Re: Best 3-Chip MiniDV Cam

What you going to use it for? What you want to pay for it?
Canon, Sony and Panasonic all have very good pro-sumer 3chippers. Expect to spend over $3000 for any of these. You can find used, but will want to do your research on this before to buy.
Under $1000 Panasonic has the GS120 and GS200. Both are good. Weak in low light, but otherwise an excellent picture.

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alphageek wrote ...

Assuming you are asking about the quality of the camera part of the camcorder, the tape format (DV vs. D8) has nothing to do with the "quality". In fact DV and D8 use the same encoding. Only the physical tape properties are different.
However, note that D8 is at the end of its lifespan and the chances of finding a better camera on a D8 camcorder are slim-to-none. DV (and the pro versions DVCAM, and DVCpro) are where virtually all of the action is.
OTOH, if you are asking what is the best 3-chip camcorder, there are so many out there that you need more qualifiers to get any kind of useful response. There are some very good 3-chip camcorders that likely cost more than your car, for example.
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Okay, well I'll start the fray ;)
I just bought a Sony HDR-FX1 a couple weeks ago. In the past I've used quite a number of MiniDV cams including a Canon XL1 and GL1 and other lower-end Mini-DV cams. I have to say I'm VERY impressed with the HDR-FX1 but not just because of the HDV quality (which is spectacular, btw) but because of the ability to run this camera in auto and manual modes and various combinations. Also, it has real buttons and switches instead of annoying menu selections for the common manual functions (like iris control and white balance). I could go on and on about what I like about this camera because so far I like almost everything about it. The only negatives I can see at all is the lack of XLR audio inputs (which are present on the pro model of this camera) and the fact that it has a fixed lens. Is it the best 3-chip minidv? If not the best, it certainly is in the top 2 or 3 for the price (around $3200 street price).

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What's your price range?
Prosumer 3-chippers range from $2200 for a VX2100 on up to $4000+ for something like a Canon XL2.
All cameras in this range produce beautiful video -- the primary differences are the availability of interchangeable lenses, audio input and control, etc.
Digital 8 is an amateur format that, by this date, is limited to the cheapest, poorest quality bottom-of-the-line camcorders.

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Two things you need to address:
- your budget - your intended use
C.

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