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View Full Version : Digital Camcorder suggestions.


nicknamy1996
06-17-2004, 02:01 PM
I have seen a few posts for digital camera recommendations, how about some help for a digital camcorder.

I am thinking about taking the plunge and buying one and have no idea where to start. I was looking on bestbuy.com and there are tons of choices. I was curious what some of you thought perhaps about specific models but more so about what features I need and what I can pass on.

Can you (with any) upload the digital files to your computer to digitally splice them, play with the transitions, etc... then upload it back to the camera to be copied on to VCR tape or DVD-R? (I do not have a DVD recorder... yet, not even for my PC) I guess that's a whole new question... I have a lot of VCR tapes of home movies (WDW of course) If I were to buy a DVD recorder for my PC is there a way to input from video tape to it? What about output from my pc dvd player to my tv? Wow now I guess I'm asking alot. Here's the thing. My DVD player is broke and I've never had a dvd recorder but now I want one so why buy a player if I'm going to buy a recorder someday (hopefully soon) My camcorder battery is dead again (and my camcorder is old and 1/2 broken too so I don't want to drop 50? bucks on a new battery for a cheap beat up camcorder. So I want to go digital, now when I do that I will want to be able to burn onto dvd (in an edited from pc format if possible) And if I can't output to my new DVD recorder I will need to buy one for my PC too. SO is there a way I can get away with just one recorder pc or regular?

Thank you.
Hopefully I didn't confuse you all too much.

WDW_DV
06-17-2004, 04:22 PM
Some very basic answers that will hopefully help you ask the right questions when shopping. Bbackground info: I have a Canon ZR-60 mini-DV and love it. It uses tiny digital tapes, good for one hour at best quality, two hours at lesser quality.

Can you (with any) upload the digital files to your computer to digitally splice them, play with the transitions, etc... then upload it back to the camera to be copied on to VCR tape or DVD-R?

Yes, you can. You may need to buy a firewire or USB cable to connect to the PC, but this is a fairly standard feature. There is a variety of software available for editing and outputting back to tape or making DVD once you have a burner (some may come with your camcorder). Windows movie maker on XP will do this as well, and with no additional out-of pocket expense.


I have a lot of VCR tapes of home movies (WDW of course) If I were to buy a DVD recorder for my PC is there a way to input from video tape to it?

You have two options here. One, you can hook up your digital camcorder to the source tape and record a digital copy - then transfer to your computer. If that sounds like a lot of work (it is!), then when you shop for a camera look for a model that will do pass-through recording. What this means is you can hook up your VCR to the camera, and the camera to the computer and record on the computer directly from the VCR. This may hike the price of the camera quite a bit though. As an alternative (OK., that's three options), you can get USB hardware for under $100 that will do this task for you, and probably with fewer headaches. One example is the Pinnacle Dazzle Fusion. http://www.pinnaclesys.com/ProductPage_n.asp?Product_ID=1429&Langue_ID=7
(I am not endorsing this product, and have not used it. I include it as an example only)

Good luck with the shopping. I predict you will be thrilled with the quality of digital video!

nicknamy1996
06-18-2004, 02:02 PM
Thank you. That Dazzle looks pretty awesome.

A question you will probably be able to help with.

What does "Timeline-based authoring for DVD, VCD, and S-VCD" mean?

Does that mean I design my dvd w/ chapters/titles (not on the video portion but on the layout... like a store bought DVD menu?)

The RCA inputs would come in handy.

WDW_DV
06-21-2004, 08:17 PM
I haven't made the DVD burning leap yet myself, but from what I understand most PC-based burner come with a utility like Sonic MyDVD that will allow for a chapter based menu. Not sure about stand-alone DVD-recorders. Be sure to ask about this when shopping for drives.