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I have been window shopping for a digital camera/video camera to bring with me into the field. My budget is around $500.
Questions:
1) What is the best camera for $500 or under (Zoom, image qulaity, stabilization, etc.)?
2) If I want to film wild life and hunts, would a $500 digital camera provide a good quality or would I be best to buy a camcorder?

Basically is there a device that will film and photograph wild life from varying distances with good quality for under $500?
 

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I bought a JVC Everio HD that takes 2 seperate flash cards, one for video and one for still. It was about 500.00 and I am very impressed with the quality of the pictures and ease of use...
 

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Man, make me angry to spend big $$ on electronics. I have worked in the electronics field for 29 years and wasted a lot of money on the latest and greatest. These days, I subscribe to the keep it cheap cause the more expensive equipment doesn't produce results that justify the extra dough.

A few years ago I bought a Nikon Point and Shoot, think it was $599 plus tax. My criteria at the time was, SD card, leading edge pixel count and good quality lens elements. the camera met all the criteria items. the very next year, the same model, with more pixels was 1/2 the price.
2 years later, i bought my wife a 6M Pentax P&S, for $149, the following year, 7M for my 2 eldest kidds, same price, the next year an 8M for the youngest, all $149, Pentax E##, AVI video, uses AA batteries, easy to use, great video, great stills.

Lots of sub $200 P&S's and HD video camera's on the market even locally, unless your a pro, I see no point in paying for precieved benefits. Check out a few model and check review sites to see the pros and cons of them. Here's a popular review site, DPReviews.
 

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I bought a JVC Everio HD that takes 2 seperate flash cards, one for video and one for still. It was about 500.00 and I am very impressed with the quality of the pictures and ease of use...
I'd say scanner has sent you in the right direction.

JVC Everio >CLICK HERE<

A friend has one and is very pleased with it.
Small for fitting in a pack or fanny/utility belt/pack....pocket.
HD is definately the way to go nowadays but like styk says,in a month or two something new may come along.

I upgraded my SLR body and two months later Pentax introduced their SLR body that will also take HD video
 
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