What does pricegrabber know. The GS320 is a MiniDV camcoder.
You know Panasonic has a website?
When sombody says their priority is "quality" or "hard drive" we can help steer you. Budget is always a first post requirement. A Wedding videographer doesn't want to hear about a $500 hard drive price leader. A cash strapped high school student doesn't want a $3500 solution.
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Shutter speed has nothing to do with DVD. Shutter speed is only relevant to the camera itself and the quality of the image it produces.
Firewire output is what you want. It's simple to use and is a digital transfer of 0's and 1's from the camera.
MJPEG is when you use the web cam function.
It is a MiniDV camera, meaning just like all other MiniDV cameras it records 720X40 screen resolution, 29.97fps(NTSC), 48KHz audio, 25MBps compression.
Ok, I want a 320 8)
However, I have found the GS500 for about $500 online in a couple places - is that worth the extra $120 to upgrade from the GS320 ($380)? Or would you probably not be able to tell much difference?
If it's a legitimate dealer the yes go for the GS500. To be honest, I don't think the places you're looking at are legitimate unless it's used. If you see a new GS500 listed for $500 it's a scam site and you should avoid it like the plague. I can promise you this.
Look at the prices linked on camcorderinfo.com:
The cheapest is $605 and I'd be very weary of that site myself unless it was recommended by multiple people I trust. Other than that it's at least $750 new if it's still available.
Yes, it was a scam (you had to buy more stuff after you place your order). and the only real price I can find on it is $600+ like you said.
So I am going with BuyDig.com as they have a good $365 price for the 320 and so many people said the quality was so similar between the two.
Thanks again for everyone's help.
All the 3CCD GS series have the same quality imaging chips. Some are more compact and have smaller lens openings and the physical size of the CCD varies slightly because of some models being more compact. I have filmed with a GS300, 320, and 400 at the same time on many occasions and they look virtually identical when the white balance is set the same on all three.
Oh, what about a cheap battery to go with it? I want a backup "most bang for your buck" 2+ hour battery. I think I remember something about a XX D25?
And I also want a good 4-6ft stand
Do a search on eBay for batteries for GS300 or 320. The batteries between the different models are interchangeable. Just be careful of the off brand batteries. They are usually decent but might not be as high quality as the official ones. I bought 2 off brand that worked fine and bought 2 that the connectors inside the battery were not mounted high enough and wouldn't make contact with the terminals so they were not bad but would not work.
Originally Posted by Xeoncross
If you can afford, go with this one. It'll be overkill your cam though.
A note about the HDD option - although it may be considered a file, you still have to get it into the PC. That process is similar to the FireWire one and is not instant. HDD camcorders really don't offer much advantage over DVD camcorders in terms of video quality and ease of editing.
For the record I have used a Hard Drive Camcorder, JVC Everio (JVC GZ-MG27).
With HDD Camcorders the transfer rate is faster because you do not have to play the movie. You simply COPY THE FILE FROM THE CAMCORDER TO YOUR COMPUTER over USB2. It's pretty fast, about a couple of minutes.
So, no, the process is not similar.
You can edit the file and the quality is good:
* Ultra Fine:
o Video: 720 x 480 pixels, 8.5 Mbps (VBR)
o Audio: 48 kHz, 384 kbps
o Video: 720 x 480 pixels, 5.5 Mbps (VBR)
o Audio: 48 kHz, 384 kbps
o Video: 720 x 480 pixels, 4.2 Mbps (VBR)
o Audio: 48 kHz, 256 kbps
o Video: 352 x 240 pixels, 1.5 Mbps (VBR)
o Audio: 48 kHz, 128 kbps
So it depends on what your needs are. If you do extensive editing you might want to go with with MiniDV.
I would recommend doing your own research. This site has lots of reviews of camcorders and is a good starting point:
Find a store with a good return policy and go try a bunch of camcorders.
Someone said that MiniDV works with firewire only. That's not true. I own PVgs500 and use it with USB2.0. Works great. I'm not even sure it has a firewire port.
One thing is that I've had difficulty capturing from it in Windows2000 with anything other than the software that came with it. Not sure about XP, but Vista Home premium has built in software that does the capture without the need for any additional software. Didn't see any problems with it.
While i love the quality of this cam, I do want to warn people that it's heavy. It might not sound like a real consideration at first, but when your arms start going numb from holding this thing up to your face for more than 10 min at a time, you might rethink your priorities.
Also want to add my vote for the MiniDV camp. Great format, especially if you want to keep your original footage. 13G of storage for abouth $5 per tape -- can't beat that!
ALL hard drive camcorders you can just copy the file(s)..so it is easy. However, if you are a novice then JOINING the files can be an issue. Also, you are using a heaviliy compressed format in MPEG-2....DV is 25 mbps, is much easier to edit, and is better for archival....'Do I look absolutely divine and regal, and yet at the same time very pretty and rather accessible?' - Queenie
Originally Posted by vcdlover
This is a great budget combo and was recommended to me by a couple people. The Sunpak tripod is about $100 and the fluid head $35. The tripod has a decent head to start withand extends to about almost 7' tall which is great if you're filming live events and need to be over peoples' heads. Look for a true fluid head tripod or at the bare minimum a fluid effect pan head tripod which is not as good as a true fluid head but 10X better than a normal tripod head.
Originally Posted by mk2006
Originally Posted by RLT69
MiniDV records all frames and has little loss through filtering and effects editing.
People who don't know DV (from miniDV) editing and can settle with avg video quality and want plug and transfer should go for HDD camcorder. HDD camcorder mounts as external hard drive.
I have Sony SR-200 and I use TmpgEnc Mpeg Editor for cutting/joining footage. (there is also a bundled software with the camcorder does this job).
I am happy with this (I still like miniDV)
Are there any low-end HDD camcorders store uncompressed digital video/audio (not mpeg2 stream) ?
[/quote]Are there any low-end HDD camcorders store uncompressed digital video/audio (not mpeg2 stream) ?[/quote]
With large storage being relatively inexpensive you would think this a logical idea but I don't think there are any consumer grade HDD cameras that do this.
Originally Posted by shashidar
Uncompressed 10bit 4:2:2 720x480 would require about 270Mb/s with uncompressed audio (33MB/s or ~120GB/hr). Most broadcast cameras feed that rate over SDI but usually compress for in camera storage (e.g. Digital Betacam @90Mb/s, XDCAM @33Mb/s or DVCPro @25Mb/s).
As you can see, uncompressed video files get very large so compression is necessary.
At the other end of the category are simple USB Webcams that get there with small 352x255 rasters and limited bit depth or color palette yet are uncompressed.
Thanks for the info. (edDV & stantheman1976)
Are there any other loss-less or miniDV equivalent compression storage on HDD camcorders ?
I mean same qaulity & data as miniDV but storage on HDD. That will avoid 1x transfer of the footage.
Thanks for the help in finding a camcorder.
I just got the GS320 yesterday and I am very happy with the quality. Compared to my Samsung Hi8 it is like 3x better! And it looks like it is only 2x less than Movie/DVD quality! I tested it last night in a room lit with a 40w bulb and I got a pretty good image with it. Plus I love that it has true wide-screen format.
I can't wait to get off work and test it outside in day light! :P
Plus the capture is pretty easy, it may take a little longer than a HDD cam (like 40min more per tape) but now I won't need 600GB to hold all my film - I can just use a small 40GB+ drive and only keep the video I need at the time on my PC and the rest is safe on a tape for whenever I need it.
Also, no one told me - but you don't have to press "play" on the cam and then click "record" on the PC really fast to capture the footage. As soon as you plugin the cam the PC takes over and everything you do is though the PC - I never had to touch the Cam to record the video off of it. The cam just responds to the PC's commands which is a BIG plus.
Also, I haven't used the firewire yet - I just pluged the cam in through the USB 2.0 port. 8)
One warning, you really should use firewire to capture. USB might not be capturing full resolution, resulting in compressed files. This completely defeats the purpose of DV footage. I've never captured via USB. From what I understand it can sustain the data rate but I don't think it automatically sets itself up to capture full resolution DV footage. I may be mistaken on that point but I would definitely read the manual. you should really only use USB if you are transferring still images or using it as a web cam.
As for quality, just wait until you get into daylight and see what it does. You will be blown away. I recommend you invest in some filters to protect your lens. Spend a few extra dollors and buy a good quality UV filter lens. It will be worth the money.
Also, now that your a Panasonic owner go to pana3ccduser.com and register. I ama regular poster there and there are people who know these cameras inside and out. You'll get a lot of good advice there.
Originally Posted by edDV
Originally Posted by vcdlover
The FS4 also works for HDV, DVCPRO, DVCAM, DVCPRO 50, and DVCPRO HD formats.