View Full Version : What is a good digital camcorder for a reasonable price?

Jeremy Z
01-22-2006, 01:05 PM
These are the features I'm going to look for, based on my photography background:

Long optical zoom, at least 10X. 20X shouldn't be a problem to find
A manual focusing ring, not push-button. From seeing some videos on the net where the camcorder doesn't know that the plane is the subject instead of the empty sky, I'd like to have this control.
Image stabilization, optical if I can afford it, digital will do if I can't. I've seen too many plane videos where the videographer zooms in with a lot of zeal, then realizes he/she can't keep the plane in the frame.
MiniDV format, for widespread compatibility and easy editing
Not Sony, if I can help it. In my experience, their stuff, especially camcorders tends to be very delicate, with buttons wearing out prematurely.
3 CCD if I can afford it, one will do if I can't.
< $500Other thoughts?

Jeremy Z
01-23-2006, 01:16 AM
Well, if anyone's interested, I got a Panasonic PV-GS29. It's got a 30X optical zoom, one CCD (decided I don't need color separation), basically everything in my list besides the manufal focusing ring and 3CCDs.

It doesn't seem like there's an appropriate forum for this type of post. Posts in the Aerial Photograph forum get moved unless they're pertaining to a camera mounted to a plane. This one is not mounted to a plane, nor will it ever be, so I posted it in the General forum, but it got bounced back here. C'est la vie.

If all goes well, I'll post some videos soon.


01-24-2006, 05:30 PM
I have a Sharp, VL-NZ100 and it works pretty good---- most of the time.
It does not like humidity at all. Also requires you run the cleaning tape through it about every hour of recording. Do like its low light performance.

Check out this site for cameras:



Jeremy Z
01-25-2006, 03:56 AM
Update: I had to exchange the PV-GS29 for a -39. The 29 didn't have a USB or DV hookup capability!!

My wife shot the first aerial video with it today. Flying the Overlord in 35+ mph winds. It was quite interesting.