Digital Camcorders

JackSkellington

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.
 

marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
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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!
 

JackSkellington

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.
 

mkt

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

mickhyperion

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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