutely love it. This was the only reasonaly priced 3 CCD camera I could find and it more than met my expectations. Great image quality, nice image stabilization, can be used as a Analog/Digital pass through with Final Cut, and really easy to use.

Shawn
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Re: Recommend A Camcorder For Me
Posted by: davester
Date: February 17, 2006 11:16AM
The best image quality has consistently been from canon, sony and panasonic over the years. Over the past few years, the canon ZRs have long had an issue with excessive noise caused by the built-in mic picking up motor noise. They have also been among the worst for low light shooting (this wasn't a problem with early ZRs, but canon downgraded the CCD in the later ones). Panasonic and Sony have generally fared better in these areas. The Sonys and Canons generally have better image stabilization than the Panys. The JVCs have generally been low-priced but with crappy image quality. Check out [www.camcorderinfo.com] for more testing and reviews, and more up to date info than I have.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Recommend A Camcorder For Me
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: February 17, 2006 12:33PM
I fourth the Canon lines....Woot had a great little JVC for $199 this AM...gone now.
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