Recommendations for HD camcorder

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by GT, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. GT

    GT Guest

    Probably the wrong group, but the closest active group I can find...

    I would like to buy a HD camcorder. My father has a Sony Hi8 or Digital-8. I
    forget the model number something like HCE 227, but that's from memory, so
    probably wrong. Anyway, I am not impressed with the playback quality on TV
    or Firewire to PC. Colours are not too accurate and picture is always a bit
    grainy, so I figure that an HD camcorder would give much better quality

    If this assumption is accurate, then firstly what HD camcorder storage
    format would you all recommend? tape, DVD or hard disk. I don't fancy a hard
    disk camcorder as I know how fragile hard disks can be (I work with PCs). So
    which is 'better' DVD or Tape?

    What about the camera itself - what models would you all recommend. I
    realise the price is going to be over £500, but I am looking for excellent
    picture quality at as low a budget as possible.

    This one look any good?

    Sony HDR HC7E (grey) - is grey the colour or import status?


    Thanks for any suggestions, pointers.
    GT, Jul 3, 2007
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  2. Doesn't seem likely to me. Based on what we have
    seen discussed in these newsgroups, modern camcorders
    are more likely to have whizzy "features" than decent
    image quality. Regardless of whether they are standard
    or high-definition.

    The trend seems to be for Sony, Panny, to add
    "features" that consist of a few hundred bytes of code
    in the microcontroller rather than spend any actual
    budget on high quality imaging chips, lens, etc. They
    appear to reserve the decent image quality for their
    higher-end products. There may be som real "jewels"
    out there, but I don't recall hearing about any recently.
    That is argued back and forth on a regular basis in
    these neighborhoods. There are points on either side,
    and the bottom line is that it depends on the particular
    model(s) you are considering and what you anticipate
    your needs are.
    Are there *any* moderate-price camcorders anymore
    that have "excellent picture quality"? I feel very fortunate
    to have bought my Sony TRV900 just before they stopped
    selling them.
    Can you go to a shop and try it? You may have to do your
    own experiments with things like low-light performance, etc.
    since few (if any?) reviewers seem to be able to speek frankly
    about such things. There are some reviews by private parties
    that seem more useful than the usual magazine flac. Such as...
    But he is reviewing SD DV camcorders from a previous generation,
    not the current crop of HD models. If I wanted a good camcorder
    today, I would buy his TRV900 (but I'm sure it is NTSC and
    wouldn't do you any good.)
    Richard Crowley, Jul 4, 2007
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  3. GT

    GT Guest

    Thanks - I'm going to try to get into my local Jessops and see what the
    quality looks like on a few HDs vs normal definition camcorders. I presume
    they will have a TV I can plug them into to compare and contrast!
    GT, Jul 4, 2007
  4. GT

    tox Guest

    I have only just taken delivery of a Canon HV20 so it's a bit soon to
    be giving reviews.
    The main HD competition is the Sony HDR-HC7, there a heaps of reviews
    of them both out there. They are both fabulous machines and you have
    to move up to pro gear (and prices) to get better. I thought the Canon
    was a standout.

    Have a look at there are a quite a few happy (and
    knowledgable) owners in this forum.

    I paid AU$1600 - no doubt this price will come down but you have to
    jump in some time!

    I chose tape for the better quality.
    I chose HD because I have an HD TV and love it.

    I'll be watching my HD efforts via the computer and downsampling to
    burn DVD's to give to others.
    I read somewhere that if done correctly you can get a better looking
    result by downsampling than by recording in DV but that it's time
    consuming. is another forum that looks interesting.

    In balance it might still be a bit soon to jump into HD if on a budget
    (the camera's only the start!). But it's fun.

    I hope that helps.
    tox, Jul 6, 2007
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