Help me move from DV to HD
May 8, 2010 9:47 PM   Subscribe

Anyone know a review site for camcorders, or have a recommendation for semi-pro level camcorders? Also a lot of file format and storage questions included.

My workplace is in the market for some new camcorders. I am that lucky shopper, basically because I know anything about them, instead of nothing. I'm a very adept photographer and follow that industry closely, but I've only worked with DV video cameras. We currently use three Canon GL-2s to document our research and testing. We're looking to move to from DV tapes to SD cards.

First, I'm wondering if there is a site out there that's like dpreview, but for camcorders. The intarwebs are clogged with sites, but I don't know which are legit or which are just shill sites. I love dpreview because of how in depth their testing is. I want to see samples, I want to know the little technical hangups.

Second, my boss is partial to Canon video cameras (mostly because Nikon doesn't make one), but I am partial to Panasonic. I like their Leica lenses and I think their image stabilization is second to none. Also they use 3 sensors that are larger than the Canon's. Am I overlooking anything? Are there any other brands we should be looking at? We're talking the top top of the line consumer versions, the pro versions are way out of our range, especially x3.

Third, I am unsure about the formats of the new cameras. Many don't state what files they record to. AVCHD or something else? Whats the industry standard here, and more importantly, what plays nicely with Adobe Premiere Pro and Encore? Playing nicely with Premiere is probably top of the list.

And fourth, what do I do about storage. This is a business that regularly works in the legal field. I need files to be available to edit (and we have that covered with a few TB drives on our "media computer"), but also be stored, in their original format, and secure. Currently we just store our DV tapes and that's that. How do I go about doing that with the new format? I was thinking of burning hard copies to DVDs, or using a removable hard drive, or using an online service. Or a combination of all of them. Anything to stop from using a new SD card for each test or file, though that's not out of the question, we do charge for the use of our cameras. That could also get pricey. What are the long term (4-5 years) storage options?
posted by sanka to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Have you checked I've found them very objective and thorough for all gadgets.
posted by TheBones at 10:12 PM on May 8, 2010

Camcorder HQ includes reviews from actual owners and a variety of prices from merchants and stores across the web.
posted by netbros at 10:17 PM on May 8, 2010 is a great site. The Panasonic HDC-TM700K is a great top-of-the-line consumer HD camcorder. IMHO, the Sony CX-550V beats it slightly in terms of image stabilization (especially when shooting while walking) and low light performance. I'm pretty sure all the top level HD camcorder consumer cameras shoot in AVCHD.
posted by jaimev at 12:40 AM on May 9, 2010

See also: consumer reviews on Newegg.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:48 AM on May 9, 2010

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