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Old    David (tparider)      Join Date: Aug 2003       01-14-2004, 3:02 PM Reply   
I'm looking to get a miniDV cam and don't know too much about them. I've checked out some of the Sony (DCR-TRV17), Canon (ZR45), and Panasonic (PV-DV53 and PV-DV203) cams on eBay, but unfortunately, the only thing I know to go by is the cost.

What are some features that I should look for in a miniDV cam? S-video, firewire, zoom, etc?? Again, I'm not versed in this stuff so keep it simple.

I'd like to spend $300 or so for a $400-450 retail camcorder (eBay or discount somewhere). The Canon and Panasonic cams I listed above went for ~$250 or so and the Sony above went for $350.

Thanks for the help.
Old                01-14-2004, 9:06 PM Reply   
have you considered digital8? It is the same quality, yet you can still play your old hi-8 tapes as well as import them through the firewire port, the camera converts them seamlessly.

Most cameras come with the s-vid and firewire standard nowadays, you really want both output options.
Optical zoom is important, get at least 8x. the digital zoom is a neat distraction, but it is impossible to use steadily without a tripod, plus the picture winds up pixilated.
Hope I helped.
Old    David (tparider)      Join Date: Aug 2003       01-15-2004, 6:44 AM Reply   
Thanks for the help, Mike. I've never owed a camcorder, so the idea of playing my old hi-8 tapes isn't too important - I don't have any old hi-8 tapes. hahaha..

What kind of tape does a miniDV player use compared to a digital8?
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       01-15-2004, 7:00 AM Reply   
I would stick with mini DV unless you've got a bunch of old 8mm stuff to dub, it's going to be the universal consumer format for a while. Having firewire is critical I'd say and more zoom is nice although most of these units suffer from not having enough lens at the wide end. Mike's right about the digital zoom, don't use it as a criteria as it's worthless. All those cams you mentioned are good lower end units and have decent picture quality. Without looking at their specs I would guess that the Canon and Panny will probably have a few more features than the Sony at the same price level. I'd go with the cam that offers the most manual controls.
Old    Walt (Walt)      Join Date: Jan 2003       01-28-2004, 8:45 PM Reply   
Take a look at the Canon ZR65 it has 20 optical zoom and Image stabalizer. And more other crap than you will ever need !
Old    Jeremy (shutupandboard)      Join Date: Aug 2002       01-28-2004, 8:54 PM Reply   
I don't know about the other cameras but all the cannon zr series have a anolog to digital converter built in. So you can hook up a vcr or another analog camcorder to them and capture through them right to your computer via firewire.
Old    JONb (jonb)      Join Date: Oct 2003       01-29-2004, 8:37 PM Reply   
mike morris you cant load analog footage through the firewire, you need to use the white, yellow, and red plugs, i forget what they are called.
Old    Walt (Walt)      Join Date: Jan 2003       01-29-2004, 8:42 PM Reply   
But you can load it into a canon ZR65 and the through FireWire ( pass through)
Old    John Klein (jklein)      Join Date: May 2001       02-03-2004, 4:47 PM Reply   
I have a JVC. DO NOT buy anything from JVC. Nothing but problems.

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