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  1. #1

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    Camcorder for under $300

    I am looking to get my 14 year old a camcorder for Christmas but want to spend under $300. He will be using to record him and his friends skateboarding and BMX'ing.

    Any suggestions? Any brands to stay away from?

  2. #2

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    Re: Camcorder for under $300

    Look at the Sony Mini Dv and DIgital8. Entry level camcorders are in the price range you want.

    http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/....com/index.php

    Try this URL

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  3. #3

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    Re: Camcorder for under $300

    Can you explain what mini DV is? Is it a mini DVD or is it a tape? How do you transfer it to a DVD?

    We have never owned a camcorder, just digital cameras.

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    Re: Camcorder for under $300

    Quote Originally Posted by JosieGirl71 View Post
    Can you explain what mini DV is? Is it a mini DVD or is it a tape? How do you transfer it to a DVD?

    We have never owned a camcorder, just digital cameras.
    Mini DV is a tape size and format. It records in Digital Video (DV) on a small tape. The tapes ar also very inexpensive and if your son ever wants to edit any of his videos on a computer, the mini DV camcorder will interface to many computers very easily.

    if you want a DVD camcorder, Sony also has some on the same page.

    I really like a mini DV or Digital8 so I can edit on my computer then make DVDs or VHS tapes, or just show the video on the computer.

    Hope this helps

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  5. #5

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    Re: Camcorder for under $300

    To transfer miniDV tape (through the camcorder) into your computer usually requires a firewire connection. Most new laptops have them, but not all desktops do. It can be added with a $20 card.

    Then you need capture/editing software...

    I've had some less than good experiences with the DVD camcorders. Sure they record to DVD, but to edit, you often need a ripping software to get the files off the DVD into a form that the editing software can use.







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    Re: Camcorder for under $300

    Like Sambo said, with the DVD camcorders you will need some kind of ripping software in order to get your DVD in editable form. With the DV camera's you only need a firewire, and you don't have to worry about scratching the DV tapes. The quality is every bit as good as DVD IMO.

    The only program you need to capture is Premiere or something like that.

    As for good camcorders, we have the Sony DCR HC21 http://www.desktop-video-guide.com/s...21-review.html and I love it. It's compact enough and takes really good video. We have had it for over 2 years, have taken it on countless coasters, 2 (going on 3) trips to WDW and MANY trips to Disneyland. If you shop around online you should be able to get one for less than $300. I've actually been thinking about getting another one as a back-up as I'm quite hard on my camera.

    Also, DON'T buy DV tapes in the store. Do an online search for DV tapes. I've been using Tapestock.com http://www.tapestockonline.com for years. You will save 50% or more off of the price of your DV tapes.


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    Re: Camcorder for under $300

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    Like Sambo said, with the DVD camcorders you will need some kind of ripping software in order to get your DVD in editable form. With the DV camera's you only need a firewire, and you don't have to worry about scratching the DV tapes. The quality is every bit as good as DVD IMO.
    I agree with Clinks here, I've not heard of anybody with anything good to say about DVD camcorders unless they just wanted to watch the DVD right out of the camera and not edit. Many folks like to edit (for me, that is where the fun is).


    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    Also, DON'T buy DV tapes in the store. Do an online search for DV tapes. I've been using Tapestock.com http://www.tapestockonline.com for years. You will save 50% or more off of the price of your DV tapes.
    You might also try Costco, I got some TDK tape there, 9 or 10 tapes for around $20.

    For editing software, if you have a Mac, it has iMovie, if you use Windows, you can buy editind software for under $100. I used Premeire menay years ago when it was one of the few available, now Adobe has Premiere Elements for about $100.

    Later,

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  8. #8

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    Re: Camcorder for under $300

    Thank you so much for all the help!!!!!!!!

    I am clueless when it comes to any of this stuff. I think I will go with a DV camcorder because I am pretty sure he will want to edit the videos and put them on YouTube or MySpace to share with his friends.

    Again, you have all been a HUGE help!

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    Re: Camcorder for under $300

    Quote Originally Posted by Sambo View Post
    To transfer miniDV tape (through the camcorder) into your computer usually requires a firewire connection. Most new laptops have them, but not all desktops do. It can be added with a $20 card.
    While the majority of cameras do use a firewire connection, there are some models that do use USB for transfer. So, if you do not have a firewire card and do not wish to buy one yet, you'll probably want to check on one with a USB connection.
    -Tim

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    Re: Camcorder for under $300

    My Mom just bought a little video camera at Target for $180 and it shoots on an SD card. So simple and easy to use and playback.

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    Re: Camcorder for under $300

    As for video editing software - Premiere can be a bit on the expensive side for the casual user. A better choice might be:

    Sony Vegas Movie Studio or Pinnacle Studio Plus - Either of which can be purchased for much less than the list price on sale at places like FRY's.

    As for the USB miniDV - avoid those, as the data transfer is slower and not real-time. It's worth the addition of a firewire card to avoid the problems IMHO. I do audio capture via USB though and it works just fine, the slower speed isn't a problem with the smaller throughput. Video information is different story...







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    Re: Camcorder for under $300

    Yeah, I tried to capture some video with a USB and it SUCKED.

    It would drop frames like crazy. With the Firewire you can actually control the camera controls with most editing programs, so you don't have to constantly be using your camera controls to find the part you want to capture.

    I got a firewire card and cable for around $40 at Fry's. As long as you have an extra PCI slot, most are plug and play and really aren't hard to figure out how to install.


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    Re: Camcorder for under $300

    Quote Originally Posted by Sambo View Post
    As for video editing software - Premiere can be a bit on the expensive side for the casual user.
    There is Premier Elements available, too. And if you qualify for student/faculty discount, it's only $63 at Creation Engine.

    As for the USB capture... I've only used it on one camera. And I think the issues were more software related -- the software they were using that came with the camera would only record 10 minutes at a time. It would capture continuously, it just split it into several 10 minute files.
    -Tim

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