Saturday, January 07, 2006

Video camera recommendations

A few people have asked me for recommendations for a video camera. I've talked about this before. I don't have any specific brand recommendations, but I will tell you what I think is essential, useful, unimportant and unwanted for me.

  • A good lens (Carl Zeiss is a good name)
  • Minimum 10x optical zoom
  • Easy to use on-camera controls
  • FireWire (IEEE 1394 or i.LINK) interface to computer
  • At least 90 minutes battery life
  • Night vision mode
  • A/V pass-through mode (can play a VCR through it to a computer and vice versa)
  • MiniDV tapes
  • USB interface
  • Digital camera built-in
  • Shoe on top for external light
  • S-Video port
  • Port for external microphone
  • On-camera editing
  • Digital zoom (it's misleading - the zoom comes at the expense of quality; only optical zoom is important)
  • Size of flip-out screen
  • Direct to DVD - it's convenient but the quality is less than MiniDV
  • Controls you have to press on the LCD screen to use

For the record, I have a Sony DCR-TRV25 that I bought in 2002. I guess the equivalent Sony model today would be the DCR-HC32. Of course, that's a better camera than I have, mainly due to the better optical zoom.

Have a look at this link: 10 Questions to Ask When Buying A Cam-Corder.

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