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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please help me pick a camcorder for my son's micro sprint racing under $1000 There are a few day races, but the majority are at night under baseball type lights. I'd like something with the clearest detail that I could get that will record fast action under this lighting & also need a good zoom. I have considered the Canon HV30, but have read conflicting reports on whether it can meet my requirements. I am an amateur & will be learning as I go on recording, editing etc.
 

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No consumer camera can do a good job under those circunstances. Fast action and low light are pretty difficult to be handled by under $1000 cameras. You probably need to zoom a lot and it will make the camera not so easy to be hand-held. My suggestion:


Buy any of the new HD camera (Canon, Sony,Panasonic) from a retailer that will accept return , no questions asked, like Costco for example. The HV30 is a good camera. See if It can do the job and if not just return it. The low light performance of any of these cameras are just fair but since I don't know how bright the track will be, it's worthy to give it a try.


Small cameras have small sensors and HD requires much more light. The new Canon and Sony , announced at CES 2009, will have a better performance buy I don't expect any miracle.
 

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the cheaper cmos camcorders will work in bad lighting, but there will be noise in the picture... most people find that the canons have better autofocus than the sonys do, especially in bad lighting, so that is something to consider... i personally would try to run it in manual focus mode, but since i use autofocus momentarily to set the manual focus, it would still have to work properly... it's very difficult to set manual focus on an hd camcorder with the flip-out screen.


the canons(hf11/hg20/hg21) have 12x zoom, you need to decide of that is enough... how long is the track, will you be taping from about the middle of it?


the canons are avchd, what cpu do you have in your computer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Unfortunately I am unable to shoot from the middle of the field. I will shoot from the stands of a 1/5 mile track. I'm not sure if a telephoto lens or a wideangle lens would be better to catch all of the action since the oval track is wide, but I need to zoom in. I'm not opposed to getting a standard definition camcorder if it will do the job better for my purposes. I just want a clear picture.
 

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the stands aren't inside the track, but you could potentially be sitting at the halfway point of the straightaway, right? you'd still have to shoot clear across the oval for a lot of it, but since one lap equals 1/5 mile(?), it may be doable with 12x zoom... you might be able to go over to vimeo and look for some circle track footage, perhaps the shooter will have listed what kind of camera was used, so you'll have a basis of comparison.


be sure and do your homework on what it takes to edit avchd, before getting into the format... there are a bunch of threads out here about it, but i would suggest going over to the avchd forum on dvinfo.net, maybe downloading some of the raw video files that they posted from the hf11... to some testing with it.
 
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