Sunday, January 21

Camera Hunting

Alright, after a bit of research I've finally found a new video camera, my goal was to find the cheapest kind that can do the bare minimum requirements for puppet filming. Here are my results.

First off, the JVC GR-D750U Mini DV Camcorder: $375.56.
I bought this one, everything seemed fine and swell, until I rigged it on a tripod and did a quick puppet test with it. To my surprise when I played back the footage it was all jerky. Of course I was confused, read the manual, fiddled with all the settings, made sure the tripod was 100% stable and not moving, flipped the LCD screen over so I could even watch myself while it was filming, everything looked fine, but when I played back the footage it was dancing around all over the place, then I found the problem "electronic image stabilization". This is a steady-shot feature that has the camera attempting to compensate for any movement on screen by adjusting the picture frame by frame in hopes to achieve a steadier image. This is great for hand-held filming, it actually smoothens out the random motions caused by the hand-held effect, HOWEVER.... this feature is not de-activatable on this model. Therefore it is NOT meant to be on a tripod...ever!

So I returned it. I found one for nearly the same price that has far more features to customise the settings and filming options including an OFF button for "image stabilization"...
The Sony DCR-HC26 Handycam is my choice so far, and it seems to work great, for $398.94 (Sony's least expensive, bottom of the barrel model).

BAD
GOOD

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You could have turned the stabilization feature off you know. Would have saved a trip back to the store.

Ron said...

That's my point... you can't turn it off on this model, it was a built-in feature that could not be deactivated.

Oscar said...

you can.
You could've
just use it in the manual mode and make it so the focus is on a "person" instead of "landscape"
u can turn of the stabilizer in the DIS menu.

Ron said...

Sorry dude, I'm afraid not, at least not the GR-D750U Mini DV (2006) version. It even says so in the manual. Maybe the new 2007/2008 versions do. But this one didn't, the instruction book even said so (which I only refered to 2 days after I had it).

At any rate, for only $20 more I got the Sony version which had more features, better picture quality, built-in HD capabilities, a nightshot option, better zoom, a macro lens, and better focusing technology.

No contest.