Choosing the best camcorder for my needs...

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by martin.sharkey, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. martin.sharkey macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2008
    Hi there,

    I’m looking for a bit of guidance on picking a digital camcorder…

    Every summer I am involved in a charity award ceremony for kids that uses video clips combined with talking heads, photo montages etc to produce a fairly decent standard (if I say so myself!) multimedia presentation.

    Last year, I was fortunate enough to have access to a high-end Sony camera that produced really good results. This got me interested in editing and I tried my hand at Final Cut – even done chromakeying! This time round, I don’t have access to the Sony camera so I’m looking to get my own camera that I could use for the project as well as for my own personal use.


    My basic needs are:
    • Editing footage in final cut
    • Capable of capturing green screen chromakey with decent results
    • Enternal mic socket

    Is minidv still a good format to invest in?

    My budget is £600

    Am I better off going for a second hand high end model or a more entry brand new model?

    I guess what I’m really looking for is a camera that will allow me to capture more professional results and try things out in final cut – basically I don’t want a camera that is only good for family holidays!

    If anyone has got any advice or points, I’d really appreciate it.

  2. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    The Canon HV30 is probably the best choice. It was £540 last time I looked on Amazon.

    For the best green screen results, you will ideally want to get a HDMI capture card and connect the camcorder to your computer using HDMI.
  3. UK2TX2CA macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2008
    I agree with the prior post, go with a HV30, I have the HV20 and love it.

    Stop by to check out the Canon HV20/HV30 user community so see what you would be getting into.
  4. martin.sharkey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2008
    Thanks both of you.:)

    I'll have a read up on it.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You don't say if you need high defintion or not. Is standard OK? If so then you best bet is to buy an older model profesional level camera. The Sony VX2000 or something like that.

    What matters a lot is that you have a good microphone that is up close to the subject. The pro cameras will have an XLR mic input and allow you to use pro audio gear. The other thing that makes a huge difference is lights. With enough well cotrolled light and a good tripod almost any camera will give a good picture but the ones with three CCD chips inside will give far beter color then any single chip camera.

    With your budget I think you are looking at either a mid range consummer type camera likethe Canon that was suggested or a used profesonal standrd def camera.
  6. martin.sharkey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2008
    When I think about it, I don't really need high definition.

    My only concern with an older pro camera would be if it needed servicing or repairs because of its age?

    From looking at the VX2000, it looks like the same camera or similar to what I had access to last year which I was very happy with.
  7. oceanzen macrumors regular


    Dec 4, 2006
    Madrid, España
    You do want HD if you are doing green screen as the resolution is important to get believable footage. If you use SD you will get jaggedy edges on your actor.

    I have just done a green screen shoot at Uni with a Canon HV20 and using the Black Magic intensity card to capture hi quality 1920 x 1080 footage.

    The results are gorgeous. There is no reason to get SD nowadays, - even when your final output is DVD or the internet. HD is worth it.

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