Canon ZR800 MiniDV Camcorder with 35X Optical Zoom

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Refurbished Canon ZR800 MiniDV Camcorder with 35X Optical Zoom, for $119.99 + $5 shipping
Product: 1x Canon ZR800 MiniDV Camcorder with 35X Optical Zoom

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Camera by Canon, battery by Sony… :smiley:

got this a few months ago, like it.

This have a removable memory stick so I can edit movies on my PC?

It uses miniDV tape.

4.7 buzzillion stars…

3.5 stars on amazon…

(using my best Allen Iverson voice)
Tape? Really? Tape? We talkin’ bout Tape? C’mon …Tape? We talkin’ bout tape man!

(back to normal voice)
um… uh… Somebody should tell the Wootbots that this is 2008, nearly 2009.
Tape? It’s so… um… “last century”.

Reasons for MinDV:

wow. is that the darkest product write up ever viewed by wooters?

a minidv tape contains over 15GB of space and your 40GB HD is no even 3 tapes…

now start to respect these tapes… DVD ones loose quality cause 15gb is compressed with loss obviously to like 3gb…

and they still want $125 for it? ::winces:: I think I’ll have to pass. If it took SD memory or memory sticks, I’d be more inclined.

I was wondering if I was the only person wondering that. I think so. How depressing.

Rather than go buy something I think I’m going to go start a fallout shelter in the basement… who’s with me?

That’s not the camera battery. Anyone know what the button battery is for?

"While there is no doubt that MiniDV is being eclipsed by newer formats like DVD, hard disk drive (HDD), and flash memory cards, it does offer a number of advantages. MiniDV is cheap and widely accessible. It’s relatively durable, though many users have experienced the frustration of a faulty tape mechanism that spills out the lengths of tape. Cassettes make for easy archiving and the capture process for editing DV is more widely available than any other media.

Most crucial, perhaps, is that DV compression generally offers better quality video than the other formats. Standard definition DVD, HDD, and flash memory camcorders all employ MPEG-2 compression, which has a much lower data rate than DV - almost 1/3 the speed (8.5Mbps versus 25Mbps). Data speed is only one component of video quality, but it is important.

MiniDV’s flaw, however, is its linear nature. In the same way that DVDs surpassed VHS, people want the ability to skip around a random access set of files rather than fast forwarding and rewinding to get to a specific section on a tape. The camcorder manufacturers banked on the public’s willingness to sacrifice quality for that convenience, and it paid off. "

CNET review


Oh yeah, the button battery is backup for the date and time settings.


60 Day warranty.

So they don’t have the confidence in their re-spiffing to give it a normal warranty.


I got this from woot, refurbished, for same price I think.

Although it came in a generic “Canon Refurbished” box and generic padding in that box, not a spiffy color “ZR800” box and custom padding in the box, and it had a tiny “RE FURB ISHED” sticker on it, I believe the one I got was brand new. There was not a mark on it, and the batteries and cords and instruction book were clearly new. And the 60-day warranty was from Canon, a “Canon Re furb ished” warranty.

This model is discontinued and replaced by the ZR900 now, and I think the one I got, and these at woot, are just the end of production for that model that didn’t get spiffy retail packages.

Your mileage may vary, though. It has a warranty from Canon, not woot or some no-name.

Mine has worked perfectly and it was a really good deal here. If mine breaks I’ve already got my money’s worth from it.

Nice quality, but some reviews on other sites say it’s poor in low light. I didn’t find that to be the case. It gets decent images in lower light. It’s a little grainy in low light when viewed on my LCD computer monitor, but viewed on a normal TV (CRT 480i NTSC) it looks OK and the grain is objectionable only if you’re looking for it.

IF you have a large screen plasma or LCD and shoot in low light you might want a higher model. There were 2 above this in the 800 series, and there are three models in the current 900 series. The higher models use a different imager.

If you’re shooting in sunlight, or daylight, there’s no problem at all.

Jim makes lots of good points here. These are why my primary video camera is one that uses tape. I would also like to add that the linearity problem is not so much of a problem if you dump the contents of the tape on the computer. Once you have done that, you have a digital file that is easy to access and manipulate.

I picked up one of these off eBay recently. I already had the ZR300 and 700 previously. I needed a cam to record in-flight videos as I work on my instrument flight rating, but almost all the current models from every manufacturer are missing one piece that type of use requires…an external mic input! Granted some newer cams have proprietary input features for their own external mics, or for shoe-attached mics. To tie the cam into the plane’s comm system requires a normal mic input, which the ZR800 and 900, but none of their extended models, do have. Works great!