OT: Need video camera advice

Sorry for the OT post, but I know I can count on you guys.
My son wants a video camera for Christmas. What's out there that makes sense?
Format? Price? Can I get something decent for $300? Digital? We might make it his and the family's, so I'm maybe willing to go higher. What can I get for $500? $600?
Thanks, Doug
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Format? Price? Can I get something >decent for $300? Digital? We might make it his and the family's, so I'm maybe willing to go higher. What can I get for $500? >$600?
Doug (and anyone else interested),
I highly recommend that you purchase a DV format camcorder. A decent, name brand DV camcorder can be purchased in the $300-$400 range. Plan on adding a firewire/1394 card to your son's 'puter if it doesn't already have one. Oh, and DV editing on a computer uses bunches of hard drive space.
The small flash camcorders are tempting, but aren't quite ready for prime time IMHO. I have not met a satisfied DVD camcorder user yet, but I admit that the sample group has been small to date.
Spending more money will get you little things like the ability to plug in external mikes, larger displays, or multiple chips. I would NOT spend $2K+ on an HD camcorder at this point; they'll probably be less than a grand next Christmas. Get the HD camera then, and launch the camera you buy this year. <G>
Hope this helps, James
________________________________ James Duffy snipped-for-privacy@mac.com www.rocket.aero
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snipped-for-privacy@mac.com wrote:

Format? Price? Can I get something >decent for $300? Digital? We might make it his and the family's, so I'm maybe willing to go higher. What can I get for $500? >$600?

This sony is 300 and includes firewire output. If the link does not work then goto bestbuy.com click on cameras, then camcorders then under 300 dollars then click on the 299.95 sony and that should be it. Just about darn near anything Sony makes is good stuff. I have a sony camcorder myself and it's very good. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuIdi56537&type=product&id 99382961094
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A video camera is hardly off topic for RMR... Unless you're just going to use it to record the family gatherings at holidays :-)

Format? Price? Can I get something decent for $300? Digital? We might make it his and the family's, so I'm maybe willing to go higher. What can I get for $500? $600?
The #1 thing I'd look at is the lense. The bigger the lense (diameter) the lower the light needed. And the more zoom, the better. IGNORE digital zoom, and look at the optical zoom only. Digital zoom is nothing more than throwing away most of your precious pixels.
#2 would be the sensor. More pixels is better. Video cameras lag WAY behind still cameras in resolution.
One feature I like about my older Canon ZR45 is the OPTICAL stabilization. Again, Digital stabilizers throw away pixels, optical doesn't.
--
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L >>> To reply, there's no internet on Mars (yet)! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle: http://nira-rocketry.org/Document/MayJun00.pdf
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Bob wrote:

Well, true, but...
There's a limit to standard definition (SD) NTSC video resolution, so resolution beyond 640 x 480 is pointless for most video purposes, although some cameras use sensors with higher resolution to improve color. Some vidcams use multiple chips for similar reasons (i.e. a "three chip" camera).
High Definition HD will change all of that rapidly in the coming years as consumer HD equipment becomes more widely available. Hint: if you elect to invest in a quality video editing program (as opposed to the current proliferation of "freebie" programs), make sure it will handle HD input.
Bob's points on digital zoom are absolutely spot-on.
James __________________________ James Duffy snipped-for-privacy@mac.com www.rocket.aero
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Digital zoom is nothing more than just blowing up the video... thats about it.
-- TAI FU
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writes:

Which of course requires an explosives permit!
--
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L >>> To reply, there's no internet on Mars (yet)! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle: http://nira-rocketry.org/Document/MayJun00.pdf
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On 17 Dec 2005 08:19:46 -0600, kaplow snipped-for-privacy@encompasserve.org.mars (Bob Kaplow) wrote:

Of course you know that the old TV display technology is like analoge, while the "blow up" is done digitaly in the DVD player (or computer) with a touch of the zoom button, then converted to "analoge" and sent to the TV display. ;)
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