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Thread: Camcorder Shipped from USA?

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    Missing in Action CocoPops's Avatar
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    Camcorder Shipped from USA?

    Seeing as the pound is so good against the dollar, I'm thinking about buying a US Camcorder and getting it shipped over.

    Even paying VAT on the US price, it works out cheaper.

    So....

    Which US retailers would ship a camcorder to the UK?

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    Junior Senior Member Aaron's Avatar
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    Amazon *might*.

    Watch out though - a lot of US video cameras will only record to in NTSC (though they should have PAL and NTSC playback).

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    Missing in Action CocoPops's Avatar
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    NTSC is fine, thats the least of my problems.

    Main use for camcorder is DV input into my MAC for editing, so I can always record onto PAL thru my VCR which supports NTSC playback and so should handle the conversion.

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    MD
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    Don't think amazon can, not sure about bestbuy www.bestbuy.com I know CompUSA will send worldwide, but not sure if they do camcorders www.compusa.com

    Other than that I'd google it US style.

    m@
    Please do not message me about Scan Free shipping, I no longer work for HEXUS.net

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    daft ideas inc. scottyman's Avatar
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    Dude - don't do it!
    really, really bad idea. 1. Completely different res, 2. Completely different frame rate.
    3. Completely different color space.
    Without investing in a large amount of expensive kit from Sony (because frankly, theirs works best - around £6000 for low end, budget kit! £15000 for their decent models) it's going to look awful.
    Better off getting one you know is going to work correctly first time around.

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Yeah, I agree it's a bad idea. NTSC is lower res and higher frame rate, so by converting NTSC to PAL you get the worst of both worlds. Your VCR will almost certainly not be able to convert NTSC to PAL, the only ones I've seen that do are specialist models costing £500+. You can probably do the conversion on your computer with the right software, but it'll be time consuming to render. With decent PAL DV camcorders like the Canon MV600 going for under £300 now, I don't think it's worth your while.

    Buying from any of the countries in Europe that use PAL should be absolutely fine though, you can sometimes save money that way.

    Rich :¬)

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    daft ideas inc. scottyman's Avatar
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    If you look at some nice little sony or panasonic (or even canon) - all can be sourced pretty easily from their supply centers in Germany or Holland (point of entry) as you'll also find that's where their service centers are too.
    Should have really clarified the whole 640x480@30fps (or 704 depending on chip and pix aspect) (NTSC) v. 720x576@25fps (PAL D1) issue
    The other major issue I forgot to mention would be the old chestnut of pixel aspect ratio... 1.2 v. 1.4 for PAL - this is standard D1 rather than DV, which screws things up even further! DV format attempts to find the best of both worlds, using non-square, non-standard resolutions which technically aren't supported by anything.
    You simply crop appropriately, and hope that your processor can handle it.

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    Missing in Action CocoPops's Avatar
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    Hmmm, a little more complicated than I thought then!

    One's I am looking at, are:-
    Sony TRV19, TRV22
    Sony HC30, HC40

    The HC models were only launched VERY recently and are replacing the TRV range as far as I can see. There is very little info on the web about them but I'm guessing I'd be better off with the newer models.

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    daft ideas inc. scottyman's Avatar
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    do like the 22 - it's not a bad little unit.
    just doing a quick exam - will check it out after.

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    Junior Senior Member Aaron's Avatar
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    Oh, and another thing. Sony UK do not honour warrenties from other parts of the world. If your camcorder breaks, you'll have to take it back to the US and provide a US postal address.

    I know this because I bought a Sony MD player when I was over in New York about 5 years ago. I got the player out there for 125 pounds (compared to around 200 pounds over here), which I thought was a bargain.

    Anyway, the MD player came with a seperate charger to charge the slim rechargable battery that comes with the unit. I used a transformer with it to recharge the battery but one day smoke came out of it and I smelt a nasty burning smell. The charger was dead.

    So, I took the charger (+ MD player + boxes + warrenty) to my local Sony centre and I was took that the warrenty is only valid in the US and additionally you must provide a US address.

    "No problem", I thought. It's only a cheap piece of plastic that's broken. The actual MD player is fine. I'll just ask how much a replacement will be. The guy phones up Sony UK and he replies that a replacement battery charger will cost 110 pounds!

    I sent Sony UK a letter or two explaining what was wrong, just to make sure we were talking about the same part. After threatening them with trading standards, they offered to lower the price to 60 pounds "Out of the goodness of our hearts".

    Moral of the story: Don't buy anything from Sony. Their warrenties are a joke, their customer service is appalling and the cost of replacement parts from them is unmatched even by Apple.

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    daft ideas inc. scottyman's Avatar
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    ditto with my Dad and his UK sony laptop. He was told (after a power surge nuked the mobo) that he should have bought an international warranty at point of sale (Which, as it happens, Micro Anvika don't sell - as they do Sony service in house, not through Sony) as he's not covered over in New Zealand!
    Bit of a joke really. Called up the insurance company who said that they would cover a replacement provided that the damage was "unrepairable" - but unrepairable, they mean dropped down the stairs.
    Didn't have to resort to that in the end, as they happily accepted that it was stuffed! They paid us out retail for it, and Dad got a new company laptop... moral of the story... don't buy Sony if you ever have to move, or take it on holiday... or pretty much anything else!
    Check the warranty fine print, it's very restrictive.

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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    Indeed. Sony used to be decent.
    Their after sales support is abysmal now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    daft ideas inc. scottyman's Avatar
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    btw - do you have any preference of DVCAM over DVCPRO (sorry - you get the gist... I honestly can't remember what the consumer brand formats are!)

    Have a browse through here at any rate:
    http://www.netbuyer.co.uk/categories...ercrawlzd.html

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    Missing in Action CocoPops's Avatar
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    hmmmm, deffo not as easy as I first thought!!

    Simply put, I want.....

    A camcorder
    Ability to copy to/from VCR (via analogue)
    Ability to copy to/from Apple Powerbook (via Firewire)

    Think thats it really.

    Don't want to spend more than 500, would prefer to spend less.

    Not fussed on still pictures from it, I have a digi cam for that.

    I went for the sony stuff coz I've never had a problem with their stuff, but as long as my mac supports it... I'll consider anything. http://www.apple.com/macosx/upgrade/camcorders.html Thats the apple supported list, but I don't think it's fully exhaustive.

    Also, I guess I am best with "Mini-DV" as the standard?

    As you can prolly see from what I've typed so far, I am a complete n00b when it comes to camcorders (never yet owned one)

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CocoPops
    hmmmm, deffo not as easy as I first thought!!

    Simply put, I want.....

    A camcorder
    Ability to copy to/from VCR (via analogue)
    Ability to copy to/from Apple Powerbook (via Firewire)

    Think thats it really.

    Don't want to spend more than 500, would prefer to spend less.
    Canon MV600i should do you fine. I sold them from the MV300 series onwards and they kept getting better and cheaper. This sort of quality would have cost you £800+ in 99/2000. For cheap camcorders, I always recommend Canon they're as good as if not better than sony in all respects including build quality, but they're cheaper. It's easier to get cheap off brand batteries for them too, so you can't really lose IMO.

    http://audiovisual.kelkoo.co.uk/b/a/...01/318507.html

    Out of that lot I'd probably recommend PRC. Pixmania are based in France which will be major hassle for you if you need to claim on the warranty.

    I went for the sony stuff coz I've never had a problem with their stuff, but as long as my mac supports it... I'll consider anything. http://www.apple.com/macosx/upgrade/camcorders.html Thats the apple supported list, but I don't think it's fully exhaustive.
    TBH mate, apart from a few very early JVCs, I've never come across a camera that didn't just plug and play with a firewire connection. They got the standards sorted a long time ago. I can't guarantee a camcorder not on that list will work, but I would be amazed if it didn't.

    Also, I guess I am best with "Mini-DV" as the standard?
    Yep. Don't bother with DVD or MicroMV, they both use MPEG2 compression. There's nowt wrong with MPEG2 in itself but it's not really suited to linear "on the fly" compression so too much movement gives you motion artifacts.

    Rich :¬)

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    slave of the hypnotoad
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    surely it doesn't matter if Coco gets a NTSC camcorder apart from the obvious differences in the formats, as long as their is no need to later convert it to PAL, and i can't see that he particularly would, all modern TVs/VCRs/DVD players support NTSC.

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