Have been reading and posting (when I have something to contribute) here for about three years. I realize that camcorders are WAY off topic, but I have searched the NGs every way I can think of and can not find an NG that covers the subject. In addition, I respect the experience and common sense of most of the people who frequently post here.
Wife and I want to buy a camcorder (not a Christmas gift) for our use. Intended use is to record inventory of house for insurance purpose, record grandkids (10 regular and one great granddaughter), pets, deer in the yards, etc. There are a number of different features available in camcorders, and frankly, we are confused. Money is an object - we are not looking at HD, but some other features can also be expensive.
We believe that card storage in desirable over an internal HD; less mechanical means less trouble. - cards come in various sizes, but we are thinking of a 4 Gigabyte, which we are told records about 80 minutes.
Camcorders come with various optical zoom sizes, from 10 X to 60 X. For our intended use, what would be a good zoom size?
I think most brands have a program, either built into the camera or that can be installed on the computer, that will download videos from the camcorder to the computer, or to view on a TV. I assume we would need to purchase another piece of software to edit videos; splice vids, insert, delete sections, improve quality, etc. -We would like a suggestion on some good editing program - nothing professional, just home use that an old man could learn to use.
Currently, I am looking a Sony model DCR SX40. It has 4 Gigabytes storage card, and 60 X zoom. Cost is $215 + 8.5% tax. It has a one year warranty, but if there is a problem, the camcorder must be mailed into the company. (To me, this is a big problem with several potential pitfalls). By purchasing a $35 three year warranty, the camcorder can be taken to the company and they provide a loaner and handle the repair. I don't know if this warranty includes battery life, but if it does, it seems like that alone would make it worth the cost. I realize that an extended warranty depends on the company staying in business and in your city. This deal is a FRY's, and they have been here for several years, so probably pretty safe that way.
Anyway, this is our thoughts at this time, and all comments will be appreciated.
Thanks in advance,