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Been thinking of getting the wife a new camcorder for Christmas...we have an older (circa 2001) JVC Mini-DV camcorder and it's DOA. I've got a ton of the Mini-DV tapes so I was sold on buying another Mini-DV camcorder but after doing a little research those are almost "old tech".

So....here's the dilemma: Do I go ahead and buy a hard drive-type camcorder or go back to the Mini-DV? As far as what it is/will be used for: family gatherings in low-light as well as beach scenes. I also, on occasion, video the boys sports but we mostly take pics there. I'd rather stay south of $500 as we don't use it that much to warrant me spending more than that.

And, I do not want to get a new HD-capable camcorder...those are still ridiculously expensive for what you get. Any advice/suggestions on models would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

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You might want to look into something even better than hard-drives.
Flash memory!
Such as this camera:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4445843&CatId=4450
Uses flash memory cards instead of tapes and instead of a internal hard drive.
That model also comes in different colors like red, blue, etc.


EDIT: Manufacturer's website on it: http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=2544&modelid=17999



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mini-dv is getting to be hard to find...it kinda is old tech now, although quality is still good if you have a higher-end camera. I'm in the video business...I still use mini-dv all the time. If you need to transfer your mini-dv tapes to DVD let me know, I can take care of that for you.

I'm not crazy about hard-drive camera's...drives fail - byebye footage. I like having a copy of footage of some sort. How about a camera that records onto a dvd (or mini-dvd)? I think that's a good choice because they're easy to watch on your TV.

sorry, can't really help you with models...but for brands I always stick with Canon, but the only brand I always avoid is JVC.
 

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mini-dv is getting to be hard to find...it kinda is old tech now, although quality is still good if you have a higher-end camera. I'm in the video business...I still use mini-dv all the time. If you need to transfer your mini-dv tapes to DVD let me know, I can take care of that for you.

I'm not crazy about hard-drive camera's...drives fail - byebye footage. I like having a copy of footage of some sort. How about a camera that records onto a dvd (or mini-dvd)? I think that's a good choice because they're easy to watch on your TV.

sorry, can't really help you with models...but for brands I always stick with Canon, but the only brand I always avoid is JVC.
We had Panasonic mini-dv cameras in the multimedia class back in HS. THOSE were a pain in the ass. If I remember correctly the one REALLY good camera that the teacher wouldn't let ANYONE touch (unless he completely trusted them...so I never got to touch it) was a high-end Canon. Our last digital camera was a Canon that lasted for years until the sensor went out and it wouldn't take pictures anymore.

And that's why I didn't recommend a harddrive camera. It'd suck to buy a $200-300 camera then a couple of years later the drive fails..then you're screwed.
And considering Mini-dv is going out..flash-based seems to be the only real way to go. My gripe about DVD cameras is that you can't re-use the media like you can with a flash card. Screw up and bam that DVD is scrap, etc.

Solid-state is the way to be. The fewer moving parts the better!



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I'd say to an upgrade to an HDD or SSD using Camcorder. Mini-DV camcorders, are as already stated hard to find and rather old tech. I'd imagine it will be getting hard to find support for the camcorder should it break.
Best places to shop though would be
Tigerdirect.com
Newegg.com
Best Buy.

Found a 546$ Full HD camcorder on newegg, just shy over 500$ really isn't bad, all things considered.
 

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I'd say to an upgrade to an HDD or SSD using Camcorder. Mini-DV camcorders, are as already stated hard to find and rather old tech. I'd imagine it will be getting hard to find support for the camcorder should it break.
Best places to shop though would be
Tigerdirect.com
Newegg.com
Best Buy.

Found a 546$ Full HD camcorder on newegg, just shy over 500$ really isn't bad, all things considered.
Yeah, Tiger has a Canon HD one for around the same price.

I can't wait for SSD to come down in price..I'd love to replace my harddrives with SSD's.



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Same here, price and capacity. I can't justify $200+ for a 80GB SSD. When I can run two WD Caviar Black HDDs in Raid 0 for a close comparison in speed, and get tons more storage space.

Borderline thinking of getting a small 16GB SSD for OS purposes only.
 

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You might want to look into something even better than hard-drives.
Flash memory!
Such as this camera:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4445843&CatId=4450
Uses flash memory cards instead of tapes and instead of a internal hard drive.
That model also comes in different colors like red, blue, etc.


EDIT: Manufacturer's website on it: http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=2544&modelid=17999
Had a minidv recorder (Still do, needs a good home) and bought the one linked above - LOVE IT, same quality, NO TAPES, Longer battery life! :thumbsup:
 

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If you go w/ a harddrive or flashdrive camcorder, I'd suggest also buying a DVD recorder (you can find them for around $150), that way you can burn all the footage that you want to keep. DVD's are cheap and you wont have to worry about a drive failing and losing any footage.


Same here, price and capacity. I can't justify $200+ for a 80GB SSD. When I can run two WD Caviar Black HDDs in Raid 0 for a close comparison in speed, and get tons more storage space.
just remember that if 1 drive fails with RAID0, all is lost. I've had 2 drives fail in the last 8 months.:angry:


Mini-DV camcorders, are as already stated hard to find and rather old tech. I'd imagine it will be getting hard to find support for the camcorder should it break.
If you buy a new mini-dv camera, the manufacturer is required to support/service it for a certain # of years. (I think it's 8 or 10 years from the launch of the exact model)...so that's really not an issue.
 

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If you go w/ a harddrive or flashdrive camcorder, I'd suggest also buying a DVD recorder (you can find them for around $150), that way you can burn all the footage that you want to keep. DVD's are cheap and you wont have to worry about a drive failing and losing any footage.




just remember that if 1 drive fails with RAID0, all is lost. I've had 2 drives fail in the last 8 months.:angry:




If you buy a new mini-dv camera, the manufacturer is required to support/service it for a certain # of years. (I think it's 8 or 10 years from the launch of the exact model)...so that's really not an issue.
DVD Recorder for the TV or PC? One can get a DVD burner for the PC for like $40.



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DVD Recorder for the TV or PC? One can get a DVD burner for the PC for like $40.
a stand alone DVD recorder...for TV...easier to deal w/ footage. Plug your camcorder in, hit record. Easy way to keep your footage w/o having to save on your computer.
 

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Well if you're going to dump it straight to a non-reusable media(opposed to dumping it on one's harddrive..)..why not just get a DVD camcorder to begin with? :p
that's true...that's why I recommend it in the beginning...I guess you could also just burn DVD's off on your computer...but if it's an older computer, might be a PIA.

you might not like "non-reusable" media, but for archiving video footage it's the way to go. Around .25ea if you buy them in bulk...will hold a few hours, can easily be duplicated and wont crap out. You're not gonna want to reuse it anyway...you only save/burn the footage you want to keep.

you don't want to trust family footage (or whatever you are shooting:rolleyes:) that can't be replaced on a computer hard-drive that 1 day might not work.
 

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the flash drive camera's don't have moving parts, thus the battery lasts longer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoVgvcabCcw

This Famous Katie Camaro delivery video was made with my Canon flash drive camera from Tigerdirect.com...equal or better than the Canon DV recorder I'd like to sell....and it comes with software to edit, title etc, and move to a DVD.
 

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that's true...that's why I recommend it in the beginning...I guess you could also just burn DVD's off on your computer...but if it's an older computer, might be a PIA.

you might not like "non-reusable" media, but for archiving video footage it's the way to go. Around .25ea if you buy them in bulk...will hold a few hours, can easily be duplicated and wont crap out. You're not gonna want to reuse it anyway...you only save/burn the footage you want to keep.

you don't want to trust family footage (or whatever you are shooting:rolleyes:) that can't be replaced on a computer hard-drive that 1 day might not work.
I understand what you're saying but I'm looking at it with a different mindset. One could save it on a harddrive (even a backup external harddrive if they wish) then could edit to their liking THEN put it on a DVD. Instead of putting it on a DVD, then editting, then putting it on another DVD.



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I understand what you're saying but I'm looking at it with a different mindset. One could save it on a harddrive (even a backup external harddrive if they wish) then could edit to their liking THEN put it on a DVD. Instead of putting it on a DVD, then editting, then putting it on another DVD.
true...that's an option. BUT...I'm a video editor...I can't tell you how many calls I get from people who can't get their computer to work right, or can't figure out how to use imovie or movie maker (or whatever software) and they have all this footage they can't do anything with. If you're good with computers and have a relatively new/fast computer with plenty of HD space, sure, go for it.
 

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true...that's an option. BUT...I'm a video editor...I can't tell you how many calls I get from people who can't get their computer to work right, or can't figure out how to use imovie or movie maker (or whatever software) and they have all this footage they can't do anything with. If you're good with computers and have a relatively new/fast computer with plenty of HD space, sure, go for it.
I had similar problems back in multimedia class several years ago. They used firewire to transfer from Mini-DV to the computer. And when they upgraded XP to SP2 it all went to hell and only like 2 or 3 computers(out of over 20) could do the transfer, lol.



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I had similar problems back in multimedia class several years ago. They used firewire to transfer from Mini-DV to the computer. And when they upgraded XP to SP2 it all went to hell and only like 2 or 3 computers(out of over 20) could do the transfer, lol.
welcome to my world. :rolleyes: I have a separate computer I do all my editing/DVD authoring on...it has nothing else on it, not even hooked up to the interweb. I won't upgrade anything on it while I'm in the middle of any projects because I know there's gonna be bugs to work out. I can't even change video drivers or versions of quicktime without causing issues.
 
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