by alan.t
16 replies
Hey friends,

I'm planning to get a video cam to do some simple short video clips of myself speaking on various topics and uploading them to sites like youtube etc.

I was surfing around and checking out what are the video cams out in the market that might suit my needs, below are my findings hope you all could advice me and share with me a tip or two.

1. Budget below US$700. Of course the lower the better as I'm not into the video hobby.

2. Kodak Zi8 seems very popular here and able to accept external mic which is good as people need to hear clearly what I'm speaking. Handheld shots seems fuzzy but guess once on a tripod everything will be ok?

3. Sanyo Xacti series, more expensive than Kodak, some people like it, some don't like it but can't accept external mic.

4. Toshiba's Camileo S10 and P30? Can't accept external mic?

5. Video camcorders from brands like Sony, Canon, JVC? Saw that Sony has better lens quality and perform better in low light.

6. Compact digital cameras that are able to shoot video? Or can forget about it as not worth it?

7. Lastly, my mobile phone contract is expiring, I could also consider getting the apple iphone 4 which can shoot HD video, is this any good? Think it can also accept external mic right as it can connect to those headsets with mic?

Will appreciate any advice & tips.

Thank you & have a nice weekend!
#cam #questions #video
  • Profile picture of the author netkid
    Kodak zi8 should be your first vidcam. Like you said, the external mic is priceless. I have the Kodak and the Flip Video Mino. If you are just doing "talking head" videos, either one will do the trick. With Flip, you have to edit the sound part by "jacking" it up full volume and saving it then.

    Don't think too much into it, any vidcam will do. Simpler the better.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Hooper-Kelly
      Hi Alan,

      Congratulations on having the courage to become the 'talent' in your videos.

      Here are a couple of videos I created a while back, showing the difference between a Sony with a single chip and a Panasonic with a 3CCD chip, which has separate chips dedicated to certain parts of the spectrum and so gives better color.


      The other advantage with the Panasonic is it has a headphone socket, which is handy to check your external mike is working before you roll the camera.

      And here's a second video comparing three types of mikes.


      Warmest regards,

      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author alan.t
        Wow netkid & paul thanks for the invaluable advice, appreciate that guys!

        Any more comments, tips, feedback keep them coming in. You see Flip video & Kodak Zi8 is not available here locally so I'm depending on feedback here to make a decision.
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  • Profile picture of the author D_M_S
    Nice chip comaprison
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill_Z
    I just picked up the Zi8 last week and couldn't be happier with it, considering the quality of video, the external mic, and the price.
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    • Profile picture of the author alan.t
      Another happy and satisfied Zi8 user! Thanks for sharing!

      Wonder where's the best online deal for Zi8 now? Amazon?
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      • Profile picture of the author alan.t
        Hooray next week having an IT fair in town but understand Kodak Zi8 will not be available in my country though

        Any recommendations on where to get good deals for it? Realised Amazon also selling the kit set, wonder if worth it or not?
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        • Profile picture of the author alan.t
          Just saw from Cnet looks like the mini camcorder sector is heating up... Kodak launches new Playtouch with touch screen feature and Sanyo Xacti VPC-PD2 with optical zoom function!
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  • Profile picture of the author ~kev~
    If your looking for a good quality camera, I suggest you look at the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS.

    It takes pictures up to 12 megapixel and films video in either High Definition 1,280 x 720 or Standard Definition 640X480. I think it also records the video sound in stereo.

    With an estimated retail price of $399.99, its not going to break your budget.

    My wife has the PowerShot SX20 IS, and she loves it. We have taken it to concerts, and used it in low light, the macro feature is perfect,,,,,, its just a great camera.
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    • Profile picture of the author alan.t
      Hey Kev thanks for the recommendation! Just did some quick search even saw people doing some MTV style video shots with this camera pretty cool though not sure if they did much video processing work after the shoot or not. Overall pretty impressive specs! Pity it cannot take external mic and size wise a little big.
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      • Profile picture of the author mcmahanusa
        I have the Flip, and like other posters, do not like the inability to use an external mic, so have ordered the Kodak. When my videos make me rich, I will invest in something more professional.
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        • Profile picture of the author alan.t
          Thanks for sharing mcmahanusa. Good point there.

          Wondering with all these new video cam models out, Kodak's Zi8 has been around in the market for more than a year, hope the price will drop man.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Thompson
    I bought the Zi8 also. It's great. The home movies I've made (my kids swimming, etc) have turned out great. My wife also used it on a tripod to record a 1 hour fitness class as part of a training qualification she needed to achieve. Quality was outstanding.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hoopatang
    Paul those videos were great. You could really tell the difference with the 3CCD camera, and with the different types of mics. I never realized lapel mics were so inexpensive; have never looked into it but just assumed they'd be $60 or so.

    Love the accent, too!
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