5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 17, 2008 6:34 PM by SFL46

    Help me shop for a video camera?  Recommendations?

      Hello Friends,

      I have been lurking in the forum and decided to ask for help. Thank you in advance for your thoughts, opinions.

      My (old) current video camera is a Panasonic AG-EZ20 (1998?) which uses mini-dv tapes and firewire (1.1 megapixel). My old laptop died and I had to buy a new one with Windows Vista. Now I HAVE to upgrade to PPro (I was happy with Premiere.old).

      My new Toshiba laptop has AMD64x2 chip (2.2 ghz) with 3 gb ram, 250gb hard drive has 125gb free, and I have an external 250gb storage drive. Is it sufficient?

      My video projects are not professional. However, striving for quality at the prosumer level is a fun hobby worth spending time and money on. I will be shooting events, vacations, you-tube stuff about car repair hobby, NOT cinema epic or high definition type stuff.

      I like the idea of a 3-ccd camera. Is there something about capture via firewire using mini-dv tape that is bad or troublesome compared to the new hard drive cameras and 3-CCD quality?

      I have been looking at video cameras on Ebay and B&H photo. The AG-DVX100B seems like champagne compared to my old camera. Another thought was a PV-GS350 or PV-GS500 camera which would probably be an improvement that is reasonable priced. If you are happy with your camera, PPro software and computer please tell me about your kit? Is there a web site you found useful in your search for pre-sale information? I was hoping to spend less than $1,000 on the camera, but I would spend more if the ease of capture/edit and quality of output helped me justify it.

      I look forward to reading your responses!
        • 1. Re: Help me shop for a video camera?  Recommendations?
          Harm Millaard Level 7
          Don't buy a camera on Ebay. Buy a new one at a reputable firm like B&H. Do not buy a hard disk based camera. Only use a mini-DV type based camera. A hard disk camera is troublesome and the material is not suited for editing.

          For SD you may be OK with the laptop. BTW, what loads of crap have you installed on your system? This is not an editing machine with all the stuff on your C drive. Is the internal 7200 RPM?

          For HDV you better use a dedicated desktop with at least 3 separate internal HDD's. Externals are only good for backup, unless it is an eSATA external. For AVCHD the laptop is NOT suitable.
          • 2. Re: Help me shop for a video camera?  Recommendations?
            Jim_Simon Level 8
            The 100B is one of the best standard definition camera currently on the market. You can't go wrong with it - unless you just don't need it's capabilities. In which case, save some money and get the GS500.
            • 3. Re: Help me shop for a video camera?  Recommendations?
              I agree with Harm. Stick to a mini dv format. I have an older Panasonic PV GS120. I think you would be very happy with the GS350. Check out http://www.camcorderinfo.com/ for some reviews. I'm pretty sure they are not biased.
              • 4. Re: Help me shop for a video camera?  Recommendations?
                TradeWind Level 3
                I don't believe the GS350 has a microphone input (not even the little 1/8" plug style). That might be a deal breaker for you if you plan to plug in an external microphone.
                • 5. Re: Help me shop for a video camera?  Recommendations?
                  SFL46 Level 3
                  Although E-bay can be attractive, I agree with Harm on this (not so much on HDV though). I also agree with his recommendation RE; B&H. I purchased my VX2000 and XH-A1 from them and most of the accessories as well as still cameras. Are you aware that B&H sells used equipment? This could be an option if $$$ is issue.

                  To emphasize on the others--by all means mini-DV transport. Yeah, its inconvenient to lug around a few extra mini-Dv tapes--they take up so much room in a jacket pocket. So, save the inconvenience of tapes and get a cam with HDD--then you can either stop shooting when the disk is full or drag around a laptop to take an hour from shooting to download so you can continue shooting--much more convenient!! (wink wink).