Camcorder <$1000

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by racketeer71, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. racketeer71 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    #1
    Hi all,

    There's plenty of threads out there with people asking for advice. I just didn't find any that matched my request entirely.

    Anyways, I'm looking for a camcorder in the sub $1000 range. It will be used for home videos, nothing professional at all. It will therefore have to be able to deal with not-so-bright environments without Hollywood lightning.

    I'm considering if I should go with mini-DV, instead of gambling on a flash-based? Some say it's better in my price range.

    I have considered Canon HF20 HD, but the reviews is not all that great, and I'll like to have more 5-stars reviews, if I should buy such an expensive product.

    In the other end, I've considered Canon FS20, which seems to gather better reviews, but of course it's a totally different playing field.

    I would like the product to be "future proof", although I know that's impossible. Point being, that I would rather spend a few hundred $ today, and then be happy for 5 years, than I'd save a few today and have antiquated equipment in 2 years. I would therefore think an HD would be best for me, but if they're not up to par yet, I would rather have a non-HD with better optics..

    I have kinda ruled out: Canon Rebel (not the form factor I fancy), harddrive based camcorders (fears it's too fragile).

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #2
    I would recommend the Panasonic HDC-TM300.

    It works really well in low light due to the three sensors and is overall a really good camera. Flash based aswell so no chance of hard drive errors.

    Full HD aswell + manual focus is really nice for some arty shots.
     
  3. thelongmorrow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate, NY
    #3
    Take a serious look at canon HV40:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...efinition.html

    Only $700.00, with the extra left over you can get the rode mic:

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007U9SOC/...SIN=B0007U9SOC

    and a good lens and step up:

    http://www.amazon.com/Raynox-DCR-660...sr=8-3-catcorr.

    It takes mini dv tapes(alot cheaper in the long run then the cost of digital storage), which final cut pro gets along with great, (native). So with all this you will come to around to $1000.00, and you can also pick up a good bag, an extra battery, some tapes, a mono or tri-pod, and your right within your budget.

    This is the same set up i have, and I love it!
     
  4. gødspeed macrumors regular

    gødspeed

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    Personally I'd wait and pick up a T2i next month: http://www.amazon.com/Canon-T2i-3-0...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=photo&qid=1266806767&sr=1-1

    If you can afford going $77 over budget, grab this lens to go with it: http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-AF-18-...=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=photo&qid=1266806674&sr=1-8

    otherwise, get this kit for $900: http://www.amazon.com/Canon-T2i-Dig...=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=photo&qid=1266806767&sr=1-2

    Don't be mistaken by the still camera form factor, as this camera has amazing video capabilities.
     
  5. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #5
    It has no autofocus.
     
  6. gødspeed macrumors regular

    gødspeed

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    True, and this is something possible buyers should be aware of. It wasn't a consideration for me when I bought the similar 7D, as always I avoid auto-focus even when it's available, but there are situations when having it would be useful for some.
     
  7. TH3D4RKKN1GH7 macrumors 6502a

    TH3D4RKKN1GH7

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    #7
    I don't see why you would factor out the Rebel T2i. You get great stills which is also great for family things and you get much better video... MUCHHHHHH better video than you would with any consumer camcorder out there. But hey its your money not mine.
     
  8. racketeer71 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    #8
    I think the form factor will make it somewhat difficult to shoot video with, no?

    I have a Canon EOS 400D already, so the upside of the T2i would be that I could reuse my lenses etc.
     
  9. racketeer71 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    #9
    In video mode, it seems to have autofocus:

    "For easier video recording operation and familiar functionality for beginners, the Rebel T2i's autofocus can be operated before or during video recording by pressing the shutter button half-way down in video mode."

    From: http://www.dcresource.com/news/newsitem.php?id=4084

    "Video Shooting: Focusing: Autofocus: Quick mode, Live mode, Face Detection Live mode; manual"

    From: http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/c...ategoryid=139&modelid=19943#ModelTechSpecsAct
     
  10. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #10
    That is a surprise. But as it's not proper continuous autofocus, I'd imagine it'd be a pain to operate and a distraction to watch back on a typical home movie.

    But, obviously, your choice. If you're comfortable with its "quirks" it doesn't seem to have any real competition.
     
  11. gødspeed macrumors regular

    gødspeed

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #11
    If it's like the 7D, yes, you can auto-focus while recording by pressing either the shutter half down or the AF On button, but it's very obvious and not smooth like on a dedicated camcorder. And if your microphone is anywhere near the camera, you will hear the internal motor doing it's thing. It's a lot easier to focus manually on a DSLR though than it is on a prosumer camcorder, so if you like having manual control and rarely if ever use auto-focus, it's actually an advantage I think.

    As for the form-factor, it's not a consideration when you're using a tripod or other support... when you're shooting with your hands, it is awkward, at least until you put together a rig. A rig with follow-focus, shoulder support, and matte-box (pretty much the basic requirements for producing professional video in the field with a DSLR camera) can be expensive: http://www.thecinecity.com/tcc/product.php?productid=147&cat=0&page=1

    But even just having a cheap shoulder support and/or viewfinder ( http://store.zacuto.com/Z-Finder.html ) support would make a big difference.

    I guess it comes down to how seriously you take video, and what kind of a budget you have. If it's just home videos and the occasional short film for learning purposes only, a prosumer camera like the HV40 is more than adequate. But DSLR cameras are definitely where it's at if you want a cost-effective and upgradeable setup that's viable all the way up to the kind of professional production that goes into shows like SNL and 24 (both of which use DSLR cameras).
     
  12. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #12
    If you are 'just' shooting home movies, a $1000 price point is WAY too high. Buy a simple HD camcorder from Kodak or Flip for under $200 and then in a few years when technology has changed, buy a new camcorder. You'll still likely be well ahead of the game.

    I used to use MiniDV camcorders but now exclusively shoot or home 'movies' on our Flip. It does all you could hope for as a 'home movie' camera.

    I can see wanting the latest and greatest technology, but I think $1000 IS WAAAAAAAAY too much for just shooting videos of the kids. This isn't 1985. ;)
     

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