2nd-hand buying advice for a camcorder please!

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Jonathan, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. Jonathan

    Jonathan Guest


    I'm not the world's richest man so I am thinking of looking for a
    camcorder in the 2nd-hand market (probably eBay), obviously I'll be
    looking at models that will be a year or more old so probably won't
    show up in High Street shops, I'd like to pick your brains for what you
    know about these things! I've only ever used three camcorders before
    in my life - one was a very expensive college one, another was a very
    crappy college one (DV), and the third was a very old S-VHSC one which
    broke shortly after someone gave it to me (I think they were psychic!)
    I have never really shopped for them so haven't much of a clue what to
    look for.

    One feature I REALLY am looking for though is the ability to pass
    through an analogue A/V signal, be it s-video or component, and a
    decent TBC... I have been told that this is an excellent way to
    compensate for the crappy TBC signal that VHS recorders put out, as I
    wish to capture some of my old VHS tapes to computer for editing and
    writing to DVD (no, I've looked at DVD Recorders and they're not what I
    want, I can make good use of a camcorder for it's filming abilities
    too). I have been trying all sorts to capture my VHS tapes but I
    always seem to end up with frame-drop hell. I am aware that TBC units
    exist but I would rather spend the money on a camcorder which has one

    So.. a TBC and analogue pass-through are a must; what else? Well I
    have a Mac so firewire/USB connection is not a problem, I would
    probably be using iMovie for any footage I capture and am very capable
    when it comes to editing etc. Not so bothered about having mega-silly
    zoom or stupid on-camera effects, just a good quality reliable device
    that takes good video, would probably like to stick to a well-known
    brand such as Panasonic or Sony.

    Any suggestions? Places to look for advice on non-current models,
    maybe end-of-line stuff? Thanks!
    Jonathan, Oct 14, 2006
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  2. Jonathan

    G Hardy Guest

    As far as I an tell from postings to this group, relatively modern Sony DV
    cameras have passthrough. If you get a chance to check it out, do so, but if
    not there are probably enough Sony afficionados on this group who can let
    you know if a particular model has the facility (I can confirm that the
    SC100E does not).
    G Hardy, Oct 16, 2006
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  3. Jonathan

    Rob Guest

    Canon models with an 'i' (like my MV850i) are also excellent for this
    (I think the 'i' represents analogue in.) I use mine in passthrough mode
    and capture composite video out from an old VHS player directly into
    Rob, Oct 17, 2006
  4. Jonathan

    Jerry Guest

    But how many cameras have a TBC as part of the 'pass through', I
    suspect that few do, ISTM that the OP isn't going to get a cheap
    combined solution to both his wishes. It might be better, and less
    limiting to just look for a decent SH camcorder AND a SH Analogue <>
    Digital converter or expect to budget for a stand alone TBC later as
    funds allow.
    Jerry, Oct 17, 2006
  5. Jonathan

    Rob Guest

    You could be right of course. The tapes I'm asked to convert are
    2nd or 3rd gen., so quality is terrible, particularly tracking. However,
    the MV850i does an excellent job on them, so I'd guess it has it's own
    TBC built-in which appears to be up to the job.
    If I were the OP, I'd try and borrow a camcorder with analogue pass-
    through and test on own material before spending any cash.
    Rob, Oct 17, 2006
  6. Jonathan

    Jonathan Guest

    I shall have a look for the MV850i, maybe other similar models have TBC
    for pass-through as well (with 'i' in their model number, yes?) Thanks
    for the advice so far everyone, keep it coming!
    Jonathan, Oct 17, 2006
  7. Jonathan

    Jerry Guest

    Remember that all analogue to digital conversions will have (in
    effect) fresh sync on the new digital version, this will go some way
    to improving the problematic analogue original but this is not the
    same as replacing bad sync on the analogue version before it's
    conversion to digital - what I'm saying is, even cameras that have no
    TBC on the analogue 'pass through' side will still show an
    improvement, but will only do so if they can handle a badly synced
    analogue signal, unless you *know* that the camera has a TBC it might
    not be able to work with bad analogue IYSWIM.
    Jerry, Oct 17, 2006
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