Digital Camcorders


Active Member
Original Poster
This is the second thread concerning digital media products. I am looking for a small yet sturdy camcorder to take on my WDW trip in May. If you have any suggestions please let me know.


WDW History nut
Premium Member
There are so many on the market! Maybe repost his in the forum Digital Media & Photos?

Anyhow, what I looked for was:
small and light (obviously)

decent viewfinder (NOT LCD screen - you don`t want that
showing on certain attractions!)

manual exposure (don`t use auto exposure outside - any bright lights or sky will ramp down the exposure, giving a sillhouete effect on darker objects - usually buildings! And you want to be able to boost the exposure in darker attractions. Same for fireworks - any bright bursts ramp down the exposure)

manual focus - in dark rides the focuswill get `lost` resulting in a blurred image, and sudden changes in contrast (rides and fireworks) will also throw it. A good tip is lock your focus manually to infinity BEFORE entering an attraction - that way anything inside, no matter how its lit, should be sharp (assuming its more than a few feet away)

Good battery life and availability of extra batteries and fast charger

Lens attatchments - my wide angle converter makes SUCH a difference to fireworks.

Stay clear of digital zooms - they only degrade the quality - look for a good optical zoom instead (10-15x)

If you can, get miniDV format - the quality is much superior to S/VHS/C/Hi8 and you can firewire direct into your PC to edit.

Check where the (stereo) microphone is - some cameras have them pointing backwards, or too close to the lens/transport motors. A socket to plug an external mic in is a bonus.

Finally, again if you can afford it, go for a 3 CCD chip model - again the picture quality is so much better than single chip cameras.

As I said, also post in the media forum - you may get more `tech` replies there!


Active Member
Original Poster
Allright. However that DV cam you are using is probably very expensive. Right. But I will keep your advice in mind. Thanks.


I Demand a Snackrifice
Premium Member
Canon ZR Series... ZR65 and above, and the Canon Optura 20


Active Member
I just picked up a Sony Mini-DV camera - a DCR-TRV22 for $599 - that has all of the handy features Marni mentioned. I have already used it at Disneyland and it did a great job capturing day and night shots, including inside It's a Small World and Fantasmic.

I'm very happy with it, as I usually am with Sony products. They're very intelligent, ergonomic, and stylish, not to mention dependable. The camera is tiny - easily fitting into one hand and just barely bigger than my still camera. In fact, it fits in the same case which saved me money on a second case since I only take one camera out at a time anyway.
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