Digital camcorder with camera

  BingoBoy 13:40 07 Apr 2010

I was originally going down the route of buying a separate digital camera and camcorder looking to spend round £150 for each. Somebody mentioned to my wife a combined Lumix camcorder with built in camera but didn't get any details and I can't find anything via the net.

Two things I am after: firstly does anybody know if there is such a thing and secondly do you think that for this price there is a risk of compromising quality by going the combined route?

Any thoughts welcome.

  anchor 14:28 07 Apr 2010

Most digital still cameras will take quite good video. The best model for this would possibly be a little out of your price range,

click here

However, I might suggest a more reasonably priced alternative, the Lumix DMC FZ38.

click here

The reviews on this a most favourable.

  BingoBoy 14:48 07 Apr 2010

Forgive my technical ignorance but does the DMC-FZ38 work like a conventional camcorder i.e. can you switch to recording mode and record for as long as the battery lasts or are you restricted to how long you can record movies for?

For example my entry level digital camera takes video recordings but for 60 seconds max. Unfortunately I am a technophobe so do need the obvious explained.


  anchor 15:17 07 Apr 2010

Here is a YouTube video made with the FZ38; allowing for the fact that YouTube compress videos very much, the quality is excellent:

click here

UK user review video,

click here

Maximum video length is 30 mins, with a suitably large capacity SD card.
(this is apparently due to EU tax rulings).

  BingoBoy 15:39 07 Apr 2010

That does look very good - thanks for both of those links. Will check it out in full out of office hours.

So to put things simply it records images to a SD card and presumably you can load both stills and video onto the same card? Your length of recording time is then restricted by the number of photo's taken until such time as the pictures and video are down loaded.

  the hick 09:57 22 Aug 2010

Searched for inf. on FZ38 and found this earlier post. Does anyone know why the video length is limited to 30 mins. by the EU, for tax rules? Surely, the VAT on all cameras, still and movie, is the same, although the figure varies in each country. Bit puzzling to me.

  anchor 12:59 22 Aug 2010
  BT 16:58 22 Aug 2010

I assume that the 30 mins refers to a single uninterrupted shot, and that you can record as many 30min shots as you want space permitting.
Having used tape based camcorders for many years its amazing just how long it takes to fill 30mins of tape, so I wouldn't be put off by the restriction.

  anchor 17:45 22 Aug 2010

"the 30 mins refers to a single uninterrupted shot"

Yes, as I understand the rule, that is what it means.

  BingoBoy 08:15 23 Aug 2010

Having used the camera since April I can confirm that when you start a movie the counter works down from 30 mins for each shot. So unless you are recording an entire event in one go it is quite hard to fill up 30 mins with day to day shots.

My big problem with this camera is the AVCHD format that Panasonic and Sony use for HD movies. All my other technology is too out of date to cope with it so unless I upgrade every thing I can't get the movies off the SDHC card onto DVD.....but thats another story.

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