best camcorder for under $500

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

hi,

could anyone recommend a good camcorder? i'm looking for one in the
price range of $500 or less

thanks
17 answers Last reply
More about best camcorder
  1. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    xiongnu@my-deja.com wrote:
    > hi,
    >
    > could anyone recommend a good camcorder? i'm looking for one in the
    > price range of $500 or less
    >
    > thanks
    >
    www.camcorderinfo.com has many good camcorder reviews. Good place to start.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    thanks for the reply

    i'm looking for a decent camcorder for recreational purposes, i.e.
    travel, outdoor activities, etc...

    i think i need it to be compact, long battery running time, reliable,
    and good built quality, and my budget is around $500. what's the best
    camcorder to fit into above criterion is what i want
  3. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    thank you

    that's very helpful
  4. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    On 9 Sep 2005 23:38:21 -0700, xiongnu@my-deja.com wrote:

    >thanks for the reply
    >
    >i'm looking for a decent camcorder for recreational purposes, i.e.
    >travel, outdoor activities, etc...
    >
    >i think i need it to be compact, long battery running time, reliable,
    >and good built quality, and my budget is around $500. what's the best
    >camcorder to fit into above criterion is what i want

    If someone already has suggested this, my apologies. Anyway, check
    out the new Sanyo VPC-C5. Here's a review at Steve's Digicams:

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/c5.html

    In addition to MPEG4 videos, it also take 5 megapixel stills. If you
    shop around you should be able to find it in your price range.

    Good luck!

    Hal Lowe

    http://www.halogos.com (logo t-shirts, mugs, etc.)
    (make sure to check out the digiphoto t-shirts)
    http://www.halowe-graphics.com/photo.html (digiPhoto)
    http://www.halowe-graphics.com/music.html (Music Central)
    http://www.1and1.com/?k_id=7391019 (web hosting)
    http://www.halowe-graphics.com/tinc?key=0TmhZVQ5&formname=web_email
  5. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    "Hal Lowe" <hallowe@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:uei5i1dmq6oem3ev61o42rf54s4mudo9t8@4ax.com...
    > On 9 Sep 2005 23:38:21 -0700, xiongnu@my-deja.com wrote:
    >
    > >thanks for the reply
    > >
    > >i'm looking for a decent camcorder for recreational purposes, i.e.
    > >travel, outdoor activities, etc...
    > >
    > >i think i need it to be compact, long battery running time, reliable,
    > >and good built quality, and my budget is around $500. what's the best
    > >camcorder to fit into above criterion is what i want
    >
    > If someone already has suggested this, my apologies. Anyway, check
    > out the new Sanyo VPC-C5. Here's a review at Steve's Digicams:
    >
    > http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/c5.html

    The camera compresses to mpeg4 on the fly, resulting in poorer quality video
    than you'd get from a miniDV machine. In addition, the resulting video
    can't be edited, with re-transcoding to some other format -- certainly none
    of the "mainstream" editors can handle mpeg4. Add to that the fact that,
    judging from the lens size, the sensors must be microscopic and of
    ridiculously high-density, and it's going to have horrendous low-light
    performance.


    >
    > In addition to MPEG4 videos, it also take 5 megapixel stills. If you
    > shop around you should be able to find it in your price range.
    >
    > Good luck!
    >
    > Hal Lowe
    >
    > http://www.halogos.com (logo t-shirts, mugs, etc.)
    > (make sure to check out the digiphoto t-shirts)
    > http://www.halowe-graphics.com/photo.html (digiPhoto)
    > http://www.halowe-graphics.com/music.html (Music Central)
    > http://www.1and1.com/?k_id=7391019 (web hosting)
    > http://www.halowe-graphics.com/tinc?key=0TmhZVQ5&formname=web_email
    >
  6. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    xiongnu@my-deja.com wrote:
    > thanks for the reply
    >
    > i'm looking for a decent camcorder for recreational purposes, i.e.
    > travel, outdoor activities, etc...
    >
    > i think i need it to be compact, long battery running time, reliable,
    > and good built quality, and my budget is around $500. what's the best
    > camcorder to fit into above criterion is what i want
    >

    Stick with minidv, unless your top consideration is quick and easy. The
    Mpg4, or minidisk units will compress your video into a dvd ready
    format, which tends to make it more difficult to do any detailed editing.

    But again, if your NOT wanting to do any detailed editing, perhaps just
    quick cutting and or titles, these new units might fit your needs. But
    overall, miniDV units will are the most flexible.
  7. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    Minidv is tape format, right?

    i'm a novice as of camcorders, i think i saw this mini tape format
    before, how does this being played in VHS recorder? it's too small to
    fit in

    also, from what i researched, it seems that low-light recording is a
    big problem for many types of camcorders, is it possible to find a
    camcorder capable of doing recording in low-light condition for under
    $500?

    one more question:
    what's the typical battery life time for the camcorder? can the
    camcorder be charged using both 110v and 220v AC? i'm asking this
    because i plan to have a vacational trip to asia by the end of the
    year. and i want to make sure whatever camcorder i'm getting is
    compatible with 220v AC used by most asian countries.


    thanks
  8. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    xiongnu wrote ...
    > Minidv is tape format, right?

    Correct. DV tapes come in two sizes, and "mini-DV" is the
    smaller size which most small camcorders use.
    >
    > i'm a novice as of camcorders, i think i saw this mini
    > tape format before, how does this being played in VHS
    > recorder? it's too small to fit in

    VHS recorders will play only VHS tapes. Not DV, not
    mini-DV, not 8mm or Hi-8 or D8 or Beta or any other
    kind of tape format.

    But then VHS is a dying format, replaced by DVD mostly.

    > also, from what i researched, it seems that low-light
    > recording is a big problem for many types of camcorders,
    > is it possible to find a camcorder capable of doing
    > recording in low-light condition for under $500?

    Maybe. You will need to research the camera reviews to
    find something that has good low-light performance AND
    under $500. Such a thing MAY not even exist.

    > one more question:
    > what's the typical battery life time for the camcorder?

    There are too many different camcorders and batteries to
    come up with a "typical" number. I would not buy any
    camcorder that wouldn't at least shoot a whole (1 hour)
    tape with a single battery. For many camcorders, there
    are both OEM and 3rd party batteries that offer extra
    capacity

    > can the camcorder be charged using both 110v and
    > 220v AC? i'm asking this because i plan to have a
    > vacational trip to asia by the end of the year. and i
    > want to make sure whatever camcorder i'm getting is
    > compatible with 220v AC used by most asian countries.

    Most camcorders come with power supplies/chargers
    that run on 100-240 V @ 50 or 60 Hz. Because they
    are switching supplies, they are designed to handle the
    wide range of international mains power. However
    never buy something without confirming this for the
    item you are buying.
  9. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    xiongnu@my-deja.com wrote:
    > Minidv is tape format, right?
    >
    > i'm a novice as of camcorders, i think i saw this mini tape format
    > before, how does this being played in VHS recorder? it's too small to
    > fit in

    Yes, its the little DV tapes. No, they won't play in a VHS. If you
    require VHS, then you would need to hook up the video and audio output
    cables to your camera, hook the other ends to the inputs on your VHS,
    make sure your VHS is set to record the input from that source and then
    press play and record on camera and VHS. (VHS! My god man, you can get a
    cheap DVD player at Kmart for $40!)


    > also, from what i researched, it seems that low-light recording is a
    > big problem for many types of camcorders, is it possible to find a
    > camcorder capable of doing recording in low-light condition for under
    > $500?

    Probably not. The size of the 'chip', which is the light sensitive
    component in the camera is usually proportional to the cost of the
    camera. I have an older Sony TRV320 which does better in low light than
    my more expensive GS200. But better is a relative term. A gloomy indoor
    setting will give me a viewable, but rather grainy picture.


    > one more question:
    > what's the typical battery life time for the camcorder? can the
    > camcorder be charged using both 110v and 220v AC? i'm asking this
    > because i plan to have a vacational trip to asia by the end of the
    > year. and i want to make sure whatever camcorder i'm getting is
    > compatible with 220v AC used by most asian countries.
    >
    >

    Maaaaan don't be one of those annoying camcorder tourists!
  10. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    thanks

    for your last comment:
    i don't know what domain your creative mind has ventured into, but
    that's certainly not the case here

    i've bought a 70-210mm f4 camera lens to go with my minolta maxxum 5
    camera, having a camcorder will complete my traveling set for
    sightseeing and touring in eastern asian countries
  11. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    ok thanks

    it sounds similar my IBM thinkpad computer, running on 100-240v AC
    input with its supplied adapter
  12. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    thank you

    if not through VHS, then how do i playback these miniDV tapes? is
    there a miniDV player or sth?

    i have read reviews on different camcorders, and found Panasonic
    PV-GS35 MiniDV Camcorder w/30x Optical Zoom generally received good
    reviews, amazon.com has it for
    $458.94, do you think this is a good choice?

    here's the highlights of the features:

    Features of the Panasonic PV-GS35:

    Compact design
    Still picture capability
    SD slot
    30x optical zoom
    LED light
    Color viewfinder
    1000x digital zoom
    Electronic image stabilization
    3 hour battery
    USB 2.0 high speed
    Motion DV Studio video editing software for PC
  13. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    xiongnu@my-deja.com wrote:
    > and i want to make sure whatever camcorder i'm getting is
    > compatible with 220v AC used by most asian countries.
    >

    The power supplies typically run on 100-240 volts AC input. You just
    need the plug adapter for the location.

    -Bill
  14. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    xiongnu@my-deja.com wrote:
    > thank you
    >
    > if not through VHS, then how do i playback these miniDV tapes? is
    > there a miniDV player or sth?

    a) Use the camera as you would a VCR connecting it to the TV.
    b) record them to your VCR (as mentioned)
    c) record them to a DVD recorder (probably the best)
    d) use the camera's firewire out (I'd not buy a camera without 1394) to
    transfer the recording to your computer where it can be edited (if you
    wish) and then burned to a DVD.

    -Bill
  15. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    Captain Slick wrote:
    >
    > xiongnu@my-deja.com wrote:
    > > thank you
    > >
    > > if not through VHS, then how do i playback these miniDV tapes? is
    > > there a miniDV player or sth?
    >
    > a) Use the camera as you would a VCR connecting it to the TV.
    > b) record them to your VCR (as mentioned)
    > c) record them to a DVD recorder (probably the best)
    > d) use the camera's firewire out (I'd not buy a camera without 1394) to
    > transfer the recording to your computer where it can be edited (if you
    > wish) and then burned to a DVD.
    >
    > -Bill

    You can play your tapes back right from your camera.

    Or play from your camera into the new Sony VRD -VC10
    (stand alone) DVD burner (about $199-$250) for excellent
    results and you won't need a computer.

    If you ever tape something newsworthy, you can use a
    MiniDV to DVPro adapter to transfer directly to news (TV stations)
    media tape machines. I do it all the time with my DCRVX-2100
    MiniDV camera. (List $3100).

    KM
  16. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    <xiongnu@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    news:1126629574.720557.89470@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    > thank you
    >
    > if not through VHS, then how do i playback these miniDV tapes? is
    > there a miniDV player or sth?

    There are miniDV decks, but they're very expensive. Most non-European Union
    miniDV camcorders will play back like a VCR -- they have video adn audio
    outputs, and you just plug them into your television.

    However, many people capture the video to their computer, edit it, add
    titles and effects, and then burn it to DVD.

    >
    > i have read reviews on different camcorders, and found Panasonic
    > PV-GS35 MiniDV Camcorder w/30x Optical Zoom generally received good
    > reviews, amazon.com has it for
    > $458.94, do you think this is a good choice?

    I don't know enough about it, sorry.

    >
    > here's the highlights of the features:
    >
    > Features of the Panasonic PV-GS35:
    >
    > Compact design
    > Still picture capability
    > SD slot
    > 30x optical zoom
    > LED light
    > Color viewfinder
    > 1000x digital zoom
    > Electronic image stabilization
    > 3 hour battery
    > USB 2.0 high speed
    > Motion DV Studio video editing software for PC
    >
  17. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

    <poboxdc@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
    news:432904FF.2AF4861@ix.netcom.com...
    > Captain Slick wrote:
    >>
    >> xiongnu@my-deja.com wrote:
    >> > thank you
    >> >
    >> > if not through VHS, then how do i playback these miniDV tapes? is
    >> > there a miniDV player or sth?
    >>
    >> a) Use the camera as you would a VCR connecting it to the TV.
    >> b) record them to your VCR (as mentioned)
    >> c) record them to a DVD recorder (probably the best)
    >> d) use the camera's firewire out (I'd not buy a camera without 1394) to
    >> transfer the recording to your computer where it can be edited (if you
    >> wish) and then burned to a DVD.
    >>
    >> -Bill
    >
    > You can play your tapes back right from your camera.
    >
    > Or play from your camera into the new Sony VRD -VC10
    > (stand alone) DVD burner (about $199-$250) for excellent
    > results and you won't need a computer.
    >
    > If you ever tape something newsworthy, you can use a
    > MiniDV to DVPro adapter to transfer directly to news (TV stations)
    > media tape machines. I do it all the time with my DCRVX-2100
    > MiniDV camera. (List $3100).
    >
    > KM

    Also if it real newsworthy, they can play anything on tv news, CNN was
    showing videocaptured on people's cell phones!
    Can you imagine the poor video quality of a cell phone being broadcast on
    nationwide news?
    They cropped it with a black border and cleaned it up as best they could but
    you still seen compression effects big time,
    but if newsworthy, who cares!
    :)

    AnthonyR.
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