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I want to buy a camcorder but I don't know much about them. Does anyone out there have a camcorder that they would reccomend?

I was looking into some of the Sony Handycam models, there are so many that its hard to follow. I just want to buy one in the $300 area, nothing to fancy.

I plan on having one by the time N11 gets here, so I can bring it with me.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, I usually stay on top of new gadgets and devices, but I've been in the dark about video camera's for a long time. Thanks!
 

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i purchased a sony handycam several months ago, HC30 i believe. I'd get something abain that is a mini DV, not 8mm or dvd. haven't used it too much but very nice. touch screen lcd and picked up some accesories, like filters for outside and a firewire cable for the mac. overall that one was easy to use. i bought it off a place in NY via the web and with a warranty, but kinda regret getting the warranty since i hardly use it. the camcorder was alomost 100 less than at a store, sears and even best buy. also got a promotional coupon, so check the website (sony) to see if they are running anything extra. i got the hc30 over the next model up beacuse of the color screen and i did't need to upgrade the pixel resolution for it during snapshots-that's what a high pixel digicam is for. one thing you might want to consider is what kind of videos are you going to shoot? are you going to be doing any editing or just showing off? most digicams let you record given that you have a high capacity memory card. i think i've used my digicam to record more than the camcorder.
I was looking to stick within the canon or sony family of camcorders.
 

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I agree with all the information given above. I've been in the retail sales business for quite a few years. I definately recommend a camera that uses the MiniDV format. The cameras are generally much smaller than anything that uses the 8mm or the horrible VHS-C. And I recommend staying away from Sony's Digital 8 camcorders.

If you are going to be doing any video editing then MiniDV is definately the way to go. Just remember that you will need a firewire card and cable...which you can generally purchased together to save some money. Plus they usually include a descent video editing program to allow you to create VCDs or DVDs.

Never buy a camcorder based on a the digital zoom or still picture resolution. A modest priced digital cam will always do better than any camcorder.

And about which brands to buy that is mostly personal preference. I generally prefer Canon, Sony, Panasonic and JVC brand camcorders. The last two usually offer the most features for the money especially JVC.
 
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