What camera ...
We are looking to upgrade our video camera this year for a digital one (or one that uses DVDs ---- and I know I am showing my ignorance here). The one we have is almost 10 years old and uses the small tapes that you put into a converter and play in a VCR (yeah, imagine that one).
I film a few of hubby's hunts and then I film pet shows, goat shows, lamb shows, dance recitals, and have tried to get volleyball and basketball games on film for a friend who has two daughters (the grandfather is paralyzed so I try to get a little bit of everything the grand-babies do on tape so he can see it). I noticed that the goat and lamb show was horrible on the sound this year and took that to mean we need a new camera but I am unsure of what I shoule be looking for. And I don't want to spend mucho money for one. I know you get what you pay for but I am by no means going professional or anything. Just good quality home video stuff. Any suggestions?
Again it comes down to the age old question of what can you afford and what is right for the level you are going to use it at. There are so many cameras on the market from hand held consumer models to pro-sumer models to professional studio cameras like the Sony DSR-400's and the new Sony XD-series of cameras. The best thing that I can recommend is to do a search on various sites like this one and read about different cameras and different experiences, you can try kisky forums, and www.dvinfo.net is also a very good reference site. I have been freelancing for about two years now and I started in Photography and jumped in to Videography and started filming with the Canon XL1S and now use their High Definition line of cameras becasue it fits what I am doing. In my opinion, from what you described, the best thing that you can do is to start with a nice HD consumer level camera like this one, http://www.kisky.com/forum/default.aspx?f=8&m=52393
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