Purchase a Camcorder

Updated on November 19, 2008
J.H. asks from Shawnee, KS
6 answers

I was thinking of purchasing a camcorder. I am completely overwhelmed of the selection and all the options to purchasing the right camcorder for our family. I have a 4 year old boy and a 18 month old boy. It won't be long before I am taping all the sporting events and school functions and not to mention all the random entertainment we do around the house. I have looked at several reviews and just can't decide which is best. The two options I am considering are a Mini DV or Hard disk (HDD). Please help I'm trying to capture my boys growing up (and it's all happening to fast)!!!

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answers from St. Joseph on

I have a Sony Camcorder that uses the mini DVDs and I really like it since I don't have to transfer the files to anything. Something to keep in mind though...how much are you realistically going to watch this stuff? HONESTLY...I bought the camcorder but beyond taping the first steps and stuff I haven't done a lot with it, even on vacation. From someone who hates to lug stuff around, my recommendation would be to get something that is lightweight and easy to handle. I will tell you that much like the digital cameras, the screens are hard to see if you are in broad daylight so you might want to consider something with the good old eye hole (like the ones we grew up with) to see through...if they even still have something like that.

To me the most important things besides quality pictures were the battery life, file storage, and ease of use. My Sony also has the ability to take still pictures which is really cool for not having to switch between a digital camera and the camcorder...You may want to look at a high end digital camera...they also do short video recordings. I took one to a Doodlebops performance and got like 2 minutes of a song on one recording and probably could have gotten a longer one. I would also recommend that whatever store you buy it from have a return policy...if you get it home and don't like it or it isn't what you thought it would be you should be able to take it back.



answers from Kansas City on

I wish I could help you, but I still have a big VSH one that we never use! I've been wanting a new smaller one myself, so I can't wait to see the responses. Hope they help!



answers from Kansas City on

We've had several camcorders over the years, but my husband just bought the new Flip camcorder (we figured it wouldn't capture a very good picture), but we were pleasantly surprised!! It fits in your pocket or purse so you will have it at more events than you would have a bigger one. It has limitations, but its price (under $200) makes it a great starting place. We've used ours so much more than we have the big camcorder lately.



answers from Kansas City on

I have been through 3 camcorders. I do not recommend any that take tapes as you just forget to transfer them to dvd and if the camcorder ends up quitting you are stuck with all these tapes you didn't copy which is how we ended up with 2 8mm camcorders because the tapes we had and no one else we knew had the 8mm to get the tapes on DVD. I think my next one will be one that actually makes it on the DVD already so I don't have to take the time to copy them off of the camera and you need a DVD recorder to copy them to as well. You will also want to find one that the battery last longer than an hour because when your kids get older and are in plays you will want it to last longer than 30-45 minutes.



answers from Joplin on

I have a mini dv and a Flip Video and I never get out the mini. The flip is so easy to use, captures great quality, and can be easily taken anywhere to catch on the fly moments. Plus it uses regular double A batteries so its easy to change without having to wait for the mini to charge. The mini sucks through it's battery so quick. I would highly recommend the Flip.



answers from Kansas City on

My husband says the HDD is the better choice of the two you are considering. And cheaper in the long run because you don't have to keep buying discs. They also tend to be a little lighter to hold. Good luck :)

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