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  1. Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Search PM
    Hi, folks. I'd like some HD camcorder recommendations in cameras under $400 (preferably; I can go a bit higher in price). I will use the camera most heavily to shoot video in my martial arts classes,and some at tournaments and demonstrations off site.

    My needs:

    1. It will be mostly hand held (no tripod use). So, maybe good image stabilization.

    2. Obviously, some action will be fast, whatever those needs mean.

    3. Videographers (me/instructors) will sometimes be shooting while moving/walking around. Again, not sure what that means for needs.

    4. I'll be zooming to get in and out on action and faces.

    5. Lighting is not great, but OK; overhead florescent tubes.

    6. Battery life! (or affordable second batteries). The Canon Vixia models seemed good, but get horrible battery life reviews.

    7. I prefer flash memory, and just external SD cards are fine with me; I don't see the need for internal memory, but that would be OK. Memory format might be the lowest priority compared to other factors, though.

    8. I like the notion of standard video formats (e.g. MP4), but as long as I can transfer it to get it into my windows laptop for uploading to the web or otherwise editing, I guess anything can be fine.

    Thanks for your help!
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  2. Costco has a few options plus a 90 day return policy. Plenty of time to try it and return if you don't like it. Myself, I like the canon optics and they usually do well in low lighting. Costco has one right now for $279..

    I bought a similiar model to go with my HV20s which are HD but HD DVI and sold in the $900+ range. I did a multi cam shoot with the flash one of a cheer competition and it performed well. I am not sure on the battery part, as I had all my cameras plugged in to AC it was an 8 hour shoot.
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  3. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Northern California, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Get one of the Panasonic 1920x1080p60 camcorders (the best one you can afford such as the HDC-TM90up). 60p allows full res stop frame every 1/60th sec.

    The lower price models like HM40 only record 60i, 30p.
    Last edited by edDV; 25th May 2012 at 16:21.
    Recommends: - Loans that change lives.
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  4. Member yoda313's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    The Animus
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    If you want a throwaway type I've been using the kodak zi8 model for a little while. Its the playsport model but its really kind of a "bloggie" type camera.

    They are good in a pinch but not for a serious videographer. It records to flash media (sdhc cards).

    If you don't need high production value and loads of features the bloggie cams are good for what they are intended for - youtube and the like.

    They can shoot 1080p and do a decent job. If you need something more substantial than you will need to look at the other recommendations already posted.

    But if you just need something quick and dirty the playsport models and similar units are acceptable but nothing extraordinary.
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
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