Advice on New Camcorder

8 replies [Last post]
alloam
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Joined: Nov 13 1999

I am considering a new camcorder and want a bit of advice. My budget is sadly rather limited (although 0% credit always helps!) so please bear that in mind.

As I see it, my options are to blow my full budget (and some) on a good quality cam (e.g. TRV900) and suffer with linear editing on my Toshiba V-858B VCR for a year until I can save more for NLE gear for the PC. Or, buy a cheaper cam (e.g. Canon MV200) and buy NLE equipment now.

I have tried out a variety of cameras and was most impressed with the Sony - no surprise there. As far as the Canon MV200 goes, the only major omission I can find is audio dubbing (I will accept the general loss of quality compared to a 3CCD model as a given). Could someone tell me how important this omission is? If I was editing on PC it surely wouldn't matter too much, right?

Any help re audio dubbing and my BIG decision would be most gratefully received. I read the advice given on buying a TRV900 with great interest elsewhere on this board. Cheers!

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Peter Johnston

Peter Johnston

Gladders
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Joined: Apr 28 1999

if your budget is limited why not consider the Panasonic NV DX110, or, if still available, the NV DX100 which has been seen selling at the amazing price of £800. These are 3CCD cameras very nearly as good as the Sony. The NV DX110 has DV in enabled, the DX100 can be enabled with a Datavision widget (around £100 I think). The quality of picture is as good as the Sony, the main disadvantage is that the image stabilisation is Digital on Panasonic and optical on Sony.

Paul

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Gladders speaks with good advice, Pete, and I'd go along with every word he says. In its favour the Panasonic has been around long enough to have been sorted, have spares and know-how available should trouble strike.

But you're right to wobble over the cost divisions, and I'll put two dissimilar theories to you.

!) You keep your Hi8 cam (or whatever you have at present) and blow the wadge on an NLE setup. With no doubt whatsoever this will ensure that you make better films than if you stay with your linea setup. The opportunities for editing panache and individualism will astound you, take my word for it.

2) Alternatively you go with the HIfi boys. They always say spend the most up front; no amount of post production correction will ever compensate for blurry pictures. So they spend a huge proportion of the wadge on the CD player (or whatever it is supplying the signal).

In the same way you should go for the TRV900 safe in the knowledge that you've begun to capture the very best images you can afford, and these masters will stand you in good stead in the (editing) years to come.

In reality, two points remain. When your final and finished movies are viewed on VHS tape you'll be very hard pushed to see any difference in picture quality between the 900 and the Canon MV200. They'll both push the envelope of VHS and both be degraded by it.

On the other hand every one of us who read this message board will tell instantly if you've used an NLE system vs an linea setup; there will be no comparison. Linea systems degrade and degrade, and that's unacceptable in mamy books.

tom.

alloam
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Joined: Nov 13 1999

Thanks for the comments. Gladders, I did a back to back comparison of TRV900 and DX110 in local Jessops and was extremely impressed with the optical stabiliser in comparison with the Panasonic as your rightly mention. As far as I could tell the stabiliser of the Panasonic would be unusable with its jerky action necessitating a tripod when it may not be necessary with Sony. I am ready to accept that all else between the cameras is equal (though the stills onto floppy feature of Sony also lures me) which makes spending the extra dosh for Sony solely a question of the stabiliser... Is it worth £300? I can't seem to find DX100 anymore (I know it has been discontinued) in outlets - any leads?

Tom, I am currently camcorderless and looking for a first buy. But, I want to get something that will last and allow me room to develop techniques, etc. hence my dive straight into miniDV rather than analogue. You present a good argument for both sides! Surely we won't be shackled with VHS for too much longer? If in 5 years time we are using recordable DVD or some such, then I would have thought it would be better to have the best quality masters you can. But, then NLE sure would help the quality of my edited works. Aargh!! What to do?!

On a slightly different subject, what do folks think about new Canon XM1 in comparison to TRV900? I am going to have a look at one tomorrow. I have seen it advertised for near as dammit the same price as Sony.

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Peter Johnston

Peter Johnston

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Then bite the bullet Pete and go for the TRV900. As you say the optical steadyshot is so transparent that Sony put up a viewfinder icon only when it's OFF, and in my view there's nothing as close to magic as this steadyshot.

As you say, the Panasonic DIS is almost unusable in the real world, and #300 will seem a small price to pay after you've winced at a few unsteady hand-held shots. And had to edit them out.

But go look at the Canon XM1. This looks a goodie to me and one of my friends has already abandoned his TRV890 for the Canon. Fir a start it has the same optical SteadyShot, boasts a 20x optical zoom, has a proper mic that sits proud of the body and records a far better bass response (the TRV900's mic is very bass light).

But best of all the report is that the dreaded Sony green flare is absent in the Canon's lens, and if the Sony has a failing, this is it. It also explains the expensive and complex hood supplied with the Sony.

But its brand new and I always avoid caution until the kit has proved itself for 6 months or so. Its also considerably lumpier, doesn't have quite the same manual control (though knobs are a lot better than menus) and the side screen is no match for the Sony. Strange one this, as I guess the bigger the screen, the easier they are to shift from the shop.

tom.

spencer
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Joined: Jun 28 1999

Sorry, don't know your full details but maybe you can get the TRV900 cheaper than Jessops.

I bought mine from a retailer down Euston Road, London for £1550 but I've have subsequently seen it in John Lewis for £1599. Maybe you could get your preferred retailer to do a price match.

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Spencer

Spencer

Boh!
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Joined: Jul 2 1999

Hello Guys,
A work colleegue bought a Sony TRV900 from Westgate Audio Visual in Bradford, West Yorkshire for £1489. He'd phoned places all over the country and they offered him the best price. I cannot remember their number offhand, but if you cannot find their number with Directory Enquiries e-mail me and I'll dig it up. I also bought a Sony TRV 110 from them for £630.

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[This message has been edited by Boh! (edited 17 November 1999).]

alloam
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Joined: Nov 13 1999

Hi folks,

Well I had a look at the XM1 today and liked what I saw. It has a much more ergonomic design than the TRV900 (Why the heck do Sony insist on sticking the Menu button behind the screen?!) and feels well built, at least a match for the Sony in build.

The steady shot was excellent, as to be expected, the frame mode was quite noticeably jerky (I suppose to be expected, but I did't think it would be as obvious). I love the big focus wheel which is well away from mics.

I saw the camera in Jessops were they are quoting £1799 which is exactly what they are quoting for TRV900. However, they are willing to price match with anywhere (though they have to ring head office to confirm with a success rate of 90% or so the salesman told me), plus they offer a good 0% deal - important for me. I have seen XM1 listed at £1499 at SDB and rang PRC to get a quote of £1429 on TRV900 this morning. Those prices are certainly falling.

Okay, so both cameras are gorgeous, but which one to go for? I still love the idea of outputing stills to floppy (when travelling with old laptop this could be a real boon for email). I have heard that Canon might sell a similar floppy drive like Sony's, but the fact Sony comes with it sounds good.

Plus, my dillema has got worse as tonight I agreed to produce two videos, one of which will need lots of editing, and both need to be done by March/April of next year. But, if I go for XM1 or TRV900 I won't be able to afford NLE gear for quite awhile... bugger!

Has anyone had experience of the cheaper DV NLE solutions that are out? Pyro @ £149 for instance? I have read conflicting reviews in magazines.

Cheers for all your help.

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Peter Johnston

Peter Johnston

johnpr98
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Joined: Aug 20 1999

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Did I hear someone mention Pyro

Do a search on the forum(pyro)Pete, In my humble opinion it works fine, Top quality capture and record back to camera. I suspect that Ulead v4 will soon be supplied with the newer Pyro cards which will give easier still capture and more options for saving in different formats i.e Mpeg2

I have just had confirmation that videowave 3 will be supporting firewire and other programmes are sure to follow.

All in All Pyro is easy to install on Windows SE, is excellent for basic editing and at the cutting edge selling at a competitive price (£99+Vat).

I'm going back to sleep now until the next mention of Pyro

zzzzzzzzzzzzz

johnpr98
 
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