Here I am in the land of Camcorder Confusion.

January 21, 2007

Well, this is turning out to be an interesting year. My daughter graduates from college pretty soon. She is a Vocal Performance major (specializing in Opera, of course). I have, over the past 5 years of her study, been the “official” videographer of her performances and those of others in the Music department. I have suffered with a couple of different video cameras. While they are no where near professional quality, I have done the best that I could….received a few compliments along the way. I attempt to edit the films a bit and get them “just right” or at least as close as I can. As her senior recital approaches I decided a “good” camera was in order. Or, at least a better one, unless I could get the old VHS-C one to work OK….

I have transferred a number of videos to DVD and attempted to download one to my hard disk to be edited by iMovie, on my MacBook. That is when the adventures began. Well, I downloaded it alright. I can be edited by iMovie….just as long as I don’t want to save any of the editing features I add along the way…..a Bug. A big bad creepy bug, right in the middle of my Mac. I checked the Apple website, sure enough….it is a bug. A lot of people are facing it. They are fighting it. It is a tough little bugger. It scurries off into the dusty corners of the hard disk at the approach of a common user….errr me. I cannot begin to explain how frustrating it is to think you have found a solution…..then….not. So, editing the VHS-C download might not be as possible as I had hoped.

So, I went about researching new cameras. With little money to spend….errrr charge….I knew I’d have to make compromises. I discovered that those that record straight to DVD won’t do what I want. MiniDV tape recorders are on the way out. Hard or Flash disk drive cameras, to get a good one, are way too expensive. I wanted 3-CCDs….few choices. In the consumer market only Panasonic makes them. I went to Best Buy….whaddaya know they had a 3-CCD Panasonic PV GS300 on clearance. Yippee…..well….”Sir, I cannot find the box, I only have the floor model, I can’t sell you that one, but…..” AAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGHHH. Why does this always seem to happen to me? I am not a video hobbyist. I don’t know much….so, finding what I thought I wanted and then having it slip through my fingers, is very frustrating. Well, they did have the newer GS320, which wasn’t even on the floor yet, at the same price. I was still kinda excited….for awhile…..

Seems that Panasonic has removed some of the features that I liked best about the GS300. The GS320 doesn’t have the external mic jack. How important could this be to someone who has never had one? Further, the GS320 does have stereo audio capture along with audio zoom….NO EXTERNAL MIC THOUGH!!!!!! No longer do we get a headphone jack….thanks a lot….while I have tinnitis, my daughter doesn’t. She could have listed to the videos without the rest of us having to do so….AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH….. Why does this so often seem to be the case anymore??? So often the “new improved” version leaves out important parts of the “old sad” version it replaced. Even the salesman didn’t realize this and I have a microphone to take back…THAT DOESN’T FIT ANYTHING I OWN!!!!!!

I went on-line and discovered that the GS320 does have better low light recording than the previous model. That is a very high plus…people who are performing often do so in low light settings…. I have no idea what to do. Is the new model better? Do I take back the “new” one and search around for the “old” one?? Sometimes it seems that the manufacturers have no idea what the people using their products are concerned about. At least Kawasaki has kept the Ninja 250 nearly the same for about 20 years…mine being the latest version. Why is this good???

Well, it is good because it gives the consumer confidence concerning a product’s performance and features. It allows aftermarket people to produce equipment even for semi-popular models. It also lets the consumer know that the new model will not be abandoned like it predecessors. Maybe its age. Maybe its just stupidity. Maybe it is just my usual cranky personality, but I would prefer products that are innovative, long lasting, durable, and SUPPORTED BY THE MANUFACTURER. DO YOU HEAR ME????

I remember the Mustang II. I remember “New Coke”…which fortunately was quickly abandoned..some companies do listen. I remember the upgradable motherboards, from years past… I am old, cranky, and frustrated. And, really confused, what to do? What to do? So, here I sit here, in camcorder confusion.

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2 Responses to “Here I am in the land of Camcorder Confusion.”

  1. Josh Morgan Says:

    Just want to let you know that the GS-320 comes with the lower end battery as well. The GS-300 comes with the mid-range battery. I am taking mine back to Best Buy to see if they can make it right. The salesperson told me that the only difference was the plastic was changed on the newer model. I bit.

  2. alii1959 Says:

    Well, we bought the x-tra battery at the time, got burned on the whole battery thing before. I have used the camera a bit and am quite impressed by the picture quality. I have made a couple of DVDs from the recorder footage and they turned out nice. I think that this camera is good enough for us, but the 300 was so much better, I was just too late.


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