Worth buying second hand if you can get it cheap. Good quality, nice to use. Recommended. - Advantages: Mini DV - good quality & digital, Good range of functions, DV-in/out capable (with hack) - see datavision.co.uk - Disadvantages: Quite old - one of the first Mini DV cameras, No manual zoom/fiddly manual focus and menus, No LCD monitor
The NV-DS1 is a fantastic digital video camera, we bought it 2 years ago for £1000, with some software to load the pics onto our computer. It is very light, compact little camera, but really easy to operate. You can either operate it through the buttons on the top or even operate it via a credit card sized remote control. It both records and plays it back to you (depends on which mode you're using). It takes mini cassettes which transfer easily onto standard VHS tapes. The quality of the video footage is absolutely excellent - so good that it could be used on the TV! One of the best bits about our camera is that it has special effects, strobe, negative, black and white, sepia, solar, tracing, fade in & out etc. Which makes it even more fun. Loading the pics onto your PC again is really easy, the Panasonic DV studio software is really user friendly, after installing it, you just follow the instructions to attach your camera to the PC, select your frame (the film must be paused) and click on ACQUIRE - it's that easy! You can then acquire as many photo stills as you want to put in your "DV album". You can also make new albums. To view the pics in a larger format, just double click on the image. The images can also be converted to bitmap files using DV studio and if you need to convert a pic to jpeg format for use on the internet, this can be done really easily by opening up the bitmap file in PAINT SHOP PRO & saving it as a jpeg file. (very easy). When you have children a video camera is definitely a must to capture all their "first moments" I bought this camera before I had my son, but it's been a really great investment, as since I had my baby I have used it to put pics of him on the web for my friends and relatives as well as make all the home videos. I also have a Panasonic Hi-Fi and again the quality is excellent, I have found this make to be really good and reliable. I have noticed that the price of this camera
has come down to around £700-£800 now. If you are looking for a new video camera I highly recommend it!