Techno-Geek Cam-Corder Question [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Techno-Geek Cam-Corder Question

12-27-2002, 02:47 PM
I know that there are a lot of Techno-Geeks out there & somebody has already done some research on this topic & could help me out.

Wife & I decided to get a joint Christmas gift of a Cam-Corder. We are in no rush (expecting first baby in May), so we decided we'd wait for the after Holiday Sales. I started doing a little reseach on the web (, etc) & discovered that I am very much BEHIND on the Technology that is out there!

Some of the more confusing issues are (1) 8mm vs. Hi8 vs. MiniDV. (2) Units that have Both Tape (movies) and smart media (stills). (3) connections, i.Link, FireWire (sounds like fishing line!), USB (don't have this on our PC), A/D ??

I guess hust knowing what other people have; what they like/dislike about it; important features; models/brands would help me get started.


12-27-2002, 03:46 PM
Unless you defiently wanted to watch your movies on your computer screen I would recommend getting a Hi8 camcorder. The picture and sound is great and is more than enough for shooting home movies. The only problem is with 8mm or Hi8 is that they will not work with any type of VCR. You have to play the movies directly from your camcorder which hooks up to your T.V. with cables. There use to be VHS-C camcorders that had a VCR tape that you slid the cassette into so it could play right in your VCR, but I wouldn't recommend getting that type at all. If you had a really nice computer with a DVD-ROM I would recomment the mini-dv because you could burn your movies on a blank dvd and then put it into your dvd player.

Just my 2 cents

12-27-2002, 04:01 PM
I like the mini-DV. I have panasonic which is working nicely. The still quality on mine is ~1.3mp so it's grainy. You can also capture stills to the tape it just takes longer to write the data as opposed to the smart media card. I get ~150 pics on a 64mb card but they are not that great a quality. Forget the usb, firewire is the only way to go for video. Get the Pinnacle video studio 8 ~$120 at best buy or circuit city. That will give you a digital catpure card with 2 firewire ports and some basic editing software. You can even burn CD's that will play movies in most home DVD players albeit the quality is not DVD. Mini-DV hold 60minutes.
I got mine in July so this is probably old news now.

Best of luck in your search and congrats on the growing family.

01-16-2003, 11:20 AM
I'd agree with JimW. Go with a Mini-DV with firewire capabilities. The firewire will allow for rapid transfer to your PC or Mac if you want to edit. Anything by Sony or Canon is good. I think your best bet would be to go to your local outlet and just play with them and see which one you find easier to use. Expect to pay $300 + for a decent model. Or if you really want to go wild, pick up a Canon Xl1 for around $4000!

Have fun.

01-16-2003, 11:51 AM
May be obvious...but don't forget to make sure you have somewhere to plug that Firewire into! Most computers until recently did not come standard (except Macs), but its an easy upgrade through a card in the back.


01-16-2003, 05:06 PM
Went with the Mini-DV ,Canon ZR-40. Same as the highly rated (Consumer Reports) ZR-45, but without the extra smart media for stills (I felt this was an unnessary option). Very Compact (1.4 lb), 18X zoom, very good stablization, lots of connections/cables, and a good Sale price on Amazon. Haven't had much time to play with it, but it seems very nice. Wish the Mini-Dv media was less expensive (compared to 8mm), but it will probably get cheaper with time.

Thanks to all for the input.