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Equipment Recommend a camcorder

Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by l3v1ck, 15 May 2009.

  1. l3v1ck

    l3v1ck Fueling the world, one oil well at a time.

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    Not knowing much about camcorders, I thought I'd ask for recommendations here.
    I need to buy one as my normal camera has died, plus we wanted one anyway.
    My requirements are:
    1) Must be HDD
    2) Must be 1080 as we plan to get a HDTV next year.
    3) Must be able to take still photos as I don't want to buy a separate camera.

    I've been looking at the Sony HDRXR200VE on Amazon for £686, though I'm slightly worried about the battery life having read a customer review.
    My maximum budget is £700, though cheaper would be better.

    Any ideas?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ch424

    ch424 Design Warrior

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    If you're going to do a lot of editing, you'll need a really fast computer because AVCHD is effectively h264. If you have a Mac with final cut pro, you should be ok but anything else will need at least 2.5GHz dual core and 2GB of RAM. What software do you intend to use?
     
  3. l3v1ck

    l3v1ck Fueling the world, one oil well at a time.

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    Oh dear. I have a single core Athlon 64 overclocked to 2.6ghz and 1GB of RAM.
    Probably whatever software comes with the camera, I 'd not really thought about it.
     
  4. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    I've been editing HD video at home on a dual core Athlon with 2GB of RAM. If I start piling on the filters, the preview can start to slow down a bit. Rendering times can get long if I output high resolution file. A single core processor with 1GB of RAM will slow you down, but it might be possible. H.264 is actually a pretty good format, so you may be surprised. I use Sony Vegas at home and at work, and it seems to take just about any format I throw at it.

    The software that comes with the camera will be very limited, but if you hadn't thought about it before then it may actually suit your needs just fine. You don't appear to need anything too fancy.

    I've yet to be impressed with the still photos taken by a consumer model camcorder. It's good for video, but the still photos are often poor - that's the trade you make when you try to get an all-in-one solution in a cheap package. You may be better suited to investing in a half-decent point and shoot for all your still photo needs. It says it shoots 4 megapixel images, but I wonder about the quality of compression.

    -monkey
     
  5. ch424

    ch424 Design Warrior

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    What sort of HD though supermonkey? I've been working with HDV which is MPEG2 and my computer hasn't had much trouble, except for when exporting to h264 at 1280x720.
     
  6. l3v1ck

    l3v1ck Fueling the world, one oil well at a time.

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    I don't know what filters are.
    All I want to do is cut bits together to make a long film, then watch it on my PC (and maybe in the future) burn it to Blu Ray.
    I'd assumed my PC would be up to it, although I knew it would be slow at doing it.
     
  7. ch424

    ch424 Design Warrior

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    If you're just doing cuts it'll probably be fine. It looks like a really nice camera :)
     
  8. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

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    There's the Sony HDR-TG3e for around 400quids.
     
  9. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    I've mostly worked with HDV as well, but on any given day I could end up with several different formats on the time line. Rendering out to H.264 hasn't given me too much trouble, though. To be honest, I'm much more comfortable in the still image world. The multitude of flavors of HD tend to confuse me after a while.

    @l3v1ck: When I mentioned filters, I was talking about the digital filters/effects added to a video during the editing process. For example, to adjust the color balance in a video I would apply a Color Balance filter. When the editing program renders the final product, it has to apply the filter to each frame, and depending upon the complexity of the filter this can add significantly to the render time.

    -monkey
     
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  10. cdb

    cdb No comment

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