Video Camera Details


Not Bman

I have always wanted a video camera, love to edit videos and make my own movies kind of thing. I don't know one thing about what's good and whats not.

Not even sure how to ask this, I am wanting to buy a "top of the line" video camera. What's the best, good, important, etc etc.

Any help and tips would be nice.
Define top of the line? $500, $1000, $10000

Same as in still camera's. Pixels, optical zoom, compression types, light sensitivity, battery life and available storage. Plus with video cam's the sensitivity and noise immunity of the microphone is important too. Optics quality is a little less important than with still cameras but the light sensitivity is more important with moving targets and no flash to deal with.

-Storage means a HD or DVD burner, flash isn't big enough. Burners you can drop in new blanks, HD your stuck until you can upload.

-Zoom 10x optical minimum as high as 25x. With 10x or more you want an image stabilizer feature on video. Actually, for top end you want image stabilizer and >10x period! Motion is funky to deal with.

-Batteries. Lithium will have more life 2x but are expensive 10x and have the annoying habit of bursting into flame.

- Any compression will pixellate the image. The faster the motion the higher the blockiness. Recording a lossless video gets big though. get the latest DVI, AVI or MPEG format. AVI is probably better. Multiple types would be nice so you can choose quality vs duration.

-You want a noise canceling, directional microphone. Wind hiss is a pain outdoors.

-Light sensitivty you'll have to compare the ratings on different cameras. It's been a long time since I did this stuff and I forget.

That ought to get you started...

When you think you're getting close hit some photography sites for camera reviews.
See well let me put it what I want in my terms, see if you can figure it out. I want to be able to put it on the computer, good enough to play on a tv, maybe even burn to dvd.

I want to be able to record anything with picture, pixel perfect. It plays smooth no matter where I watch it or do with it.

I want a size screen on the camera that pulls out, something not 2 big, not to small. I am willing to spend all the way up to 1500 i'd say.
I was looking at some high speed cameras, think of the fun that would be, costs bout 30k bucks but still.
FUN :)
The good news is that the cameras with a burner are burning a real mini dvd so you should be able to pop it in and play it (comp or on the TV).

Quality is limited by the pixels in the sensor. 1-3 megapixels vs 6-10 on still cameras. Burning direct to DVD will mean as good an image as the sensor allows. Most don't mention any file compression (beyond normal DVD) but read carefully anyway.

So, max the sensor (within your price range), make sure it is using a standard mini-dvd, make damn sure it says image stabilized!

$30k... He did say top end.

Edit They also have HD versions now too. I saw some bad reviews on some of those. They aren't all really HD format some are just tsretch and squeeze.
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Haha, i dont think he is looking for the high speed cameras :)
I want one so i can drop a pencil on a desk and see what it looks like in ultimate slow motion :)

OOOO or pop a water baloon and see it hold to the baloon shape for a millisecond but to me it would be like 10 seconds.
It would be so much fun :)
those are great tips, will help..

got any favourite, wanted, etc cameras of your own?
no way would I buy a cam that burns the discs (even tough they are the way forward)....

If you want value then you have to go with the MDV tape format...

If you want state of the art you go with the ones that incorporate their own flash memory and a HD in the device.....

Tell us more abour what you want - and that budget is not a high one in this marketplace with what it is you appear to want, by the way. Although it was a while back I spent £1,000 for what I perceive as a now out of date camera - though since it was over four years ago (top of the line then, complete with blurtooth) I am happy to say it is still useful to me.

Oh yes and there are big differences in the way things are handled internally by the optical electronics - I forget the name fo rthe technology, but without the "right" kind it wil not hit the highest standards - though almost all of them will meet MOST of your criteria.... I shall add a link to a forum I used in my original purchase if you wish (get back).
There is still alot I will have to go over, how about this for now, where's the best place to get them, in canada, or online and such?
I guess no one knows lmao

I used to check out Futureshop, but there are so many there. It's liek UAHU!!
If you want to edit and play with the footage you shoot I would not buy a camera that burns directly to a dvd. Get a MiniDV camera that records digital to a tape. Then you can just capture it via whatever video editing app you like to use. (Edius, Premiere, FinalCut...etc)

HD cameras are nice, but the price delta may not be worth it to you. Plus its a lot more of a hassle to work with. Most prosumer HD cams shoot in whats known as HDV, which is a mpeg compression. For example, I have a 20 second clip here that is HDV, in normal HDV format it takes up roughly 300MB @ 1440x1080. In raw HD its 2.37GB.... for 20 seconds. Ouch.

Are you going to be using this camera for just personal taping? Or do you plan on using it for professional use or amature film making?

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