Currently Being ModeratedMay 14, 2012 7:48 PM (in response to Shane Ross)
Thanks. It's OK with me--all my stuff is used.
Mainly I'd like to know which mini-DV camcorders have good and bad reputations, so I know what to look for, and what to avoid.
If anybody has been using a specific brand and model, and has been happy with it, I'd like to know what it is.
Likewise I'd like to know about the stinkers.
Currently Being ModeratedMay 14, 2012 9:06 PM (in response to Tom Baker1)
Actually, B&H is still showing a mini-DV camera in stock, but get one quick - they are likely the last of a breed at the consumer level:
Will shoot SD DV on mini-DV, and then when you are ready, you can start shooting HD.
Check out the number of positive ratings. I have the HV30 that preceeded it, and for what it is, it does a very nice job.
Currently Being ModeratedMay 14, 2012 10:46 PM (in response to Meg The Dog)
Thanks Meg. I did a search and found that Amazon.com is also selling the Canon Vixia HV40, brand new, for a hundred dollars more than B&H ($700 vs $600).
One good thing about Amazon is that they accept returns with no questions asked, if you're ever unhappy with a purchase in any way. I know, because I've done it. Full instant refund.
So if I didn't like something about that Vixia, I could bounce it right back to Amazon, but I bet B&H would kick if I tried to return it. Not sure that's worth a hundred bucks extra, though.
Looks like a pretty good mini-DV camera, all right, judging by the Amazon.com ratings. I'll put it at the top of the list for now, while I continue to see what's out there.
Any more recommendations or comments, anybody?
Currently Being ModeratedMay 15, 2012 5:01 PM (in response to Jim Cookman)
Thanks Jim. Wow, that's a pretty serious-looking camera! People no doubt take you for a pro when you appear with a videcam like that. I'd love to have it, but at $2,800 new on Amazon (the B model) it's outside my price range, drat. I'd like to stay around $500 - $800.
I once had a Canon L-1 (Hi-8) which looked similar to that, about the same size and shape, and people would get pretty self-conscious when I pulled it out. Even though I was only taking home-movies, people would walk up and ask what production company I was shooting for. For my purposes the DVX100 might be overkill.
I think I'll stick with the small Elura/Vixia size camcorders for now, for smaller size and lower price. The little Elura 100 that I'm replacing is palm-size, and no one ever noticed much when I was recording with it. I got lots of good candid footage by holding it at waist level and looking down at the LCD screen as though I was doing something else.
Currently Being ModeratedMay 18, 2012 12:59 AM (in response to Tom Baker1)
All the reviews I'm reading on Mini-DV cameras make them sound like dinosaurs, just about to become extinct. The reviews on the Canon Vixia HV40 make it sound not only obsolete but optically inferior--i.e. not as sharp as its successors with flash or hard drives. Hard to justify $600 and up for an obsolete and inferior piece of equipment, even though brand new.
So I guess, for now, I'll just pick up another second-hand Elura 100 Mini-DV off Ebay and stick with it until I can afford to move up to a newer Mac and a version of Final Cut that can handle AVCHD.
Can anyone tell me the minimum Mac and OS requirements, and the earliest version of Final Cut Pro, that can import AVCHD?
(My present Mac is a 2005 G5 running 10.5. and Final Cut Pro 5).
Currently Being ModeratedMay 22, 2012 10:10 AM (in response to Jim Cookman)
You might want to make sure that what ever DV camera you get, that it can shoot anamorphic (16:9) not letterboxed. Wide screen is the way to go in most cases and youtube pillarboxes 4:3 material which makes it look old.
And Jim is right on the dvx100a or b. Great cameras and alot of the interface/form factor matches newer panasonic cameras like the hmc150 so it will make your future transition to HD a little easier.
Currently Being ModeratedMay 22, 2012 11:11 PM (in response to Michael Grenadier)
Thanks for the tip, Mike. I've been looking at the dvx100 cameras, but they're mostly all used, many of them very used, it appears, and yet they still command $800 - $1000. There are a very few new ones available for $2000 and up.
Pretty high prices for used cameras that use tape and are not HD capable.
Currently Being ModeratedMay 23, 2012 9:50 PM (in response to Tom Baker1)
I would recommend Panasonic GS500.
It was the last DV cam they made and it shoots anamorphic (16:9).
It´s a great camera and I think that it would be pretty easy to get a used one since they sold a lot of them.
Currently Being ModeratedMay 23, 2012 10:08 PM (in response to Stockholm)
Thanks very much, Hans. It looks like a very nice videocam. I'm headed off to CamcorderInfo.com to read about the GS500, and then over to eBay to see what the typical asking price for one of these is.
I appreciate the recommendation. I did not know about this camcorder.