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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking into purchasing a video camera that can also take still pictures. Something with a 20-30x optical zoom.
Do any of you have/used one that you would recomend under $400ish?
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I like the Panasonic PV-GS320. It's a mini DV camcorder, and has 3 CCDs (it's probably the most affordable video camera that offers this kind of quality). I've seen it for about $380, it has very high quality video but only a 10x zoom.

The Panasonic PV-GS85 sacrifices some video quality, but has 32x optical zoom. It's a good one too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
threshershark said:
I like the Panasonic PV-GS320. It's a mini DV camcorder, and has 3 CCDs (it's probably the most affordable video camera that offers this kind of quality). I've seen it for about $380, it has very high quality video but only a 10x zoom.

The Panasonic PV-GS85 sacrifices some video quality, but has 32x optical zoom. It's a good one too.
what is CCDs?
You never have any problems with it?

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Re: CCD

CCD technically stands for "Charged Coupled Device" but that's just a fancy way of saying image sensor. Professional quality camcorders have long used 3 sensors, dedicating a seperate sensor for red, green, and blue light respectively. This produces a high quality image. Consumer-grade camcorders have generally had 1 CCD, which has some compromises in quality. The day has finally come when 3-CCD models are affordable and they do produce some remarkable video for the price. The longer zoom of some models is useful for wildlife in terms of being able to get grainy video at long distances, but in most sub-$1000 cameras you'll find the video quality goes way down beyond 10 or 12x zoom.

If you plan on using it mostly for wildlife and just want to get deer/elk etc. on film at long distances then the CCDs won't matter much. If you want to get high quality video and do some editing etc. then you may want to consider the 3-CCD models.

No problems so far, the 32x zoom PV-GS85 was top rated in some consumer reports I read a while back as the best mini DV camcorder under $300. The 3-CCD GS320 has received very good reviews also.
 
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