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  1. #1

    Best budget digital video camera

    Hi all,
    Well i've finally decided to splash out and buy myself a new digital video camera. I don't have a lot of money so are looking at the cheaper end of the range of cameras available.

    The camera must have an analoge video input/output connection so that i can use it to digitalize my old Hi8 footage onto my computer.

    A good optical zoom.

    A microphone input would be good.

    16x9 real widescreen recording mode.

    Does anyone have or know of a video camera that has these functions.
    The canon range has video in capability and the mvx-i range looks like a good camera.
    The panasonic nvgs range i've looked at dont have video input unless you get into the 3ccd cameras and thats getting out of my price range.
    I havent had a look at the sony or the jvc range yet.

    Any advise is welcomed.
    Thanks.
    A guy walks into the psychiatrist wearing only cling film for shorts.
    The shrink says, 'Well, I can clearly see you're nuts.'

  2. #2
    Member Libor's Avatar
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    Prague, Czech republic (middle Europe)
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    Hi westie,

    I donīt know, how much money you consider "cheaper",
    but with the features you require, I found Sony dcr-vx2100e
    suitable for me.

    It has 12xoptical zoom and all the other things you mentioned.
    Plus itīs got pretty good optical "antishake" and a very good
    optics. Of course it has 3ccd chips.

    I got it for us$2499 plus tax in B&H Photo Video in NY, USA.
    They have it app. 25% cheaper than in Czech republic.

    I consider this an excelent quality camcorder for this money.

    It can be a dilema to choose. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Hi Libor,
    If i had the money then that camera would be my choise too but unfortunately i dont.

    When i say budget i mean budget
    The price range i'm looking at is up to $700- maybe $800 NZD (New Zealand dollars).

    I've found a camera that looks good on paper. It's the Canon MV960. It has the video pass through feature and can convert anologe footage on the fly without having to record to dv tape first. It sells for about $750 NZD.

    I like the panasonic camcorders. My mate has one (nvgs27) and it's a nice camera but doesnt support video in. Theres an earlier model (nv-gs50) that does support it but i'd be buying it second hand.
    A guy walks into the psychiatrist wearing only cling film for shorts.
    The shrink says, 'Well, I can clearly see you're nuts.'

  4. #4
    Member
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    Martensville, Saskatchewan, Canada
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    Might be a bit out of your price range, and it's last year's model so the number would have changed, but a year ago I bought a Panasonic PV-GS 150, and have not yet been disappointed by it. It fits your three criteria, though the 16x9 wide mode isn't a "true" 16x9 when you get into the number of pixels and such, though it's close enough that you can't tell. it doesn't stretch or lose parts of the image, it just takes more in on the sides like it should, at least as far as my research has told me. It's a Panasonic 3CCD camcorder, so the colour quality is quite good, and if you go for this year or last year's low-end model it should fit the high end of your price range.

  5. #5
    Well i've splashed out and brought one. It's a canon mvx250i. I read through a heap of forums on the web before buying it and all the reviews were good.
    It has true 16x9 wide screen mode, 1.3 mp, 18x optical, and what i needed analoge to digital pass through so that i can digitalise analoge footage on the fly instead of having to record it to dv tape first then transfer to the computer.
    Heres a link to it http://www.canon.lt/products/about.asp?id=1148

    Only brought it yesterday so am still waiting for it to be delivered so will give you my views on the camera after i've had a good play with it.

    Cheers, westie
    A guy walks into the psychiatrist wearing only cling film for shorts.
    The shrink says, 'Well, I can clearly see you're nuts.'

  6. #6
    Well after spending abit of time playing around with the new camera i'm glad to say i'm very happy with it.

    The video quality is very good and the image stabilizer works great as well. The camera is alot smaller than my old Hi8 camcorder so took abit to get used to holding it in my big hands but i'm now very comfortable handling it.

    Has good manual controls of the exposure/shutter speed & focus but the button to use them are located behind the lcd screen. No problem if using the lcd screen open but if your trying to conserve battery power it's a bit of a pain. Having a bigger battery can/will fix that.

    The analoge to digital pass thru feature that this camera has works very good.
    The quality of the video converted is as good as the digital video footage that the camera takes. Very pleased with the results.
    I used to use a tv card to capture/convert my analoge footage but the results are very poor compared to what i'm getting now.

    It takes good photos on the memory card to but i don't use it for photos.

    All in all I'm very happy i brought this camera.
    A guy walks into the psychiatrist wearing only cling film for shorts.
    The shrink says, 'Well, I can clearly see you're nuts.'

  7. #7
    Member Libor's Avatar
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    Location
    Prague, Czech republic (middle Europe)
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    34
    Glad you are happy with the chosen camera.
    Keep it up.

    Libor.

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