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  • Looking for small, lightweight camcorder

    Looking for a camcorder to mainly handle family videos. Here's some of the features I'm hoping for:

    * No disc/tape required.
    * Can copy directly to my PC
    * HD (720p+)
    * < $500
    * Pocket-sized would be great

    So far I've been looking at the models displayed on the chart in this article. Any have experience with any of these?
    |TG-12th| asch
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: Looking for small, lightweight camcorder

    I have a flip mino that I got as a company gift. I was skeptical at first on the overall quality since I was unfamiliar with these types of recorders. After using it, I really like it for convenience and overall functionality. It is very easy to use with your computer and other programs. You can edit and make movies on the unit through the software and download it to your computer or download the raw file and use your own editor.

    If you are looking to shoot family videos or situations where your subjects are close to you, then I am sure something like one of those listed will work great.
    The only negative I can say about the flip is that you lose clear focus at a distance and it gets worse when you zoom in. The little wide angle optics just don't cut it.

    For instance, I shot a video of my son's football game from the sideline and when not zoomed it was pretty good. When you zoom in, you can see the picture loss at distance.
    The Kodak may have better lens/optics and I am sure you will be very pleased with price vs convenience vs functionality. Whatever you choose, take the optics into consideration.

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    • #3
      Re: Looking for small, lightweight camcorder

      What bitrate did you want to 720p+ camcorder to be able to do?

      Do note that a DVD is usually around 1.5 mbps to 6 mbps bitrate. A normal over-the-air HD broadcast is ~19 kbps. Most of the smaller "HD" camcorders nowadays can't even even do 6 mbps.

      Edit: corrected kbps to mbps.
      |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
      TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
      Former 9th & 13th

      Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
      Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





      SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

      TG Primer and Rules

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      • #4
        Re: Looking for small, lightweight camcorder

        @jb4... that's good feedback on those cameras. I don't expect much out of them. Main use will be for the little asch.

        @acreo... I'm not really sure I know how bitrate will effect the video or what I should even be looking for.
        |TG-12th| asch
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: Looking for small, lightweight camcorder

          Just posted on Gizmodo:
          http://i.gizmodo.com/5282844/panason...80p-camcorders

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          • #6
            Re: Looking for small, lightweight camcorder

            Generally if you want good quality picture (and probably sound as well - depends on audio settings), then the higher the bitrate, the better the quality.

            As far as HD camcorders go, anything over 6 mpbs is ideally what you want. Now if you to say make videos so you can stream them from your website or YouTube, then anything 1.5 mbps or lower is what you want. Since anything higher would lead a much larger filesize and would deter some of your potential visitors.

            So you know how good a DVD movie is. That's ~6 mbps bitrate video, or SD, and can go up as high as 11 mbps. If you've ever seen your local news in HD on your 720/1080 set, then that is around 19 mpbs bitrate. Lastly, Blu-Ray movies bitrate is around 54 mbps. I would think anything between the two would be what you could aim for when looking for a HD camcorder.

            George Ou (ZDNet) did a piece on the "fakeness" of some HD camcorders and how to generally discern what is quality HD and what isn't. It's worth a read.

            Global's Giz site lists the SDC-HD10 which is one of the nicer HD camcorders out there. My dad just bought the SDC-HS9 and both of them are capable of recording up to about 13 mbps HD videos. With that said, it's fairly high quality, but only a fraction of what HD quality is (if we use Blu-Ray as a reference).

            Simply put, there's no set minimum or maximum for HD video. Ideally you'd want it to be higher than DVD/SD quality. Alongside that, you'd want good audio quality to go with that (say 320 kbps MP3 VBR).
            |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
            TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
            Former 9th & 13th

            Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
            Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





            SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

            TG Primer and Rules

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