Car #: 99 SSM
Year : 92 Posts: 196
I am looking for a new camera for the car and I am not looking to spend more than $300 or close to that. I have been looking at the Sony Handycam DCR-HC38 MiniDV Camcorder has anybody used that? Or which camera in that price range is good. I am looking for the obvious ease of use good picture and sound durable and of course ease of uploading to the computer.I already have the I/O Port mount in the car. I am going to get something in the next couple of weeks.Looking for a little input. I am sure that this been over and over but due to technology here and there things may have changed since last time. When I read the reviews on the different sites none of them use the cameras in a race car at speed and all that goes in the car and this will be the sole reason for this camera. I have another one for family stuff but it is the mini dvd and won't work for the car.
Car #: 12
Year : 1991 Posts: 620
I haven't used either of these yet, but I have an order in for the Go Pro Hero Cam. Mostly because it looks like I can easily use it for snowboarding, the car, and just general fun without a super high cost of ownership. Their site has some sample video, and a few of the guys have posted some here.
Car #: 87
Year : 1991 Posts: 520
We started using the DCR-HC36 last year as a replacement for our older Hi-8 Sony. Price was the big factor in deciding on that camera. Looking back, I should have spent a bit more to get one with a video input jack so I could use a lipstick cam. Otherwise the I don't have any complaints. I got what I paid for.
Picture quality is just OK. Image quality is sharp enough but colors are a bit flat. Adjustments on the camera are somewhat lacking.
Battery life from the included battery will cover any sprint race but you'll need to recharge before the next session to be sure. They make a car adapter but it's relatively pricey.
It will accept wide angle lenses, but they're not really needed.
So far, about eight weekends, there have been no reliability issues.
Image quality when recording to the flash card is degraded to the point that you wouldn't want to post it online or use it as a finished product, but it's good enough to use for evaluating practice sessions or if you just don't care about the quality and want the easiest way to load it to a computer. -- that's another thing -- next camera I buy will have better flash card resolution. It's not hard uploading from digital tape but it has to be done in real time, which can be a pain in the ass.
I guess to make a long story short -- I'd buy a different (more expensive) camera next time around but for the price point I pretty much got all I could. I assume the HC-38 is pretty similar to my HC-36.
Car #: 00
Year : 1992 Posts: 294
I ended up buying a camcorder that records to a chip (SDHC). I have not had chance use it in the car, but I do like using it for other purposes. The Canon TX1 is a 7MP still camera that is also a 720 HD video recorder. It also has a very good 10x optical zoom. While video taping, you can take stills at the same time. And the 10x optical zoom is functional while video recording. Come is a very tiny package which allows you to take it everwhere.
It records in MPEG which requires a lot of memory. This is good as each of the 30fps is an actual picture. The bad is that it will only record 14 minutes on 4 gig at the highest quality 720 setting. Although the camera will take higher capacity cards(I have 8 gig), one session recording will stop when it hits 4 gig. Since I really don't need or want 720 for the in car. I will use the highest 640 recording mode in the car. It should give me a 1/2 hour when it hits the 4 gig. Then I will still have 4 gig for the next session without downloading.
MPEG is very easy to work with, just cosumes a lot of memory. But the overall quality is very good for a hybryd camera like this. Low light recording aren't the best, but that is true for most small pocket size cameras.
If you are looking for a camera that can do it all, stills, video, portability and in-car, this could be a good choice. Cost about $370
Car #: #23
Year : 1991 Posts: 642
I have used cheap miniDV cameras for several years now. I picked up a Sharp Z3, remanufactured on EBay for $75. and now have another one hooked up to my computer so I don't have to remove it from the car. Light & compact. Wired it directly into the car and have used a lipstick cam with it as well. The only limiting factor is the 60 minute run time for each cartridge. Firewire makes editing easy. Excellent quality at a very low price. Although, the solid state units are just beginning to become attractive.
-------------------- Muda Motorsports "We're all here 'cause we're not all there."
My wife bought it on sale for $100 for the kids to make movies for school. Of course, I got the job of making it work. It's a very simple CMOS camera and camcorder. But it will do 640 x 480 @30fps. And with a 4GB Pro Duo chip it will record at this high resolution for 2.5 hours. The chips are <$20 on EBay. It only weighs 7 oz. and has a flat bottom that is very stable in the mount. It also has stabilization software and seems to perform well with vibration. The only drawback is that it records in MP4 which uploads perfectly to YouTube or Google Video but doesn't sit well with most editors. A converter like the AVS suite does a good job of putting it into an editable format both quickly and without loss of quality. A 1 gig 30 minute file takes about 15 minutes. It also comes with a rudimentary editor that works with the mp4 format.
Check out the quality here and click the "watch in high quality" link under the lower right hand corner of the video box. Enjoy!