Camcorder newbie seeks help - AVS Forum
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a few questions about camcorders.

I’m looking for a good camcorder to capture nice moments in my life. Not everything stays the same, and of some scenes and persons I’d like to have a good memory for the rest of my life. My parents had (and still have) an old Chinon video camera and the video’s taken by that are very precious possession. But new generation, new camera, especially because the old one can’t be replaced/repaired and is necessary to play the old recordings.

I already discovered that a decent camcorder is a bit more expensive than a camera for photos and that the world of camcorders is a bit more daunting. My budget is around (less than) €1.000. I’m an amateur and I’m not planning to buy a new one every few years, so I like a decent one now. I want to film both in outdoor as indoor situations. Most scenes I will film (especially in the first few years) are memories I want to retain, so quality of image is important. I’ll also take the cam on holidays and it shouldn’t be too big of a hassle.

These two cams looked good to me: Panasonic HC-X920 (around €850) and Sony PJ650 VE (around €920). From these two, which will be the best buy? The PJ650 has an extra sunscreen (not so good for portability) but has an interesting (=? superior) stabilization system (at least, they told me in the shop). The 650 has more pixels in one chip, while the X920 spreads it over three. What does that mean in terms of resolution and image size? The lenses seem to be similar… I can also obtain a Sony CX 960E, is that any good? How does this compare to the other two? Are there alternatives to these camera’s? And a similar cam without the viewfinder, is that an option? Just how important is a viewfinder when you have an LCD? The Panasonic HC-V720 looks like a good cam too (on first glance; less pixel but a better lens?), only half the price of an X920, but without viewfinder.

Thank you in advance for the help.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:39 PM
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I would pick the Panasonic X920 since I have not seen any other consumer camcorder under $1,000 beat the 3MOS Panasonic 1080p60 camcorders since the TM700 came out in 2010 for sharpness and detail.

The HDC-TM700 did spectacularly well in our video sharpness test. The camcorder measured a horizontal sharpness of 1000 lw/ph and a vertical sharpness of 900 lw/ph. The impressive vertical sharpness is what stands out here, as no other consumer camcorder we've tested has been able to crack the 600 – 700 lw/ph barrier. What we found on the HDC-TM700, however, is that the camcorder's 1080/60p setting was able to produce a sharper image in our vertical testing. We're not sure why this is, and there are probably other aspects at play here, but it was clear in our testing that the HDC-TM700 had a better vertical sharpness than any other camcorder we've tested.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:26 PM
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Hi Bruno - I would stay away from cameras without viewfinders. Their LCDs can be hard to see in bright sunlight.

Otherwise, you have picked several very good camcorders in your price range. I would add the 865€ Canon HF G25 to your list for its waveform, color bars and dual SDXC card slots (professional features that the Panasonic and Sony lack) - and ability to adjust sharpness and color - capabilities that the Sony does not have .

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the X929, PJ650 and the Canon HF G25 that you may find helpful:

Note that, despite the Canon HF G25's professional features, the Panasonic X920 series wins on points - and the image quality in the examples looks better to my eyes,

In my view, the Panasonic X920 is the best value for your money.

Hope this is helpful,

Hybrid Camera Revolution
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:08 PM
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Panasonic X920 has horrible sound quality - horrible background noise So you can't hear birds chirping or bees humming. And you'd hear that background noise even in a library quiet room.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:33 AM
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The Canon FH-G10 is stii for sale in places,as low as £600 sterling in places,it may not have the artificial sharpening of some manufactars but has great color and their picture has plenty of resolution i have a friend who uses them in his wedding videoing business with DSLRS The us prices seem to be still holding a little higher for some reason than some countries ,also its not a real tiny cam if thats whats wanted like some prefer but its good.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:02 AM
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Doest the x800 and x900 produce just as good of a image is good light conditions though?. It might be worth considering these smile.gif
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by SD90 View Post

Panasonic X920 has horrible sound quality - horrible background noise So you can't hear birds chirping or bees humming. And you'd hear that background noise even in a library quiet room.
You are funny. There are cars passing by, so it is the camera's fault that you cannot hear the birds? If the fan is bothersome to you when shooting in a library, then use an external mic - problem solved. At least the Pana has a nice standard-sized shoe unlike some other cameras.

In the not so olden days camcorders had tape in them, and rotating heads and other mechanical stuff, and people accepted it as part of the technology they were using.
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