What kind of camcorder to get?

void

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Hello,

My parents are interested in buying a camcorder (preferably no higher than
$400). They are not computer savvy, so I think that rules out a digital
camcorder. They just want something that can record onto a VHS tape, so they
can just take it out and pop it into their VHS player to watch it.

I did some looking around and it appears that all analog camcorders are either
VHS-C or Hi8 format. Are those the only 2 analog formats nowadays? I assume
that Hi8 cannot work with a VHS player. Can VHS-C work with one?

Finally, does anyone have any recommendations for an analog camcorder that's
less than $400?

Thanks for your help.
 
G

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> I did some looking around and it appears that all analog camcorders
> are either VHS-C or Hi8 format. Are those the only 2 analog formats
> nowadays? I assume that Hi8 cannot work with a VHS player. Can
> VHS-C work with one?

VHS-C cassettes will work in a VHS player with a $20 adapter, but you
can only record 20 minutes on the tape.

There are still some full-sized VHS cameras available, if you don't
mind the bulk.
 
G

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<void@no.spam.com> wrote in message
news:m39cd0tfoma28em9oqb25cbk3ep2jah0ca@4ax.com...
> Hello,
>
> My parents are interested in buying a camcorder (preferably no higher than
> $400). They are not computer savvy, so I think that rules out a digital
> camcorder.

Why not "savvy" them up and teach them how to use a nice inexpensive MiniDV
camera? Just shoot and connect it to the TV set for viewing or connect it
to a VHS recorder and transfer it over. No computer needed for that.
 
G

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<void@no.spam.com> wrote in message
news:m39cd0tfoma28em9oqb25cbk3ep2jah0ca@4ax.com...
> Hello,
>
> My parents are interested in buying a camcorder (preferably no higher than
> $400). They are not computer savvy, so I think that rules out a digital
> camcorder. They just want something that can record onto a VHS tape, so
they
> can just take it out and pop it into their VHS player to watch it.
>
> I did some looking around and it appears that all analog camcorders are
either
> VHS-C or Hi8 format. Are those the only 2 analog formats nowadays? I
assume
> that Hi8 cannot work with a VHS player. Can VHS-C work with one?
>
> Finally, does anyone have any recommendations for an analog camcorder
that's
> less than $400?

VHS-C can work in a VHS vcr with an adapter, but the quality of VHS-C is
horrible -- around 240 lines. Hi-8 is better (around 400 lines) and _may_
have better low-light performance. However, miniDV will give you 525 lines
(though, at that price range, will not have good low-light performance).

>
> Thanks for your help.
>
 

Rich

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<void@no.spam.com> wrote in message
news:m39cd0tfoma28em9oqb25cbk3ep2jah0ca@4ax.com...
> Hello,
>
> My parents are interested in buying a camcorder (preferably no higher than
> $400). They are not computer savvy, so I think that rules out a digital
> camcorder. They just want something that can record onto a VHS tape, so
they
> can just take it out and pop it into their VHS player to watch it.
>
> I did some looking around and it appears that all analog camcorders are
either
> VHS-C or Hi8 format. Are those the only 2 analog formats nowadays? I
assume
> that Hi8 cannot work with a VHS player. Can VHS-C work with one?
>
> Finally, does anyone have any recommendations for an analog camcorder
that's
> less than $400?
>
> Thanks for your help.
>

If they just have to have something that they can pop into their VHS player
their only choice is VHS-C format with an adapter cartidge. Probably the
lowest quality sound and video on todays market. Perhaps a real demo or buy
from a place which will allow returns if not satisfied.

Rich
 

tiger

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Yes VHS-C can work in a VHS deck with the adapter but Hi-8 can only be
played back on the camera connected to the VCR or TV or an expensive Hi-8
deck (don't think they are made anymore)or a portable Digital 8 device.
There used to be S-VHS-C which had a claimed resolution of 400 lines like
Hi-8 as well but don't think they are sold anymore but you needed an S-VHS
deck or a VHS deck that could play S-VHS back or playback on camera.

<void@no.spam.com> wrote in message
news:m39cd0tfoma28em9oqb25cbk3ep2jah0ca@4ax.com...
> Hello,
>
> My parents are interested in buying a camcorder (preferably no higher than
> $400). They are not computer savvy, so I think that rules out a digital
> camcorder. They just want something that can record onto a VHS tape, so
they
> can just take it out and pop it into their VHS player to watch it.
>
> I did some looking around and it appears that all analog camcorders are
either
> VHS-C or Hi8 format. Are those the only 2 analog formats nowadays? I
assume
> that Hi8 cannot work with a VHS player. Can VHS-C work with one?
>
> Finally, does anyone have any recommendations for an analog camcorder
that's
> less than $400?
>
> Thanks for your help.
>
 
G

Guest

Guest
Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,rec.video (More info?)

void@no.spam.com wrote:

> Hello,
>
> My parents are interested in buying a camcorder (preferably no higher than
> $400). They are not computer savvy, so I think that rules out a digital
> camcorder. They just want something that can record onto a VHS tape, so they
> can just take it out and pop it into their VHS player to watch it.

I don't know if they've taken a trip down to the local Circuit City, but
VHS players are become pretty extinct these days. Going the way of the
turntable if you ask me.. good riddance I say.


> I did some looking around and it appears that all analog camcorders are either
> VHS-C or Hi8 format. Are those the only 2 analog formats nowadays? I assume
> that Hi8 cannot work with a VHS player. Can VHS-C work with one?

VHS-C and Hi8 will soon follow the extinct route too..

Why not just buy a miniDV and teach them how to work the camera. If
they can operate a VHS deck, they can operate a VTR deck.

-Richard
 

Rich

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<void@no.spam.com> wrote in message
news:m39cd0tfoma28em9oqb25cbk3ep2jah0ca@4ax.com...
> Hello,
>
> My parents are interested in buying a camcorder (preferably no higher than
> $400). They are not computer savvy, so I think that rules out a digital
> camcorder. They just want something that can record onto a VHS tape, so
they
> can just take it out and pop it into their VHS player to watch it.
>
> I did some looking around and it appears that all analog camcorders are
either
> VHS-C or Hi8 format. Are those the only 2 analog formats nowadays? I
assume
> that Hi8 cannot work with a VHS player. Can VHS-C work with one?
>
> Finally, does anyone have any recommendations for an analog camcorder
that's
> less than $400?
>
> Thanks for your help.
>

I've re-thought my position. Buy a mini-dv play it back/record to their
VCR. They will have better results, better audio and video. And who knows
someday they or someone in the family will want to edit the mini-dv tapes.

It's usually one cable they plug into the camcorder the other end has three
rca type plugs. They put a blank tape in the VCR, push record and then push
play on the camcorder. If they want multiple copies then they just do it
over. If they want, they can plug the camcorder into the TV (if it has the
inputs, and many newer ones do). Playing back from the camcorder would add
wear though.

Rich
 

void

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On Mon, 21 Jun 2004 18:09:59 GMT, "Rich" <richsanchez43@usa.com> wrote:
>I've re-thought my position. Buy a mini-dv play it back/record to their
>VCR. They will have better results, better audio and video. And who knows
>someday they or someone in the family will want to edit the mini-dv tapes.
>
>It's usually one cable they plug into the camcorder the other end has three
>rca type plugs. They put a blank tape in the VCR, push record and then push
>play on the camcorder. If they want multiple copies then they just do it
>over. If they want, they can plug the camcorder into the TV (if it has the
>inputs, and many newer ones do). Playing back from the camcorder would add
>wear though.

OK, I just found out my parents would be OK with running a cable from the
camcorder to VCR, so that means a digital camcorder is an option now.

So is MiniDV the dominant digital format nowadays?
 
G

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void@no.spam.com writes:
> OK, I just found out my parents would be OK with running a cable from the
> camcorder to VCR, so that means a digital camcorder is an option now.
>
> So is MiniDV the dominant digital format nowadays?

Pretty much so, though both VHS-C and 8mm/hi-8 cameras are
considerably cheaper. Just how much shooting are you parents going to
do? What are they going to shoot? How fussy are they going to be
about video quality?

Don't worry about hi-8 stuff disappearing. Even if they stop making
it tomorrow (they won't), it will be on ebay for years. 78rpm records
haven't been made since the 1960's but you can still buy players for them.

I think over the next few years, set-top DVD recorders will mostly
replace VHS. If your parents are like most consumer camcorder users,
they may shoot a couple of tapes a year. If they shoot on "obsolete"
hi-8, then sooner or later they can get around to spending a few
evenings copying their hi-8 tapes to DVD.

There are also starting to be some DVD camcorders, that record direct
to small (3 inch) DVD's that will play in set-top DVD players.
Recording time is limited to 30 minutes(?) because of the small discs,
though. I hope some start getting made that use full sized discs.

I still shoot with a Sony TRV87 hi-8 camera; the tape is cheaper than
mini-dv tape, the tapes hold two hours instead of 1 hour; and the
camera is cheaper than a DV camera. I'd get a Mini-DV camera if I
were more serious, but I'm just another amateur.

Here is a good overview of video formats:

http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/new2video.html
 

Snoopy

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I remember when I bought my Sony, they offered a infrared device to attach
to the TV, and leave it there full time, then playing camcorder to TV was a
simple, wireless thing. No savvy required. don't remember exactly what the
details were. It was primarily meant to avoid having to climb behind the TV
to plug in cables - before all these TV's had front ports.

JT

<void@no.spam.com> wrote in message
news:m39cd0tfoma28em9oqb25cbk3ep2jah0ca@4ax.com...
> Hello,
>
> My parents are interested in buying a camcorder (preferably no higher than
> $400). They are not computer savvy, so I think that rules out a digital
> camcorder. They just want something that can record onto a VHS tape, so
they
> can just take it out and pop it into their VHS player to watch it.
>
> I did some looking around and it appears that all analog camcorders are
either
> VHS-C or Hi8 format. Are those the only 2 analog formats nowadays? I
assume
> that Hi8 cannot work with a VHS player. Can VHS-C work with one?
>
> Finally, does anyone have any recommendations for an analog camcorder
that's
> less than $400?
>
> Thanks for your help.
>
 
G

Guest

Guest
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<void@no.spam.com> wrote in message
news:4nped0h0bp9cs5docrfe4mp3bktcco64l4@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 21 Jun 2004 18:09:59 GMT, "Rich" <richsanchez43@usa.com> wrote:
> >I've re-thought my position. Buy a mini-dv play it back/record to their
> >VCR. They will have better results, better audio and video. And who
knows
> >someday they or someone in the family will want to edit the mini-dv
tapes.
> >
> >It's usually one cable they plug into the camcorder the other end has
three
> >rca type plugs. They put a blank tape in the VCR, push record and then
push
> >play on the camcorder. If they want multiple copies then they just do it
> >over. If they want, they can plug the camcorder into the TV (if it has
the
> >inputs, and many newer ones do). Playing back from the camcorder would
add
> >wear though.
>
> OK, I just found out my parents would be OK with running a cable from the
> camcorder to VCR, so that means a digital camcorder is an option now.
>
> So is MiniDV the dominant digital format nowadays?

I just did exactly what Rich described. Not for the same reasons as your
parents but all the same, just plug the camera into the vcr with the rca
plugs that should come with the camcorder and away you go. This route allows
them to upgrade things as their knowledge expands. For instance, the
camcorder will probably come with a USB connection as well. They may not be
computer savvy, but if they *have* a computer they will be able to take
advantage of the photo shot options on most MiniDV's.
Soon they will be tormenting you with emailed photos they took with their
camcorder.
Also, as Rich said, the DV tapes will always be there for all the things you
could do with them on a computer in the future.
>
 

Rich

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<void@no.spam.com> wrote in message
news:4nped0h0bp9cs5docrfe4mp3bktcco64l4@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 21 Jun 2004 18:09:59 GMT, "Rich" <richsanchez43@usa.com> wrote:
> >I've re-thought my position. Buy a mini-dv play it back/record to their
> >VCR. They will have better results, better audio and video. And who
knows
> >someday they or someone in the family will want to edit the mini-dv
tapes.
> >
> >It's usually one cable they plug into the camcorder the other end has
three
> >rca type plugs. They put a blank tape in the VCR, push record and then
push
> >play on the camcorder. If they want multiple copies then they just do it
> >over. If they want, they can plug the camcorder into the TV (if it has
the
> >inputs, and many newer ones do). Playing back from the camcorder would
add
> >wear though.
>
> OK, I just found out my parents would be OK with running a cable from the
> camcorder to VCR, so that means a digital camcorder is an option now.
>
> So is MiniDV the dominant digital format nowadays?
>

Yes, MiniDV is the way to go these days.

Rich
 
G

Guest

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> My parents are interested in buying a camcorder (preferably no higher than
> $400). They are not computer savvy, so I think that rules out a digital
> camcorder. They just want something that can record onto a VHS tape, so they
> can just take it out and pop it into their VHS player to watch it.

Don't make cheap (consumer) full-sized VHS recorders anymore.

Smaller, VHS/SVHS-C models use cassette adapters.

---

But why worry about putting it into the VHS?

Why not play directly from the camcorder, and using one of those IR
hookups (eg. Sony has one for their camcorders), you simply put the
camcorder in range and view of the IR receiver, press play, and video
shows up on the TV.

---

Otherwise, simply wire the cables to the back of the VCR or TV, put
the ends up front where they can hook up the cables to any camcorder.

> I did some looking around and it appears that all analog camcorders are either
> VHS-C or Hi8 format. Are those the only 2 analog formats nowadays? I assume
> that Hi8 cannot work with a VHS player. Can VHS-C work with one?

Yep. Nope, won't play in a VHS deck. Yep, with adapter.

> Finally, does anyone have any recommendations for an analog camcorder that's
> less than $400?

I'd also look through www.fatwallet.com/forums/ -> hot deals for
cheap camcorder deals. (eg. last January's dirt-cheap $150-ish Sharp
VL-Z3U DV camcorder deal) No point spending much more than that if
you're savy.
 
G

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void@no.spam.com wrote:

> Hello,
>
> My parents are interested in buying a camcorder (preferably no higher than
> $400). They are not computer savvy, so I think that rules out a digital
> camcorder. They just want something that can record onto a VHS tape, so they
> can just take it out and pop it into their VHS player to watch it.
>
> I did some looking around and it appears that all analog camcorders are either
> VHS-C or Hi8 format. Are those the only 2 analog formats nowadays? I assume
> that Hi8 cannot work with a VHS player. Can VHS-C work with one?
>
> Finally, does anyone have any recommendations for an analog camcorder that's
> less than $400?
>
> Thanks for your help.
>

Yes, go digital and use your VCR to record onto VHS tape or
just play on the TV from the camcorder. Digital is very
superior to analog. Check these camcorders out. They should
all sell for less that $400.00

The best deal will probably be the Panasonic. All of these
will put analog to shame!


eBay item 3823097791
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eBay item 3822892390
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eBay item 3823073728
NEW PANASONIC PV-DV101D MINI-DV - A DIGITAL BEAUTY + BONUS!
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eBay item 3823450107
HOT SONY DCR-TRV130 DIGITAL CAMCORDER + BONUS
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3823450107&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT