The Sony DCR-HC36 MiniDV Handycam is a budget camcorder that takes adequate video in daylight, but its poor performance in low light will be a problem if you want to shoot videos indoors—at a party, for instance.
The Panasonic PV-GS500 MiniDV is a great pick for shooters who want the benefit of automatic control and the flexibility of manual control. And it takes great-looking video and stills.
The Panasonic PV-GS300 MiniDV is a great choice for shooters who don’t mind spending a little extra for quality, but who don’t want to lay out a lot of cash for a high-end camera.
Here’s a guide to some technical terms and jargon you’re likely to encounter, as well as some tips to get you started.
Before you can tap into your inner Spielberg, you need a video camera. To help you find the right one, I’ll lead you through your list of options and explain which features make a difference and which you can live without. I’ll also share a few surefire tricks for getting great video every time.
When it comes to making movies that people will actually want to watch, getting a good video camera is only part of the battle. You also need to know how to use your camera. For video you can be proud of, follow these ten simple rules.
Although MiniDV remains the most popular choice among Mac users, it's not your only option. Base your decision on how much money you're willing to spend, whether you want to edit your video, and how picky you are about video quality.
Some would say that we need another camcorder format like we need a hole in the head, but that hasn't stopped the manufacturers from doing it anyway.
The V570 delivers high image quality and provides a wide zoom range in a compact package, but short battery life and a few quirks reduce its appeal.
Despite the Coolpix P2’s wireless connectivity and some advanced controls, this camera’s unexceptional image quality and limited battery life fail to justify its price.
Overall, the Fujifilm FinePix E900 is a good choice for people who want the simplicity of a point-and-shoot and the ability to take control when required. Its high-quality images and ease of use add to its value.
In the end, the Olympus FE-120 will appeal mostly to people who are happy with automatic modes. Experienced photographers would likely find the lack of manual controls frustrating.
With its fairly good image quality and compact design, the Casio Exilim EX-S600 is a fine choice for people on the go.
The Kodak EasyShare C663 is a reasonably good camera at a good price. Its image quality is good, and it offers most of the features that point-and-shoot users will need.
The Canon SD430 is attractively styled, and has good image quality and zoom range. But considering its poor battery life and noisy operation, its price isn’t entirely justified.