Which Camcorder (Mini-DV) to get

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  10 October 2004
Question Which Camcorder (Mini-DV) to get

Anybody got a good advice which Mini-DV Camcorder I should buy.
I really need an advice which Camcorder I should buy, I’m looking for a small Mini-DV Camcorder in the lower price range, under 600 € (700 $).
The most important criteria’s are:

- Picture quality, the lens (would be great if you can use it for indoor shots too)
- Sound quality
- Manual settings (focus, White Balance, Exposure,
- Accessories (filter, lenses like wide angle…)
- Small
- Lightweight

I don’t care about:

- digital zoom (LOL, very usefull)
- Video input (just burn a dvd or use a dv recorder)
- additional Software
- effects (what kind of crap)
- MPEG Movie or photo functions (I got a digital camera)

Thinking about these models:

- Panasonic NV-GS33EG-S (415 €)
- Panasonic NV-GS55EG (500 €)
- Canon MV6iMC (490 €)
- JVC (I don’t know)
- Sony, just thought about this one model
- Sony DCR-PC106 (460 €)

(are these Carl zeiss lenses sooooo damn good, or isn’t there any difference to lenses Panasonic or other companies use ???)

If you use a camcorder and are satisfied with it please let me know, also let me know if you "heard" about any "great" model, need to decide by Monday, flying to Paris on Thursday and need to film some material…

Thanks for any advice

VFX Alliance Limited
  10 October 2004
If quality and manual settings are important go for the Panny.
If accessories, low light shooting, go for the sony or canon.

Personally I have the Panasonic PV-DV953 or mx500 in Europe, I bought it a year and a half ago for $1300.
It has 3ccd, 2048x1496 still pictures,has loads of "professional" features, zebra, manual wb a.o.
Even now that its successor is out, I would buy it again, since its price would have fallen close to the range you are looking for.
Have a look at it. I recomend it if you look for more control over the dvcam and quality of Panasonic.
As i said above it is not that good for low light situations.
  10 October 2004
Definitely would recommend one with 3 ccd's. I have a canon gl1 and you can blatantly tell the difference between video footage i take of something and that someone else takes with more of an entry level camera. I know it's out of your price range a bit. I'm not familiar with the cameras listed, but based on the description by evanfotis, I'd have to say his recommendation sounds good to me.
  10 October 2004
Thanks for the recommendations so far.

I know there is the Panasonic NV-GS120EG, that’s the cheapest 3 ccd Camera I know of, you can get this model for around 640 €, but It’s a little bid out of my price range and a lot bigger then the other models I mentioned, I wanted a Camera I can take everywhere “in my pocket”!!!
If you know of a “cheap” and small 3ccd camera, let me know !!!
I know the 3 ccd cameras are better, I’m working together with somebody who owns a 3ccd camera (Sony VX 1000).

I might buy a cheaper camera (one of the models I mentioned) and test it for two weeks, if I don’t want it I can get my money back, that’s not a problem with any dealer over here.

Thanks again
VFX Alliance Limited
  10 October 2004
Sorry, new decision, must be under 500€ and really³ small !!!
Thinking about these models, yes I know it's (and I'm) not easy !!!

Panasonic NV-GS11EG (365 €)
Panasonic NV-GS22EG (375 €)
Panasonic NV-GS33EG (398 €)
Panasonic NV-GS55EG (498 €)
Sony DCR-HC14 - HC20 (349 € - 486 €)
Sony DRC-PC106 (458 €)

So right now it's between Panasonic and Sony, if anybody got one of these models let me know how you like it !!!
VFX Alliance Limited
  10 October 2004
I did a google search for Panasonic nvmx500 and it still is above the mentioned budget.
Why don't you try the guys at dv.com. They have extensive forum for camera equipment and with users from Europe: http://www.forums.dv.com/jive3/forum.jspa?forumID=2
You'll have to register to post a question but it's free.
Generally a useful site:www.dv.com

If carrying the dvcam in your pocket is important go for the sony pc106. Miniscule, good picture quality...
You can't expect everything from a single dvcam. Each feature is targeted to different users.
Some Pro cameras don't even't have lcds on them, are relatively bulky etc.
Remember up to recently, manufacturers disabled the dv-in feature, allowing only dv out, from the prosumer models, forcing users to use widgets. Dv-in was only for the "pro" models...
The same is going on with desktop dvd recorders. They have dv in but don't work with pc's, unless you go for the $$$ models.
  10 October 2004
Originally Posted by evanfotis:
You'll have to register to post a question but it's free.
Generally a useful site:www.dv.com
If carrying the dvcam in your pocket is important go for the sony pc106. Miniscule, good picture quality...

I will try out this link tomorrow, thanks.
The Panasonic models are not much bigger than the Sony, I could still carry one of these in my pocket !!!

Good night and thanks for the advice !!!
VFX Alliance Limited
  01 January 2006
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