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Camcorders?

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Could you recommend what kind of camcorder is of decent quality and I can connect to my PC?

I know there are so many format types and I am undecided.

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Mini DV tape still offers the most variety & versatility over the widest budget range IMO. Even budget ones offer USB-2 & firewire as standard. Good tapes are dead cheap if you shop around.

Mini DVD-cameras tend to be the "family" option. Pretty low in features/control options & relatively high price for what they are, as well as still having only a few models to choose from.

All the main makes, Sony, JVC, Canon & Panasonic all have good models at a range of good prices. Especially at around this time of year when the last years models tend to get discounted heavilly.

Generally decent reviews here: http://www.simplydv.co.uk/

Microdrive/hdd camcorders are up there but IMO still tend to be in the uber-gadget/semi-pro category & a bit expensive for both cameras/microdrives although the variety is increasing & I'd hazzard a guess they may take-over the hobby-serious end of the market in the next few years.

Avoid those all-in one solid-state/handheld things IMO. They tend to be not very good at everything they try to do.

Also look for something with the most versatile optical lens range, rather than a weak lens with huge digital zooms - they are crap.

Personally, I find bittom-loaders a bit fiddly, although compact & if you use a tripod, they can be a real bind for changing tapes in service. Also, get a tripod. Don't rely on anti-shake gizmos.

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