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Cheap camcorder suggestion? JVC GZ-HM40
  
 
thormx538
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Cheap camcorder suggestion? JVC GZ-HM40


Hi guys. I know FM isn't really a video forum, but I'm hoping some of you have been in a similar situation and could offer some insight.

I've been kicking around the idea of picking up a cheap, small camcorder to use to film my deer hunting season. Nothing professional, just home movie type stuff to show the family. Stuff from the tree stand and the blind, during drives, (hopefully) during tracking a deer post-shot, reactions, commentary, etc. I've got a capable DSLR setup (D600 + myriad of lenses) but that's way too big and bulky to drag around the woods, and doesn't offer one handed shooting. I also have a small J1 with the 30-110 (70-300 equivalent) but again, it really requires two hands. Plus I don't think the 300mm equivalent is long enough to film stuff from the tree stand until it gets in close. I also want something easy to use so my technologically challenged brother-in-law can get footage of me with it as well.

I was browsing Amazon, and stumbled across the JVC GZ-HM40 for about $90 refurbished. I watched some reviews and test videos on Youtube, and it seems to have decent image quality. It's small and light, and can be operated with one hand. Image stabilization isn't great but it seems usable at long zooms if I can brace it (or even put it on a monopod). Low light tests seemed OK -- there was one video on Youtube of a guy driving around the city at dusk and it didn't really seem smeared or too dark. Mic isn't great either but actually sounds better than the D600's mic, and picks up significantly less zoom/focus noise.


Any thoughts? Should I just take the J1 out once and see how it performs before jumping into a dedicated camcorder?

I really like the price point of sub-100$. I suppose I could invest more if I trimmed the photography collection a bit (transfer funds from one hobby to another as opposed to just saving up), but I shoot stills far more often than I shoot video.



Sep 20, 2013 at 04:22 PM
lukeb
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Cheap camcorder suggestion? JVC GZ-HM40


I like the Panasonic's - have had years of trouble free operation for low prices. However, your sub $100 caveat I don't think will get you any reasonable video quality nor build quality.

Its refurbished for a reason................

I also like Canon XL's, have two, but you need to send them for service every two years and we are talking quite a few bucks.



Sep 20, 2013 at 04:28 PM
thormx538
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Cheap camcorder suggestion? JVC GZ-HM40


Good point. I assumed most of the refurbs were just open box returns from places like Target and Walmart. I've bought refurbished Nikon gear without hesitation for years, but I'm sure the build quality of a $200 MSRP camcorder isn't the same as a Nikon DSLR (well, maybe it is given Nikon's recent issues with QA )

I'm guessing I will probably record about 7-10hrs of footage with it this season.



Sep 20, 2013 at 04:34 PM
 

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lukeb
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Cheap camcorder suggestion? JVC GZ-HM40


thormx538 wrote:
Good point. I assumed most of the refurbs were just open box returns from places like Target and Walmart. I've bought refurbished Nikon gear without hesitation for years, but I'm sure the build quality of a $200 MSRP camcorder isn't the same as a Nikon DSLR (well, maybe it is given Nikon's recent issues with QA )

I'm guessing I will probably record about 7-10hrs of footage with it this season.


I shoot with D700's and personally don't care for video with my DSLR cameras. Remember, video is putting many miles on your shutter.

Purchased the Panny video cameras in 2007 for well under $300 each, and they are still going strong.

Now I do fuss over all my equipment. But still, I prefer DSLR for DSLR and video for video. Its a personal preference thing.



Sep 20, 2013 at 05:14 PM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Cheap camcorder suggestion? JVC GZ-HM40


Why not just get Sony Action Cam or GoPro? They're cheap and difficult to destroy. I know they're twice the desired budget but you wouldn't have to worry about them much in bad weather and they're fairly easy to resell. And the Sony SteadyShot is pretty good.


Sep 20, 2013 at 07:45 PM
DaveOls
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Cheap camcorder suggestion? JVC GZ-HM40


Sony used to make the Bloggie, IQ wasn't terrific, but they are $ 100 or so new and they will fit in your shirt pocket. The quality may not be good enough, but you can carry it with you every where.


Sep 21, 2013 at 01:55 PM





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