What is the best MiniDV to buy

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It seems oobvious the best DV Dam to get is the XL-1, but i wanted to know what you guiys think is the best MiniDV for under $2,000. I have read some great reeviews on the Canon Elura, JVC GR DVL 9500 and Sony DCR TRV, but they all seem too close to make a decision. Have any of you used any of these cameras or others and can you recommend any?

How is the Elura? I know these are not Prosumer cameras, but I just wanted to get started with some shooting and to learn the entire process and purchasea camera to have and learn the craft better. Any information regarding anything would be helpful.

Thank You for your time.

-- Mike (mkrause@base10.com), July 22, 1999


well i have the tvr 900 and i love it. a good little camera. you can get it for a little under $2000. cannon has a new one coming out in sept. but it's going to be about $2,599.

-- josh jernigan (meluvolivertone@hotmail.com), July 23, 1999.

Hi Mike,

I am far from an authority on which camera to reccomend. With that said, I have been undergoing the same question as we are making finishing script changes and preparing to shoot our own Indie Film. (Here in Indy as a matter of fact.)

At any rate, we researched the net as much as we could and this is what we concluded. I am sure there will be other opinions and who knows....maybe they know more than us.

01. XL1 if you can afford it. About $3,500.00 for the average lowest price.

02. Sony TRV900. A little less than $2,000.00. It has received a tremendous amount of good press. Some techs are reportedly using it as their benchmark in some areas. This suprised us however we confirmed it on one of the sites. If you would like to verify, I can see if I can find the bookmark.

03. Sony DCR-VX1000. Still a great camera and has shot alot of Indie films and documentaries. Around $2,900.00 low price that we could find.

With all this said, we were determined to go with the XL1, when Canon muddied the picture a little with their response to the VX1000's success. They have a brand spanking new camera due in the middle of September. It is called the GL1 and it looks very similiar to the VX1000. However, it has an flip out LCD screen. It still uses Canon's "pixel-shift technology" or so the Canon rep we spoke with last week assures us. He reports it's finished product is XL1 quality or better due to their adding one of their "pro line lens" (they are not interchangable). This camera has a MSR price of $2,699.00. It sounds very, VERY interesting. We are considering it as it SHOULD be available RIGHT around our two week shoot window. Anywayz...I know this is very long, but thought I'd offer what little we know about the situation.

Best of luck,


-- Greg (Batmanusa@aol.com), July 26, 1999.

TRV 900

I don't know about the other two cameras, but I've had wonderful experiences with the TRV900. I've been shooting a short film with another guy who had an XL1 (like you, I lusted after but could not afford the XL1) and I actually liked my camera better. Because of it's smaller size and large flip out screen I was able to do a ton of handhelds that just wouldn't be practical. with XL1 ( I used the $180 Glidecam, and while certainly not as good as a Steadicam it did a wonderful job on shots involving a lot of movement) I don't know about the flip out screens on the other two camera's you're looking at, but for me it's one of the best features of the TRV900, and the image quality stood up against the XL1 surprisingly well. Remember, once you buy the camera you still have to get sound equipment, basic lighting, microphone adapter, tripod, Glidecam or similar device (not necessary but recommended) wide angle adapter lens....it adds up quick Good luck, and feel free to send any questions Mark

-- Mark Fradl (Cybershaft@aol.com), July 26, 1999.

To comment on the GL1, I just bought mine this weekend for less than $2000 (MSRP is still around $2.5K) It's a good all around camera if you don't want any "built in" digital effects. It has a few, but they don't do much (of course, this is nothing that a good non-linear editor can't fix :). That is really the only weakness I have found with it so far. The video quality is very nice and even at 40x (20x optical, 2x digital), you still get really good quality.


-- Chris (chrisx@b0b.net), November 12, 2000.

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