Which mini-dv/still camera
January 16, 2006 11:39 AM   Subscribe

My 5 year old jvc dvm90 minidv/still camera just gave up. It's my only digital still camera, so I want to get another, but don't have much money now. I was always disappointed by the low light filming any way. So, do I get an equivalent for ~$300 or go for a used "prosumer" like the canon xi, Panasonic 953, etc. for about$450 to $500 if possible(craigslist, ebay)?

The camera worked great until last weekend when the power led stayed on whether switched on or not. Then degraded to being totally unresponsive, I guess I have to disassemble it to get my tape out (has christmas video).
I would like my next camera to be good at digital stills and low light. I think some sonys are the best at low light, but seem to be crappy at stills. I don't, however, need multi megapixel stills, 1040x780 fills my laptop screen and a lot of pics get shrunk to 400x300 for my blog.
Any suggestions/information/opinions greatly appreciated.
posted by 445supermag to Shopping (5 answers total)
Wow. If you were using a five year old camera you should have no problems at all finding something that will be completely equivalent -- if not blow you away. Any Cannon should work.

One thing to keep in mind is that cameras with bigger lenses are harder to focus, although they'll take much better pictures at night. The first few pictures I took with a "prosumer" model kinda sucked, but eventually they became pretty awesome. And this was with a 2 year old Sony DSC-V1, 5 mega pixel.

If you get something cheaper with a smaller lens, it will be easier to take good pictures, but less so at night.

But really, you could probably get away with spending about $100 if you're just looking for 1mp pictures.
posted by delmoi at 12:06 PM on January 16, 2006

Response by poster: But really, you could probably get away with spending about $100 if you're just looking for 1mp pictures.
posted by delmoi at 12:06 PM PST on January 16

I should have made it more clear, I want another hybrid mini-dv tape/ digital still camera. Why, well any dv video camera now has digital still, and while not the best, it's good enough for me (one less thing to carry on hikes).
posted by 445supermag at 12:36 PM on January 16, 2006


i fear youre not getting a real prosumer model for your budget, i'd recommend a panasonic 3ccd-cam: gs75 is the cheapest 3ccd-cam out there, costs under 400$ new, for 700$ you can get a new gs250 (has an optical stabilizer)

they all take stills
posted by suni at 2:34 PM on January 16, 2006

oh, i forgot: sony still has the best low light performance in camcorders but apart from that their models suck, so unless you critically need low light and nothing else get a panasonic
posted by suni at 2:42 PM on January 16, 2006

I've had good experience with the Panasonic PVDV953, its child the PVGS400, and the 400's little brothers the 150 and 250. Even the cheaper Panasonics take very good stills and video although the cheaper you go the worse the low light quality will be.
posted by jtron at 3:12 PM on January 16, 2006

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