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Old Sep 22, 2009, 11:42 AM   #1
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Default Holy crap, what happened to the camcorder market?

After being out of the loop for the last 2 years I decided to go look for a new camcorder. (as mentioned in the last post I made) Well, what a surprise I got.

CAMCORDERS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE and yet STILL COST THE SAME!!

All camcorders under $400 now use CMOS sensors at 640x480 resolution (even for stills) and have very, very bad lux ratings.

What could possibly have created this trend?

Why is it for $99 I can buy a really nice digital camera with a 1/2.33 inch CCD that can take 10 MP stills, and which happens to have a movie mode that can record 640x480?

My theory - consumers can't really tell the difference between good quality SD recordings and HD recordings. So in order to get consumers to pay the extra for the HD camcorders, they are all conspiring to make crappy SD camcorders.
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 5:54 PM   #2
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Well, I have four Canon HF100.
The model which followed, and the model which followed in turn, both had lower performance at low light than the HF10/HF100

Now Canon is selling an HF-S100 which has much poorer low-light performance, and a huge-looking lens which is in reality no better than the generations-old HF100.

IMO, we are seeing the result of marketing gone crazy...

ps: try to grab an old HF10 or HF100 refurb. Tiger Direct has had them for around $499 from time to time... Remember, however, that I am primarily interested in 24p, and this is the only camcorder which does it well. Other users have complained about the auto white-balance of the HF100, while I just correct any problems in post-production... YMMV
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 8:22 PM   #3
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This reminds me of cars in general. they used to be made to last. now they are made to break and crumble at the slightest impact for the 'safety' of the driver.
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Old Oct 2, 2009, 6:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
After being out of the loop for the last 2 years I decided to go look for a new camcorder. (as mentioned in the last post I made) Well, what a surprise I got.

CAMCORDERS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE and yet STILL COST THE SAME!!

All camcorders under $400 now use CMOS sensors at 640x480 resolution (even for stills) and have very, very bad lux ratings.

What could possibly have created this trend?

Why is it for $99 I can buy a really nice digital camera with a 1/2.33 inch CCD that can take 10 MP stills, and which happens to have a movie mode that can record 640x480?

My theory - consumers can't really tell the difference between good quality SD recordings and HD recordings. So in order to get consumers to pay the extra for the HD camcorders, they are all conspiring to make crappy SD camcorders.
They have gotten a lot better actually. Maybe some are going through as season of dumbing down the performance of their lower end products.

I was around in the time that camcorders got really woeful from micro sensor sizes bad tech, low latitude high noise, and we kicked up a fuss, and launched DIY digital cinema projects, and the manufacturers came around. It is not that they think the general public cannot tell the difference, they just want people top pay 10-1000 times the price, and make more money and support more prestige and enterprise.

Around here we can by hd cameras for less than $100 dollars that out perform many SD cameras from 1993-4 that cost a lot more. We can get 1080p cameras for less than $200n that also outperform them.

Canon has improved the quality of their cameras through the HV line, first the 10 then the 20, then the 30, how much more past that I do not know, but the last one I looked at was the one that had 24mb/s video mode.

Sanyo offers the HD2000 fullHD p60 with 24mb/s, but have not examined that yet.

Sony has had major success with the sr12, which was significantly better than the previous cmos camera that was way better than other HD cameras, and what they are like lately i do not know, but their latest senors are better again.

Panasonic has apparently improved in recent years, as with JVC.

Samsung offered a major improvement, and good low light, in the HMX20. They have a new lineup, but I do not know how good they are.

The latest bunch of under $200 cameras appear better again. If you see 640*480 cameras, they are unlikely to be good, or based on the technology that many of the cheap HD cameras use.
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