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    video camera help

    Does anyone have any recommendations on what to look for in a new video camera? We are expecting our first and I dont really know what to look for. There are many choices including hd and standard definition, along with video being stored on a dvd, flash drive, or tapes.

    Thanks for the help.



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    Re: video camera help

    *bump*



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    Re: video camera help

    This will be a good read and give you some ideas depending upon what you are looking to use it for:

    How to Buy a Digital Camcorder - PC World

    Myself, I recommend a Camcorder with a HD (no tapes to carry around!). But, to each their own.


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    Re: video camera help

    I had the same dilemma a year or so ago. First kid on the way and wanted to be able to document things.

    I decided to go with a Canon HV30 (or HV20 for that matter - pretty much the same camera).

    I liked the fact that it was HD and used MiniDV tapes.

    I know tapes sound like a bit of an anachronism these days, but I like them for one specific reason:
    It's the single cheapest way to archive your digital video.

    How many times have you lost important files on a computer? Do you feel safe having the only copy of your memories on your desktop PC, subject to viruses or accidents that could render them gone forever? Online backups work ok, but you're looking at having to upload 10 gigabytes of data for every hour of source video. That amount of data takes a long time (days) to upload and download - even on a really fast home connection.

    That's why I went with tape. I get an archive of every piece of video I shoot. It's a little inconvenient to capture, granted. But once you do, it's the same as having shot with a HDD or flash-based camera.

    It takes an hour to capture a tape compared to 15-20 minutes with a HDD or Flash-based camera, but I just start it and walk away and come back to my video. Label and archive the tape, and the workflow from there is identical, except that I have my original HD source video archived. Not to mention, once I'm done working with it, I can delete the working files and digitally archive the compressed, edited video (which is arguably more useful anyway) without fear of losing anything.

    DVD (SD only) and Flash also have the possibility of the same workflow, but you'll need to keep buying media for both. Flash is getting cheaper - almost to the point where it's equal to MiniDV tapes - and would be my second choice.

    Regardless of media IMO there are really two ways to go:
    A cheap, sub-200 dollar SD (possibly HD) camera or a good, 500-900 HD camera.

    The cheap sub-200 dollar cameras tend to be much smaller, and you're more likely to carry them around than the more expensive ones. The best camera is the one you have with you. The Pure Digital Flips are pretty slick in this regard. About the size of a cell phone, so you can slip it in the diaper bag and have it everywhere you go. Pure Digital Flip Minohd Camcorder Review - PC World

    If you're going to spend the money on a good video camera, look to pay at least 600 bucks or so. Everything in between is a compromise, and doesn't offer any real additional performance but costs more. The expensive camcorders offer much better performance, at a bit higher price. If I hadn't gotten the HV30, I probably would have gone with the HF11. Canon Vixia HF11 Camcorder Review - Canon Flash Memory
    Everything about it is great.

    Also, be aware that the HDD and flash based players generally encode their video using the AVCHD codec, which is much more CPU intensive, and requires more horsepower to edit.


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    Re: video camera help

    Quote Originally Posted by cyflier View Post
    Does anyone have any recommendations on what to look for in a new video camera? We are expecting our first and I dont really know what to look for. There are many choices including hd and standard definition, along with video being stored on a dvd, flash drive, or tapes.

    Thanks for the help.
    Tape would require some time transferring and editing, whereas a DVD or even a camera with a harddrive would be a simple plug-and-play to transfer your home movies to your computer for editing. I would suggest that if this is for home-movies to go with DVD as you could write on each disc and not have to worry about losing tapes or flash drives. Also, make sure you have a means of backing up your movies, like a DVD, computer harddrive and a second harddrive. I lost 3 years worth of video that I was going to use for my resume tape when my harddrive crashed - that sucked!



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    Re: video camera help

    Quote Originally Posted by 3GenClone View Post
    Tape would require some time transferring and editing, whereas a DVD or even a camera with a harddrive would be a simple plug-and-play to transfer your home movies to your computer for editing. I would suggest that if this is for home-movies to go with DVD as you could write on each disc and not have to worry about losing tapes or flash drives. Also, make sure you have a means of backing up your movies, like a DVD, computer harddrive and a second harddrive. I lost 3 years worth of video that I was going to use for my resume tape when my harddrive crashed - that sucked!
    It takes a little while to transfer, but all it takes is a couple of button presses. In some ways it's just as easy as copying off of flash or HDD, just takes longer.

    I would avoid DVDs as a recording medium. The mini ones are kinda expensive and you are limited to SD.

    If you're just getting a SD camera, though, I'd rather have these than a HDD based recorder.


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