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* Official Black Friday CAMCORDER Thread *


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#1 i-bystander  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 11, 2005 - 1:00 pm

We are seeing so many new threads about the various camcorders that we are going to have one central thread for discussion. This post will be updated shortly with information about each model available, and you can discuss them as much as you'd like in this thread :)

Best Buy
* Panasonic PV-GS31 MiniDV Camcorder w/ 26x Optical Zoom - $249.99 *
* Sony DCR-DVD92 DVD Camcorder - $499.99

CompUSA
* Aiptek Mini Camcorder - $49.99
* Sony DCR-DVD92 DVD Camcorder w/ Free DVD Player - $599.99
* Canon DC10 DVD Camcroder w/ Free DVD Player - $749.99

Radio Shack
* Optimus 5-in-1 Digital Camcorder - $89.99 AR

Sears
* Canon ZR100 MiniDV Camcorder - $249.99
* Hitachi DZ-MV730A DVD Camcorder - $399.99
* JVC GR-D250US Mini-DV Camcorder - $269.99
* Panasonic PV-L354 VHS-C Camcorder - $189.99
* Sony DCR-TRV280 Digital 8 Camcorder - $269.99
* Sony DCR-DVD92 DVD Camcorder - $549.99

Wal-Mart
* JVC GR-D244US MiniDV Digital Camcorder - $248.00 *

#2 disneytati  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 11, 2005 - 5:05 pm

Do you guys think Walmart will have the Panasonic Mini DV camcorder that BB has on sale? Maybe I could price match...

#3 Steakgoddess  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 11, 2005 - 8:20 pm

Tell me about the minidv camcorders. Can a regular DVD player play these things or is there an adapter involved?

#4 BLKFRI  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 11, 2005 - 9:44 pm

MiniDv is a "tape" format. It only plays back in the camera, or a MiniDV recorder/player that costs $500 more or less. There is no adapter available to play in a regular VHS vcr or Beta machine. You can transfer the video thru a USB or Firewire to your computer as you "play" it on the camera and then burn it to a DVD. Or use a analog cable to play it on your TV or record to your VCR or standalone DVD recorder. Most times these cables are included with the camera.

#5 disneytati  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 12, 2005 - 4:47 am

MiniDv is a "tape" format. It only plays back in the camera, or a MiniDV recorder/player that costs $500 more or less. There is no adapter available to play in a regular VHS vcr or Beta machine. You can transfer the video thru a USB or Firewire to your computer as you "play" it on the camera and then burn it to a DVD. Or use a analog cable to play it on your TV or record to your VCR or standalone DVD recorder. Most times these cables are included with the camera.


I just hope it's not difficult to transfer the video to my PC and burn it into a DVD...

#6 protege2003  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 12, 2005 - 6:29 am

Is there another miniDV recorder on the last page of the Best Buy ad? I can't quite make out the model but I think it is a Samsung. Thanks, Chris

#7 BLKFRI  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 12, 2005 - 7:43 am

I just hope it's not difficult to transfer the video to my PC and burn it into a DVD...


Its not hard to do, but it does involve a lot of hard drive space. I do this for a living, and one hour of tape transfered to the computer by firewire takes up 12.5 GB of space. Then if you burn it to a DVD, you need space for the temp files the DVD program uses. So your going to need 25+GB of free space for 1 hour of tape. So think about getting a 200 GB HD at one of the sales. They are really cheap now. Fry's has one today for $70 no rebate.

#8 mistereman1  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 12, 2005 - 10:28 am

Transferring to dvd is not difficult using PC. Make sure your PC has the available connection though. Some cams use fire wire and some use USB 2, very rarely both. My Canon uses fire wire and came with a basic editing program which is easy to use. The program allows you to take out all of the mistakes you make and you can even change the sequence of shots if you like. You may also want to check out the ads for editing software in case the cam you buy does not come with any or if you want something more sophisticated. Some stand alone DVD recorders have very limited editing capability, but most have none. If you need to add a fire wire card to your PC it easy and cheap to do so (check Ebay or BF ads for good prices). Windows XP will automatically recognize and install drivers (so did Windows Me for that matter). After editing you can save it back to the MiniDV tape or burn to DVD on your PC. A plus that some cams (Canon included) have is the ability to pass through video from VCR or your old non-dig cam, convert it to digital, and send it to your PC for editing/burning to DVD. Check for that feature if it is something you need to have. I used it to put all of my 8mm cam footage on DVD before I sold it.

#9 ean1879  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 12, 2005 - 10:33 am

Yes, it's a Samsung SCD353. 20x Optical, 900X Digital. MODS, please add this one to the first post in this thread.

#10 threelittlecupcakes  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 12, 2005 - 10:42 am

Does anyone here know anything about the BB Samsung 2MP digital camcorder. The price on BF is $99 AR. It says min 3 per store. What I want is to get my DS who's almost 8 his own camcorder - so the price is right here but not sure on the specs. He is always using mine and I don't want to chance that one getting broken. Who knows, maybe we have a budding movie man here! Or do you have any ideas on something you own that would be better.

#11 disneytati  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 12, 2005 - 12:25 pm

Thanks a lot for the info, guys!!!!! That will help me a lot when I buy my camcorder. How do you think it would work with an 80GB HD? Too little? Maybe I would have to transfer smaller pieces of movie at a time, yeah? Or it would just be too slow, but possible?

#12 btmzx  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 12, 2005 - 10:48 pm

If I'm just looking for a video camera to simply record and then save to my computer (not very large hard drive), what should I get? I had my eye on the JVC GR-D270, but after reading about how the MiniDV's format, I've lost interest.

#13 RossMAN  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 12, 2005 - 10:53 pm

Thanks a lot for the info, guys!!!!! That will help me a lot when I buy my camcorder. How do you think it would work with an 80GB HD? Too little? Maybe I would have to transfer smaller pieces of movie at a time, yeah? Or it would just be too slow, but possible?

Video editing uses a lot of hard drive space. You're better off with 200GB hard drive or more.

I have seen 200GB hard drives on sale for $79.99 or less.

#14 sperdue  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 12, 2005 - 11:01 pm

We sell a LOT of camcorders where I work (shopping network). These are generally all Canon and JVC. I personally favor Canon; it seems to be more user friendly. MiniDV is the major format right now, unless you want to spend $750 on the DVD camcorders that record to an actual DVD. If you want to t'fer to the computer, make sure you have a firewire port. Most we sell t'fer that way and the firewire cable is NOT included. That will cost you $20 or more. Some also have a snapshot mode which will have a photo button that takes a picture to a memory card (also, generally not included); these use the USB cable to t'fer the photo to your pc. If I'm not mistaken, the Canon and JVC models listed above will not have this feature. They just do video. I mentioned this so you would know that feature is available. It really is neat to be able to snap a really good shot while you are doing video as well. Hope this helps :)

#15 BLKFRI  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 13, 2005 - 7:53 am

With the $8 firewire cards I have purchased, they came with a cable. Easy to install and reconized by Windows XP. Even though I use a Canopus card to capture video.

#16 mistereman1  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 13, 2005 - 7:56 am

If I'm just looking for a video camera to simply record and then save to my computer (not very large hard drive), what should I get? I had my eye on the JVC GR-D270, but after reading about how the MiniDV's format, I've lost interest.


As many are saying, you must have the hard drive capacity for any video editing. Get a 160-200gig (bigger is better) drive and install in your pc. You can easily transfer your current drive to it, or just install as a 2nd drive and use its capacity for editing video.
If you can't or don't want to upgrade your PC, you either need to buy DVD camcorder (expensive camera and blank dvd's) or get a stand alone dvd recorder and transfer direct (unedited for the most part) to dvd.

#17 Steakgoddess  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 13, 2005 - 9:47 am

Thank you all for your info. It has helped a lot.

#18 disneytati  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 13, 2005 - 4:41 pm

Thank you all for your info. It has helped a lot.


Yeah, thanks!!!

#19 musafir_huen  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 13, 2005 - 5:35 pm

Please forgive my ignorance as I have never used any camcoder ... what file format I will see If I happen to download the video from minidv tape on my comp (using either firewire or USB2 , whichever is appropriate)..

#20 sperdue  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 13, 2005 - 8:00 pm

Please forgive my ignorance as I have never used any camcoder ... what file format I will see If I happen to download the video from minidv tape on my comp (using either firewire or USB2 , whichever is appropriate)..

That is usually dependant upon the software you use. I believe mine did avi and mpg.

#21 ravi7791  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 14, 2005 - 5:49 am

Most video camera include Firewire connections, so its simple to upload video onto your computer :)

#22 disneytati  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 14, 2005 - 10:21 am

I really hope I can get a bigger HD.. otherwise my aunt will have to buy me a DVD recorder next time she goes to the US...

#23 pj19  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 15, 2005 - 7:02 pm

* Panasonic PV-GS31 MiniDV Camcorder w/ 26x Optical Zoom - $249.99 * Does anyone know if this camcorder is worht getting? I don't care about snapshots, I just wanna record video then download to my computer and burn to DVD. Basically all I care about is that it will last and has decent video quality.

#24 biomajor  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 15, 2005 - 7:19 pm

Panasonic is not a good brand to buy if the model has something called a Dew Detector. This stupid Dew detector supposedly "senses" moisture and shuts off the camcorder. They are faulty in every model they make with this sensor. They cause the camera to permanently shut off and then it's pointless to own LOL I will never buy another Panasonic. I bought a JVC to replace the POS Panasonic.

#25 disneytati  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 16, 2005 - 10:08 am

I don't care about snapshots, I just wanna record video then download to my computer and burn to DVD. Basically all I care about is that it will last and has decent video quality.


Same here!

#26 jipy  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 16, 2005 - 11:16 am

i checked the Panasonic US site and couldnt find the dew detection thing described for this camcorder. if i dont see any other bad reviews for the panasonic camcorder, i am gonna buy that one from BB. cheers

#27 antoin2s  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 16, 2005 - 1:25 pm

Sony DCR-DVD92 DVD Camcorder - $549.99 does anyone know how good of a camera this is. I want to splurge on a good camcorder

#28 madgonad  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 17, 2005 - 9:03 pm

I wouldn't rush to shout-out the praises of JVC camcorders just yet. They have consistently been rated the most unreliable brand available, while Panasonic and Sony tend to be the most reliable.
And I don't know what you mean by dew detection. Most electronics have moisture 'tags' that change color if they have been exposed to moisture. The reason for this is that if you drop your camcorder in the lake and it stops working, the warranty will not cover it. To see what I am talking about look on any cell phone (in the battery area and also on the battery as well) to see one. It will probably be white or pink. The tag doesn't deactivate the device, the device got wet, failed, and the tag will tell the technician why.

#29 Scoottaxi  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 18, 2005 - 8:49 am

Anyone have the model numbers on the Circuit city camcorder deals?

#30 jjrobin  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 18, 2005 - 11:02 am

I have been wanting a camcorder as well. I wanted on that burned to the DVD. So, I am guessing those are WAY to expensive? GRR!




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