I told you before about buying a video camera – Deciding to buy a video camera – step by step – Get a result now! – and how I decided not to buy one. Now, it’s time for a change of hearts. As you know, I recommend to buy a video camera by research – When you buy IT things, should you do research or not? – Get a result now!.
What was the thinking in this case?
- My previous research (see the link above) showed me that SONY products are fine;
- After my previous failed attempt to buy a camera, I decided that I should go into HD resolution capabilities for a camera; it’s more expensive, but if you need a camera, get it in HD; sorry, no second place on this;
- I will have a problem with the hard drive? Yes, but I’ve found the solution – uploading the videos on YouTube on HD and deleting them from my hard-drive;
- I can post a video 20 GB in size (at full HD, it’s more than two hours of video; for more than this, I can take another shot);
- My final decision was like this: my own videos have about 30,000 views on YouTube (on my account there are some other people’s videos which account for another 30,000 views; so, only mine are about 30,000); the cost of the – camera + video card + battery + tripod is around 1,700 lei; that means that six people watching a video are about 0.339 lei; one piece of A4 sheet is 0.344 lei (more; I can say that it costs me one piece of blank paper for each person watching a video of mine; the question comes to this – would you rather give the world a piece of A4 paper or make 6 people spend their time watching a video I make? Trees – Be happy! -, I pick the video!
- The decision was also emotional – I would like the people who watch Lumea SEO PPC to have a better experience;
- I couldn’t find some Canon cameras in Romania; also true for Panasonic; no importer brought them, and they were supposed to be a good choice;
- It may be hard to believe, but there are not a lot of tests on camcorders; the reason is simple – there are a lot of camcorders out there, and it’s difficult to test them all; sure, if you want a specific test on a specific model, you’ll find it; but to have it like this – „We tested all the cameras on the market; we say this is the best camera, this is the best buy camera and this is the best camera for small budgets”; you can’t find it, or at least I couldn’t; close to this come Camcorderinfo.com and CNET.com; still, it’s not that easy to make a decision based on them – Camcorderinfo.com hasn’t tested all the cameras (my chosen camera, for example), and the reviews on CNET are either stars given by experts (what does 3 out of 5 mean? Is it „3 out of 5 for 300 USD”? Or is it „3 out of 5 for the best camera on the market”? also, the stars by users are given sometimes by one rating only; so, if one single client gave a 3, that product has 3 stars; I don’t agree to this, it’s not representative to have less than 10 votes);
- I looked on torrent web sites for PC magazines and shopping magazines, to find a test of lots of cameras; I didn’t find anything, although I’ve looked on about 50 magazines like this (OK, I’m sure such tests exists, but they’re just not that popular & common);
- I looked a lot on cameras – what I noticed is that a lot of people have some sort of a fixation on quality, ignoring the price; so, if a camera is average for 300 USD, and another one is good at 800 USD, you should pick the good one; why? I don’t want to spend 800 USD, make an evaluation based on the price range – „For 300 USD it’s a so and so camera”; I don’t think it’s fine to test a 300 USD camera against a 1,500 USD one; it’s just not relevant;
- I get this with a lot of reviews – the conclusion is so general that you can get a top 10 list of cameras based on the conclusion (so, „very good” doesn’t mean „the best in its class”, but „better than average”); OK, I would like something more refined than this; 5 stars out of 5 stars is not refined enough;
- Even in Romania, it’s hard to take an advised decision; different stores have different camcorders, so comparing apples to peaches is not fine; „best sold in X category” is just not representative enough, sometimes;
- After choosing a camera, I found that the differences in prices are huge; in online stores, I could get the camera for 1,420 lei (I bought it from a Romanian branch of a Hungarian company, who raised the price today) or for 2,254 lei (maximum); that’s a 59% increase in the price (from the lower price to the higher price); OK, the average is about 1,700 lei, and you can get it to 1,600 lei if you look into it; but, still, the differences are huge;
- What made me decide and be convinced? Well, this?
- I eventually went on and bought: Cameră video Sony HDR-CX130E, negru+ starter kit on a red color; it costed me 1,572.44 lei + 24,90 lei for the transport = 1,597.34 lei in total; but it also had an extra battery, a 8 GB card (the cheapeast products / models in Romania, and even on edigital.ro didn’t had it) and a carrying case; the extra battery is almost 200 lei in Romania;
- The warranty is not required – I would prefer a product which generally ships with 3 years warranty to be given to me at a smaller price (more than 10% lower than the lowest price in Romania – now that’s something!), and have fewer warranty; and I chose it like this (my parents would totally disagree with me on this one); :)
- As a conclusion: I can’t say I picked the best, greatest, nicest or even „best buy” camera; but I am, probably, somewhere between 80 and 100% of my choice, for a given budget; and this is fine with me, I will want to optimize no more; why is that?
- First impressions – the battery charges fast (two hours); the files copy so & so easily; the camera supports SD HC cards (I use an A Data); it has a USB cord attached to it, you can’t forget it at home; the photos aren’t great, but not all that bad either; I like the new camera a lot, it meets my requirements; and it’s red!
- First movies: see, as examples three HD movies, in three different settings, made with my new camera (set the resolution to 1080 px in YouTube):
- Amazon.com: Sony HDRCX130 Handycam Camcorder (Black): Camera & Photo
- Sony Handycam HDR-CX130 (Silver) Review | ZDNet
- Sony Handycam HDR-CX130 Review – Digital Camcorders – CNET Reviews
- (different camera, but not very different) Sony Handycam HDR-CX160 Camcorder Review – CamcorderInfo.com
- Sony HDR-CX130 review – Handycam Camcorders
- Sony HDR-CX130 Review