Monday, February 14, 2011

A Popular Camera

Every now and again, Amazon sends me a "More to Explore" page with a list of their most popular camcorders - I wonder why? For as long as I've been paying attention to it, the Top Ten Videocameras list has been filled with Kodak Pocket Cameras and Filp's.

But today's list had a couple of "unusual" - for the list - cameras; the GoPro HD Helmet HERO Cameraand the Canon VIXIA HF M30 the latter is currently on sale for $399.00.

It's nice to finally see a more traditional camcorder like the HF M30 appearing on the list with the pocket cameras. I have nothing against them - they're small, inexpensive, and easy to use - but having spent time with a Flip, I really miss the better resolution, exposure control, and a good optical zoom lens.

Camcorderinfo has a review of the HF M31 (the same camera but with 32 GB of memory instead of 8GB). They mostly like it, though ding the low-light performance:
The HF M31 disappointed us with its low light performance—just as the Canon HF20 did previously. The camcorder did very well in our bright light sharpness and motion tests, but it couldn't carry over that strong showing once the lights got dim. It definitely isn't the worst camcorder as far as low light capabilities go, but we were hoping Canon would have done something to address this issue.
Personally, though I haven't used the HF MXX series, I think the low light of the HF20 isn't that bad at all; certainly better than what I've seen from Flip cameras.

Camcroderinfo: Canon HF M31

Two Pocket Camera Stories
My daughter has been doing a lot of shooting with a Sony Handicam of mine, so I got her a Flip camera for Christmas. She's happy with it; but she still borrows the Handicam for most things. The other day she was talking about going off to college, and asking if I'd get her a Handicam of her own to take with her.
"What about the Flip?" I asked.
"It's okay....." she shrugged.
After some thought, I said: "Well, maybe I'll let you take the Handicam, and I'll buy myself something new."
She seemed happy with that.

I was at a meeting talking to someone - I didn't know them - and they made a comment about video cameras that was something like "most people use terribly cheap cameras, and that's not what I'm about." When they said it, I got a little defensive because much of the time I use consumer cameras, and I was thinking this person must be a real pro. And then they went on to say "I just ordered a Kodak Zi8 Pocket Video Camera" and I realized that "cheap cameras" is a very relative term.

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