Anyone understand the confusing world of Hard drive Camcorders?


    I am wanting to buy a hard drive camcorder for my mum's birthday. I have a budget of £300-£400 and want to buy the best possible one. I have looked on Which? and various other sites and it is simply a minefield! Just wondered if anyone could offer some advise, suggestions or offers that they have seen as her birthday is fast approaching!

    Thank you in advance


    Mel if you live near a QVC outlet thats the best value i have seen. I got the JVC one with everioshare-its brilliantly easy to use and it looks great even on my 42" tv-it was £250
    i recommended it to someone a while ago as qvc have them frequently-and he got two from them cam alone i think was £175.
    Call them if you have one you can get to-and ask if they have them now?

    There was a really great HD Sony camcorder on here not so long ago for just over 400. It was on the gadget show and they loved it.

    In fact - its here


    Not sure if its still the same price?

    If you were looking for a bog standard Hard Drive Camcorder, I'd head to somewhere like dixons and have an play around with a few. Just dont listen to their advice as its always been rubbish in the past. Find something that you feel comfortable using, that is practical and easy to take anywhere.

    Some things to look for are...

    Capacity. How many hours at a good quality it will store
    Expanability (?! word ?!) If you can put in SD cards to boost the capacity
    Lens. Most Camcorders - particularly Sony have great qaulity lenses (Carl Zeiss) and something to look out for
    Zoom. There are two types of zoom -
    Optical which is how far the lens itself can zoom in, and
    Digital, this is how far the processor in the camera can enlarge into the image. The Digital zoom isn't as important, as you normally find that this gets distored very quickly.
    Extra Features. You want to look out for things such as;
    steady cam, or shake reduction. This will make a massive difference to the quality of the film
    export features. How easy is it to get the film off your camera, how long does it take, what PC/TV cables does it come with...etc
    and finally
    Battery Life. This is with the normal standard battery, but will show you how long it lasts and how long it takes to charge. Most camcorders should give you around 2-4hours on one charge, and take 30-60 mins to charge fully.

    Hope this is of use to you. Like I said though it's mainly about trying them and finding something that is easy to use and comfortable, with some of the features above.

    Original Poster

    Thank you Louloo, unfortunatley I don't live near either of the outlets but will definately look at the JVC - have a cassette one made by them and have always been pleased with it. Thank you!

    Original Poster

    Thank you milesy29 too - wish the sites explained things as well! Will pop down to dixons today to have a look. The worst part about it is that all the companies - predominately Sony, JVC & Panasonic have so many different models that you think you've found the perfect one and then you find a slight variation! But you post was really helpful and much appreciated. Thanks

    i didnt look at the other models as have always had a jvc-this is my third-each time smaller! the thing i liked was it fits into my small handbag too! i cant tell you about spec but it was easy to use with the burner too. I know you can use it with the comp but the burner made it easier for me-just plug in and copy to disc!

    Original Poster

    Just to let you know I think(?) I have decided on the JVC Everio GZ-MG365 60GB HDD - with 35x Optical zoom. It seems a good all round model and a bargain on ebuyer - £306 incl delivery. On JVCs website it also says that you can claim £30 cashback if bought now (will have to look at the small print though!) Thank you again, Mel
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