(Apologies if this is best in IMHO or something. Feel free to move as desired. Was advised to put in GQ.)
I like taking videos of my chihuahua. My friends like watching these. But the only way I can take videos for them to see is by using a low-quality digital camera and making low-quality (yellow tinted, ‘clacking’ when you move) movies to upload for them to see. The videos then end up in a large .mov format, uncompressed, and end up with a large file size so I have to host them on YouTube or GoogleVideo or something; I’d be happier hosting them on my own website for semi-privacy.
Anyway, due to these problems, I’m looking to buy my own camcorder-thing. Except I don’t even know what I’m looking for as a product/price range, only what I desire in a camcorder. I am hoping someone can help me out, thus.
I will be making generally short videos, likely no longer than 5 minutes long.
These need not be in a higher format than 640x480 or whatever it is, I think, unless I can compress larger ones down really well through some editing program. (I know very little about compression.)
They need not be super clear, although some clarity IS nice.
Same for zoom; I don’t need an insane amount, but some is good.
I will move the camera around while filming, so do not care for it to ‘clack’ loudly when moved.
It does not need to take pictures at all. That’s what the camera I already have is for.
It does not need to connect to TVs or DVDs or anything; just a computer with a USB cable preferably.
I would like it to be able to handle typical indoor light settings. The current one turns things yellow in houses.
I would like it to not have a 10 second long fade in at the beginning no matter what like my current one.
I would LOVE it to have some form of output that is NOT .wmv or .mov, so that I can edit it with VirtualDub and compress it, OR for it to come with its own software that I can use to compress file size/edit parts of movies together. Or some reliable program I can buy somewhere that can do that, as a last resort. (I might splice some shots of my dog doing his trick repertoire and add some text labeling/subtitles.)
Types of batteries, speed of uploading and size of camera don’t matter to me.
I THINK things such as “Point and Shoot” camcorders would work for me, but I don’t know. There may be further things I would want in a camcorder as well but just don’t know they even exist to ask about! So I’ll happily accept any help/narrow-it-down questions.