7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 16, 2009 4:04 PM by (Anna_Lyon)

    I'm buying a new camcorder...

      I can't seem to get helpful information from the people who sell camcorders, most don't have a clue, so I'm turning to my forum people, for whom I have incredible respect! I wished I had asked for your opinion BEFORE I bought my mini-DVD camcorder some years back.
      I edit family and work videos on PE 4.0 on a PC (Dell Precision WorkStation 360, 2.5 GB RAM, 2.6 GH processor, firewire and several separate harddrives, including a firewire drive). All has been well, but I'd like to buy an HD camcorder. My computer is not yet equipped to burn to blu-ray but even once I buy a burner, I don't believe I could use this computer to view/edit HD video... or could I, just accepting that I'll see a distorted picture but Premiere could handle and export it OK?
      The camcorders I'm looking at store the video on their internal harddrives and/or SD cards. I read somewhere that the SD cards compress the information and would produce video of a lesser quality. Is that correct? So I should use only the camera harddrive until I'm capable of handling it on my PC? That' means I'll need a heck of a large harddrive.
      I'm looking at consumer grade camcorders in the $800-1000 range, primarily Panasonic and JVC. What do you guys recommend?
      Thanks so much for your time!
        • 1. Re: I'm buying a new camcorder...
          I am certainly not an expert, but
          1. you may want to have a look at this PE4 FAQ
          to find out if your system suits HD video editing;
          2. some people say tape-based camcorders are out of date; others say they are still the best for video-editing, especially with PE.
          Following the latter opinion, I bought a Canon HV30 (price is within your budget) half a year ago and like it a lot.
          Good luck, Felix
          • 2. Re: I'm buying a new camcorder...
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
            I agree with Felix. The Canon HV camcorders seem to be the workhorse HDV camcorder for the prosumer videomaker.

            Your computer is good for editing standard DV, but it may not be enough power to editing HDV. You can still shoot in HDV, however, if you downsample it to DV before you capture it.

            Since you're not burning a BluRay disc, this is the best way to get excellent results for a DVD without overworking your system.
            • 3. Re: I'm buying a new camcorder...
              New Improved Chuck Engels Level 1
              The Canon HV20 can't be beat for quality and price, stick with tape if you have a choice ;) Lots of camcorder info at http://muvipix.com/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=26 and camcorderinfo.com
              • 4. Re: I'm buying a new camcorder...
                Level 1
                Thanks for the help!
                I understand that digital tape is best for quality now, but does it hold up over time? We all know what happens to VHS tape after a decade.
                • 5. Re: I'm buying a new camcorder...
                  Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
                  Actually, even home-burned DVDs are going to break down over time, Anna.

                  And I've got tapes that are 20 years old and still play great!

                  On the other hand, I've got stuff on floppy I'll never be able look at.
                  • 6. Re: I'm buying a new camcorder...
                    New Improved Chuck Engels Level 1
                    >We all know what happens to VHS tape after a decade.

                    I have VHS and VHS-C tapes that are anywhere from 21 years old to 3 years old and all are still very viewable. I expect my MiniDV tapes to be good for at least 30 years or more.
                    • 7. Re: I'm buying a new camcorder...
                      Level 1
                      I suppose that's what really bothers me. I can't figure out what media to use that will be best now and over time. I just have to resign myself to converting everything over every so many years. It's funny, though. I can pick up my family's letters and photos from over a century ago and view them just fine. But I have a heck of a time getting at my sister's Beta tapes, my other sister's reel to reel audio and 3/4" commercial grade video tapes and my Dad's 16 mm films. (sigh!)
                      Thanks for all the help. I knew I could count on the forum for GOOD information. I'll take a look at the Canon.