Topics

Camcorder Recommendations

Alan Thompson
 

Hello All,

Any recommendations on a decent Camcorder somewhere over $200 and under $1,000?

Best Regards,

Alan - W6WN

Gary - KC3PO
 

Alan,

It depends upon your intended use, of course...

But if it were me with that budget range, I'd at least consider looking at a DSLR... (Canon or Nikon... Nikon tends to run more $$). I know a lot of people who could buy other things, but they use DSLRs professionally for video. It gives you a lot of flexibility with interchangeable lenses and so on - and also a high quality camera on the occasion you need to take pictures.

There are some drawbacks, of course - they tend to be more bulky, but I actually like having something with substance in my hands when shooting video... easier for me to operate and hold steady... but that's a personal preference.

I'm a Canon fan. Even if I went for a smaller, more compact video only camera, I'd probably look at Canon first. Nikon tends to have better glass (only the most critical of tests can tell the difference, typically) - but Canon led Nikon in the sensor area for quite some time, particularly in low light situations. Nikon has since closed or eliminated the gap in the sensor department, but they were playing catch up for a few years when DSLRs were fairly new.

- Gary  KC3PO

Alan Thompson
 

Hi Gary,

Thanks for that. Mainly looking to do indoor, stationary mounting to record family gatherings, seminars, presentations and classes; no fast action or sports. Probably no long distance or real closeup stuff so may not benefit from interchangeable lenses.

Thanks Again,

Alan

Greg D
 

I've used a DSLR (Nikon D3200) for some of the club presentation videos, and the quality of the video is great.  The big issue is that DSLRs, most any digital camera for that matter, are intended for taking pictures, not movies, and they seem to have a limit in the length of the video.  My Nikon is limited to 20 minutes, and the Sony digital camera that I have is 30 minutes, after which they stop recording.  Of course, you can start the recording again (subject to media space), but there will be a short burp in the coverage, and you need to be at the controls to restart it.  The "main camera" that I use for the club recordings is an ancient "Hi-8" Sony camcorder, which records to magnetic tape.  I get 90 minutes on a tape.

I don't know if the DSLR limit is a design tradeoff because of the use case (pictures) or if it's something forced by the movie industry (patent licensing, or the like).  Either way, if you're in need of something longer than about 20 minutes per segment, you should look for something intended for video capture.

I've seen some good results from the "action camera" department (GoPro, and the like), but their view tends to be pretty wide angle.  The newest GoPro has some really impressive image stabilization technology built in, if that is important.  If you need a more "normal" view (50mm equivalent), I don't have a recommendation...

Greg  KO6TH


Gary KC3PO wrote:

Alan,

It depends upon your intended use, of course...

But if it were me with that budget range, I'd at least consider looking at a DSLR... (Canon or Nikon... Nikon tends to run more $$). I know a lot of people who could buy other things, but they use DSLRs professionally for video. It gives you a lot of flexibility with interchangeable lenses and so on - and also a high quality camera on the occasion you need to take pictures.

There are some drawbacks, of course - they tend to be more bulky, but I actually like having something with substance in my hands when shooting video... easier for me to operate and hold steady... but that's a personal preference.

I'm a Canon fan. Even if I went for a smaller, more compact video only camera, I'd probably look at Canon first. Nikon tends to have better glass (only the most critical of tests can tell the difference, typically) - but Canon led Nikon in the sensor area for quite some time, particularly in low light situations. Nikon has since closed or eliminated the gap in the sensor department, but they were playing catch up for a few years when DSLRs were fairly new.

- Gary  KC3PO

Alan Thompson
 
Edited

Thanks, Greg,

I was hoping you would jump in. A 20-minute recording limit would be a deal killer. So I'm assuming I need a straight camcorder, not DSLR, yes?

Not a photographer, I can take all the novice photos I need with the camera in my cell phone.

I suppose I'm really looking for a dedicated camcorder that can record at least an hour or two and output in HDMI. Here is one of the models I'm looking at:

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/canon-vixia-hf-g21-hd-flash-memory-premium-camcorder-black/6177704.p?skuId=6177704



I'm assuming the recording limit depends upon the size of the flash card used.

Alan

 

Michael - N6MRP
 

Alan

I have a Canon G10, a predecessor to the G21 you're looking at, and it's a fine camcorder.

73

Mike KK6GLP


On Feb 16, 2019, at 7:29 PM, Alan - W6WN <alan@...> wrote:

Thanks, Greg,

I was hoping you would jump in. A 20-minute recording limit would be a deal killer. So I'm assuming I need a straight camcorder, not DSLR, yes?

Not a photographer, I can take all the novice photos I need with the camera in my cell phone.

I suppose I'm really looking for a dedicated camcorder that can record at least an hour or two and output in HDMI. Here is one of the models I'm looking at:

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/canon-vixia-hf-g21-hd-flash-memory-premium-camcorder-black/6177704.p?skuId=6177704

<VIXIA_G21.jpg>

I'm assuming the recording limit depends upon the size of the flash card used.

Alan

 

Alan Thompson
 

Thanks, Mike,

That helps.

Greg D
 

Hi Alan,

That camera should work very well, though at $900 on sale it's at the high end of the price range.  Looking around on the Web, there are a number of similar-format cameras down to $200.  But you're in the right department; just depends on the features you want to include.

Good luck!

Greg  KO6TH


Alan - W6WN wrote:

Thanks, Greg,

I was hoping you would jump in. A 20-minute recording limit would be a deal killer. So I'm assuming I need a straight camcorder, not DSLR, yes?

Not a photographer, I can take all the novice photos I need with the camera in my cell phone.

I suppose I'm really looking for a dedicated camcorder that can record at least an hour or two and output in HDMI. Here is one of the models I'm looking at:

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/canon-vixia-hf-g21-hd-flash-memory-premium-camcorder-black/6177704.p?skuId=6177704



I'm assuming the recording limit depends upon the size of the flash card used.

Alan

 


Brian Gohl - AI6US
 

Alan,

In that price range, I would consider a name brand 4k camera with at least a 10 or 20x optical zoom. Best Buy usually doesn't offer value pricing, but they are convenient! 

Have you checked out the Sony AX33 or AX53 models. I used a friend's AX53 and was quite impressed with the picture quality in average room light. Well balanced and good optical zoom range.

Invest in a quality fluid (not friction) head tripod if planning on any on camera pan/tilt movement. If you are planning to record talking head to cam presentations, be sure the camera has microphone input jacks. 

A lav mic is a must for talking heads and hardwired is least interference and wireless only if you buy higher end. Low end wireless mics tend to have quite a bit of interference because they use general use frequencies and non-diversity.

Have seen some no name branded and much less expensive models with superior specs on Amazon. Might be worth the chance of buying with the add on 4 or 5 year warranty. 

Best Regards! 
Brian Gohl - AI6US 
(916) 770-7751 cell

-------- Original message --------
From: Greg D <ko6th.greg@...>
Date: 2/17/19 11:58 AM (GMT-08:00)
To: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io, alan@...
Subject: Re: [from W6EK Groups.io] Camcorder Recommendations

Hi Alan,

That camera should work very well, though at $900 on sale it's at the high end of the price range.  Looking around on the Web, there are a number of similar-format cameras down to $200.  But you're in the right department; just depends on the features you want to include.

Good luck!

Greg  KO6TH


Alan - W6WN wrote:

Thanks, Greg,

I was hoping you would jump in. A 20-minute recording limit would be a deal killer. So I'm assuming I need a straight camcorder, not DSLR, yes?

Not a photographer, I can take all the novice photos I need with the camera in my cell phone.

I suppose I'm really looking for a dedicated camcorder that can record at least an hour or two and output in HDMI. Here is one of the models I'm looking at:

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/canon-vixia-hf-g21-hd-flash-memory-premium-camcorder-black/6177704.p?skuId=6177704



I'm assuming the recording limit depends upon the size of the flash card used.

Alan

 



--
Brian- AI6US

Alan Thompson
 

Thanks, Brian and Greg,

Really good advice for a total Dweeb :)

I'm leaning toward Best Buy because they're offering special 24 month financing thru February on any purchase $800 and up. I know they're not bargain-basement Retailers, especially for the peripherals, but I like easing the hit on my pocket book. $40/mo and no interest is Easy Peasy. I just set it up for auto pay and forget it.

Best,

Alan - W6WN

Alan Thompson
 

Thanks, All,

I ended up getting a Sony 4K FDR-AX53, in stock at Best Buy in Auburn for $850!

Alan - W6WN

Brian Gohl - AI6US
 

Very nice!

Think you will be very happy with that model.

Best Regards! 
Brian Gohl - AI6US 
(916) 770-7751 cell

-------- Original message --------
From: Alan - W6WN <alan@...>
Date: 2/21/19 6:35 AM (GMT-08:00)
To: W6WN <alan@...>, sfarc@w6ek.groups.io
Subject: Re: [from W6EK Groups.io] Camcorder Recommendations

Thanks, All,

I ended up getting a Sony 4K FDR-AX53, in stock at Best Buy in Auburn for $850!

Alan - W6WN


--
Brian- AI6US