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Discussion Starter #1
:confused:I am a new parent and would like to get a camcorder for obvious reasons.
My budget is around 300.00 canadian.
I have a fairly good still camera so this is for video recordings.
I would like to be able to play the video back on my TV.
I am confused over HD camcorders versus non HD
If I get non HD does that mean that I cannot play it back on TV.
As you can see I am a complete Newbie when it comes to these things.
I would really appreciate some good advice and if possible names of cameras to look at.
I have been searching and reading on line for weeks and I am just getting more confused.
:confused:
 

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I don't know if $300 will get you a decent HD camcorder. With a new baby a lot of your footage will be indoors so you need a good sensor for low light to get reasonable colour with little noise. I'm not sure if the entry level HD flash memory models will be good enough. If you go non-HD you may get a good camera but in a couple of years you will likely want to have HD footage of your child. You may want to consider buying used. There have been some good models from Canon and Sony in recent years and used might be within your budget.

Also, do you have the required computer hardware and software to handle HD files? They are quite large if you plan on making DVDs from them. If you have a camera with a SDHC card slot you can just archive them on the cards or store on a hard drive.
 

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Does your current still camera do video? I have always found that the best shots are the ones you GET, and having to deal with two cameras means missing shots.

Most digital cameras do video. If yours does video, at least at standard definition 640x480x24 frames/sec or faster, use it. Then, when you can, upgrade to a newer digital camera that does 720p or 1080p High Def as well as nicer stills.

We have an older Canon Powershow A570IS that does very acceptable videos. That has meant getting the shots, which IMHO is what matters.

Most new digital cameras I have been looking at have a seperate button to record video. That is nice, you don't have to fiddle with dials to set a video mode, then remember to change back to still mode.

Having only one device to carry may mean getting the photos and the videos as they happen. If that camera is in your hand (or around your neck, or on the table in front of you), you will use it. Having to carry two and switch means lost time - and you know how fast things happen with little ones!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
PG44,I do think I have the required computer harware for a camcorder.
I stille have to ask what exacty woud the difference be between HD and not?
Is the quality that much better?
If not 300.00 then what about up to 450.00
any suggestions?
rfielder.
My current camera is a nikon D40 and it does not seem to do video...that is why I thought that I might be able to get away with one of the newer pocket camcorders that they talk abut now, like the Kodak Zi8 or flip .They are quite iexpensive, but I do not want to throw my money away if they are not worthwhile at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I forgot to mention, I am looking at the Sony DCR-SX44 Camcorder . Is this half way decent for what I want.
I know it is not perfect by any means but with my budget, could I do better than this. I can get it at Costco in Canada for 239.99 this week.
Please tell me what I should do. If you have another suggestion I am all ears. Thanks
 

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LYBAN-
I had been looking for a camcorder for a 15 year old as a Christmas gift.
I did a lot of research on-line before opting for the Canon Vixia HFR100, flash memory
camcorder.
This camcorder has a 20x HD video lens. Look at reviews on-line for other features.
The price was $298.88 at Dumoulin as a special offer. However, they had none left in stock.
I brought the Dumoulin flyer to Best Buy and due to their price match, got the camcorder for $295.60 (before taxes).
I had considered the Sony DCR-SX44 at Costco, however, since it was not HD I decided
against it.
Keep in mind that the Canon Vixia does not come with a SDHC memory card. I purchased
two 8 GB SDHC class 6 cards on line at Costco for $65.98. (Class 4 HDSC memory cards would also be OK.
My 15 year old grand daughter will be using the camcorder for school projects.
Since this is a X-mas gift, I cannot say for sure yet if it will meet her requirements, but it seems like a good deal.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Roger,
Thank you for that recommendation. I will look online at the reveiws.
I wonder if you could explain to me why you went with HD rather than SD.
For my videos of my children's first steps etc. etc. and then being able to watch on my non HD TV for now. would it make a difference as to which one I got. I do have trouble understanding the HD stuff.
 

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I'm very happy with my Sanyo FH-1. They go on sale for $350 every few months. I use it for stills too (very handy on the road). It has excellent battery life and spare batteries are inexpensive. I dump my files into my netbook at the end of the day.
Media: SD card
Max rez: 1080p
 

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lyban
I Read on-line that non-HD videos would look grainy on a Hd Tv set.
We have a Hd Tv.
I assume that the videos you will be recording are for posterity and one day you might want to watch these on a better quality TV.
I am not a specialist on camcorders and there are so many factors to consider, this was the best choice I could make.
 

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If you are going to record to SDHC cards and archive, and just view on the HDTV then it does make sense to get the HD camcorder. The image will be better than SD, all things being equal. However, a good SD camera will still look good played on a good tv. The entry-level models are in your price range and Canon and Sony are always a safe bet. As for meeting your needs, perhaps you could try it out, play back on the tv, and if the sensor is not up to par for these treasured memories, return it and keep looking. Places like FS and Costco have good return policies.

Just for comparison, I was using an entry-level SD Sony mini-DV camcorder when my first child was born. The images often looked grainy because we were shooting indoors most of the time. I replaced it with a Panasonic SD mini-DV model with a much better sensor and there was a tremendous improvement. HD camcorders were just coming out at that time and were over $1000 to start with. Personal choice, YMMV.
 

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To this day, a decent HD camcorder still runs around $1,300. Yes cheaper price are available, but you sacrifice the one most important thing on a camera: the lens and sensor size/technology.

You'll be taking mostly indoor pics because of your baby. At least that was my experience. Get a camera with the largest lens diameter you can afford (to let more light to enter the camera), the largest sensor size you can afford (for better low-light performance), and the most expensive wide-angle adapter you can afford (for less distortion and the ability to zoom in/out while the adapter is attached)
 

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My oldest is soon going to be 8. She was born in 2003. We have mini-DV tapes of her growing up. 1st year, we just borrowed my parents's camcorder.

It looks ok on a 120" TV.

It's really not the quality and picture that count, it's more the memories. (Also Lyban, just to let you know, there really aren't many tricks that they do that require super clear captures during their 1st year).

We just dug out some home video of our 2nd (now 5), and watched a 2 minute video of him discovering his right hand at 8 weeks..... Didn't need to see it in HD.

Our recent ski vacations, have just used the P&S Video on my wife's Canon SD1000

We now have a HD camcorder (Canon HF100) and am happy with it. will use it more now that the kids are doing more sports. The only thing missing is that I need a fast computer and newer software to edit clips from it. With my old miniDV camera, Windows movie maker on a 3yr old computer worked fine.

P
 

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I second what Petee C said. The lighting will play a bigger part than if it is SD or HD at this stage, and what you want to see in future years are the memories captured on video. SD will look fine on a HD set if the original image is good and your set is good. I suggest getting the best your budget can afford right now in terms of lens and sensor, get the images recorded and upgrade in a few years when you want better quality for things like family vacations.
 
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