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AuthorTopic: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?  (Read 2010 times)

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Offline ChaosLord

What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« on: May 04, 2010, 01:18:16 PM »
What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?

I need to buy a digital camera or camcorder.
I went to Walmart to see what was available.  They all looked quite nice except for the big giant SONY logo that was on most of them.
There was a sony model there that was just fine for what I need and it was $350.00 and I would have bought it on the spot if it had been made by a reputable company.

Sony and Samsung are banned.  What brand should I get?

The saleslady told me to buy a FUJI but that they have not sold Fuji models for a while.

> Why do you want a camera?
To take pictures :D

> What would you do with a camcorder?
Make videos of Amiga games.  Specifically Total Chaos AGA.

I actually own a Sony camcorder from about 2000.  It is a Hi-8mm.  Very nice camcorder, never given me any problem.  Too bad it is not digital.  Maybe I could just film an Amiga game with my old analog camcorder and route the S-video output into a PC video capture card but I assume that going that route would be a pain and make blurry video?

Many years ago I was heavily into photography.  I do care about quality.  I used to own an Olympus OM-10 35mm and an antique studio camera that a relative gave to me that used HUGE film.  The antique camera took BY FAR the best pictures with the best resolution and color.  

I don't know jack about modern digital cameras or camcorders.  So I ask my trusted friends at Amiga.org :)
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Offline Crom00

Re: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2010, 01:34:22 PM »
I have 3 Canon HV30 units that I swear by. Great 24p mini dv camcorder with analog in capability. Full HD imaging senors, great 24p cinema mode. Very popular with indie dilm makers as it works great with film lens adapters. The HV40 is the current refresh model and it adds better 24p support. Prices runs $450-$800 used or new for the hv30 or hv40.
 

Offline ElPolloDiabl

Re: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2010, 01:59:04 PM »
Get the Sony with the u-beaut memory stick! :roflmao:

I'm looking myself. I want cheap, quality image, error free image. Otherwise when are the next sales on?
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Offline Tumbleweed

Re: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2010, 01:59:49 PM »
I've got a Canon EOS400D Digital SLR (In the US it goes by a different name I think) its a very good still camera, good qaulity images and easy to use. If video is rerally what you're after the Canon camcorders are pretty good too I believe. If you want both then a still camera that also shoots video may be an option for you. The more recent Canon DSLR's like the EOS 550D and the EOS7D also shoot decent video, but they are pricey especially the 7D and lenses quickly bump up the cost. If you want something less expensive the Canon PowerShot might do the job. The PowerShot is aimed at the consumer/serious amateur rather than the semi pro/pro and they shoot vide as well as still images.

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ProductCatIndexAct&fcategoryid=111

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ProductCatIndexAct&fcategoryid=113

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Offline tokyoracer

Re: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2010, 02:09:00 PM »
Dont really know what the issue is with Sony bashers (maybe Wii lovers IDK). Though Samsung makes no sence to me since I have seen both sony and Samsung cameras and both have been good. Panasonic is one to avoid in my opinion.

Going by what you want then, i'd look at Casio and Canon models since they offer good lens quality and features for the money.
 

Offline outlawal2

Re: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2010, 03:00:59 PM »
CANON

I currently have a Canon Digital Rebel still camera as well as an older Mini-DV video camera that works very well.  One thing I will caution folks on is the digital HardDrive/Memory/CD type video cameras do not give as high of quality as the Mini-DV cameras...  Many of these cameras use a type of digital interpolation for the picture and this does not provide the same quality as a good-quality MiniDV camera... (I bought a MiniDV because of this very issue.) It is the same kind of issue as when a camera says 20x Zoom optical and 800x digital. Pros will tell you to never use the digital zoom because the quality goes to Hell. So really the only meaningful stat is the OPTICAL Zoom.   It seems strange that a tape based camera would provide better quality but it is true...  There are some very high-end Hard drive cameras that provide the same quality but they are EXTREMELY expensive.   Bang for the buck in my opinion is a good Canon Mini-DV camera as it is digital and can be easily manipulated with current software such as Premiere, Premiere Elements, Final Cut, etc...  (I know these all work as I have used this camera with ALL of them)
 

Offline persia

Re: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2010, 03:17:45 PM »
There seem to be a fair number of MiniDV fans in the videophile world.  I can't really see any difference and frankly find high quality modern video better than MiniDV.  It's all a matter of taste I guess.  

You also have to take into account what you are going to use the video for.  If it's just going to youtube one of those flip cameras would be sufficient.  The other way to go is to run the games in UAE on a Mac or PC and record the screen using one of the screen record programs out there.
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Offline mongo

Re: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2010, 03:43:30 PM »
Quote from: ChaosLord;556608

> What would you do with a camcorder?
Make videos of Amiga games.  Specifically Total Chaos AGA.


Use WinUAE for that.  Using a camcorder will look like crap.
 

Offline tone007

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Re: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2010, 03:51:12 PM »
I've had pretty good luck with Olympus.
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Offline Ral-Clan

Re: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2010, 05:21:15 PM »
Filming/videoing an Amiga game by pointing the camera at the screen is probably THE WORST way to capture the video.  The quality you are going to get is utter crap - blurriness, video frame rate banding, room reflections and glare off the screen - so if you're going to do it that way it doesn't matter what kind of camera you are going to use - might as well get the cheapest one possible as it will look pretty bad no matter what.

It would be much better to either:

a) Play the game in WinUAE and record the gameplay to an AVI (this is a setting within UAE)....the AVI can then be imported into an video editing software where you can add your own music or voice

b) capture from an A1200/A4000's/A520's colour composite video output (the RCA video jack) to a USB video capture device hooked to your PC (these are cheap), or to a stand-alone DVD burner, or to a camcorder that has a composite video input jack (there are lots of these).

If you're really set on buying a camcorder though - I too would recommend miniDV.  Sure, it's not as convenient as a solid state camcorder.  For instance it's tape, so you can't drag and drop the movies to your PC through USB.  You have to use a (cheap) firewire connector and copy them over in real-time (digitally).

But, like others have said, those new Hard Drive or Flash Card video cameras use a fairly agressive video compression algorythm which actually is worse looking than the very mild video compression used by miniDV.  Of course, this depends on whether or not you have the ability to actually see the difference.  For YouTube videos ending up as heavily compressed Flash Video it might not matter anyway.

If you're talking HD video, well then, you probably can get a Flash card based camera that would beat miniDV, but it's going to cost you a LOT more.  You don't really need an HD camera for something that's going to end up on YouTube - also almost no Amiga games are in HD resolution.  

I think there are HD miniDV camcorders too but they are pro-level and VERY expensive.  A standard-definition miniDV camera will do you fine - just make sure you get a model that records in both the old 4:3 ratio and the new 16:9 screen ratio.  You'll want the old ratio for the Amiga screenshots (which were all 4:3) and the new 16:9 ratio for everything else.

The other advantage of miniDV is that - because most people are switching over to solid state cameras (most people care more about convenience than quality) the miniDV cameras are very cheap now (among the cheapest you can buy).  

I would recommend a Canon or JVC miniDV camera if you go that route.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 05:28:20 PM by ral-clan »
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Offline djrikki

Re: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2010, 06:00:06 PM »
If you want to record what is happening on your screen isn't there any software available that will simply do this for you : spooling to a file.

After hours and hours I finally did find such an application on the Mac that wasn't severely hampered with demo limitations, I guess on the Amiga platform the situation is hampered even further.

Offline QuikSanz

Re: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2010, 06:51:31 PM »
Hi,

As others have mentioned, I also have had an Olympus camera for years, it has served me well for at least 5 years.

Chris
 

Offline Tripitaka

Re: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2010, 07:09:13 PM »
http://www.red.com/cameras/

No contest if you can afford it. If not, then maybe the Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000 or perhaps Creatives Vado HD.

TBH, the choice is huge and depends a lot on what your going to use it for. The above 3 cameras are very different but all superb.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 07:12:20 PM by Tripitaka »
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Offline Tripitaka

Re: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2010, 07:15:29 PM »
Quote from: djrikki;556647
If you want to record what is happening on your screen isn't there any software available that will simply do this for you : spooling to a file.

After hours and hours I finally did find such an application on the Mac that wasn't severely hampered with demo limitations, I guess on the Amiga platform the situation is hampered even further.


Good point. Or you could perhaps, plug the Amiga video signal into a capture card or video recorder.
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Offline Cammy

Re: What kind of Digital Camera or Camcorder should I buy?
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2010, 10:04:51 PM »
All my recent photos were taken with a Fuji camera, and I have used an earlier model as well as the one we used recently, and it's an excellent quality camera, I don't think I've ever seen one better quality or faster. It takes HD videos as well as photos. When you zoom right into the photos, the grain and detail is still sharp, not all smudgey and painted looking like some digital photos when you zoom in to 100% (as they're nearly always shrunk down to be viewable on the screen). I think the reason they don't sell as much is because usually only photographers look out for Fuji cameras, where as most average people will just grab the first thing they see with a familar logo (Sony). Not that the Sonys are worse, I havent used one so I can't say, but Fuji have been in the camera business for a while.
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