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Old Sep 23, 2010, 7:10 PM   #1
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Default HD camcorder under $100

Hey All,

I've lurked for a bit, but I haven't found what I'm looking for yet and hoping the forum can help. I'm currently learning to fly and want to take along a camcorder to help document the experience. I have an old Sony TRV310(think that's the model) which I can hook up via firewire to download video, but it's clunky and old and takes forever. So I'm looking for something new.

First off, the camcorder must have a mic input, as I'm recording in-cockpit audio via the intercom (I have an attenuating cord that plugs in). Second, under $100 please (I don't mind if it's a refurb). Third minimum 720p, would prefer 1080p.

I've considered the Aiptek Hi Speed HD from walmart at $86 and/or a refurbed Kodak ZI8 from Amazon.

Any suggestions?
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 7:25 PM   #2
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I suggest go wit the Kodak Zi8, 130.00 new. around 80, at Neweg.com or amazon like you said

the low level will be better, the Ext mic imput is adjustable and will do just fine. I need notto persuede, my videos arenot Perfect, but let others persuede you.
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 7:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for your comments. How is the mic input adjustable? Is that an in-camera menu or a dial on the outside?
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 10:53 PM   #4
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I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on the Aiptek Hi Speed. At $70 new at Amazon, it's pretty tempting.
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 11:50 PM   #5
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ZI8 on sale for $69 (not sure with shipping but definitely under $100)

http://www.adorama.com/IKKZI8BKR.htm...utm_term=Other
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 5:23 AM   #6
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http://www.walmart.com/ip/Aiptek-Hi-Speed-HD/10965670

1. There is a full topic on this, the Kodak zi8.

2. electronic adjustment in settings, every time cam is turned on you set to a desired level and when you turn off, it goes back to norm.

Take my word:

You are Comparing Apples to Oranges on this one, I will say ALL, not most, aipteks do not do well under a Low Level Shot or shotsm that are how a person uses the cam.

I suggest before you Purchase the Aiptek, go online , to youtube, and find videos watch and ask questions.

I stand clear of this model.

I do not think its worth the price because itsold for 69.99 at new, has audio crackle, of one person I chatted with, and that can be his cam, the cam etc,

You;ll not gat any evening shot after the sun is in a set mode, no cam at midnight why mysig may say no light no video.......

do not take my word.. I just know its not worth it..... go with what you like best

swival can seee what you're filming vs a cell type gotta guess.

I have yet to find a swival type or pistol one that will be as perfect as the Kodak zi8,
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 11:38 AM   #7
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Thanks Fishy and HD. ZI8 it is. Any reason why I should wait for the new models to come out or is it safe to buy now for best price?
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 12:58 PM   #8
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LEt say this. I waited for a new model to come out, Sept it did, and a called the Sanyo PD2 I bought it, and yesterday it wen down 40 dollars for one day. no reason to wait or not.

I as well will say look at the Playtouch but your budget is LOW.

tehy are popping up now the new ones. but not under 100.00 sorry.

I cannot emphisize , stress. but as i said in the above, now its your choice.
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Old Sep 24, 2010, 4:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pack66 View Post
I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on the Aiptek Hi Speed. At $70 new at Amazon, it's pretty tempting.
I got an Aiptek Hi-Speed HD for around $40 on eBay, and that's the most I'd pay for it. The image quality in bright lighting is good, but even with an external microphone the audio quality is terrible, and the low lighting performance is poor. The Kodak Zi8 is a MUCH better camcorder for not much more money.

That being said, even your old Sony tape camcorder will have advantages in certain situations due to its CCD image sensor, autofocus, optical zoom, and optical image stabilization. There is simply no budget-priced HD camcorder available today which has all four of those features.

The Zi8 does give you a macro mode switch for doing close-ups and "electronic" image stabilization, but that is still no substitute for true autofocus and SteadyShot. And if you do any zooming at all, the lack of quality in these HD camcorders' digital zoom will quickly become obvious compared to real optical zoom.

So even if you do get a new HD camcorder, I suggest keeping the old Sony around for the situations in which its extra features will be of great benefit to the video you are recording.
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Old Sep 25, 2010, 1:55 PM   #10
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The Sony does a nice job. I am actually fairly happy with it, but it's more convenience issues which makes me want to switch it out.

This camera is primarily being used for in-cockpit audio/video while I learn to fly. The issues I have with the TRV-310 are:

-Downloading to a computer takes forever as it plays the recording and the computer records...thus an hour video takes an hour to download. I'm assuming going all digital means just copying a large file over to the computer.

-Space and Size: The Sony is huge and heavy compared to a hybrid, which is bad in an airplane where space and weight are at a premium. I use a tripod to record with, but am thinking about moving to a suction cup set up and using the Sony, although feasible, might not be the best due to it's weight.

-Time: I can only record for an hour on the Hi8 tape I have. I'd like to record longer. I understand battery life may or may not be an issue, but that can be changed with a better battery.

-Picture Quality: While the 310 is DVD quality, I'd like to go HD.
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