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Features in a dv camera?

Posted: Thu Dec 25, 2003 9:06 pm
by Jack
Hi all, since I'm new to the forum, I apologise in advance if this question has already been posted (I did search and found nothing so... here goes).

I'm a relative newcomer to the amateur movie making scene and would like to know what features I should look for in a Digital Video Camera, since I am in the process of purchasing one with the very near-future aim of using it in my hobby of film.

There is such a broad range of cameras out there, I'm currently feeling quite overwhelmed...

Well, thanks for the time, any advice will be greatly appreciated!


Re: Features in a dv camera?

Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2003 8:06 pm
by iMan
Depending on your budget. Sony VX2000 (£2000) or Canon XL1 (£2,200) if you want comsumer miniDV, Sony PD150 (£2,700) if you want DVCAM format (slightly better) or Sony DSR390 (£7,000) if you want professional features like a proper manual focus lens (not a silly servo affair like the other cams I mention here), Sony DSR570 if you want proper native 16:9 widescreen (not fake quality lossy things like XL1 or VX2000), Sony DigiBeta (£25,000) if you want to shoot Eastenders etc, HD (£250,000) if you want to shoot Star Wars.

Sorry fo been so vague, but all the above are dv cameras and you didn't really give us an idea of your budget or requirments.

Happy shopping.

[Editor's note: these are 2003 prices and recommendations.]

Re: Features in a dv camera?

Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 8:58 am
by AN
If I were just starting and had no previous film making experience I would not buy a top end range camera (unless my budget was unlimited).

For starting out, any digital camera will give you hands on experience and produce excellent results. My first film camera was second hand and if restricted money wise you might consider buying second hand too from a reputable dealer. (or Ebay maybe?)

Good luck in putting those images up upon the silver screen.

Re: Features in a dv camera?

Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 9:54 am
by Jack
Thanks to both of you who responded! Finally someone has been able to give me some advice. Unfortunately I am on a very limited budget and don't have the free cash available to invest in a £2000 camera, I'm more looking at the low end range DV cameras such as the Canon MV600's and the like.

My budget is between £300 - £500... I know its incredibly small but at this point it is all I have... Any particular brand you can recomend or features to look out for?


Re: Features in a dv camera?

Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2003 6:52 pm
by AN
I cannot recommend any make as I am not up to date with what is on offer these days.

Why not buy the copies of the camcorder magazines which appear each month, where cameras are listed and their features mentioned? I believe in one you can order photocopies of cameras reviewed from previous
issues. Camcorder User's "DV doctor" on the web may help too. For £300-£500 you will not be able to pick and choose many features.

Great films can be made without any particular feature on the camera at all... It's the man who is behind the lens that counts, not the often very gimmicky features behind, and in it. I have quite a few 'features' on my own camera but have never used them....and never will!


[Editor's note: alas there are far fewer relevant magazines now. is a source of information. ]