Simple DV camera for elderly person

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Chris Loffredo, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. Hi,

    I know practically nothing about digital video cameras (including
    standards, ect.), so I thought I'd ask here for advice.

    My elderly mother has been diagnosed with cancer and wants to document
    the whole experience.
    What is needed is:

    =>1) Something simple to use (she won't read the instructions or
    remember complicated procedures - basically something which can be
    turned on and then press the "film" button).

    2) Small and light (large zoom range not important - even fixed focal ok).

    3) Long accumulator life and ability to store a lot of filming (she has
    no computer).

    4) Good quality images, given the above.

    I would take of occasionally transferring the images onto a computer (I
    live in a different country) and doing the editing.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Chris Loffredo, Oct 5, 2006
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  2. Chris Loffredo

    G Hardy Guest

    Hi, Chris. Your mother has my utmost admiration for turning what must be a
    very frightening experience into somthing that she and others can learn

    All but the most expensive cameras have a "green square" setting - it means
    the camera does most of the work assessing exposure etc. You might want to
    consider one with low-light capabilities and possibly an IR lamp for
    night-time filming (if she has a soul-searching moment in the middle of the
    night that she wants to commit to film, it's better if it doesn't have to
    wait 'til morning for light).

    A DVD camera would be the most efficient if you're planning nothing more
    ambitious than straight cuts in the footage. Rewritable discs can be reused,
    but are more expensive. As long as she records in SP mode, a DV camera's
    footage can be transferred with no loss using any other DV camera.
    Personally, I reckon you need to take the DV route, but it's a close call...

    Make sure you factor the price of a tripod into the budget. A cheap, light
    one will do - ease of use is more important than resilience against some
    snotty kid running into it (which is what my tripod has to cope with).
    G Hardy, Oct 5, 2006
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  3. Thanks for your answer.

    She has experience using some Canon double-eight movie cameras in the
    sixties and seventies.

    A tripod is out, unfortunately. I'm wondering is image-stabilizing is
    compatible with a non-technical user.

    She has in the past also rejected some VHS-C and Video 8(?) cameras
    because of their weight.

    Again, the basic idea is a simple hand-held camera where she doesn't
    have to navigate through menus to do anything: An always usable note-taker.

    I suppose that the process is far more important than the final product.
    Chris Loffredo, Oct 5, 2006
  4. Chris Loffredo

    Jukka Aho Guest

    How about a tabletop mini tripod?



    Or a Gorillapod?


    (Though I'm not sure if that would support the weight of a camcorder.)

    Anyhow, it's hard and tiresome to shoot oneself just by holding the
    camcorder in thin air at an arm's length. Even the best image
    stabilization technology won't help much when your arm starts aching and
    the camera begins bobbing and wobbling about.
    Jukka Aho, Oct 5, 2006
  5. Good idea, I will keep that in mind (I have several such *tripods* lying
    around, being an experienced still photographer)!
    Chris Loffredo, Oct 5, 2006
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