mini DV camcorder

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Luke, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    OK. Time to see who's got the knowledge of this outdated technology to share. I have a couple tapes lying about and a friend would like to see them again. I have nothing to play them on. These are the little mini DV tapes.....around 1/10 the size of the VHS tapes. I think I shot with the camera around 10 years ago and it wasn't bleeding edge technology back then.

    I don't want a piece of junk, but I definitely don't need one that is "bordering on professional quality" as some I have found on Craigslist claim (do these people realize they are selling machines made in 2001?!). Anyways, I'm in the market for one on the cheap end of the scale. I may hang onto it for little video projects since none of my stills cameras do video very well, but it's also equally likely that I'll use it for a week and then get rid of it and hopefully just lose the cost of shipping.

    So does anyone have a recommendation for which brands are good.....what features to look for.....have one lying around that they have been meaning to drop off at the Goodwill/ put on Criagslist?
  2. woof

    woof Veteran

    Sep 23, 2011
    I have an Canon Optura 20 which was sold as a higher end consumer recorder back in the day. It's was an excellent machine. Comparing the footage taken from that and my Lumix FZ-150 is like night and day though. All my wife can say when looking at the footage from the LX-5 / FZ-150 / G5 is... "it's so clear."

    Anyway, this is a plug for Canon. Well made machines with great quality for this technology.

    A bit of advice... make sure you purchase one that has an AC adapter... you do not want to run capture on batteries. Probably obvious...

    Here's one on eBay. They are becoming scarce. I love the concept that the tapes degrade, especially since DVDs have an even shorter life. I'd sell you mine, but I have tapes that I need to convert to digital files.


    Canon Optura 20 Mini DV Tape Camera Camcorder Player Recorder Play Edit Watch TV 0013803027181 | eBay
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  3. Ripleysbaby

    Ripleysbaby supernatural anesthetist

    Sep 9, 2011
    Cumbria UK
    I have a Panasonic NV-GS30. I rate it highly. Its one of the few cheaper units that has DV in AND out. So you have the option to send your edited video back onto tape uncompressed.
    for playback with zero artifacts . I still think tape gives the best quality.
  4. digi2ap

    digi2ap Regular

    Jun 5, 2011
    Stratford, London
    Yes, I have a Canon MV901 which would probably do the job you need just fine except London is probably too far to be of use! Your post however has reminded me that it is probably long overdue for going on eBay.