Should I get a compact?


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red_ryder

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Hi guys, I have a D80 DSLR, but seldom use nowadays as find it very bulky to bring out with 2 young children. I'm also thinking of buying a video camera to record my kids.

I'm torn between getting a dedicated video camera with harddisk, or just getting a compact camera to double up as a video camera as well? Which do you advise?
 

jlkk76

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Dec 28, 2006
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#2
i will get a digi cam with vid function lor...

cos smaller n cheaper mah.

the most just buy a bigger memory card nia.

and my trusted F31 FD still take nice vid. ;)
 

jfoo

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Apr 7, 2004
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most important question is which is more important to you, photo or video. that will narrow your choice between a compact camera or camcorder. cameras are for stills while camcorders are for video. the gap may be narrowing with D90 and such camera bodies appearing but not quite there yet. besides, it's not a compact.

i would suggest a compact that takes decent video (don't ask me the model or make). stay away from video cameras if you are not into creating montages or clips like such.
 

Blur Shadow

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Go for a compact point-and-shoot digital camera with a video function. That's what I'd do.
 

aryanto

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Depend with how long you want to take the video. Video on compact can go as large as your card can take it, and if you are going for holiday - man you need lots of cards. You dont want to lose those moments when the card fills up and the video is cut off.

Compact with video function lacks the control of video cam esp the voice (no wind noise cut etc), manual controls, etc.
I has helped many people who bring compact and then record video of performance, and later found out that their card (only card) fills up and no more space to take photo. Even it is like 8 GB card.

Going for holiday, I usually bring my video cam (using DV tapes and I bring like 10 DV tapes cos I just record everything, with 3 packs of batteries to last me 1 whole day). I like the fact that I can estimate how long I have left by peeking at the tape. :)
For stills I am using my DSLR.
 

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red_ryder

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I actually have an old DV camcorder, but find it really a hassle. Especially transferring the recording to the computer, and worrying about when the tape will run out. Anyways, I have never used the camcorder for long recordings. Most of the time its just to record my kids, whether at play or during a school performance.
 

Akatsuki

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Unless you are gg to take hours and hours of video... would recommend you go ahead with a compact or prosumer instead of a videocam... A 4GB card can shoot an average quality 2hr video... and a compact is much easier to bring around den a camcorder :)
 

red_ryder

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Unless you are gg to take hours and hours of video... would recommend you go ahead with a compact or prosumer instead of a videocam... A 4GB card can shoot an average quality 2hr video... and a compact is much easier to bring around den a camcorder :)
What about battery life though? I read a few reviews online where battery performance on a compact is horrible when shooting video. For example, the Sony T700 only has 15 mins battery life when shooting HD video.
 

Reportage

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my perfect solution...Sanyo Xacti. small enough to be a compact but enough features to make it a good camera + camcorder.
 

red_ryder

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I really can't decide if I should get a camcorder or a digital compact. I don't have the time or interest to edit videos, I just want to capture the memories. But low-light performance and zoom are important as I tend to record indoor video more often. For example, recording a stage performance needs good low light capability and a long zoom. Compact cameras will not be suitable right?

On the other hand, I don't have a compact digital camera and my wife doesn't like to use my DSLR. Maybe I should just a cheap compact + a decent camcorder?
 

teebs

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Apr 15, 2008
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I really can't decide if I should get a camcorder or a digital compact. I don't have the time or interest to edit videos, I just want to capture the memories. But low-light performance and zoom are important as I tend to record indoor video more often. For example, recording a stage performance needs good low light capability and a long zoom. Compact cameras will not be suitable right?

On the other hand, I don't have a compact digital camera and my wife doesn't like to use my DSLR. Maybe I should just a cheap compact + a decent camcorder?
My take on this issue is very simple. Get a compact for your wife. :)

I have a DSLR (Canon 40D), a couple of compacts (Pana TZ15, IXUS 800, Canon S3) and two video cams. Frankly speaking, I don't use my video cams anymore. They are just gathering dust.

Yes, video quality from my Std Def video cams are way better than what I get from my compacts (even better than TZ15 with HD video) but to bring a DSLR + Compact (for wife to use) + a video cam is way tooo much hassle for me.

For short weekend getaway trips, I don't even bother to bring my DSLR. A compact is much easier and lighter to bring along on these trips.
 

red_ryder

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#13
In an ideal world...sigh

But I only have a budget of $600-$700. I can either get a good compact like the Lumix LX3, or an entry-level camcorder. Even if I just get a cheap compact for the wife, there won't be enough money left for a camcorder. I agree that a bulky DSLR is a pain to bring out to family outings, especially with 2 young children. A compact is probably more essential than a camcorder ya?
 

nt9449

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If you find DSLR bulky, isn't the camcorder bulky as well? And they normally do not take good photos.

Recommended a nice compact to pair with your DSLR...and take videos occassionally...
 

dision

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You shld buy a hd-dv video camera like Canon's VIXIA HF S10 or Sony's HDR-XR100E. They double as a camera and the small models usually can operate with 1 hand leaving u the other to tend to ur kids. Just no flash for low light scenarios but can get battery operated light attachments.
 

teebs

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In an ideal world...sigh

But I only have a budget of $600-$700. I can either get a good compact like the Lumix LX3, or an entry-level camcorder. Even if I just get a cheap compact for the wife, there won't be enough money left for a camcorder. I agree that a bulky DSLR is a pain to bring out to family outings, especially with 2 young children. A compact is probably more essential than a camcorder ya?
I would disagree on this. You don't really need to get the LX3 because it isn't really a travel camera. For travels you do need a compact that has a respectable telezoom.

In this case, I would say the Panasonic TZ15 would probably suit your requirements. It's about the same size as the IXUS series, has HD video recording and 10X zoom (28-280mm).

I got mine 2nd hand from a CSer yesterday @ $380 and it will be replacing my IXUS 800 which will now be used for specifically for snorkelling and diving trips since I have the underwater case for it. My Canon S3 IS is now relegated to taking macro pics only.

If you want a digicam you could get a 2nd hand Std Def set which would probably cost you ard $300 so you would be able to get within budget for a 2nd hand TZ15 + Std Def camcorder. But if you want to get it new, then it would be very difficult.

My wife is pretty satisfied with the TZ15 as it is really an idiot proof digicam with no meaningful manual controls. You just set it to auto and shoot and you would probably get a reasonably good pic 80% of the time. :bsmilie:
 

nt9449

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#17
with a dslr or camcorder, you have to find excuses to bring it out with your kids as they are bulky and need separate bags to hold...

As for compacts, you can always have it in your pocket or wife's handbag and use it anytime for candid videos or shots...
 

teebs

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You shld buy a hd-dv video camera like Canon's VIXIA HF S10 or Sony's HDR-XR100E. They double as a camera and the small models usually can operate with 1 hand leaving u the other to tend to ur kids. Just no flash for low light scenarios but can get battery operated light attachments.
And how can the TS get a HD videocam within the $600-700 budget that he has? The Canon HD camcorders are retailing at ard 2K...:)
 

teebs

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with a dslr or camcorder, you have to find excuses to bring it out with your kids as they are bulky and need separate bags to hold...

As for compacts, you can always have it in your pocket or wife's handbag and use it anytime for candid videos or shots...
A camcorder is still smaller than a DSLR with all it's lenses and flash...:bsmilie:

You could probably fit a camcorder + DV tapes + batteries + charger + compact + batteries + charger + SD cards into a reasonably sized shoulder bag...:bsmilie:
 

nt9449

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#20
A camcorder is still smaller than a DSLR with all it's lenses and flash...:bsmilie:

You could probably fit a camcorder + DV tapes + batteries + charger + compact + batteries + charger + SD cards into a reasonably sized shoulder bag...:bsmilie:
Yup, that's why i mentioned u have to bring additional bag with either dslr or camcorder...

And probably the easy way out is to have the compact in your pocket...esp if going for light shopping...
 

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