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Old Mar 26, 2006, 2:01 PM   #1
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I know this is a DigiCam site, but I can't find anything similar for Camcorders so am hoping to find some basic advice from the forum where I feel most comfortable.

What camcorders would you recommend I take a closer look at?

Professional/Consumer? I'm not making Hollywood movies here, just home movies of family life. I want HD quality though for enjoying treasured moments decades from now, to the extent technology and my wallet will allow. I already do not particularly enjoy watching VHS camcorder movies on our HD TV, so feel the HD level is a must. I do not have a preference between 720p and 1080i at the moment, but I do want 16x9.

Budget? Under $2000. The closer to $1000 the better, but heck, the closer to Free the better too. The XL H1 is outside the possible budget. If the greatest piece of sliced cheese is a little over $2000, that will work too.

Size? Portability is definitely a consideration, but takes a backseat to quality of images. I have medium-large hands for a guy with slightly slender fingers for my size (6').

Stills? I'd like the option to take stills with the camera also, but it is useless to me if the stills are not in the ~3MP range at least. Concurrent video and stills is a plus.

Storage? MiniDV seems the best choice for me, but I'm not set on that. I'd prefer to avoid MemoryStick and and other proprietary storage cards for stills, but I'm not going to avoid a camcorder for that reason.

Light? Will often be using indoors and outdoors with less than optimal lighting conditions, low light, etc. A camera that can perform better in these areas will be more useful to me. The Nikon 995 and Olympus C-5050Z have Quicktime ability that is almost completely useless for me with their inability to take a decent movie clip in anything short of bright light. (I know those are a far cry from a decent camcorder, but they are the only experience I have to provide as examples.)

Zoom? Some of the scenes I want to capture would involve my daughter in sporting events. Even with a telephoto lens on my C-5050Z, she is often too far away on the pitch to grab a useful image.

Durability? It rains a lot in some of the places I would want to use the camera (Seattle area) so I don't want anything that is really sensitive to a little moisture. I'll take precautions to ensure it doesn't get drenched of course, so don't need waterproof. Although an underwater housing option would be a plus as I'm considering getting back into SCUBA.

Any other aspects I should be considering when I research these cameras?

Thanks in advance.

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