03-02-2009 05:03 PM
03-04-2009 02:05 PM
Depends on your budget.
Beware that the sub-$200 class of high definition "pocket" flash camcorders are all quirky. They may be fine for your purposes, but none are by any means perfect. (For example, many Aiptek models suffer from a loose battery cover, but have excellent video quality. The Insignia pocket HD camcorder has excellent build quality but utterly abysmal picture quality - avoid it at all costs!)
I have a Canon HF100 high def camcorder and love it, but it's expensive ($530+). A standard def unit like the FS100 might work well for you.
03-17-2009 11:17 AM
I've been a pro shooter/editor for the past 12 years and have played with everythign from HD studio cams to the very simplistic "flip" cams. The range of quality and cost is huge and will depend on what you are looking for.
If your budget is about $150, then you're looking at the simple "flip" cameras that all have issues, but are also very easy to use and do not require a lot of manual adjustments. They're all auto-focus, auto white balance, auto iris, and are point & shoot cams with an SD card as the media drive. Some will have better video quality while others will have better hardware. It really depends on what you need.
If you're looking at the sub $500, you're looking at better cameras with actual lens and mechanical zoom modes. This makes for a much better image when zooming in than the pinhole "flip" camcorders, and will have options for DV tape, mini-DVD, SD card, or built in storage.
I'll take a wild guess that as a mother of 5 you're looking for something in the sub $500 class that's fast and easy to use. The bigger and more expensive the camcorder, the more you'll need to know about videography. It'll also take more time for the camera to startup than the "flip" cameras (which are really a point&shoot dream).
I have both the 720P Insignia, and the 720P Aiptek. I like both for different reasons and use them often when teaching my martial art to record students progress. I get exactly what I need with them...I can accurately see what they are doing. I'm not concerned about true HD quality since these clips get compressed anyway.
Hope this helps.
03-23-2009 11:20 AM
If you're using a PC, the FFDShow software that came on the disc will allow you to be able to use Windows Movie Maker (and possibly some of the more professional NLE's, but I haven't looked into that since I'm on a Mac primarily), but if you're on a Mac, you'll need to locate, download, and install FFmpegX and the necessary files to go with it...and that'll let you use iMovie or FCP for editing.
Good NLE's are expensive (FCP is $1000 to give you an idea), so "free" editors are really limited because they lack a lot of capabilities like variable resolutions, transcoding, advanced color correction and audio sculpting, and limited tracks.
I hope one of the above solutions helps. Post some vids when you're done!