Best Bang for the Buck in an Inexpensive Digital Video Camera
October 10, 2008 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Best bang for the buck in an inexpensive digital video camera?

I'm looking to replace a 10-year-old Sony MiniDV camera which was lost. My wife (a teacher) uses it primarily for making film projects with her students. These are burned to DVD for the students and sometimes projected onto a large screen.

We're on a tight budget and are looking for a consumer-grade camera, preferably in the $2-300 range, although this could stretch to $500 if absolutely necessary).

-Video quality must be roughly equivalent to the MiniDV (or better).
-Storage must handle at least 1-2 hours of video at this quality (compression isn't a problem unless it's noticeably degrading to a non-expert's eye).
-Must have decent zooming capabilities
-Storage medium is negotiable. She's accustomed to MiniDV but I think flash/card/hard drive storage storage would be faster/more convenient for sorting through footage and transferring to PC.
-PC interface is also negotiable -- firewire, USB, memory card, or DVD would be acceptable -- again, convenience and speed for transfer and editing (in Premiere Elements) are priorities.
-Built-in mic is necessary, but the option to connect an external mic would be appreciated.

Any suggestions on a small camera that will give us the most bang for $2-300 bucks? Thanks
posted by Alabaster to Technology (1 answer total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The Canon ZR930 seems well-received (currently $235 at Amazon), but I've never used one.
posted by exogenous at 7:45 PM on October 10, 2008

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