Hmm, long time no fogo. I seem to be having problems making time
to send stuff here lately. I'm just now getting around to sending
some notes on the digital video camera I bought on Feb 1...
I got a Canon Elura 2  digital video camera from a local store
(Future Shop) for $1830 CAD plus 15% tax (~$1400 USD total.)
I didn't do a lot of shopping around beforehand, maybe 6-8 hours
of surfing the web, and a tiny bit of reading in some camcorder
mags. I would have liked to researched it a bit more, but really
wanted to have the camera in time for my trip to Whistler, and of
course I left it until the last minute. Anyway, I'm pretty happy
with my purchase, and I don't think more research would have
resulted in buying a different camera.
I could have bought it online instead for about $1000 USD ,
but a) I didn't have time before my trip, and b) it's kind of
nice to have bought it locally in case something goes wrong with
it. I might have bought it online if I had more time though.
Why I chose the Elura 2:
- generally good reviews on epinions.com  and amazon.com ,
and it sounds like Canon and Sony make the best dv cameras.
(there aren't many reviews of this specific model on the web
yet since it's fairly new)
- uses MiniDV format tapes, which is my top pick after reading
a bit about each format. (btw, whenever I hear MiniDV I think
of a tiny version of Daniel Veillard, like Mini-Me  from
- this camera is *really* small. It's about the same size as my
regular digital camera (Olympus D-450Z) , with slightly
When I was trying it out at Future Shop, the guy that was helping
me had to bring it out from the back because they just got them
in, and a bunch of other sales guys saw me using it and came up
to comment on how small it is. (okay, they probably saw me coming
and had that whole thing planned in advance.)
The nice thing about this size is that I can always have it
with me in a coat pocket or whatever, like my digital camera.
Bad things about it:
- since it's so small and light, it can be hard to keep stable
- it's slightly awkward to turn it on and get rolling with one hand
(most of the time that I used it so far, I was on the ski hill
and would take one glove off, hold my glove and ski poles with
one hand and work the camera with the other.) I'm fairly used
to that now though.
- the widest angle is equivalent to something like a 50mm camera,
so it's hard to point the camera at yourself without having
your noggin occupy the entire screen. I think I'll buy a .5x
adapter lens to make up for that.
- the optical zoom is only 10x; some of the others (e.g. panasonics)
had more, like 18x.
- slightly expensive (near the middle of the current dv crop, I think)
The "Elura2 MC" is the roughly the same camera, but allows you to
take still photos to a removable multimedia card; I decided I didn't
care about that feature since I already have a digital camera and
the photos taken by dv cameras generally have lousy resolution
(~1 megapixel) compared to modern digital cameras (~3 megapixel+)
I paid an extra $300 CAD for an extended warranty (4 years parts,
service, replacements), but I'm not sure that was a good idea so
I might try to return it. (I don't know if they let you "return"
the extended warranty, but if I try and they don't let me, I'll
tell them I'll just return the whole thing including the camera;
I have 30 days to do that.)
The reasons I decided to get the extended warranty are:
- the standard warranty sounded pretty lame (something like 3 months)
- the extended one includes 4 cleanings that are supposedly worth
$150 each (I doubt that, but they're probably worth something)
- I tend to break things (like my digital camera , cell phone ),
and I figured I might be able to use this warranty to weasel out
of future breakage.
I could probably just learn to be more careful with my stuff
(e.g., not skiing double-black diamonds  with $3k of equipment
on me), but I figure the only thing worse than breaking expensive
electronic equipment would be to own this camera for a decade but
not have any cool footage to show for it.
What do others think, should I keep the extended warranty? (I need
to decide by this Wed cuz I'll be in Boston after that.)
So now I have an hour and a half of digital video from Whistler,
and need to get it online somehow. I haven't even started trying
to figure that out yet. I was kind of assuming that dv editing on
linux was at least a year or two away from being possible and
that I might have to break down and buy a mac (ugh) or even worse
dual-boot to windoze or rent some time on a windoze box or something,
but the other day I was pleasantly surprised to find what sounds
like excellent digital video editing software for linux:
> Movie studio in a WEB SERVER!
> Introducing Broadcast 2000, the realtime, non linear audio and
> video editor for Linux. This software is licensed under the GPL.
> You can now integrate audio with video, capture, render, edit,
> and play back your dream movies and mp3s faster, without paying
> for it!
> What better way to feed the most demanding application than with
> the most powerful hardware, the internet infrastructure.
> Your Linux box is no longer just a web server. It can edit
> 1920x1080 video and 24 bit sound just like the big boys. Watch
> Linux cut and dissolve edits in an instant, perform color
> correction, sharpen, copy without generation loss, play back
> hours of edited movie without destroying a single byte of source
> footage. You can record TV shows and watch them when you want in
> the original broadcast quality. Plus it can do this in realtime,
> all in the digital domain and in one single box.
> Broadcast 2000's signal processors and compression codecs are
> designed to fully exploit the high speed processors and SMP
> systems of the most demanding Linux user, because with this kind
> of freedom you need every ounce of efficiency you can get.
(hmm... maybe I should upgrade my home machine from a dual PII-350
to a dual PIII-800, and use my two PII CPUs in a replacement for
un.impressive.net. un has been having bad load trouble lately, but
I think I tracked that down tonight to a bad robot in Portugal.)
More rough notes on dv cameras from IRC: (from #fogo on Feb 1;
I edited the amazon URIs a bit)
01:27 gerald wow, this digital video editing hardware/software sounds
excellent, and is really cheap ($89 USD): Pinnacle Systems
Studio DV (Windoze only) http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00001OPIZ/geraldoskoboiny
01:28 gerald shopping for dv cameras...
01:29 gerald Sony DCR-TRC120 ($800 USD, $1k CAD at future shop) sounds
quite good: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004WZPY/geraldoskoboiny
01:29 gerald Canon Elura 2MC Digital Camcorder also sounds good ($1400
01:40 gerald Panasonic PV-DV400 Digital Camcorder also sounds good,
$900 USD, other similar ones available (DV100 to DV800);
MiniDV format ("the most popular"), sounds quite small http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004T1M3/geraldoskoboiny
01:41 gerald (one reviewer reported problems with it)
01:48 gerald Panasonic PV-DV200 also sounds okay, $800 USD, lacks night
vision, slightly smaller than DV400? http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004T12N/geraldoskoboiny
01:48 gerald sounds like MiniDV is the format to choose unless you need
compatibility with older analog equipment
01:50 gerald Panasonic PV-DV100 is $750 USD, slightly more basic still. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004T12M/geraldoskoboiny
01:53 gerald Panasonic PV-DV800 is $1000 USD, includes a light,
nighttime IR filter, adobe photo deluxe software: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004WEU0/geraldoskoboiny
01:53 gerald (not reviewed yet on amazon.com)
01:53 gerald oh... has a 3.5" LCD, too
01:55 gerald Panasonic PV-DV600 is $1000 USD (out of stock), includes
light and software, analog in, IR, 3" LCD: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004WETZ/geraldoskoboiny
01:56 gerald DV400 or DV200 sound like the best bet from panasonic's
01:58 gerald oh... PV- line includes 18x optical zoom, seems fairly
good for this price range
01:58 gerald all above cameras so far seem to include firewire (IEEE 1394)
01:58 gerald ... though some (most?) don't come with firewire cables
02:03 gerald Canon ZR-10 Digital Camcorder sounds good, 10x optical,
460k ccd, 2.5" LCD, $800 USD, generally positively
02:04 gerald ... smaller than the panasonic PV-DV200 (2.25x4x5.125"
compared to 4.25x3.37x7.5")
02:07 gerald Sony DCR-TRV6 Digital Camcorder has good specs, but lacks
info on amazon.com (no reviews), $1100 USD, 10x optical,
680x ccd, 2.5" LCD, 2.8x3.75x6.4" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004YAHH/geraldoskoboiny
02:09 gerald amazon bestselling digital camcorders: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/172431/107-6436312-9848520
02:09 gerald 1. panasonic PV-DV400
02:10 gerald 2. panasonic PV-DV200
02:10 gerald 3. sony dcr-trv6
02:10 gerald 4. sony dcr-rtv900 ($2200 usd)
02:11 gerald 5. sony dcr-trv120 ($800 usd)
02:11 gerald 6. jvc grdvm70u ($1100 usd)
02:11 gerald 7. jvc grdvl9800u ($1800 usd)
02:11 gerald 8. sony dcr-trv525 ($1000 usd)
02:12 gerald 9. sony dcr-trv820 ($1400 usd)
02:12 gerald 10. panasonic pv-dv100 ($750)
02:14 gerald ...
02:15 gerald jvc grdvl805u ($900 usd) sucks according to reviews: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004TG58/geraldoskoboiny
02:31 gerald Sony DCR-PC100 sounds excellent, but pricey ($1700 USD):
"fits in jacket pocket", good battery life, controls are
sometimes hard to use (esp zoom), *very* positively
reviewed (17 reviews, one fairly negative but most very
02:43 gerald ... #18 on amazon digicam bestsellers, 1,070,000 ccd
resolution, 2.5" LCD, Carl Zeiss lens, 10x optical zoom
(120x digital), megapixel still shots to memory stick,
02:51 gerald Sony DCR-TRV11 Camcorder is $1229 USD ($2k CAD at future
shop), 680k ccd, 3.5" LCD, 10x optical zoom, carl zeiss
lens, a couple positive reviews, includes software (might
be paying for it?): http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004WZOG/geraldoskoboiny
03:15 gerald Panasonic PV-L650 is $450, uses vhs-c tape, 18x optical
zoom, 4" lcd screen, sounds very basic, has positive
03:24 gerald er... no, that's not digital
03:40 gerald more on Sony DCR-TRV120... Digital 8 format, sounds
slightly inferior to MiniDV, but has big optical zoom
(25x), 450x digital zoom, and is only $1k CAD at future
03:56 gerald todo: check epinions for TRV6 reviews
04:04 gerald top 10 digital camcorders on NBCi: http://shopping.nbci.com/shopping/navigation?cat_id=2895
04:05 gerald 1. jvc gr-dvf31 ("lowest price": $534)
04:05 gerald 2. jvc gr-dvl300u ($508)
04:06 gerald 3. sony dcr-trv520 ($649)
04:06 gerald 4. canon zr-10 ($670)
04:06 gerald 5. panasonic pv-dv400 ($638)
04:06 gerald 6. sony dcrpc3 ($1320)
04:06 gerald 7. jvc gr-dvl505u ($568)
04:07 gerald 8. jvc gr-dvl500u ($180 ??)
04:07 gerald 9. canon XL1 ($3337)
04:07 gerald 10. sony dcr-pc100 ($1290)
04:18 gerald epinions digital camcorders sorted by rating: http://www.epinions.com/elec-Video-Camcorders-All?submitted_form=finder_form&quant_127197=-1&quant_127379=-1&quant_127375=127378&finder_form_submitted=++Find++
04:23 gerald near the top: sony dcr-trv11, trv310 (digital 8), ...
04:24 gerald a positive trv310 review, provides some good(?) arguments
for Digital 8 over MiniDV: http://www.epinions.com/elec-review-7E33-20E99D4E-3A2D6B07-prod2
04:46 gerald trv11 is reviewed well; cons: 10x zoom, 640x480 digital
stills, no light, somewhat expensive (~$1100 usd?): http://www.epinions.com/elec-review-4D47-B3DECA8-39C277CF-prod1 http://www.epinions.com/elec-review-5A4A-455B9E1F-3A4B9BF2-prod3
04:47 gerald continuing the list of top-reviewed models is the TRV8 (#4)
04:53 gerald ... trv315, trv320, jvc gr-dvl300u, trv520, ...
05:02 gerald sony pc100 has a few negative reviews, saying it's
overpriced, still image feature is lame, bad in low light,
recommend the canon elura instead
05:02 gerald http://www.epinions.com/elec-Video-Camcorders-All-Canon_Elura_2
05:16 gerald overall, panasonics seem okay, but not great according to
13:45 ger-chptr wasabi
13:46 ger-chptr hi
13:46 ger-chptr infobot, hi
[just checking if I was really connected, since cgi client can be goofy]
13:46 infobot salut, ger-chptr
13:47 ger-chptr hey... just stopped into a net cafe in chapters, reading
about dv cameras online
13:47 ger-chptr I think I might buy the Canon Elura2 from future shop,
$1830 CAD plus tax
13:47 ger-chptr but I just found it online for $1000 USD :(
13:47 ger-chptr but I wouldn't be able to get it shipped here in time for
the ski trip
13:48 ger-chptr so I might end up paying $300 CAD more (plus tax) for it
13:48 Yapper You should get it locally, just in case it breaks down
13:49 ger-chptr maybe I can return it to future shop after the ski trip or
something (kind of cheesy)
13:49 Yapper hehe, you only have 14 days I think
13:49 ger-chptr The place I bought my digital camera (Beach Camera) has it
for ~$1000 usd
13:49 ger-chptr the guy said I have 30 days, but kind of hinted that I
shouldn't really return it after taking it on a trip or
13:49 Yapper You could probably find cheaper from Montreal or Toronto,
maybe in Vancouver
13:50 Yapper He hinted, but didn't say no. Make sure nothing happens
13:50 ger-chptr I doubt they will match the price of an online retailer,
especially since it's already on sale from $2000 cad
13:50 Yapper You do have to try it out
13:50 ger-chptr yeah
13:50 ger-chptr I should've told tristen to buy one for me yesterday in
Edm, avoid the PST
13:51 ger-chptr oops... 15 seconds left
13:51 Yapper THat would've been a good idea
13:51 ger-chptr ttyl
13:51 Yapper bye!
14:41 ger-chptr :EOF From client
On Mon, Feb 19, 2001, Gerald Oskoboiny wrote:
> I could have bought it online instead for about $1000 USD ,
> but a) I didn't have time before my trip, and b) it's kind of
> nice to have bought it locally in case something goes wrong with
> it. I might have bought it online if I had more time though.
I thought about the buying locally / buying online advantages, and my
view is slightly different. I think that the two main advantages with
buying locally is that:
- if something is wrong when you receive it, you can easily get a
replacement. If you buy it online, you need to call them, tell them
that the item is no worky, send it to them, and wait for the
replacement to come.
- if you don't know how to do something, think something is strange
with the product, you can have them have a look at it, which is
better than asking questions on the phone.
However, all the warranties nowadays are manufacturer's warranties.
The example is my laptop whose hard drive died after 6 months. We never
talked to the guy we bought it from, but to Sony who, by the way, were
pretty good with that:
- they were insisting that we fax them the invoice to check that the
laptop was under warranty; that is weird, I had to return my Palm
Pilot to 3Com once and they did not even ask for my invoice when I
told them that it was 4 month old. But once we did that, everything
went smoothely and fast:
- 2 days later, I received a cool empty box by UPS Next Day Air to put
my laptop in with instructions about what to do.
- I built the box, completed a form about the problem, put everything
in the box, took the UPS label that was attached and put it on the
box. We called UPS and a few hours later, it was on its way to
California by UPS Next Day Air.
- Less than two weeks later, I got my laptop back with a new hard
drive. I was actually unsure that it would happen because only Linux
was running so I had obviously not "run a Scandisk" which is their
criterion for borken disks.
So manufacturer warranty works pretty well.
> I paid an extra $300 CAD for an extended warranty (4 years parts,
> service, replacements), but I'm not sure that was a good idea so
> I might try to return it. (I don't know if they let you "return"
> the extended warranty, but if I try and they don't let me, I'll
> tell them I'll just return the whole thing including the camera;
> I have 30 days to do that.)
> What do others think, should I keep the extended warranty? (I need
> to decide by this Wed cuz I'll be in Boston after that.)
Usually, I don't think that extra warranties are worth it because by
the time your toy reaches the end of the warranty, it is obsolete so
if it breaks you might as well buy a new one. Basically, when my
digital camera breaks, I will buy a new one without thinking about it.
However, 3 months is not a lot, and this one is expensive, so I'd keep
it: I am not sure that if your camera breaks in 3 months' time, you
will be willing to get a new one.
The more I think about it, this "don't repair, buy a new one"
technique is the way to go nowadays. For electronics, getting
something repaired is far too expensive. You can get a watch for a few
bucks, and it cost me $15 for the replacement of the battery in mine -
well, that's a nice watch, so I would not throw it away.
And just yesterday, I bought some new inline skates instead of buying
new wheels and bearings. Wheels and bearings must be at least $50, and
I found a pair of K2 Catalyst (the 2000 model) with 77.5 mm/78A
wheels and ABEC 5 bearings, that are worth $250, for $99.
1. Hmmm... I actually do not have a URI to provide because their Web
site seems to be down.
At 08:57 2/19/2001 -0500, Hugo Haas wrote:
>- they were insisting that we fax them the invoice to check that the
> laptop was under warranty; that is weird, I had to return my Palm
> Pilot to 3Com once and they did not even ask for my invoice when I
> told them that it was 4 month old. But once we did that, everything
> went smoothely and fast:
Since we are speaking of good service incidents on gadgets, I have to say
I'm really impressed with Fuji, and when I buy a new one, I'd be keen to buy
Fuji again. I sent it once for a sticky auto-lens-cap, and once for a sticky
button. The first time they cleaned it under the original warranty; the
second time they replaced it though I was already out of my original
warranty period; I think they extended until six months after the last
It is very inconvenient to be without a gadget for a period; I couldn't
tolerate being without a PDA. However, the camera wasn't too bad, and the
nice thing about Fuji Service in America is you can call them, ask how it's
doing and when you will get it back. You usually have to leave a message but
they will get back to you the next day, and the were very amendable to my
request of, "I'm going on a trip in 10 days, can you get it to me before
that?" It felt as if I was talking to human beings and not drones.
Joseph Reagle E0 D5 B2 05 B6 12 DA 65 BE 4D E3 C1 6A 66 25 4E
MIT LCS Research Engineer at the World Wide Web Consortium.
* This email is from an independent academic account and is
not necessarily representative of my affiliations.