Picking the perfect camcorder
Posted 02 August 2006 - 07:50 AM
Posted 02 August 2006 - 12:44 PM
Posted 02 August 2006 - 02:04 PM
Honestly - my Dad has a Mini DV camcorder. I had to capture video off the fricken thing to get it onto a PC. Does Apple not see the huge opportunity here?
Apple really is trapped by its iPod fever, it has stopped the company from looking beyond the iPod to other consumer devices like a digital camera and a digital camcorder. Both of these markets could substantially gain from Apple's market entrance. Look at how Apple has almost wiped out MP3 player competition with its iPod - the same would happen in the Camcorder and Digital camera markets, the competition would be forced to innovate and improve their designs substantially. As of right now, all I see in these markets is stagnation. New designs do little but upgrade a chip or two, and add a few megapixels. We still have to deal with highly limited quantities of flash memory for cameras, and tapes.
Does anyone see tape drives still commonly used on the average user's desktop computer these days? No. The reason why is because of hard drives. And yet years after the iPod became a success, none of the major camera or camcorder players have seen the potential threat from applying the iPod treatment to digital cameras and digital camcorders.
So in the end, all I can conclude is that Apple's failure to create offerings in these markets is a failure on its part to get over its iPod love. The iPod is fantastic, but Apple could have a trio of major design wins and capture even more of the digital hub market by branching out into other markets that have not benefitted from the iPod treatment. MP3 players existed for years before the iPod, the same with camera and camcorder markets, and they will gain just as much, if not more innovation if Apple can come to its senses.
Posted 02 August 2006 - 03:22 PM
Come on Apple, you are giving us just about everything else we need in our digital lives!
Posted 02 August 2006 - 03:36 PM
Also, I second spimster's request to hear something about 3CCD cameras. These are becoming more popular in the consumer/prosumer video market. 3CCD digital still cameras are still usually too expensive for anyone but serious pros, but the vidcam models are not as far out of range, and, in most cases, offer much better color and clarity, and also work better in low light conditions.
Posted 02 August 2006 - 05:51 PM
This article comes at a timely moment for our family. We've been holding off for HDV (or AVCHD) options to mature. We're willing to spend up to $2000 for something decent but we don't want to wait forever. The kids will soon be in kindergarten.
Thanks for this article. Good information about camcorders is hard to find. Even if this article doesn't really help me with my HDV vs AVCHD decision, or the 3CCD array issue, at least it prompts further thought.
I'd really like an article that focuses on the high definition camcorders and their issues related to Macs. I think many more of us are headed in the HD direction.
Sony said in their recent product announcement they expect 50% of camcorder sales to be in HD by the end of 2007. (Nobody can fault them for hoping.)
Posted 02 August 2006 - 11:31 PM
Based on the specs, I would also recommend the GS300 for those that are interested...
BUT...if you can spare the $400, I'd recommend over that one, the Panasonic PV-GS500 which boosts all of the optical qualities, including sensor size, zoom length, lens diameter, still picture resolution and nighttime light sensitivity. It also adds a physical ring for manual focus control vs. a joystick that adjusts the manual focus on the GS300.
And, btw, both of these are 3CCD cameras for those that are curious.
All-in-all, it's worth the $1000 list, a few hundred dollars less on street/web.
ps, I re-read this and realize I sound like a Panasonic shill, but I swear I'm not--just a video professional.
Here's a comparison between two models (you may have to cut/paste to get whole link):
(side note about comparison: all of the N/A's listed for either model are actually included if you look at their operating manual PDFs, except for manual focus ring for the GS300).
Posted 05 August 2006 - 11:00 AM
Does this sound as good to others as it does to me? Does anyone use this camera and could tell me if the camera works as well as it says it does?
Posted 07 August 2006 - 03:07 PM
Sony's HDR-SR1 will be available October 21st for $1,499.
The AVCHD format is especially promising because the 8mm DVD disks should be playable in Blu-Ray DVD players (and thus the PlayStation 3). AVC/H.264 is said to offer the same quality as MPEG-2 at half the bitrate as well as supporting 5.1 and 7.1 channel audio and arbitrary resolutions and aspect ratios.
On another note; if you are going to be shooting a lot of video for playback on a computer you should be aware of interlacing problems. Sadly, the vast majority of camcorders, even the JVC HDD models, shoot interlaced video unless they are specifically labeled as "progressive".
Posted 09 August 2006 - 09:42 PM
Posted 13 August 2006 - 11:37 AM
As far as the Hitachi goes, you can always import video from the DVD-Rs into iMovie: Importing digital video from sources other than a camcorder.
Posted 16 August 2006 - 04:16 PM
I did mention 3CCD a little, but I didn't have space to get too in-depth about that. As to the HD camcorders: I wanted to focus on the mainstream products, and some of the newer formats aren't out yet.
Posted 16 August 2006 - 04:18 PM
Ahh, but what about audio? External mic inputs have been mysteriously disappearing from many camcorder models over the past several years
Very true, and I did commend the Canon Elura 100 in the reviews I did for having a microphone input. You may not use it all the time, but it's a great feature to have.