Sexiest Punching Bag Alive
Posted On:5/25/2006 12:35pm
I'm looking for a cheap decent camcorder to record my competitions and fights on for posting here and reviewing at home. Any suggestions on a good brand for indoor filming? I was looking at the canon miniDV cameras under 300.00 they looked good, but I wanted to know what you guys use.
My only requirements are that it has USB or firewire access so I can get it only without much issue.
OFFICIAL Mayor of Cwcville
Posted On:5/25/2006 12:43pm
Style: Electricity, Speed
Canon Elura 80:
Whenever someone says "I need a camera for under $300", this is usually the first one I point them to. It's got manual override, a decent-sized chip, miniDV compatibility,USB/Firewire connectivity, and it's cheap. For your purposes, that's really all you need to worry about. Anything beyond that is gimmickry.
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Posted On:5/25/2006 12:52pm
Whats the difference between that and the canon ZR 700? I'm just curious because they are the same price and I know jack squat about camcorders.
Posted On:5/25/2006 1:03pm
Freaking long-ass link.
My friend got one of these from craiglist.com second-hand (but barely used) for $400 CAN.
Brand-spanking-new, it's way out of your price range, but you could always try the second hand route.
Pawn shop, eBay, craigslist, crackhead-in-the-bad-part-of-town, there are several resources available to you.
Posted On:5/25/2006 1:34pm
Choosing the right camcorder can be initially very intimidating, because of the sheer number of similar-looking models with wildly varying prices and obnoxious QR-XP20770 names. But once you understand what it is you're looking for, the search actually becomes very easy.
First, stick with miniDV. It's a solid format used on everything from low-end consumer Handicams to $6,000 professional-grade cameras. Better yet, it's supported by almost every major manufacturer and doesn't look like it'll be going out of style anytime soon. What this means for you is that all your tapes won't become instantly useless once you buy a new camera, you can use your tapes on a friend's camera, and you have a simple workflow that's guaranteed to work on pretty much any computer. Contrast that with cameras that record onto hard drives, optical discs, minidiscs, DVDs, microdrives, whatever. These cameras are pretty much dead-end roads; there's no guarantee the formats won't be extinct in a year, you may have trouble getting the footage onto your computer, it may use a bizarre compression algorithm not recognized by your editing software...it's just generally a bad idea for someone at your level to move away from miniDV.
The next thing you want to look for is a manual override option. Even if you don't plan to be an artiste, you still need the option to control your camera's iris, adjust focus, and white balance. For years I had only a generic Sony Handicam to work with that only ran automatic. It sucked. You might get a decent picture indoors, but step outside into the sun and watch your image blow out for five minutes while the camera tries to figure out what the hell just happened. Pass. Get manual override for focus, iris, and white balance or you're pretty much investing in a $300 toy.
Now you've got a format and you're sure you can control your picture, so now it's time to examine what makes a good picture. I have good news for you: This part's incredibly easy. For your purposes, all you need to concern yourself with is the size of the CCD, or chip. The CCD is the image sensor on your camera that receives and interprets the light rays coming in from the lens. Put simply, the bigger the CCD, the better the image. For comparitive purposes, the smallest CCD I know of is about 1/6". That's the ZR 700. The Elura 80 is 1/4.5". Going up the food chain, the $2,000 Canon GL2 is 1/4". My camera, the $6,000 HVX-200, is 1/3". Most news cameras are 1/2", and the cameras used to shoot Star Wars and Sin City were 2/3". Don't expect miracles; you are still paying $300 vs. $100,000, but the chip size is usually a good indicator of image quality. Pixel count can also be used, but it's less reliable and more applicable to still photography, an area I'm totally unfamiliar with. Again, as a point of reference, the ZR-700 has 680,000 pixels, while the Elura 80 has about 1,330,000.
I know I promised to make the decision easier for you, but keep this in mind: if you use what I just told you when shopping for your camera, you'll realize that 90% of these cameras are totally identical. I've never used the Elura, but it's received good marks from those that have and it holds a very slight edge over its competitors (including the ZR-700) due to its larger chip.
Posted On:5/25/2006 1:35pm
Oh, and buy from B&H, if possible. Their prices and customer service are top-notch, plus their online store makes comparison shopping extremely easy.
Posted On:5/25/2006 1:48pm
Thanks for all the info, I'm going to take a few days a look around. I got until june to pick one up. The Elura 80 looks like a good buy.
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