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Sir FallofaLott
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Discussion Starter #1
We're after a video camera. We had one years ago whih broke and we never bothered to replace but I'm being put under unrelenting pressure now to replace it (from the kids). I wasnt that keen to be honest as it's not something we ever used much and never missed. Can't remember what our old one was but it was very basic and I do recall you had to put coal in the back and wait for it to build up a head of steam before you could use it :D

I've had a look at some in catalogues and on line and to be honest I cant make head or tail of all the techno gobblidy gook thatgoes with them.

So - youre help required please...

Has to be something the kids can use easily

Would be good if stuff from it can be easily loaded onto the pc

kids want to make little short films with it so easy follow editing stuff would be good

I might want to take it out on the bike when doing trips etc so need sto be fairly robust

Whats with these new fangled hard disc ones? no tapes, just record to hardddrive - any good, are these the way to go?

Has to have decent battery life

Would rather it didnt have tapes so a dvd/cd or hard drive one.....

Above all else easy to use and one that the technology wont be outdated as soon as I buy it :tongue2:

Any help appreciated
 

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must say i will be following this one as well as i would like one to do some clips.I am more interested in the best option for use on a bike
 

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Wing Commander
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14,437 Posts
Come in XRVJim. it was something about a sort of mini something-or-other disc not a hard drive and Panasonic made one for about £300. I asked him all about it at the National but had a hangover and can't remember the details.
 

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Now down under
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147 Posts
I have found the Sony dvd205 video camera I had, quite good, has a couple of not so good things tho. This one takes the mini dvd's, that cost plenty by the way. I use the rewritable disc's, otherwise you'll go through them like crazy.

Easy to use with touch screen that has good menu to play back what youve recorded etc, and basically point and press go type camera. Takes reasonable pictures as well, so an all in one camera.

The cam on normal set up was zoomed too close as standard so hard to film or take pics of things next to you or even 3 meters away. Way more than other cam's Ive used.

The disc's take time being "finalised" to take out of the recorder and play in DVD player/TV etc.. This sometimes takes around 10 mins, and can get quite tedious waiting on it.

Also while recording and zooming in and out, the button could be heard easily on the playback, that was using the toggle one way and the other as gently as possible.

The cam didnt like too much vibration, which stopped the recording when mounted on my handlebars going along around 60kmph on a relatively smooth road. Have done this with other tape camera's and had no problems.

Also Mac users will find this difficult to download to the computer, you can put the disc into the comp but the video format isnt liked by mac's and their software, for editing with the likes of final cut pro etc... There may be a new Apple mac or program that can get round this now.

So all in all, it has its good points, but too may bad points for me, so as my house got burgled ( BASTARDS !!! ) I will replace it eventually with a cheapish tape camera.

Still others might find these cams great, I know my wife had it sussed out in no time, so thats something.
 
L

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With more and more memory cards hitting 4gb (with a few at 8gb) there's no reason to go for a disc using vid cam. Also for bike usage they've simply no moving parts apart from possibly an optical zoom.

Kymmy :cool:
 

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Sir FallofaLott
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Discussion Starter #9
Right. But I assumed a HDD woulnt have any moving parts (as in your previous post) and therefor would be a good thing??? :confused: no?
 
L

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Right. But I assumed a HDD woulnt have any moving parts (as in your previous post) and therefor would be a good thing??? :confused: no?
HDD is simply a HARD DISK DRIVE. which involves a little platter (or more) spinning at high speed with a read/write head floating over the surface. Really just a small version of what's in your PC/MAC

HDD technology has come a long way and can withstand a great deal of G's compared to old versions (Used to work at a place that had big massive 20MB drives that took two people to move them, also had a tilt indicator that if you went off 10 degrees the drive was scrapped!!!) but be warned, the G figure is normally with the heads parked (drive not being used).

The new HDD's are fine for shoving in your pocket, running for the bus or sat inside of a car going along a road, but that's it!!

My suggestion was a camcorder that uses cards (SD/MMC or some other system) The cards are now at 8GB capacities and can be reused a lot more times than a re-writabe disc. Also unlike a rewritable disc you can delete individual recordings without having to wipe the whole lot!!

Kymmy :cool:
 

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Serial Scenic Router
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1,369 Posts
Solid state is best for bouncy bouncy! On the bike before you get all excited!! No moving parts to go boink clank splat! just god ol' little 0's n 1's.

My advise is just set yourself a budget and stick to it that way you don't hit the slippery slope of 'just a little bit more for that.....'

What you could do is set yourself a budget and then remove £100, buy a point and shoot (cos lets be honest thats all most of us are really capable of and can be arsed with:D ) and get one of these for the bike.

http://www.dogcamsport.co.uk/atc-2000.htm

or get a camera with AV IN not just out. like one of these:

http://www.shopping.com/xPF-Panasonic-NV-GS55

and then you could have one of these:

http://www.dogcamsport.co.uk/dogcampro480.htm

These take great quality vids and camcorder can be safely tucked away in a tank or bum bag. I'll post some that I did when I get a min. (borrowed a friends dogcam for a week or two)

Very few about now with av in and this panasonic was one of the few when they did have it.

Good camera and I just picked up mine for less than £150 off flebay.

Hope this is of some help.
 

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Serial Scenic Router
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oh and yes, before you start rob.... yes I did still have the remote cam over the weekend of the national, and yes I know had I turned up on my bike.....!!

:D :D :D

yeh I know! :jerk:
 

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21st Century Schizoid Man
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2,428 Posts
I've been using my Canon MV630 for some time and love it. Video generally though, does not deal with movement that well - take a look at any pan shot on a modern film at the cinema and you'll see that digital does not deal with movement like film does. That said though, almost any modern camera will do the job as well as any other as far as I can tell and after you've got yourself a firewire connection and popped it into your PC, for about £30, you'll also have a cut down version of whatever editing package (I use mostly Studio 8 - I think they're on Studio 11 now!) and you'll be able to do what you want and have some fun.
They do, however, submit to the rule of advancing technology - anything you buy now will be out of date in about five years... so I suggest that, just like a PC, you get the best you can now and accept that it's not going to last you until you're 80 :)
Oh, and most things will be solid state pretty soon and that's the way I'd go right now if I was buying new. I still use DV tape and to me, it's better than the minidisc and DVD versions that came and went so fast... but that's personal choice is all.
Don't forget that video files are HUGE so there'll be a knock on on your storage requirements...
 

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Wing Commander
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I can't say for HD based recorders but I expect they'd be ok if the unit containing the hard disk is stored in a location relatively free of vibration - but thats just an expectation really - no real experience of that.

Using a normal vid cam for on bike has its downsides..

Tape - works ok to a point and I've found on an @ it's the vibration from engine revs at around 6000rpm upwards that makes the tape bounce against the write head in the camera. This shows up as dropouts on replay.

DVD/MiniDVD etc.. Not recommended as they are very sensitive to movement. You are after all trying to focus a low intensity laser on a surface that's less than 1mm away from the optics which doesn't like vibration at all!

HD - No experience, but I expect it'd be better than tape.

Solid state - Easily the most reliable but suffers from the lowest storage capacity.

Whatever you do, isolating the camera from vibration seems to make the most difference. Personally I use a bit of neoprene between the camera and mount point which allows a bit of give. I'm sure this also extends the life of your camera as the internal mechanics are bound to be quite flimsy..

Another point (and another reason) for using a small bullet cam type thing instead of a full blown vid cam for bike work is dust. A bullet cam is almost air tight compared to a regular video camera and trust me, dust will get in it and eventually will be present behind the lens and show up on everything else you record.

As for the camera itself... I've done heaps of research on this and it's easy to get overwhelmed by the sales pitch. My conclusion was the range of 3ccd Panasonics gave the most natural colour balance and sharpness of picture, plus they usually had a good complement of features such as AV in which is the all important one for hooking up an external camera.

The website I used mainly to review this was http://www.camcorderinfo.com/

I guess a lot of this is common sense but I didn't want High Definition (HD) as storing and editing those files once transferred to a PC are huge.. Also if you're not intending to get a HD telly then why bother?
 
L

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Solid state - Easily the most reliable but suffers from the lowest storage capacity.
?????????????????????

A mini DVD is only 2.66GB with DVD at 8.5GB (and that's the dual layer versions, you can get double sided though not recommended) where memory cards currently have 8GB capacities with the 16GB ones just around the corner.

Kymmy :cool:
 

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?????????????????????

A mini DVD is only 2.66GB with DVD at 8.5GB (and that's the dual layer versions, you can get double sided though not recommended) where memory cards currently have 8GB capacities with the 16GB ones just around the corner.

Kymmy :cool:
Correct on that one, but you're quoting latest and greatest instead of most economical. I'm thinking overall, cost per Gb etc.. tape can store an hours worth of footage *without* compression for £1.50 whereas solid state would cost around £40 for an 8Gb card. DVD's are also on a par with tape for cost.

I'd rather have 10 tapes to play with that cost me £15 quid instead of 10 cards that cost me £400..

The downside to tape is that it has moving parts but I've (touch wood) never had one fail yet. I'm certain that solid state will win in the end but in the meantime it's about 25 times more expensive than tape or DVD.

I guess the other major factor is this. There are comparatively few video cameras manufactured using solid state instead of tape etc.. So why reduce your choices down or pay for something that is exotic/bleeding edge when if all your after is recording video.. tape will do nicely thanks ;-)
 

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21st Century Schizoid Man
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I'm a tape fan but am interested in what solid state's going to do
 
L

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Tapes always been more economical, I just pointed out that solid state wasn't the least capacity anymore.

The original point of mentioning solid state on the first place was purely as being the best for vibration proofing.

Kymmy :cool:
 
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