suggestions for camcorder

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Mark Reed, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. Mark Reed

    Mark Reed Guest

    I have a budget of $650-700 and was wondering what a good DV camcorder
    would be to consider?

    My requirements are digital, firewire, good optical zoom, good in low
    light.

    any suggestions?
     
    Mark Reed, Dec 9, 2003
    #1
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  2. In that low price range I can only say the Canon models are pretty good and
    have all you require. but a single CCD camera isn't going to be that good if
    you are looking for more professional results. Maybe look on line for a used
    version of a more professional camcorder?
    Mike
     
    R. Michael Walker, Dec 9, 2003
    #2
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  3. "Good in low light" and "1-CCD Mini-DV" are almost
    entirely contradictory. I would look at the Sony TRV19
    and TRV22, though - good-average performance (with
    a "pleasant" picture, rather than outstanding in either faults
    or virtues), and with better than average low-light range...
     
    David Ruether, Dec 9, 2003
    #3
  4. Mark Reed

    Mark Reed Guest

    Thanks.

    I am a complete newbie to video - could you explain what you mean by a
    single ccd unit? Are there ones that have multiple ccds? what is
    accomplished with multiple ccds?
     
    Mark Reed, Dec 9, 2003
    #4
  5. Mark Reed

    Mark Reed Guest

    is the DCR-TRV38 a good unit that offers multiple ccds?
     
    Mark Reed, Dec 9, 2003
    #5
  6. Mark Reed

    PTRAVEL Guest

    First, I'd suggest that you spend a little time on the internet doing some
    basic research. This is pretty fundamental stuff.

    The ccd is the sensor unit which converts the light to a digital image.
    Think of it as the digital equivalent of film. It is made up of an array of
    individual sensors.

    A single-ccd camcorder has one ccd with a grid of red, green and blue
    filters covering the individual sensors. The electronics in the camera uses
    the output to determine the color of each pixel by combining a red, green
    and blue sensor for each pixel (some camcorders use two greens, a red and a
    blue).

    A 3-ccd camcorder uses a beam-splitter prism to direct the focused image to
    each of 3 ccd sensors. Each sensor has a filter -- one red, one blue and
    one green.

    There are several advantages to a 3-ccd machine.

    First, the sensors tend to be bigger. Current 1-ccd machines use a single
    sensor between 1/4" and 1/6" in diameter. 3-ccd machines use 3 sensors,
    each 1/3" to 1/4" in size (depending on the machine). The bigger the
    sensor, the more area is exposed to light, and the better the camcorder will
    perform in low-light situations.

    Next, 1-ccd sensors are "grainer," since one pixel is composed of 3 adjacent
    sensors -- one each of red, green and blue. For 3-ccd machines, adjacent
    pixels are composed of adjacent sensor locations. The net result is more
    digital artifacts from 1-ccd machines. You'll see these as diagonal lines
    that are rendered as stair-steps, and a "swimming" effect when panning over
    strong horizontal and vertical lines.

    Finally, color rendition tends to be better with 3-ccd machines.

    Note that this is true in the general case. There is atleast one "bargain"
    3-ccd machine on the market (sub-$1,000) whose output is inferior to the
    better 1-ccd machines. 3-ccds tend to be "prosumer," i.e. aimed at high-end
    consumers and lower-end pro usage. Examples include the Sony VX2000 (which
    I think is the best for the money), and the Canon XL1 (used for a number of
    professional projects) and GL2.
     
    PTRAVEL, Dec 9, 2003
    #6
  7. Mark Reed

    PTRAVEL Guest

    The TRV38 is a single-ccd unit.

    One other point I didn't mention in my response to your inquiry about single
    vs. multiple-ccd machines. The trend in consumer camcorders is towards
    higher pixel density sensors, so the cameras can function as digital still
    cameras. No camcorder can produce digital stills as good as a good,
    dedicated digital still camera -- this is a marketing gimmick, not a
    feature. Adding pixel density hurts low-light performance and results in
    little or no gain in video image quality. In other words, more pixels DOES
    NOT EQUAL better video camera.

    The TRV38 has a 1 megapixel sensor, 1/4.7" sensor. This is a lower (but not
    lowest) density sensor that is a little larger than many consumer camcorder
    sensors. It probably does a little better in low-light as a result.

    There's a review at:

    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/sony-dcr-trv38-camcorder-review.htm

    And, again, I'd recommend that you spend a little time in google doing some
    basic research on this stuff.
     
    PTRAVEL, Dec 9, 2003
    #7
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