Did you get one yet? I picked my DH’s brain about differences in cameras as he’s familiar with cameras through his work. Here is his 2cents:
If he were to buy a new one that was less than $500 he’d go for the Sony Handycam DCR-HC21 or similar (similar because Sony changes model #'s frequently). Why?
First off, it’s a Sony and Sony has a great name (well earned) in the video camera industry-that doesn’t mean all the other companies are bad, but Sony knows how to make a good camera. It’s the reliable, dependable camera that will last you many years (he said if it were a car, it would be a Honda–you get it, it runs, no worries). Sony has great customer support should you need it.
It takes Mini DV tapes. He likes this over a hard drive because a.) you record to the tape as your original recording, and you will always have it. With a hard drive, you record over the original (but you have a copy of it on your pc). b.) there is no pressure to download what you have on your hardrive to free up space on your camera (and no stress that you forgot to download when you are miles away from home and don’t have enough memory) You just put in a new tape c.) If something happens to the camera on your trip, you have your recordings on a tape, not on a hard drive that has shut down.
It has a 3+ megapixel on a still image. It’s small, light and good for indoor or outdoor use. And it’s a good price Again, this is just his opinion, but like I said, he works with cameras and knows a good bit about them.
Buzz gave you a good site to read about cameras. When you find a camera you like, shop around online and in stores as the price can vary a lot. Take your model’s number to www.streetprices.com and do a search for it. This is an electronics site that keeps tabs on what the big dogs (and some little dogs) are selling electronics for. Some sites DH has bought from, and I have as well, are B&H Photo, Abes of Maine, ecost, buydig and etronics. We have only had positive experience with these online companies.
Panasonic’s model of this camera would be his second choice, but I don’t have a model # for you. FWIW, we have a JVC, but it was a gift from JVC and it’s an excellent camera, but it’s a professional grade and that is another ball of wax. He would have gone with the Sony like this if we bought one because it does what we need it to do.
If you buy online make sure it is ‘BRAND NEW’, and not ‘refurbished’ or ‘demo in box’. It will say on the page. Sometimes it is obvious, sometimes not, but it is there, so look for it.
Good luck! :mickey: