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Which digital video camera?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am looking into getting a digital video camera? What is the best bang for the buck for action video? I need something pretty small of course.
post #2 of 19
I have been looking at pulling the trigger on this, a friend has one and loves it.

JVC EVERIO GZ-MG30 30GB HARD DISK DIGITAL CAMCORDER
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarzan View Post
I have been looking at pulling the trigger on this, a friend has one and loves it.

JVC EVERIO GZ-MG30 30GB HARD DISK DIGITAL CAMCORDER
Looks like you have to open the LCD screen to adjust. Not fun in the snow!

Best Snow Cam right now IMHO is the Panasonic GS400.

Good luck on your search. Try a seach for dv forums...
post #4 of 19
make sure you can hook up a helmet cam and record..i made mistake and didnt and now need a new camera or a harddrive
post #5 of 19

snow vid

i have a jvc dvl series cam from a few years back...i can hook up a helmet cam and everything can be done without an lcd. only downfall is i had to do some serious research to find lenses like fisheye and wide angles
post #6 of 19
Canon Elura 100, this is a very small camera packed with features. It is a very highly rated camera. Excellent optics, good battery life, fast focus which if you are using for skiing is very impotant. Many cameras have a substantial lag in their auto focus. The Elura also films very well in bright light. Buy it through Amazon, you can get it for $329. Just make sure you order a tape or two. You can slo take still pictures with it and use SD memory
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
Canon Elura 100, this is a very small camera packed with features. It is a very highly rated camera. Excellent optics, good battery life, fast focus which if you are using for skiing is very impotant. Many cameras have a substantial lag in their auto focus. The Elura also films very well in bright light. Buy it through Amazon, you can get it for $329. Just make sure you order a tape or two. You can slo take still pictures with it and use SD memory
I was actually looking at that one yesterday. I like that it records in widescreen format but I don't know how that would work with posting videos online. I'll have to research that. I also don't have Firewire so that is a major issue.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
I was actually looking at that one yesterday. I like that it records in widescreen format but I don't know how that would work with posting videos online. I'll have to research that. I also don't have Firewire so that is a major issue.
The Elura-100 also has a USB port. Firewire is used only if you're recording to mini-DVs; if you use the memory card option, then it transfers via USB.
post #9 of 19
Huh? I have a Canon ZR 45 and the only way to transfer vieo out and into a computer is via firewire. I suppose if you have the right kind of video card you could use either the standard phono plug cable, or maybe USB. I know you can transfer stills out of the camer with USB.
post #10 of 19
I picked up an Elura-100 a couple of days ago. My first camcorder and it's very easy to work, very intuitive. It seems to have a bunch of features that will work well for ski vids. It was also ranked top in it's catagory on CNET and Consumer Reorts. I was a little dissapointed with the literature that came with it. Brought it home set it up and realized I needed some type of memory. For $300+ they could have thrown in a miniDV. Went back and picked up a couple of tapes. Tried to download a clip to my laptop and realized the USB connection only works for SD flash memory. I needed a firewire cable so back to the store again. The Canon cd program that comes with it only works with the SD memory but I happen to have Arcsoft showbiz on my cmputer so I don't have to make the 4th trip to the store yet. So now I have a 30 second clip of my cat looking at me like I'm nuts that for some reason my Outlook 2003 refuses to send. It just bogs down and doesn't respond. But so far I like the Elura. :
post #11 of 19
Dano, have you by any chance looked at the size of the 30 second video clip? If you haven't renedered it from the .AVI format to something compressed, I'll bet you are trying to transmit a file of perhaps 130 MB. Uncompressed digital video is huge.

I have a Panasonic GS120 from a few years ago. The 3CCD imager gives great color, and the camera accepts AV input for a helmet cam. If I could, I would upgrade to the GS500, but money matters. The Sony cameras have some of the best interfaces for hooking up a helmet cam if that is a concern. The other advantage of having an AV port on your camera is you can use it to convert analog video to digital. That would allow you to import old VHS or 8mm analog video to the new format. Hard drive vs MiniDV? Tough question. The MiniDV collected uncompressed video that you import and edit. The hard drives and DVD drives are a nice convenience but fairly new and expensive.
post #12 of 19
I took a 5 second section of it and compressed it and it wouldn't go. I haven't looked into the helmet cam thing. That could be fun but I bought it mainly as a training thing for instructors. And myself. The quality has gotten pretty good at the cheap end of the spectrum and that's as high as I want to go for something that I'll probably break, misplace or have stolen in the next few years.
post #13 of 19
Don't forget to check out the new flock of HD camcorders that are starting to flood the market, too.

There are so very many choices in video cameras these days, from microscopic cell phones to miniature, small, medium, large, and huge tape format camcorders, as well as DVD camcorders and hard disk camcorders that don't use tape, to HD format camcorders. You have optical (better) and digital image stabilization, 3-CCD camcorders, and camcorders that can shoot in 'progressive scan" mode (great for extracting stills from video).

How much image quality do you want? How much manual control? Everything is a compromise--quality and features cost money, size, and weight. How do you want to use it--to produce professional-quality edited video programs, or just to fold out the screen and watch reruns of your friends playing in the powder? The disk camcorders are great for instant replay, but the compressed video is poor for editing or stills. HD camcorders require computers and software with enormous horsepower for editing, but of course, they produce great video.

All things considered, the best compromise I've found, for my own purposes, is the Panasonic GS400, endorsed also by Mammothsnowman above. It is a standard mini-DV 3-CCD camcorder with optical image stabilization, a very good lens, excellent manual control (for a small camcorder), and can shoot 30 frames-per-second progressive scan video (the few Sony's that can shoot progressive scan only shoot at 15 fps). It is small enough to ski with on a strap around your neck, although you'll definitely know it's there--it's a lot bigger than some of the truly miniature camcorders out there. It's a very highly-regarded camcorder that has become a bit of a legend in its niche.

Unfortunately, it is also no longer available new, and it's extremely hard to find even used on eBay. Its replacement, the GS500, is a mere shadow of the GS400, with most of the great features and capabilities stripped out. On the other hand, it is a little smaller and less expensive, and if all you want is very good quality standard digital video without the manual and high-end features (and expense, weight, size, and potential complication) of the GS400, it may be just what you want!

I think that the demise of the legendary GS400 foretells the future of digital video. Anything high-end is likely to be HD, and standard DV will soon go the way of VHS.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #14 of 19
Bob, Did you sell your TRV 900?
post #15 of 19
After reading what was said here I did some research and have found the Sony DCR SR 60 seems to have what I want and what was suggested.

30gb hard drive
12x zoom 800 digital
AV ports for a helmet cam.


Any comments, anybody have one????
post #16 of 19
This sounds ike exactly what I have been looking for too! Anyone out there usde this one yet??
post #17 of 19
Hi Lucky--no, I still have the venerable TRV-900. It's a great camera too, with many of the same features as the newer Panasonic. I used that camera a LOT, and it withstood more than its share of abuse, too, with never a complaint. I used it in the rain, in the snow, and in the hot sun. I fell on it, slammed it into the snow a couple times, and dropped it out of its case onto a concrete sidewalk. And it held up.

Finally, it started to have some problems with the audio and occasionally pixelated the video. Probably just needs a good cleaning. I was about to send it in for repair when I came across the GS400. The two things I like most about the Panasonic compared with the Sony are the 30 fps progressive scan mode and the somewhat lighter and smaller size. I really should send in that TRV900 and get it back in action, though, because it is still a fine camcorder, even seven years after I bought it!

Best regards,
Bob
post #18 of 19
How shock / cold proof are the hard-drive based camcorders? My iPod is hard-drive based and I've gotten it to act "interestingly" in the cold and bumpy environment that is skiing.

The memory card option is intriguing though. I'd think that has the fewest moving parts. Lack of moving parts = durability to me!
post #19 of 19
The memory cards have a couple of minor drawbacks. Limited recording time unless you buy several cards or dump the vids into a laptop. And I've heard that the resolution is fine up to 20" or so but if you want to play it on a large screen TV they don't compare to mini-DV's. I don't know of the resolution of the other sources of memory. I'm going to try both the cards and tapes.
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