Camcorder on a budget?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by James R. Lunsford, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. My wife and I have decided to splurge and our combined x-mas/birthday
    present to each other is going to be a used camcorder. With a single
    income, and 2 kids we don't have a lot of disposable income.

    I'd like to get a used camcorder to record the boys growing up. One is 7
    and the other just turned 2. It doesn't have to be anything super-duper
    fancy just something to capture memories of the boys and events.

    We'd like to spend between $100 and $200 at the most. I know this is not a
    lot of money, but we'd like to get the best that we can afford. There are
    TONS of camcorders on Ebay and even doing my homework I don't know which one
    to choose.

    I was wondering if someone could recommend some possible models/brands to
    keep an eye out for. Something used, but good, that might fall into our
    price range. Also useful would be advice from anyone who might have
    purchased used before and things I might want to be careful of.

    Thanks in advance for any and all advice!
    James R. Lunsford, Oct 26, 2005
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  2. James R. Lunsford

    RS Guest

    This site designed to give information for beginners.
    RS, Oct 26, 2005
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  3. James R. Lunsford

    cowartmisc1 Guest

    You can get a brand new VHS camcorder for less than $200 - see

    These are bigger and heavier than a more up to date model. Note that
    you can use inexpensive VHS tapes in them, and you can play the tapes
    on your VCR at home without any additional fuss or equipment.

    John Cowart
    cowartmisc1, Oct 26, 2005
  4. James R. Lunsford

    marks542004 Guest

    I agree with John. Get a new camcorder with warrenty.

    VHS will be fine for home movies. Wal-mart had a few models for around

    Expect some good deals from Christmas sales.
    marks542004, Oct 27, 2005
  5. James R. Lunsford

    Steve Guest

    used camcorders aren't so bad ! I got a free VHS-C when a family member
    "upgraded" and now I just transfer the video to a computer with a capture
    card -- The video is about 90% the quality of DVD, if you can one cheap
    (& it works) that is a good way to go
    Steve, Oct 27, 2005
  6. James R. Lunsford

    yeltz Guest

    Do not get a VHS recorder. We're in the 21st century, there's no reason
    to be using outdated technology. The original poster said he has two
    young children. Children at that age are very active, do you really
    want to be carrying around a huge VHS recorder and chasing your
    children with it? Have you seen a VHS camcorder, they're huge!

    You can get a used Canon miniDV camera for a couple of hundred dollars
    on eBay. I just did a quick search and found a Canon ZR40 (miniDV) for
    $185 (with Buy it Now):
    Here's a Canon ZR60 (miniDV) for $199 (with Buy it Now):
    yeltz, Oct 27, 2005
  7. James R. Lunsford

    funkychateau Guest


    My local "Costco" store currently offers the (discontinued?) JVC
    GR-D72US for $199. I don't know if this price is the same nationwide;
    I'm in Dallas.

    This model got decent reviews last year at, compared
    with other models priced in the high $300's. I'm trying to figure out
    if it does passthrough, if so, I'm getting one.

    One advantage of purchasing from Costco is the lifetime warranty - if
    it ever quits on you, they buy it back. You can't buy a service
    agreement like that at any price.

    funkychateau, Oct 28, 2005
  8. James R. Lunsford

    cowartmisc1 Guest

    <<We're in the 21st century, there's no reason to be using outdated

    Actually, there is. Some people have to live within their means. The OP
    only wanted to spend $100 or therabouts, so we know he is on a tight
    budget. You can't get up-to-date technology for $100. Since he has
    young children, we know he will be buying a lot of tapes, and VHS tapes
    are cheaper than anything else that is more current technology.
    Finally, he probably won't be buying a DVD burner or recorder, so the
    ability to play back the VHS tapes on a VCR he probably already owns
    would be another cost saver.

    John Cowart
    cowartmisc1, Oct 28, 2005
  9. James R. Lunsford

    mdindestin Guest

    I've had a Sony TRV103 that has been, and still is, an excellent D8
    camera. It still shoots excellent video, but the firewire output
    stopped working.

    I bought a used Sony TRV230 off e-bay strictly for its digital pass
    through but still use the 103 for shooting video. You should be able
    to pick up either one of these for around $100.
    mdindestin, Oct 29, 2005
  10. Thanks to all who replied. Ended up getting a slightly used Sharp VL-NZ50U
    for $150 from Ebay. From the reviews it's a pretty good camera and the
    price was right for a mini dv. We've played around with it and are pretty
    pleased with the quality of the videos it's taken so far, so once the
    firewire card gets here I'll see how easily it transfers info to the PC.
    Might even end up getting a DVD burner to send out movies of the kids to
    family and friends.

    Thanks again. Happy Holidays everyone!
    James R. Lunsford, Dec 7, 2005
  11. James R. Lunsford

    Ron P Guest

    I have the same camera. The only complaint that I have with it is that in
    bright sunlight, it is difficult to see the LCD monitor. Transfer to pc via
    firewire is easy and reliable. I haven't encountered any problems.

    Good Luck
    Ron P, Dec 7, 2005
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