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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I was starting to look for a camcorder recently, now that we have a baby, and after going cross eyed for many days of reading I was looking for some thoughts on what I think might be a decent camcorder. Or just things I haven't thought about enough, too much, or at all. Time for some fresh thoughts in my brain I think :p

Uses would mostly likely be indoors/outdoors around home, and would be nice to be a little future proof for say sports down the road when he is older.

Features I was looking for in a camera:

1080 resolution (needs 1/4" sensor to do properly?)
SD card (no HDD)
decent zoom
Anti shake
Don't care about photo capability

So far I found, before shipping: (zoom,reso,stability)

Canon HF M300..........(15x, 1080, 30p filmed in 60i?, optical)..$471
Sony HDR-CX110........(25x, 1080i/60, optical?)...$493
Panasonic HDC-SD60...(25x, 1080i/60, optical)....$452
Samsung HMX-H200....(20x, 1080i/60, optical)....$410
Samsung HMX-H205....(20x, 1080i/60, optical)....$492
Samsung HMX-M20BN..(8x, 1080i, optical)..........$513
Sanyo VPC-FH1ABK.....(10x, 1080p/60, digital)....$325
Sanyo VPC-SH1..........(23x, 1080i/60, digital).....$344
Sanyo VPC-GH2..........(12x, 1080i/60, digital).....$205

What zoom do most people find is sufficient?
Difference in quality on playback with 1080i vs 1080p?
Optical stability help that much? I assume thats why Sanyo is less?
Any expereiences with any of these?

Thanks for reading!
 

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I don't have any experience with those models, but my impression of zoom as a factor is that you will need a pretty decent sensor with good low light capability for getting good resolution under high power zoom. For outdoor shooting, most midrange cameras will be fairly forgiving, but indoors you will see the difference. You likely don't need a high mag zoom for indoor use, so concentrate on a model with a good low-light sensor. I have a Panasonic GS320 (SD) with a 3CCD sensor and I find it gives good results indoors and out. I can't comment on their HD models but I think any of the Panasonic, Canon or Sony would be OK. (Have you checked online reviews such as CNET?)

It is hard to futureproof with electronics, so I would suggest getting the best camera to suit your current needs at the price you can afford. In a few years when you are starting to record sports and other activities it may be time to upgrade the camera with a better and cheaper technology than what you can get now for your budget.
 

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I picked up a used Canon HF100 last fall. It has "only" a 12x optical zoom but that is all you need and the sensor is much larger than the ones in the models you are looking (better for indoor shots).

All of the newer Camcorders are going to smaller sensors so that they can include longer zooms. They are also increasing the MegaPixels for taking pictures but this in no way helps video, in fact this has a negative impact on video.

I would recommend picking up a used Canon HF100 (no internal memory), HF10 or HF11 for less than $500. If you do decide to go new here is a comparison between the Canon and Panasonic models. I would not bother with Samsung or Sanyo.

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/conten...eview-37761/Panasonic-HDC-HS60-Comparison.htm
 

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I have a PANASONIC HDC-SD9 and it is a very good camcorder. It is a bit more expansive than what you have listed in your post but reading all the reviews for PANNY, they are pretty top quality cams.

They don't make it anymore (2 years old:() but the model that replaces it is the TMK700 which has 3MOS sensor. I always thought MOS was worst than CCD's so I wouldn't be able to guide you on this one. 3MOS or 3CCD is better than a single capture chip set, that I know.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies. I was looking input from lots of sources, after reading 100 reviews it all seems the same :p

The Panasonic 3 cmos does look very nice, but unfortunately $1000 is a too much for us for a camcorder. I was considering the HDC-SD60 though.

After looking it over I am leaning towards the Canon HF M300, a lot of the cameras did very well in reviews but the canon had the 3 filming modes, 24mbps filming rate (vs 17mbps), and full featured. I was actually surprised how close they were reviewed.

Can't really find the HF11 for more then $1000, did find a sale price from last year for $700 :p

a 1/4" sensor has enough pixels to make a 1080 image, I know more is better but right now the cost is just too prohibitive.

There is some nice hardware out there! Now, to just win the lottery :cool:

Thanks again everyone!
 
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