Dad tech - Handycam or D-slr

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  • binky Moderator 28 Apr 2010 10:59:00 10,325 posts
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    Quick question on some "dad-tech".
    Although I could get completely shouted down by wifey, and it also depends on my finding a job whilst still having redundancy in the bank, but.... What would you say is nicer to have. A video camera to record those special moments in glorious technicolour, or an SLR camera to shoot some half decent photos as they grow up?

    At the moment I have a 10 year old digital-DV camcorder with 20 mins battery life. Will hook up to the mac, but its year 2000-bulky. Camera wise, I have a fairly new pocketsize cybershot. Perfect for happy snapping, and quick close up mpegs.

    If money was no option but you could only have one of those, what would you have?
  • nickthegun 28 Apr 2010 11:01:38 63,432 posts
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    Personally speaking, I never watch videos, but flick through pictures all the time.

    YMMV, but given a straight choice I would choose a camera over a video camera every time.
  • Blerk Moderator 28 Apr 2010 11:01:50 48,224 posts
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    Camera. I bought a Camcorder for when our first was born and it went in the cupboard after the first few months and never came back out. I put this down to the fact that my camcorder footage was soul-crushingly boring - what seems like a few seconds of shooting ultimately turns out to be nearly five minutes of shaky pictures of a baby occasionally gurgling.

    I still do snippets of video these days, but I do them with my camera instead. Much more convenient and it limits me to 60 second chunks. :-)
  • otto Moderator 28 Apr 2010 11:04:59 49,323 posts
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    Photos every time. Camcorders are a PITA. You look at photos a lot and send them to people; video is nice to have but realistically you never get around to sorting it and backing it up and viewing it.

    But unless you're really into photography, and I mean to a nerdy purist degree, grab a camera that will also take video, then you're sorted.
  • sport 28 Apr 2010 11:05:44 12,970 posts
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    Blerk wrote:
    I still do snippets of video these days, but I do them with my camera instead. Much more convenient and it limits me to 60 second chunks. :-)

    Absolutely this. Get a nice camera that also does video in short clips. Watching 2 hours of baby's first meal can be excruciating.
  • otto Moderator 28 Apr 2010 11:07:54 49,323 posts
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    That's exactly the problem, to sort out the wheat from the chaff in your video footage is practically a full-time job. When you're a dad the last thing you want to be doing once you've got them to sleep is to sit at your desk scrolling through hours of footage to find the five minutes that are worth posting to youtube.
  • binky Moderator 28 Apr 2010 11:19:05 10,325 posts
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    You've already confirmed what I was thinking to be honest. My cybershot seems to do perfectly adequate video and I keep having flash backs to the long dull home movies my dad shot of us as kids.

    Out of interest, is it worth looking at ebay for SLR bargains, or are they generally going to be bashed up and awful? Not sure I can afford 500+ on new kit with a baby on the way, but love the idea of having some half decent shots which you just can't get with a compact :(
  • otto Moderator 28 Apr 2010 11:46:16 49,323 posts
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    You can certainly get something good for less than 500. Have a look at the photography category and join the Photo Club group, there are quite a few threads on the topic. My advice would be to buy second hand but from a reputable camera dealer. You should be able to get yourself set up for south of 400.
  • speedofthepuma 28 Apr 2010 15:55:49 13,345 posts
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    I'd echo what everyone has said here, we look at the pictures all the time, far more than video but I would add that we did buy a pocket sized cheap HD videocamera recently and have had a lot of use from it, it's almost always with me and I film 2-3 mins on average.

    It is only acceptable quality in well lit conditions, but now we are remembering to film bits and bobs they are being re-watched, I think it will really be gold dust in 20-30 years time though.
  • binky Moderator 11 May 2010 22:33:26 10,325 posts
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    Ordered a Nikon d3000 in the end. Should turn up tomorrow. Now for a bag, lens and flash :)
  • otto Moderator 11 May 2010 22:37:45 49,323 posts
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    Woohoo!!

    No rush on the flash mate, see how you get on with the onboard one first. I hate flash tbh. Always better using available light. So get that 50/1.8 before you get a flash - similar price and far better value for money. 1.8 gets you all the extra light you need, who needs flash?
  • binky Moderator 11 May 2010 22:42:16 10,325 posts
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    Good point about the extra light from the 1.8. This baby is already costing me the earth :D
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