Equipment->Reviews: April 2010 Archives

I was recently asked by several people to recommend digital camcorders. While I've previously recommended tape-based HDV camcorders, I'm now recommending SHDC flash memory based camcorders for most people. Flash memory is now very cheap and so is hard drive space.

I personally use a Canon Vixia HF100 high-def digital camcorder to tape meetings and talks here at school.

CanonHF200.jpgThe current model is the HF200 which is listed at around $750. You also have to budget for a
16 gigabyte SD card ($50~), tripod ($100), and microphone ($50).

If your budget is less, then I think the Canon Vixia FS21 at $400 would be
just fine. You lose high-def but if you're just uploading to the web,
then high-def is overkill. You'd still need to get an 8 gigabyte SD
card, tripod, and mic.

Be sure to buy a good tripod as most cheap tripods have plastic heads that herk-and-jerk when you try to pan or tilt. If you've ever used a good fluid head, it's hard to go back to el-cheapo tripod. Personally, i wouldn't touch a tripod under $300, but I realize that's not in most people's budgets.

The AVC format that these cameras used makes it fairly easy to dump the video to your harddrive and then onto a DVD for archival purposes. AVC isn't terribly great for intensive editing since it's highly compressed, but it's not terrible either with today's fast CPUs.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Equipment->Reviews category from April 2010.

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