Digital videocam?

Anyone have good recomendations on these? I’m not ready for HD, it would be cool to have HD video of me and my family but it looks like it’s a $500 difference.

I’m leaning towards a Sony just because I bought the PSP and it would be cool to take family videos around with me and be able to only have to buy one type of memory stick but I’m totally open to other brands.

Anyone know of any super great deals or sites that tend to have super great deals? What kind of features should I be looking for? I’m still in the Hi-8 age.

How much are you willing to spend?

Technically there’s no such thing as a HD videocam, it’s HDV which is a slightly different format (inferior to true HD) but obviously better than standard DV. I reckon Sony make the best camcorders out there, but that’s probably because I’ve used consumer and professional versions of them for years and they just work for me. If you can afford one, you’re probably better off going HDV instead of Standard Def especially if you’re likely to invest in a hi-def TV in the fairly near future - otherwise you might end up being disappointed when you upgrade.

The trouble with HDV cameras, though, is it’s an emerging technology and the field will look very different in a year’s time. Standard DV cameras on the other hand have had a few years to iron out the kinks. Still, if you’re on the fence I’d recommend the Sony HDR SR5 - a good compromise between affordability and HDV, plus it’s a hard disk based recorder so no faffing with tapes. It’s also pretty tiny and very portable, which is what you need. The SR7 and 8 are better, with higher resolutions and more disk space, but perhaps a bit much for what you need. Of course, with a hard disk recorder you’ll need to do plenty of archiving if you want to keep your footage - burning the best bits onto DVD, or backing it all up onto hard drives. Sometimes, those little miniDV tapes don’t seem quite so bad!

Check out the DVD-based and memory stick based recorders as well, but I think neither are as good as hard drive based systems. Memory stick recorders at least are more future proof as the capacity of those sticks improves each year, but you still have the same archiving problems to address.

That’s just a summary from my perspective, but ultimately you should go try different ones out. Figure out what system works best for you, demand that the store allows you to playback the results on a standard def and high def TV, and make your choice.

yeah HDV is good but is 400 lines less than true HD. No big deal for most human eyes.Hell, most local news this is what they are running for HD.

I recently got a Canon HV20. It’s been pretty fantastic so far. It records to tape, but that’s what I wanted. Much easier to keep an archive that way.