T Nation

Digital Cameras/Camcorders

I’m looking for advice from all of the T-Nation photogs out there, or anybody who’s bought a digital camera recently.

I’m looking to buy one as a gift for my sister for her birthday; I’m looking to spend around $200 although I’d be fine going up to $300 if the quality was worth it.

My plan was originally just to buy a digital camera that had some movie capability, but in browsing online I am seeing plenty of digital camcorders that are basically in the same price range. I figured I would have to pay more for the expanded video capability but some of them are very reasonably priced.

I don’t need a top of the line product, I’m looking for something fairly easy to operate that can take decent stills and also possibly some action shots. I’d also like the possibility to take some video.

I am looking at this product:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8775943&type=product&id=1204332008907

It seems the only downside would be the sound quality but that is not a big concern at all. Most of the videos that would be captured would be sporting events where sound quality is relatively unimportant. The USB interface seems fairly easy to hook up to a computer and it’s compatible with the SD cards so I can get something like a 2 or 4GB card that would be able to store plenty of video and they aren’t that expensive.

Anybody have any thoughts or other recommendations? Any brands to stay away from or to specifically buy?

Thanks.

I wouldn’t go with that. The photo quality will probably be less than decent.

What is your main goal here? A good camera for photos or video? I would base your final decision on that.

I’m a big fan of Kodak digital cameras and many good digital cameras now can take decent video assuming you’re not looking for DVD quality.

Take into account what your sister will use it for most and go from there. Also, the size of the camera is important.
I have a really nice Kodak with a 12x zoom that I wanted for sporting events, but lugging it around sucks for daily use or if we go out somewhere.

I work at best buy and that camera is shitty. As a matter of fact most camcorders for $300 are shitty. There all going to be MiniDV and i would spend the money at the very least to get a DVD camcorder. Also stick with sony/canon/panasonic or if you have there are some ok jvcs. DO NOT buy a samsung. Internal HD camcorders are worth the money.

I was actually looking for a camcorder for an upcoming trip to Italy. I have had my eye out on some Sony and Canon camcorders. EG, since you work at Best Buy can you offer some of your insight to what is a good camera, and what to stay away from?

Get a digital camera that records in Divx for movies and has no limit on recording time, only limited by the size of the memory card.

My Casio EX-Z750 is badass for doing that. It’s discontinued now, but I’d look for a Casio (I think they ALL record in Divx) if movie recording and picture taking are your priorities. Besides, it does the recording in I believe 30 fps, which is badass, and it zooms while recording.

If you just want badass photographic ability, especially in low light, see if you can find a Fuji F30d. Battery lasts a while, too.

I read up on digital camera news everyday and have used quite a few of them.

You pretty much pay what you get for. The Sony SR12 is going to be about the nicest camera we carry in my store. I know some stores only carry the SR11 and 10. The only difference between the 12 and 11 is the 12 has 120gb hd and the 11 has 60. The 10 has a slightly smaller screen, 40gb hd, and less megapixels. They also shoot in 1080i.

JVC just came out with a new camcorder that shoots in widescreen AND 1080p which is pretty sick thats really the only JVC i would recomend.

Obviously you get what you pay for but I’m sure there’s some cameras you can get for under $300 that will take decent pictures and some video.

I’d like to get a flash memory camera, that’s why I picked that other one out earlier.

[quote]EG wrote:
You pretty much pay what you get for. The Sony SR12 is going to be about the nicest camera we carry in my store. I know some stores only carry the SR11 and 10. The only difference between the 12 and 11 is the 12 has 120gb hd and the 11 has 60. The 10 has a slightly smaller screen, 40gb hd, and less megapixels. They also shoot in 1080i.

JVC just came out with a new camcorder that shoots in widescreen AND 1080p which is pretty sick thats really the only JVC i would recomend.[/quote]

Keep in mind that yes, while shooting in 1080p handheld IS sick, the chip required to process that data vs a 1080i stream probably uses substantially more power, and hence the battery life of the unit I bet is not that great.

If anything, you should look at the CCD sensor size used in the camera (some might have CMOS). The larger the fraction, the larger the sensor, and hence the better low-light quality of the images.

For instance, most digital cameras now have a 1/2.7" sensor, whereas my Casio has a 1/1.8". I’m sure you can do the math. A smaller sensor, if pushed to the limits of a larger sensor, will produce more digital noise.

Yes, there is noise reduction software, but that makes the image blurry in most cases.

But if she’s just shooting silly little clips of her half-naked sorority sisters pillow fighting, then I guess you just need something to output YouTube quality video. You know, so as to be compatible with the T-Nation servers :wink:

Are these battery packs rechargeable like DLSR’s?