AVS Club Gold
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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For family "vacation" style video, you just can't beat the TD10 except maybe the TD20 as it is even smaller. Frankly, the lower IA of the TD20 vs. the TD10 is not a big enough difference vs the smaller compact size that is just plain more convenient for a family man to be using. In addition it offers some nice home movie tools that pros don't care about such as the GPS which few seem to consider in this forum. When I get tasked with the "job" of shooting our family video, my stage is generally the size of a small room so the TD20 is more than adequate for that. If you want to worry about the TD20 getting better pictures, buy a good tripod or at least a monopod, a good multi LED light and spend time learning your camera. If you want still better, learn to edit and tell stories.
For a more convenient 3D camera I really like my Panasonic 3D1. I strap on the case for it like I do my smart phone.
Discussion about a camcorder like the Panasonic Z10k is more for those who want to shoot serious professional and amateur 3D. Family and friends won't see the difference in image quality of the 3 chip pro camera and your friends will no longer be your friends if you force them to view bad camera work, regardless of how sharp the Z10k looks. But I think you already understand that.
I just got back from a 2 week trip to shoot 3D video of several state and national Parks. The mission was to shoot these projects. I carried 4 3D cameras, each with their own unique purpose. This was a serious amateur video expedition as I was not being paid or hired. Next week I will be going with the family to Disney World. I plan to carry two cameras. The TD10 and the Panasonic 3D1. The mission is a vacation and any video will be a bonus to the trip. This is how all family video should be done. Don't ruin everyone's fun on vacation with turning it into a photographic expedition. The best camera for this fun trip will be the 3D1 because it is small and does quality work. Its stabilizer is limited and it has no zoom while recording, cant view in 3D and the view screen can't be angled, but it shoots 3D stills and video short clips and all 3D can be viewed later in 2D or 3D. It can grab a shot quickly!
Final comment on low light level- While it is true that some camcorders can do low light a little better than others, shooting 3D in low light is a big mistake as low light can completely ruin the 3D and put a strain on the viewers as much as double images caused by shooting out of range. If you don't have adequate light the shot will be a waste of time in 3D. But, if I have plenty of storage and battery I take the shot anyway and evaluate in post. I keep about 2% of these so its worth the try. Many times these are good for 2D keepers only.