1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Looking for a new camcorder.

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Energize, 12 Nov 2010.

  1. Energize

    Caporegime

    Joined: 12 Mar 2004

    Posts: 28,953

    Location: England

    I recently purchased the Sony DCRSX33ES for £150 but was very disappointed with it's performance, dull colours, noisy in indoor lighting, interlaced, 90min battery life, mpeg2 encoding, auto focus noise during playback, worse video quality than my Fuji S8000 compact camera! The only advantage was the better white balance and DVD resolution as opposed to VGA. Can anyone recommend a better camera around the same price range please? :)
     
  2. Fr0dders

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 33,329

    Location: West Yorks

    i struggle with the noisy video in indoor lighting on my £500 camera

    not sure if you're going to find one for £150 that doesnt do that. If you do i'd love to know !
     
  3. mrthingyx

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 3 Apr 2003

    Posts: 15,577

    Location: Cambridge

    For that kind of money you're going to struggle.

    With camcorders, indoor shooting always presents problems mainly due to the size of the sensors used: they're just not big enough and the data rate isn't high enough.

    Your best option for indoor work will probably be a second hand HD cam, actually, from somebody like Panasonic or Canon.

    Beyond this, for £150, it's a bit of a carp-shoot really as £150 camcorders aren't going to be brilliant.
     
  4. Energize

    Caporegime

    Joined: 12 Mar 2004

    Posts: 28,953

    Location: England

    My Fuji compact wasn't that bad though, the Sony is worse despite being a camcorder!

    Why don't they use larger sensors like still cameras? Compact cameras have larger sensors than this camcorder. Guess I'll have to go looking on ebay.
     
    Last edited: 12 Nov 2010
  5. mrthingyx

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 3 Apr 2003

    Posts: 15,577

    Location: Cambridge

    There is a reason I didn't buy a Sony camcorder... ;)

    On a slightly more serious note, unless you want basic output it would appear that you have to splash the cash (for a camcorder, at least). Bizarrely, however, the main difference between using a camera with film capabilities and a camcorder is the ease of use: my bro decided to goof around with my old Panasonic SD9 on his stag do and enjoyed it more than filming with his Canon 5dMk2 even though the latter has infinitely better video quality...


    Where would you like to start? Cost? Complexity? Justification? In a £150 camcorder, people are (no offence meant at all) generally going to look for something "that just shoots video" and not be fussed about much else.

    The Sony NEX series of cameras offer an interesting proposition as they have a very large (comparatively speaking) sensor which takes video. Unsurprisingly, this same sensor also features in their latest pro-sumer camcorder.

    When I bought my original SD9, it was the best on the market at the price point. I traded up for a Canon HF200 (£200 more) and the image quality was like night and day it was that much better. For yet another £200 more a year later and the quality is that much further on again... but you're paying £700-odd for the privilege, when you could throw that much at a Canon 550D and trump them all.
     
  6. Energize

    Caporegime

    Joined: 12 Mar 2004

    Posts: 28,953

    Location: England

    Surely those looking for something that just shoots video would buy a £50 camcorder out of the Argos catalogue rather than spend £150 on a decent brand one?

    I certainly expected better quality than my still camera for something that costs more than it, are you saying that it's better just to use a decent 1/1.6 still camera for video rather than a camcorder at the same price point?
     
  7. AtticusFinch

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Jul 2010

    Posts: 1,537

    Location: London

    I think the point is that you can't expect too much from a £150 camcorder. The canon legrias are good but start at around £300.
     
  8. Fr0dders

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 33,329

    Location: West Yorks

    £150 isnt a lot of money

    As already said, i'm struggling with noise problems with indoor lighting on my £500 camera

    Your best off upping your budget or abandoning the idea altogether and as already mentioned, get a camera that also happens to shoot video.
     
  9. Energize

    Caporegime

    Joined: 12 Mar 2004

    Posts: 28,953

    Location: England

    Do you think an E-PL1 would fare better? They seem to be going for around £200.
     
  10. Fr0dders

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 33,329

    Location: West Yorks

  11. sketch145

    Hitman

    Joined: 2 Mar 2009

    Posts: 577

    The E-P1 is very good for video in low light, better than any camcorder I've owned (most recent of which being a Canon HF200)

    I tried it out for the first time at a gig last night and was blown away by the quality, I used it with a 55mm f1.8 m42 mount mamiya-sekor (110mm equivalent on the E-P1) so in the video it's manual focus, and I was in the crowd so the footage is a little shaky (Dreadzone certainly got the crowd moving :D) To put the light levels into perspective I was at ISO 3200 and f1.8 to get a shutter speed of 1/60th...

    Here's the video

    I was impressed, it will also autofocus quite well with the kit lens as well.

    I believe the E-PL1 video is as good or better so if you can pick up one for a good price it will definitely give you quality in low light, at the expense of ease of use (it does take a little more effort to shoot video this way)
     
  12. mrthingyx

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 3 Apr 2003

    Posts: 15,577

    Location: Cambridge

    Same principle as the Sony NEX series of cameras: DSLR-class sensor in a compact.

    So much better than pretty much any handycam I can think of.