best dig video camera under $1000?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by woodsie, May 23, 2005.

  1. woodsie

    woodsie Guest

    looking for a digital video camera just for making some home vid's.
    which are the best brands...panasonic?...sony?...JVC?.

    also is firewire or USB better when connecting to the computer?
     
    woodsie, May 23, 2005
    #1
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  2. woodsie

    C.J.Patten Guest

    Sony, Panasonic, Canon. Buy used, get more for your dollar. (Sony TRV120,
    320, 520, 720 are good values if in good condition and you can get them for
    under $400, all Digital8's) Others will have other recommendations - D8 or
    miniDV.

    Firewire and firewire ONLY. Forget USB.

    If you have $800 or so, a used Sony TRV900 is better than fantastic - it's
    pro level.
    If you have $1300-1700, look at the Sony VX2000 and PD150.

    Also look at the Panasonic AG-DVX100 and DVC-80, Canon GL1, XL1. (and GL2,
    XL1s, XL2)

    What's your budget?

    C.
     
    C.J.Patten, May 23, 2005
    #2
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  3. woodsie

    woodsie Guest

    as per the subject....want to keep it under $1000....prefer around $800
    though.
     
    woodsie, May 23, 2005
    #3
  4. woodsie

    C.J.Patten Guest

    Buy a used TRV900. You will NOT find anything in that league new. Period.

    C.
     
    C.J.Patten, May 23, 2005
    #4
  5. woodsie

    haaaaa Guest

    dude, the guy wants to make home movies, not shoot weddings or porn or
    featue films...
    there are tons of digital (aka MiniDV) camcorders out there...hell, Sears
    sells a bunch for $500...

    woodsie, go for a brand you feel comfortable with, like Canon or JVC or
    Sony, or Samsung if you like them, or Panasonic...these days, they are all
    good, buy one, and start enjoying...

    Firewire is better, so you need a 1394 card, or a pc with a built in
    firewire (1394) port
     
    haaaaa, May 24, 2005
    #5
  6. woodsie

    C.J.Patten Guest

    The OP wanted opinions. He got mine.


     
    C.J.Patten, May 24, 2005
    #6
  7. woodsie

    haaaaa Guest

    and you misunderstood all of his intentions...

    I'd like a car under $5000, what do you suggest?

    You replied, gee, buy a 2003 corvette, or a 2000 Ferrari, or a 2003 Rolls
    silver shadow....
     
    haaaaa, May 24, 2005
    #7
  8. woodsie

    C.J.Patten Guest

    He did say "best digital video camera under $1000."
    Do you disagree that the TRV-900 is the best camera under $1000?

    C.
     
    C.J.Patten, May 24, 2005
    #8
  9. woodsie

    woodsie Guest

    what brand is the TRV-900?

    and FWIW, 'best' should be interpreted as something that's pretty
    good...i'm not looking for the absolute best like it's major priority or
    anything.
     
    woodsie, May 25, 2005
    #9
  10. woodsie

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Sony, discontinued a few years ago. The current replacement, which
    has more bells and whistles but is inferior in some important basic
    respects, is the DCR-HC1000 or something like that. You can find used
    TRV900's in the $1K range on ebay. They will have no warranty. If I
    were looking to spend $1000 on a camcorder I'd consider going this
    route but am not at all convinced that it's the best way to go. I
    don't know what alternatives to suggest.
     
    Paul Rubin, May 25, 2005
    #10
  11. woodsie

    C.J.Patten Guest

    Hey Woodsie. Here's a bit more info.

    The TRV-900 (anything with the TRV prefix) is a Sony. Sony hit the ball out
    of the park with that camera. Subsequent cameras in the consumer range were
    less than stellar.

    You WILL notice a difference in video performance between a used TRV900 and
    a new "anything" under $1000.

    The new cameras produce video anywhere from "OK" to "absolutely pitiful" but
    nowhere near what your TV is capable of reproducing.

    The TRV900 can pull off broadcast quality images.

    Low light capability (think "family story time around a roaring fire" or
    "outdoor evening BBQ") is practically non-existant in new consumer cameras -
    the images will likely be unwatchable. The TRV can pull this kind of thing
    off.

    Please, don't take my word for it!
    John Beale has probably the single most detailed web site in existance on
    the TRV900:
    http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/index.html

    Please understand, my answer to your question about "the best camera under
    $1k" is based on one thing: video quality. Having said that, I don't think
    the '900 had any "gotchas"... it didn't spontaneously combust after 100
    hours or anything.

    If having a current warranty is more important to you than image quality,
    I'm sure there'll be folks with recommendations on new cameras - just
    understand that, unfortunately, there is a trade-off.

    Good luck.

    C.
     
    C.J.Patten, May 25, 2005
    #11
  12. woodsie

    PTRAVEL Guest

    You've never heard of a TRV-900?

    There's no question that a used TRV-900 is the best miniDV under $1,000.
    It's a 3-ccd machine with reasonable (but not fantastic) low-light
    performance. The video it produces is far beyond anything you'll get out of
    consumer cheapie purchased at Sears.

    "Best" means "best." And, compared to a TRV-900, there is _nothing_ under
    $500 that would even be considered "pretty good."
     
    PTRAVEL, May 25, 2005
    #12
  13. woodsie

    Paul Rubin Guest

    That may be true of some specific used TRV-900. I'm concerned that
    used TRV-900's in general are even more variable than new ones, since
    you never know what the previous owner did with them, and playing the
    ebay lottery can lead to not-so-satisfying results.
    Yeah, I have a $300-ish hi-8 camera that I'm reasonably satisfied with
    for shooting crappy video. It can shoot for 2 hours nonstop on a
    cheap tape in normal mode, which a mini-DV camera can't, and if I
    use the awful low speed mode, it can shoot for 4 hours. I just can't
    see much point in upgrading to a $500 camera unless it can record
    directly to regular-sized (5 inch) DVD-R.

    But if I contemplate spending $1000 on a TRV900, that means I have
    some serious project in mind, or else I'd keep using my hi-8, which
    has been good enough for my casual personal video purposes. And if
    I'm doing something serious, a VX2000/2100 ($2K) or even an HDR-FX1
    ($3K) might be worth the expenditure.
     
    Paul Rubin, May 25, 2005
    #13
  14. woodsie

    woodsie Guest

    Nope. This is my first venture into video cameras and i'm not afraid to
    say, I KNOW NOTHING!...haha

    my new computer has firewire 400 and 800 connections (1st time i've had
    this) so would love to take advantage of it....especially with
    friends/family living miles away. Will be great to share some quick
    vid's. essentially i'm looking for something that's easy to operate, and
    gives pretty good image quality in most light conditions.

    I remember looking at video cameras bout 5-10 yrs ago and JVC seemed to
    be king in quality. Now there's alot more players in the market and more
    formats to choose from.
     
    woodsie, May 25, 2005
    #14
  15. woodsie

    Paul Rubin Guest

    I don't remember if someone posted this link before:

    http://bealecorner.com/trv900/index.html

    As mentioned (maybe not clearly) in another post, I'd think twice
    about spending $1000 on a camcorder. If the best you can get is a
    3-years-obsolete used model, something is wrong with the market
    offerings at that price level. My attitude is for casual amateur
    shooting, a $300 camera is enough, and that's what I'm using now. But
    if I do something more serious (I occasionally play with the idea of
    shooting a documentary or something), I should use what most semi-pro
    shooters are using, which is the VX2100 at about $2000. At $1000 you
    get something that's way more expensive than a typical amateur camera
    but not at the performance level of an entry level (semi) pro camera.
     
    Paul Rubin, May 25, 2005
    #15
  16. woodsie

    woodsie Guest

    my $1,000 is probably more like $750 USD...so that might make better
    sense on the pricing level.
     
    woodsie, May 25, 2005
    #16
  17. woodsie

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Maybe you can find a Canon Optura Pi, or some modern equivalent. But
    consumer camcorders have really gotten worse in the past few years, as
    manufacturers have tried to make them double as digital still cameras.
    So instead of doing one thing well, the camcorders now have to do two
    things badly.
     
    Paul Rubin, May 25, 2005
    #17
  18. Mate, don't get berko now, but if you "talk dollah", you should have
    mentioned you're from Bazzaland. Else it's always the honky-$ :)

    cheers

    -martin-
     
    Martin Heffels, May 25, 2005
    #18
  19. woodsie

    woodsie Guest

    hmmmm...that's nasty!
     
    woodsie, May 25, 2005
    #19
  20. woodsie

    woodsie Guest

    what are you smoking?
     
    woodsie, May 25, 2005
    #20
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