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View Full Version : Advice Needed on Camcorder



Seon
04-19-2009, 07:20 AM
I know I can go to Best Buy or any electronic store to get the info but thought I'd asked fellow sniffers. I'm looking to buy a camcorder small and light to mount on my boat to record "hook-ups" when I fish the Columbia river next month for Sturgeon. Nothing fancy, it'll be mounted on the console rail and will be pointed in a fixed positioned.
I see that there are different types...tape (probably outdated), DVD, DVD digital and Digital camcorders. I'll probably buy used thru Craigslist but don't know which model to look for.
Comments?

GOLDENTROUT
04-19-2009, 08:14 AM
Flip video! They sell a few, some hd some just digital ( no tapes or dvd's). I have one with a water proof case for under water stuff. They are very small ( cell phone size) and sell a small tri pod for mounting on a rail or fishing rod if you wanted it there! The base model starts around $150. I have another digital camcorder that cost way more that flat out suck's compaired to my flip!

YakMotor
04-19-2009, 06:15 PM
Before retiring I shot BetaSP (a 90's era TV broadcast format) and the 30 minutes tape it uses weighs more than most consumer camcorders sold today. *The shoulder held camera weighed as much as an anchor, cost about $10,000 (a cheap model)

Bargains offered consumers today blows me away. *I still get the B&H (big New York photo/video store) catalog and I look at pics and read about some of them, but it only shows me how out of touch with the technology I am today. *So, I can't recommend a specific camera, but can offer some things to keep in mind while you're shopping.

First, start at the end. *What will your final presentation be? *YouTube? *A DVD edited to share with others and show just your best stuff? *Or documentation, as shot, meaning you shuttle back and forth to locate and play what interests you.

With tape you MUST shuttle which is very time consuming. *Forget it! *Disc or memory cards allow quick random access. *High definition is GREAT and I love the picture quality. but if you plan to edit you'll need a POWERFUL computer to make it practical. *HD uses a LOT of data so a fast CPU, lots of memory, a quality video card, and HUGE hard drives are in order if you plan to shoot hours of footage. *Oh yeah, if you go HD be sure the software you buy for edit and conversion can handle the file output format of the camera.

I bought a small video camera that used SD memory cards about 5 years ago. *It was one of the first CHEAP memory card cameras and the popular specs used for evaluation (frame rate & resolution) seemed pretty good. *In reality the picture quality was poor, but it served my purpose ... to "ride" on a small radio controlled plane shooting aerial footage. *The foam winged plane got tossed around and much of the footage was difficult to watch. *It was interesting though and I got some pretty neat stuff like the time the plane's battery died and it crashed in a field with a herd of buffalo that came to investigate it as a possible food item. That's me and a friend in the first shot. The rear wheel of the plane is upper right in all.
http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/3280/buffalocrashcombo.jpg

I also attached a Digital8 camcorder to the hull of my yak atop a remote controlled pan/tilt head. *I had a small LCD monitor between my knees so I could "see" thru the lens. *Any side to side movement of the hull ruined the quality of the shots of the western grebes I was trying to get at East Park reservoir. *After a good bit of frustration I took the camcorder off the fancy stuff and went back to shooting hand held.

For getting decent hand held footage I'm a big fan of optical image stabilization. *If held carefully the Sony Digital8 camcorders I have can be used at 10x zoom. *I'm not sure if image stabilization will help footage shot from a camera clamped on a rail. *On a bouncing boat I think it will make a big difference how the static shot is framed. *I'd try to minimize the horizon line of the water as that is where movement will be most disturbing.

Some of the new name brand digital still cameras show impressive "specs" for shooting video. *IMO they've got a ways to go to match dedicated video cameras. *But, if you will only shoot occasional video they may be an option to also consider. *Before plunking down a bunch of money it would be a good idea to checkout user forums for the specific camera and actual everyday guy opinions.

Whoopbass
04-20-2009, 10:08 AM
Flip video or Creative Labs "Vado" sounds perfect for what you need.
They are small, cheap, and shoot decent video.

Creative labs Vado is only $79.99 with free shipping if you order it from their site.
http://us.creative.com/products/product.asp?product=17761

I like the Vado better since it's cheaper and has a rechargeable battery.
I bought the Vado at Christmas time and they threw in an extra battery and a free charger.
They have a HD unit for $229.00. It was on sale for $149 about a month ago.
You might find em cheaper on ebay.

You can also see reviews for both camcorders on youtube.

Mickey_Thomas
04-20-2009, 01:38 PM
No need to mount it Noe, just hire a college girl to ride on board and take the shots needed to get what you want ;):D Keep it simple ;D ;D