What type of video camera?


I’ve been thinking about getting a new video camera for our May trip. We have a 9 year old 8mm video camera that works just fine but it’s too big to take to WDW. I’m looking at a new digital camera but I don’t know where to begin.

What should I look for in a digital video camera?

Is it worth it to spend the money ($600-700) for one with a hard drive?

Do I want a camera that burns to a small DVD?

What type of video camera do you have? Do you like it? What would you do differently if you could buy one again?

I’ll take any help I can get at this point.


We have a small sony digital that takes the digital 8 tapes.

I like being able to transfer the movies onto full-length DVDs , rather than have a camcorder that transfers them directly to those small DVDs.

I think since yours is 9-years old, you’ll be amazed at how advanced the new ones are.

I’m not to technical , as to what you shoudl look for, but I do believe it’s time for a new one DT!


Believe me, I know! We looked at Best Buy yesterday and I really didn’t know what to look for. My DH liked the $700 Sony (I think) that had a 30 Gig harddrive. No tapes, no CDs just a harddrive that would hold 7-14 hours of video. I’m not sure either one of us want to drop that much on a camera right now.


I know the feeling.
I am right now looking into a new digial “picture” camera, and the one I want is 800 bucks!!

Oh yeah, here is a good site to read reviews on different camers:


I would stick with the tapes over the small DVD’s for now. Mini DV or Dig 8 they all do so much and have good picture quality that it comes down to what works for you. :smile:


Steph, I have a cute small one…it’s a JVC and it uses the really small tapes. It is GREAT! Lots of features, small, compact and light and we love it. And it’s pretty cheap, too!!! (under $300)


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 :wink: 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:


I bought the Cannon Optura last year just for our Disney trip and I couldn’t be happier with it. It has great easy to use features and the video comes out crystal clear. I did some research on the video camera that records straight to DVD and it mentioned that you will hear a faint whirling sound in the background, that comes the DVD spinning inside the camera. Hope this helps a little.


Just a quick tip!!

I just bought a new Sony HC96. Haven’t received it yet, bummer. I love my new toys, but I did find out that you want to find a camcorder that has a higher image sensor or ones that have more then 1 ccd. Our new camera has a 1/3" image sensor. We tried one with a 1/6 image sensor and the video during the day (inside) was a bit grainy, it was really noticable. Now with a bigger sensor comes more $$$. What the guy told me was this with the bigger sensors, you have more light coming in and a more natural picture. I will let you know if this one is better.


I have a JVC that uses the mini DV’s and it also takes a memory card for still photos. I absolutely love the size of it, and its very easy to use. Its small, not too heavy to carry around, and the movies all come out great and so do the photos!


Thank you for ALL the information. I’m going to print this out and take it with us when we go shopping next time. I"m not sure when we’re going to buy one but we really need to do something since our current video camera is so out of date.


Thanks for the thread! We were just looking at these lastnight and I am so confused. I really want to get one but I dont want something that is hard to figure out. I want something easy! :mickey:


We actually did something different instead of a video camera. We are not big video people. None of us wants to stand there forever with the camera and kind of miss seeing whatever it is. Anyway, our digital camera takes long enough little videos for us and then we have the camera with us and it is small. I know you want a video camera but I thought I would just add that for those who’s old video cameras did nothing but collect dust like ours did.


You know, this is also a very good option. My digital camera can do videos as well, and they have come out great!


Along the lines of this, on our last WDW trip I took many digital pics. I took about 300 hundred of these and put it into a slide show. I also added disney music and titles. It really turned out great. I burned it to a DVD and now my kids can watch this anytime. It was a blast to do, very time consuming, but it was well worth it.