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Old     (tommyg)      Join Date: Apr 2002       08-21-2003, 7:58 AM Reply   
I'm looking to buy a camcorder in the $500 or so range (Mini DV format) for taking out on the boat, but there's so many damn choices. Any recommendations for one that is good for action shooting, provides decent optical zoom and good stability for the bumby ride in a boat? My preference is Sony or possibly Panasonic...
Old     (bazel)      Join Date: Oct 2001       08-21-2003, 8:07 AM Reply   
The Sony TRV 340 is a digital 8 camera and also can take your still shots as well. Great camera!! We take it out all the time and do alot of filming with it.
Old     (kirk)      Join Date: May 2003       08-21-2003, 8:38 AM Reply   
Canon ZR60 is a great Mini dv compact for the price.Takes digital stills also...(no memory card though) For the boat and riding vids I use a Sony TRV-130 with aftermarket Wide angle and Tele lenses.( Digital 8 formatt.) It has a image stabilization feature also. I think Tommy Lee used this camera didnt he???
Old    jzwake            08-21-2003, 10:19 AM Reply   
My only suggestion is to stay away from the super small cameras. They make it harder to keep a steady shot on the boat. The dig 8 cameras are just as good as DV and I feel they are probably better in that price range. Eyepieces can make or break the camera for me.
Old    prestige            08-21-2003, 10:29 AM Reply   
My Sony digital 8 camera has SteadyShot picture stabilization. It smoothes and steadies your images without degrading picture quality.

I've found that helps alot on the boat (compared to my brother's camera that doesn't have it)
Old     (wake_fun)      Join Date: Apr 2002       08-21-2003, 11:21 AM Reply   
I was going to post this question yesterday but didn't get to! Anyway, I've been doing some researching and was looking at the Canon's also. I was thinking about getting the new Canon Optura Xi that is coming out. It will do widescreen format also! Let me know what you think. Can all the video guru's post your comments about this camera or if there is a different one I should be looking at? Thanks.
Old     (salmon_tacos)      Join Date: Jan 2003       08-21-2003, 11:39 AM Reply   
That new Optura looks nice. There's also the Optura 200MC that's been out a while now that you can pick up for somewhere around $850.

IMO, that optical image stabilization is the greatest thing you can get for a camcorder.

If you don't believe it, try this:

Go to Fry's or somewhere and play with the Optura 200MC and any other consumer-level camcorder (Sony, Panasonic, etc.) Zoom in on something and watch what happens when the stabilization is working (This is great when they have the cameras connected to monitors and you can see them side-by-side.

The Canon, with the optical stabilization, remains just as vibrant and sharp as ever. That's because the CCD is actually reading a stabilized image. The image quality is no different than if the camera were sitting on a tripod with image stabilization turned off.

The other cameras (even a top-of-the-line Sony) make the picture fuzzy and gray. The CCDs in them are getting a shaky stream of images and the cameras are trying to "compute" a stable image. This means that they are trying to figure out what a stable image would look like and are shifting pixels around, in real time, to create it. How does the camera know what motion is legitimate and which is due to camera shake? It doesn't. It can do a pretty good job guessing but alas, it's not perfect and you get the gray fuzzy image.
Old     (kirk)      Join Date: May 2003       08-21-2003, 11:40 AM Reply   
Jason was right on about using the super small cameras for ride vids...Just to hard to keep the shot steady. That is why we film in Digital 8 with a larger camera. Steady Shot is a great feature for filming from a boat.
ON another note...
Has anyone used a waterproof camera housing for taping from a tube towed behind the boat? We are getting tired of taping from the same angle inside the boat.I have heard of people using large ziplock bags, but I dont want to take the chance of water damamge.
Old     (salmon_tacos)      Join Date: Jan 2003       08-21-2003, 12:04 PM Reply   
If you want a super-small camera, you could just attach a weight of some sort to the tripod mount on the bottom of your camera for extra inertia when filming on the boat.
Old     (tommyg)      Join Date: Apr 2002       08-21-2003, 2:13 PM Reply   
thanks guys. having a video camera helpful to improving your wakeboarding? I've never seen video of myself wakeboarding, but when I see the guys that I go with, it's hard to get the point across when they're starting their cuts too far out, and not extending their legs at the top of the wake. I gotta think that showing them video footage would be prettty darn helpful. I'm thinking I'd probably be able to see some bad habits of my own as well...

Also, Salmon Tacos, if I'm understanding your post correctly, your saying that Canon is best for image stabilization (I'm assuming that your comparing it to Sony models that also have image stabilization), correct?
Old     (salmon_tacos)      Join Date: Jan 2003       08-21-2003, 2:34 PM Reply   

Yes, that's what I'm saying. I know Sony's pro cameras had optical stabilization. I was looking at Sony's website and they were saying that their SteadyShot digital stabilization (which all their cameras seem to have) does not degrade the picture. This is not true from what I've seen as recently as a couple of months ago on $1200 Sony camcorders at Fry's.

As far as I know, Canon is the only company with consumer-level optical stabilization right now.

Also, I would say that video of yourself is very helpful for improving your form, as it is in any sport.
Old     (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       08-21-2003, 6:28 PM Reply   
I have a mid-grade Sony camera and have tested it with steadyshot on and off and have not noticed any big difference. It may be that when you tested the camera it had the digital zoom enabled, which would definitely cause the picture to degrade. On my camera, Sony TRV20, with steadyshot on and digital zoom off the picture definitely doesn't turn gray and fuzzy. I don't disagree that optical stabilization is better though. I just don't think you would normally notice a difference for consumer use.


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