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  1. #1

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    Default Digital Camcorders

    Any of you guys have one? I'm looking to purchase one in order to record mini-movies of the various standard and custom products we sell in action. The idea would be to publish these to our website for customers to view in lieu of just the pictures.

    The problem is, I haven't owned any video recording device ever, so I am not sure what's good out there and have no clue where to start. That said, I am pretty technologically savvy, so I'm a quick learner.

    Money is no object with this, however I have no desire to spend a load of money on something I won't use to it's full potential. So I am looking for reasonable suggestions. ;) For example, we have no desire to buy an HD Camcorder as it would be pointless for what we want to do.

    Does resolution matter with digital camcorders like it does with my digital camera?

  2. #2

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    Heh, after looking a bit, HD isn't out of the question....

  3. #3

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    Sony and Panasonic are probably the leaders in the digital camcorder market. I've had both with no problems. I now have a JVC that has been very good as well. I bought it because it has a feature where it will allow me to convert old analog video tapes into digital.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

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  4. #4

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    I just bought my 12 yr old daughter a Sony DVD108 from onecall.com for her birthday/Christmas present. She has been into photography for a couple of years and is really into it and takes care of stuff, especially for her age! I was amazed at what this camcorder could do for $350. And it records onto DVD's so for a kid, taking them out and playing them or editing them on the PC is pretty easy. They even have a model up from this that will record in 5.1 surround sound!
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  5. #5

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    Man, sounds like things have really come a long way in just a few years.

    I see both of you mentioned Sony, and I have been looking at them. Any model suggestions? Anyone know anything about the Canons, specifically the HV20?


  6. #6

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    i work as a video producer for a small business (don't want you to think hollywood or anything) and in my experience, if HD isn't necessary then i would have to steer you towards the Panasonic AG-DVX100B. when i first started my job, it was my first priority to research and purchase a couple high quality standard definition (mini dv) cameras. After lots of research i finally came to a decision on the 100b. i have now been using this model (amongst some others i have used like a Canon XL1, GL2, and Sony PD170) and i will tell you i have never been more pleased with the 100b. for the price and the size you really can't beat the quality. Let me know and i would be glad to send you some test footage. My best advice though is do your own research. Good place to start is www.dvxuser.com ..let me know if you want some footage though because i would be more than glad to help

  7. #7

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    FYI the AG-DVX100B is a prosumer grade. So if youve got someone who will learn the camera's functions inside and out. it won't disapoint you

  8. #8

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    JVC with the hard drive take awesome movies. I have a customer that has one. I was blown away at how much better it was than my Sony. Way Better.
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamRagland View Post
    i work as a video producer for a small business (don't want you to think hollywood or anything) and in my experience, if HD isn't necessary then i would have to steer you towards the Panasonic AG-DVX100B. when i first started my job, it was my first priority to research and purchase a couple high quality standard definition (mini dv) cameras. After lots of research i finally came to a decision on the 100b. i have now been using this model (amongst some others i have used like a Canon XL1, GL2, and Sony PD170) and i will tell you i have never been more pleased with the 100b. for the price and the size you really can't beat the quality. Let me know and i would be glad to send you some test footage. My best advice though is do your own research. Good place to start is www.dvxuser.com ..let me know if you want some footage though because i would be more than glad to help
    I guess I should have bit my tongue on the whole HD thing because I really didn't do any research into them until I posted this thread. I now know that the HD feature is more than affordable. I was thinking they would be a couple grand.

    Anyhow, the subject had been in my mind for the past year as it relates to our company website, but I hadn't had a chance to seriously start diving into the idea of offering videos on it until today.

    The bottom line is that I don't mind spending money to get a top notch product, but what I was hinting at above is that I obviously don't need to spend $2,000 on a camcorder for a bunch of unecessary features. Having looked at a few now, I would say we're in the $700 - $1,500 range right now.

    Since this is your job, what's the best Windows based software you've used? I'm thinking of making them quicktime movies as it seems to be the standard. What do you think?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamRagland View Post
    FYI the AG-DVX100B is a prosumer grade. So if youve got someone who will learn the camera's functions inside and out. it won't disapoint you
    It'll be me that'll have to learn how to use it. I wear a lot of hats here, one of them is web-admin. :p It's really not so bad since the company who did the design has an extremely user friendly interface that makes editing a breeze. We got a good deal about 6 years ago by giving them a shot as a new company. Basically got a $50,000 (what they'd get for our site now) site for $10,000.

  11. #11

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    well i am a mac guy but i did make my start on windows machines. I would say my recomendations are in this order:

    Final Cut Pro (mac only)

    Avid (PC only)

    Adobe Premier (pc and mac available)

    i want to also note that these are all non-linear editors. Meaning for someone just starting out. these are extremely complicated, however once you understand the workflow in which they work and get comfortable with editing in them (which you will it just takes time) the possibilities only stop at your abillity. in short, with a NLE (non linear editor) you can basically achieve anything you want as long as you have the skill. As for the camrcorders, if your only looking to get simple shots of your products, maybe prosumer is a bit much. However if this were ever to be aired then you may want to reconsider. Last thing! when posting on the web your codec is everything. with the right codec you can acheive good export quality and still keep the video size way down. When i export something for use online i generally use H264. great quality and can get fairly small download sizes.. hopefully i havent confused you with my rambling...

  12. #12

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    Regarding your inquiry about the Canon HV20: I've got the HV10, which is the older model, and I'm very happy with it. Versus the HV20, the shape of the 10 is different, but I think other differences are minor. I bought a refurb for less than $500 several months ago and it's been flawless. The video quality is stunning when viewed on an HDTV, and still very good when viewed at SD. If it's been a while since you've dealt with camcorders (I'm comparing to my old Sony hi 8) you'll be blown away. The detail and colors are fantastic. Auto focusing is fast and accurate with very little of the hunting that I used to get with the older cameras. The image stabilizer is reasonably effective. Low light is not its strong suite, but I don't find it to be as bad as some of the reviews say. My only complaint really is the tiny size of the camera, as my fat fingers have a little trouble with some of the controls- My wife finds it to be just right for her hands. Oh, and battery life: I found a higher capacity battery to be a must-have, as the included one barely lasts 30 minutes. Maybe the HV20 is better in that respect, but I don't know.

    My computer is not really fast enough to do HD editing, and I don't have a BR or HD DVD burner, so for convenience I capture and convert to SD and burn to DVD. I'm using HDVSplit (free) for capture and Nero 8 for the rest. Archive the HD tapes, perhaps for later conversion to one of the HD disc formats.

  13. #13

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    6ave.com has the canon hv20 at $746 shipped with coupon code AFLCAN746.

  14. #14

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    kn505, thanks for the PM and the message. I ended up getting the HV20 and it just arrived today. I'll mess around with it a bit this weekend.

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