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Please help me to buy a new camcorder

MiniDV, DVD, Hard Drive, 8 mm, High Def, brands, import / capture techniques, settings ... talk about camcorders in here.

Please help me to buy a new camcorder

Postby MGadAllah » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:27 am

Hello,
Please I'd like a help to pick a cam coder.
Being an HD is not mandatory.
I want it to have an external microphone socket enabled.
Also the ability to add a light to the cam coder in case I want to shot in the dark places.
I want it to have a big hard drive and has the ability to add more memory cards.
The main purpose to use this cam coders is to records educational lectures about 4 hours length per day.
Also the ease of connecting it to the computer is really a plus or sending the recorded files to the laptop or flash usb drive will be great as well.
Also will use it to capture some live events like tahrir square events and a like.
So please advise.
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Re: Please help me to buy a new camcorder

Postby Briantho » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:20 am

I've been really happy with the Panasonic "prosumer' range over the years and as they've worked fine for me I haven't bothered to investigate the rest of the market much. Here in Switzerland I've been let down badly by Canon several times over the years and I wouldn't make that mistake again but others are luckier, maybe. I owned one Sony some years ago and although my experience with them was excellent, Panasonic won in the end for me.

Personally I wouldn't begin to consider anything other than HD. Do manufacturers still make/distribute SD? During editing I often zoom and pan within my HD sequences for added effect, not by more than 15% or so. Subtle keyframing in this area really makes a difference especially during (non-pop) music. I wouldn't try that with an SD sequence as I'm sure I'd noticeably lose resolution.
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Re: Please help me to buy a new camcorder

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:03 am

I would recommend a Canon Vixia AVCHD camcorder, Mohamed. These are high-definition camcorders that record to a hard drive or, on most of the newer models, an SD memory card. These cards can hold several hours of video -- and, if one does fill up, you can just pop it out and pop in a new one.

The reason I recommend the Canon brand is that they are the last brand that still has an external microphone jack (at least in their consumer camcorders). But check the specifications carefully before you buy and make sure that the model you're looking at does have the microphone jack.

The Canon can not shoot in darkness, the way Sonys can. But the Canon Vixia models do have a low light setting that slows the shutter speed enough to shoot in pretty dim light.

You'll need a lot of computer power to edit AVCHD video, but I think you do have a pretty fast computer. If you're using Premiere Elements 11, you can edit AVCHD on an i5 or faster processor.
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Re: Please help me to buy a new camcorder

Postby Briantho » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:10 am

Just for the record all the Panasonics I use have external sockets for both microphones and headphones. I have no idea if that makes them more expensive than the equivalent Canon but googling your local suppliers should show that. For the Panasonic the current models are the HC-X900M and the HC-X900. Perhaps there are others.

Let us know what you decide, please.
24" iMac. 17" MBP. FCPX and a little bit of Premiere Pro. Nine recent Panasonic HD camcorders. Many (but never enough) terabytes of external storage...
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Re: Please help me to buy a new camcorder

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:07 pm

Thanks for the tip, Brian! I had no idea Panasonics also had external microphone jacks. It's nice to know, since that can be a real dealbreaker for me!
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Re: Please help me to buy a new camcorder

Postby Uncle Ben » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:08 pm

I have the Panasonic HC-V700, which is a notch lower than the prosumer models that Brian referred to; and it too has an MIC terminal.
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