recommendations - video camera for research


I am in the market for a new video camera for research. It will mainly be used to record interviews, so I dont need super high quality audio or video (no Hi-Def). Im looking in the $500 and under range. Needs to be Windows XP compatible.

My main concern is that the camera records in a format that is easy to edit and transfer to other programs. I currently have an older model JVC Everio, and have found that it is next to impossible to get the videos to play in any programs other than what came with the camera (e.g., they wont play in Quicktime or Media Player). Im hoping to avoid this problem with the new camera.

Any recommended brands and models, or brands/models to avoid?

Thanks for your suggestions,



Heather L. Petcovic

Assistant Professor

Department of Geosciences and

The Mallinson Institute for Science Education

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, MI 49008

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269-387-5488 (Geosciences)

269-387-5380 (Science Education)

269-387-5513 FAX