I have too much video camera

  • Posted: 21 July 2009 12:17 AM

    I traded my PowerMac G5 (Dual 2.0) for a Canon GL1 “prosumer” camcorder. Years ago I thought about getting into video work for a living and I had my eye on the XL1 & GL1. Ultimately I went for the world of still photography as a career, but I’ve always wanted a great video camera. So when the offer to trade came up I jumped on it. (I also traded a motorcycle that I restored for a great 15” Macbook Pro, so I didn’t need the PowerMac anymore.)

    Now, a month later, I’m realizing that I have way more video camera than I need. I LOVE the quality. It’s fantastic. The lens is great, the color rendition (even in fully automatic mode) is great. I have zero complaints with its performance. (Well, actually the battery catch broke so it’s easy to bump it and turn off the camera; I should say I have no complaints with the design.)

    But we never take it with us. It’s too big and the design intimidates my wife so I’ve yet to convince her to even record anything. She does great with my Nikons, but won’t touch the camcorder. The fact that it has a fully-automatic mode doesn’t seem to make a difference.

    It’s important to me to document my daughters as they grow, so I need a camera that we’ll actually use. But I don’t want crap, and most of the cameras I’ve used over the years were absolute crap compared to this GL1.

    I’m more interested in quality pixels rather than pixel quantity, so HD isn’t a big deal to me. And as a professional photographer I’m always hurting for drive space, so that’s one more reason I don’t feel the need for HD just for HD’s sake.

    Latest-and-greatest is not relevant. I’m happy to go back quite a ways as long as I can still get one in great condition. I’m curious about the harddrive-based camcorders, as well as the AVCHD deals, but it seems like the compression schemes are not yet what they could be, so I’d probably favor mini-dv.

    Can anyone make a recommendation? Color fidelity and moderately-low light performance (nothing extreme, just residential homes & such) are the main priorities in terms of performance, while size and ease-of-use are the most important design considerations.

    And of course I want something that plays well with iLife.


    - Jon