Question about Mini DV Camcorders

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by johnw_cerm@yahoo.com, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. Guest

    I have a old hunker JVC VHS-C Camcorder. It does the job, however its
    bulky, and cannot plug into my computers without a Video Capture
    device, which can be hard to find these days.

    I played with some of the newer Mini DV and DVD-RAM (Sony and Panasonic
    under $1000) camcorders, and was impressed with the size, however was
    not impressed with the writing speed of the DVD-RAM Camcorders, and was
    not impressed with the camcorders ability to record in low light
    conditions. It seemed to me, that when the light was on, my hand
    movement got slow. Why is this? The Salesguy at Fry's said that this is
    just a issue with digital camcorders. I told him that my old honker
    VHS-C camcorder does not have this problem. Recording with the light on
    is fine, and things do not slow down.

    Maybe one day I might get a new camcorder that will work with my ibook,
    and uses Mini DV tapes (as I was not impressed with this DVD-RAM
    format). DVD-RAM Camcorders take too long to write to the discs.

    Anyone have any recommendations?


    Thanks,


    John
     
    , Dec 23, 2006
    #1
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  2. PTravel Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I have a old hunker JVC VHS-C Camcorder. It does the job, however its
    > bulky, and cannot plug into my computers without a Video Capture
    > device, which can be hard to find these days.
    >
    > I played with some of the newer Mini DV and DVD-RAM (Sony and Panasonic
    > under $1000) camcorders, and was impressed with the size, however was
    > not impressed with the writing speed of the DVD-RAM Camcorders, and was
    > not impressed with the camcorders ability to record in low light
    > conditions. It seemed to me, that when the light was on, my hand
    > movement got slow. Why is this? The Salesguy at Fry's said that this is
    > just a issue with digital camcorders. I told him that my old honker
    > VHS-C camcorder does not have this problem. Recording with the light on
    > is fine, and things dono not slow down.
    >
    > Maybe one day I might get a new camcorder that will work with my ibook,
    > and uses Mini DV tapes (as I was not impressed with this DVD-RAM
    > format). DVD-RAM Camcorders take too long to write to the discs.
    >
    > Anyone have any recommendations?
    >


    The newer digital cameras in the consumer range has small, densely-packed
    sensors. This is done to cut down on weight and size, and to facilitate
    still imaging. However, it has a very detrimental effect on low-light
    sensitivity. Look for a camcorder with at least 1/4" sensors, and 1/3"
    sensors are better. To get really good low-light response, you'll have to
    buy a prosumer model, which costs twice your budget.

    Though video quality is as much a function of lens and electronics quality
    as it is digital format, all things being equal, a miniDV camcorder will
    produce noticeably better video than a DVD camcorder.


    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    >
    > John
    >
     
    PTravel, Dec 23, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Guest

    Why is it that my old VHS-C Camcorder (which cost about $700 in 2001)
    and still costs about $200 (at Walmart) today records well in low
    light?

    Its just strange why a older one can do better.

    I guess the small size is not always better.


    John


    PTravel wrote:
    > <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > >I have a old hunker JVC VHS-C Camcorder. It does the job, however its
    > > bulky, and cannot plug into my computers without a Video Capture
    > > device, which can be hard to find these days.
    > >
    > > I played with some of the newer Mini DV and DVD-RAM (Sony and Panasonic
    > > under $1000) camcorders, and was impressed with the size, however was
    > > not impressed with the writing speed of the DVD-RAM Camcorders, and was
    > > not impressed with the camcorders ability to record in low light
    > > conditions. It seemed to me, that when the light was on, my hand
    > > movement got slow. Why is this? The Salesguy at Fry's said that this is
    > > just a issue with digital camcorders. I told him that my old honker
    > > VHS-C camcorder does not have this problem. Recording with the light on
    > > is fine, and things dono not slow down.
    > >
    > > Maybe one day I might get a new camcorder that will work with my ibook,
    > > and uses Mini DV tapes (as I was not impressed with this DVD-RAM
    > > format). DVD-RAM Camcorders take too long to write to the discs.
    > >
    > > Anyone have any recommendations?
    > >

    >
    > The newer digital cameras in the consumer range has small, densely-packed
    > sensors. This is done to cut down on weight and size, and to facilitate
    > still imaging. However, it has a very detrimental effect on low-light
    > sensitivity. Look for a camcorder with at least 1/4" sensors, and 1/3"
    > sensors are better. To get really good low-light response, you'll have to
    > buy a prosumer model, which costs twice your budget.
    >
    > Though video quality is as much a function of lens and electronics quality
    > as it is digital format, all things being equal, a miniDV camcorder will
    > produce noticeably better video than a DVD camcorder.
    >
    >
    > >
    > > Thanks,
    > >
    > >
    > > John
    > >
     
    , Dec 23, 2006
    #3
  4. <> wrote ...
    > Why is it that my old VHS-C Camcorder (which cost about $700 in 2001)
    > and still costs about $200 (at Walmart) today records well in low
    > light?


    Ptravel explained that larger imaging chips generally do
    better in low light. You likely have at least a 1/3 inch
    chip in that old VHS-C camcorder.

    > Its just strange why a older one can do better.


    Your definition of "better" appears to be good low-light
    performance. Alas few (if any?) vendors of consumer
    camcorders agree with that. Easier/cheaper to offer
    "features" like black & white, "sepiatone", fancy transitions,
    and still image functionality. None of which contribute to
    the ability to make good video in any way. :-(

    > I guess the small size is not always better.


    At least not for the imaging chips.
     
    Richard Crowley, Dec 23, 2006
    #4
  5. <> wrote in message news:...
    >I have a old hunker JVC VHS-C Camcorder. It does the job, however its
    > bulky, and cannot plug into my computers without a Video Capture
    > device, which can be hard to find these days.
    >
    > I played with some of the newer Mini DV and DVD-RAM (Sony and Panasonic
    > under $1000) camcorders, and was impressed with the size, however was
    > not impressed with the writing speed of the DVD-RAM Camcorders, and was
    > not impressed with the camcorders ability to record in low light
    > conditions. It seemed to me, that when the light was on, my hand
    > movement got slow. Why is this? The Salesguy at Fry's said that this is
    > just a issue with digital camcorders. I told him that my old honker
    > VHS-C camcorder does not have this problem. Recording with the light on
    > is fine, and things do not slow down.
    >
    > Maybe one day I might get a new camcorder that will work with my ibook,
    > and uses Mini DV tapes (as I was not impressed with this DVD-RAM
    > format). DVD-RAM Camcorders take too long to write to the discs.
    >
    > Anyone have any recommendations?


    The other responders in the group answered well - but
    I thought I would point out my camcorder articles at
    www.ferrario.com/ruether/articles.html#video (see particularly
    www.ferrario.com/ruether/camcorder--comparison.htm
    for 3-chip vs. 1-chip, and different sized chips in three different
    light levels). BTW, I have the TRV900 and VX2000 for sale
    in LN condition, and both are excellent in low light.
    --
    David Ruether


    http://www.ferrario.com/ruether
     
    David Ruether, Dec 23, 2006
    #5
  6. <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I have a old hunker JVC VHS-C Camcorder. It does the job, however its
    > bulky, and cannot plug into my computers without a Video Capture
    > device, which can be hard to find these days.
    >
    > I played with some of the newer Mini DV and DVD-RAM (Sony and Panasonic
    > under $1000) camcorders, and was impressed with the size, however was
    > not impressed with the writing speed of the DVD-RAM Camcorders, and was
    > not impressed with the camcorders ability to record in low light
    > conditions. It seemed to me, that when the light was on, my hand
    > movement got slow. Why is this? The Salesguy at Fry's said that this is
    > just a issue with digital camcorders. I told him that my old honker
    > VHS-C camcorder does not have this problem. Recording with the light on
    > is fine, and things do not slow down.
    >
    > Maybe one day I might get a new camcorder that will work with my ibook,
    > and uses Mini DV tapes (as I was not impressed with this DVD-RAM
    > format). DVD-RAM Camcorders take too long to write to the discs.
    >
    > Anyone have any recommendations?
    >
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    >
    > John
    >


    If you were to ask me, I'm not impressed with the overall quality these
    little camcorders bring to the table. Check with David about his VX2000. If
    it's within your budget snap it up.

    mark_
     
    mark_digitalĀ©, Dec 23, 2006
    #6
  7. Guest

    Thanks so much. I guess I'll have to bit the bullet on that feature if
    I get a new Camcorder. For know my VHS-C JVC works, but I would not
    mind getting a smaller and far more compact model one day. I am also
    running out of room for those old hunker VHS-C tapes.

    The quality on most of the mini DV camcorders is far superior anyways
    (just not in low light).

    It also would be nice to be able to connect my camcorder to my
    computers and export a video. Can I export them to web friendly videos?

    Take a look at my video page.

    http://www.cerm.info/movies.htm

    Most of these videos were captured with digital cameras, but a few were
    captured with my Palm Pilot. The Kodak Digital camera outputs about
    20MB a minute videos which are large downloads for most users.

    But the Palm Pilot outputs I think 2MB a minute videos. The quality is
    tons crappier, but the videos look as nice as any Camera phone.

    If I bought a new Camcorder could I set the conversion settings to
    output web friendly videos?


    John


    Richard Crowley wrote:
    > <> wrote ...
    > > Why is it that my old VHS-C Camcorder (which cost about $700 in 2001)
    > > and still costs about $200 (at Walmart) today records well in low
    > > light?

    >
    > Ptravel explained that larger imaging chips generally do
    > better in low light. You likely have at least a 1/3 inch
    > chip in that old VHS-C camcorder.
    >
    > > Its just strange why a older one can do better.

    >
    > Your definition of "better" appears to be good low-light
    > performance. Alas few (if any?) vendors of consumer
    > camcorders agree with that. Easier/cheaper to offer
    > "features" like black & white, "sepiatone", fancy transitions,
    > and still image functionality. None of which contribute to
    > the ability to make good video in any way. :-(
    >
    > > I guess the small size is not always better.

    >
    > At least not for the imaging chips.
     
    , Dec 23, 2006
    #7
  8. Bill Funk Guest

    On 23 Dec 2006 11:38:23 -0800, wrote:

    >Thanks so much. I guess I'll have to bit the bullet on that feature if
    >I get a new Camcorder. For know my VHS-C JVC works, but I would not
    >mind getting a smaller and far more compact model one day. I am also
    >running out of room for those old hunker VHS-C tapes.
    >
    >The quality on most of the mini DV camcorders is far superior anyways
    >(just not in low light).
    >
    >It also would be nice to be able to connect my camcorder to my
    >computers and export a video. Can I export them to web friendly videos?
    >
    >Take a look at my video page.
    >
    >http://www.cerm.info/movies.htm
    >
    >Most of these videos were captured with digital cameras, but a few were
    >captured with my Palm Pilot. The Kodak Digital camera outputs about
    >20MB a minute videos which are large downloads for most users.
    >
    >But the Palm Pilot outputs I think 2MB a minute videos. The quality is
    >tons crappier, but the videos look as nice as any Camera phone.
    >
    >If I bought a new Camcorder could I set the conversion settings to
    >output web friendly videos?
    >
    >
    >John


    With a mini-DV camera, you'll download the video to your computer
    using a Firewire port, using a video editing application; there's
    usually one included with the camera. In the editor, you can easily
    set the output quality.
    Here's a clip from several years back using Pinnacle Studio:
    http://www.pippina.com/images/f117-1.wmv
    Studio will let you set the output from full frame (720x480) down to
    some small file sizes that, of course, will make for smaller videos
    and poorer quality.
    --
    Bill Funk
    replace "g" with "a"
     
    Bill Funk, Dec 23, 2006
    #8
  9. ? <> ?????? ??? ??????
    news:...
    > I have a old hunker JVC VHS-C Camcorder. It does the job, however its
    > bulky, and cannot plug into my computers without a Video Capture
    > device, which can be hard to find these days.
    >
    > I played with some of the newer Mini DV and DVD-RAM (Sony and Panasonic
    > under $1000) camcorders, and was impressed with the size, however was
    > not impressed with the writing speed of the DVD-RAM Camcorders, and was
    > not impressed with the camcorders ability to record in low light
    > conditions.
    >

    Do you possibly mean dvd (+-R or +- RW) camcorders?Because I think that the
    DVD RAM format is discontinued.
    >It seemed to me, that when the light was on, my hand
    > movement got slow. Why is this? The Salesguy at Fry's said that this is
    > just a issue with digital camcorders. I told him that my old honker
    > VHS-C camcorder does not have this problem.

    That sounds strange.I used to have a sony 8mm camcorder and now a sony dcr
    hc 32e mini dv camcorder.The former wouldn't record at all under low light,
    while the new one shoots excellently under almost any lightning conditions.


    > Recording with the light on
    > is fine, and things do not slow down.
    >

    You mean with the built in spot light on?Do you mean with "slow down" that
    frames are dropped, or the camera goes to slow shutter speeds to compensate
    for low light (I think that sony calls this slow colour shutter mode, alas
    recording with ambient light in low light conditions)or do you possibly mean
    that the steady shot engages to compensate for camera movement, due to slow
    shutter speeds etc.?


    > Maybe one day I might get a new camcorder that will work with my ibook,
    > and uses Mini DV tapes (as I was not impressed with this DVD-RAM
    > format). DVD-RAM Camcorders take too long to write to the discs.
    >

    What do you mean with that?DVD camcorders record at real time, also 1 X
    speed.
    Digital video is entirely different than analogue.Not only the quality is
    dramatically increased (not forgetting the sound quality, too).You can edit,
    add effects, menus at will on your computer.


    --
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios
    major in electrical engineering
    mechanized infantry reservist
    dimtzort AT otenet DOT gr
    > Anyone have any recommendations?
    >
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    >
    > John
    >
     
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios, Dec 23, 2006
    #9
  10. In article <>,
    wrote:

    > I have a old hunker JVC VHS-C Camcorder. It does the job, however its
    > bulky, and cannot plug into my computers without a Video Capture
    > device, which can be hard to find these days.


    Video capture cards and external analog to DV converters which plug into
    the firewire port are not hard to find at all! In fact, with more and
    more people wanting to preserve their video tape collection, they are
    only becoming more and more available.
     
    David Matthew Wood, Dec 23, 2006
    #10
  11. PTravel Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Why is it that my old VHS-C Camcorder (which cost about $700 in 2001)
    > and still costs about $200 (at Walmart) today records well in low
    > light?


    It has a larger sensor (probably much larger) than the current crop of
    consumer camcorders.

    >
    > Its just strange why a older one can do better.
    >
    > I guess the small size is not always better.


    Definitely not in this case.

    >
    >
    > John
    >
    >
    > PTravel wrote:
    >> <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >> >I have a old hunker JVC VHS-C Camcorder. It does the job, however its
    >> > bulky, and cannot plug into my computers without a Video Capture
    >> > device, which can be hard to find these days.
    >> >
    >> > I played with some of the newer Mini DV and DVD-RAM (Sony and Panasonic
    >> > under $1000) camcorders, and was impressed with the size, however was
    >> > not impressed with the writing speed of the DVD-RAM Camcorders, and was
    >> > not impressed with the camcorders ability to record in low light
    >> > conditions. It seemed to me, that when the light was on, my hand
    >> > movement got slow. Why is this? The Salesguy at Fry's said that this is
    >> > just a issue with digital camcorders. I told him that my old honker
    >> > VHS-C camcorder does not have this problem. Recording with the light on
    >> > is fine, and things dono not slow down.
    >> >
    >> > Maybe one day I might get a new camcorder that will work with my ibook,
    >> > and uses Mini DV tapes (as I was not impressed with this DVD-RAM
    >> > format). DVD-RAM Camcorders take too long to write to the discs.
    >> >
    >> > Anyone have any recommendations?
    >> >

    >>
    >> The newer digital cameras in the consumer range has small, densely-packed
    >> sensors. This is done to cut down on weight and size, and to facilitate
    >> still imaging. However, it has a very detrimental effect on low-light
    >> sensitivity. Look for a camcorder with at least 1/4" sensors, and 1/3"
    >> sensors are better. To get really good low-light response, you'll have
    >> to
    >> buy a prosumer model, which costs twice your budget.
    >>
    >> Though video quality is as much a function of lens and electronics
    >> quality
    >> as it is digital format, all things being equal, a miniDV camcorder will
    >> produce noticeably better video than a DVD camcorder.
    >>
    >>
    >> >
    >> > Thanks,
    >> >
    >> >
    >> > John
    >> >

    >
     
    PTravel, Dec 24, 2006
    #11
  12. Ken Maltby Guest

    "David Matthew Wood" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <>,
    > wrote:
    >
    >> I have a old hunker JVC VHS-C Camcorder. It does the job, however its
    >> bulky, and cannot plug into my computers without a Video Capture
    >> device, which can be hard to find these days.

    >
    > Video capture cards and external analog to DV converters which plug into
    > the firewire port are not hard to find at all! In fact, with more and
    > more people wanting to preserve their video tape collection, they are
    > only becoming more and more available.


    There are several ways to go using such a camera. I think I'll have
    www.geeks.com send me one for $99.99.
    http://www.geeks.com:80/details.asp...tml-_-23DEC06_YEARENDCLEAR-_-YEARENDCLEARmain

    I've had pretty good luck with their refurbished items.

    Think I'll use it mostly to do some green screen work or
    model table work. That assumes it can be set to run
    without taping, and output to my capture card(s).

    It has some pretty useful features (including manual WB),
    for a $100 camera. I might try setting one up as a surveillance
    camera, as well. On a powered pan and scan mount and with
    its 20x optical zoom, you could have performance that exceeds
    many professional surveillance camera setups costing several
    thousands of dollars.

    Is this model anything like your's? GR-AXM17US

    Luck;
    Ken
     
    Ken Maltby, Dec 24, 2006
    #12
  13. Guest

    wrote:
    > I have a old hunker JVC VHS-C Camcorder. It does the job, however its
    > bulky, and cannot plug into my computers without a Video Capture
    > device, which can be hard to find these days.
    >
    > I played with some of the newer Mini DV and DVD-RAM (Sony and Panasonic
    > under $1000) camcorders, and was impressed with the size, however was
    > not impressed with the writing speed of the DVD-RAM Camcorders, and was
    > not impressed with the camcorders ability to record in low light
    > conditions. It seemed to me, that when the light was on, my hand
    > movement got slow. Why is this? The Salesguy at Fry's said that this is
    > just a issue with digital camcorders. I told him that my old honker
    > VHS-C camcorder does not have this problem. Recording with the light on
    > is fine, and things do not slow down.
    >
    > Maybe one day I might get a new camcorder that will work with my ibook,
    > and uses Mini DV tapes (as I was not impressed with this DVD-RAM
    > format). DVD-RAM Camcorders take too long to write to the discs.
    >
    > Anyone have any recommendations?
    >
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    >
    > John


    Depends on the make and model of the MiniDV camera. We have several.
    A couple are better than any VHS camcorder we have, others are not. We
    have one MiniDV that indeed is not a very good low light level camera,
    but has other features we like.

    As others have pointed out, CCD size is an issue, as is the aperture
    diameter of the lens (bigger is better - in other words, the low f/#).
    Generally more expensive cameras have better lenses and larger sensors,
    but not always. You need to use a lot of resources to really be a wise
    shopper/purchaser. Read all the reviews you can find.
     
    , Dec 24, 2006
    #13
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