Tapeless camcorder (digital?) for cheap? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-24-2006, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all. My wife and I have a 2 yr old boy and a baby on the way. I would love to get a camcorder to capture some great moments of video for archiving as keepsakes and for remonissing. I know absolutely nothing about camcorders and very,very little about cameras. I'd like to see if I can afford one but would like to not have to fumble with tapes and such. Can I assume the ones that don't record onto tape are considered digital? Anyway, can anyone layout some advice and help me try to find something to accomodate our tight budget? Looking for someathing attainable for a low, Low, LOW price point. Thanks,
Dave
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-24-2006, 06:24 PM
 
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DV tapes are Digital. It is a pretty reliable way to video record. It's not like the old analog days. Digital signals are easy to work with on a computer. It's nice!!

BUT (big but there) I would prefer not to use DV tapes; however, for a camcorder under 400 dollars it's the way it is. Some DVD recorders can be gotten for around $400 to $500 now. I would be sure to get an RW (rewriteable) machine. Making a permanent disc with each recording could become unreasonable. For me it would.
Tapes shouldn't be used more than 5 or 6 times. I keep important originals, though.

The JVC Hard Drive recorders have gotten mixed reviews, but I'd like to try one. Sony has a couple starting at $600.

Check out the DVD camcorder site linked in the Camcorder Test Reports Thread for extensive tests of many of the machines out there.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-24-2006, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input Cyrano. Ok, so for my price-point, I'd have to get one that does recording on DV TAPES. What are DV TAPES and how can I use my computer to watch and edit them?
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-24-2006, 08:29 PM
 
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You're welcome.
DV tapes are available everywhere, even drug stores. It is the common way to record video now. Your camera hooks up to your computer via Firewire (1394) or USB ver 2.0. Most, if not all computers can do this today. Computers more than 2 years old might need some outboard help.
Go HERE for a definition of DV. This site (Videohelp.com) is an EXCELLENT place to explore.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-25-2006, 11:11 AM
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I was in this position just a short time ago. I read as much as I could about technologies and what is possible before I did anything. I didn't know what firewire was, nothing. I'm very happy with my choice of camera & processing, but I like keep the camera rolling as much as possible and then edit the content on computer so it takes me quite a while to have my 'final cut'. Overall it is a lot simpler than I thought. Having a good camera & the right software makes all of the difference in the world. I didn't want to deal with tapes either, but now I don't mind since I don't use them up as fast as I thought I would and I like being able to store the original content in safe place since it's of my little girls when they were born and now growing up.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-25-2006, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input Neuner. Nice entertainment area you got going there btw. Absolutely incredible! You're doing it all yourself??? If so, amazing. I do remodeling for a living and know exactly how much work that is. Good luck finishing it. Is it going to have a theater?
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-25-2006, 11:41 AM
 
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I agree with Neuner about the ease of using DV tapes. Digital editing via computer is very straight forward. Software like Ulead's VideoStudio and Sony's Moviestudio are excellent. There are others as well. Ulead is probably the easiest.
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-25-2006, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smarty-pants
Thanks for the input Neuner. Nice entertainment area you got going there btw. Absolutely incredible! You're doing it all yourself??? If so, amazing. I do remodeling for a living and know exactly how much work that is. Good luck finishing it. Is it going to have a theater?
Thanks! Pretty much everything was done by myself. I hired a plumber to relocate the main sewer stack since I knew it would have taken me a lot longer than a day to complete. Wife definitely wouldn't have appreciated that! I drywalled the ceiling areas and about 1/2 the walls then hired a contractor to finish. My first born had arrived and I didn't want to take the time away from them. I'm not going to have a dedicated theater, just the big screen in what I call the 'theater area'. The whole configuration is more of a media room to hang out in. The screen is viewable from almost anywhere downstairs. I was going to put in a riser and a stage, but now that we're probably going to be moving, I've held back on a lot of additional features and nicer details i.e: I was going to cover the concrete wall in the lounge area with limestone but instead I acid stained it to save time and money. I still need to post pics. Turned out a lot neater than I thought.
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-27-2006, 01:50 PM
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I like my Mac for making DVD's of the kids from a very inexpensive and small [ 1 lb weight]Hitachi miniDV, which yields very nice DVD's even on my HD PDP. However, another good software, which is extremely esy to use on a PC [non MAC] is NERO ultra suite 7. It does it all in one or two clicks of a mouse, if you do not wish to edit. It does give you the ability to edit if you wish, as well as create chapters, but usually there is no need to do so. My brother has a SONY HC 30 or 3x that is also a nice, inexpensive and small miniDV.
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