Need A Camcorder For Under $500! (PLEASE HELP)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by EliteF50, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. EliteF50, Nov 30, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010

    EliteF50 macrumors regular

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    Oct 28, 2009
    #1
    So I'm looking to buy a new camcorder for amateur film making, and I was looking at the Canon T1i, but a lot of reviews said it wasn't great for video, so now I'm looking at the Samsung HMX H200.

    Can someone please recommend me a good video camera under $500?

    EDIT: Thanks for all the help, everyone. I've decided to buy a Canon T2i. :)
     
  2. bmcgonag macrumors 65816

    bmcgonag

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    #2
    What type of amateur film-making? IF you are wanting to do movie style film, on the budget you've set you won't find much. If it's just films of your family vacations, outings with friends, etc, then any pro-sumer camcorder will do.

    the difference being the ability to adjust depth of focus, depth of field, light intensity, etc. on the fly, vs. auto focus, and auto light intake.

    For amateur film making the Canon Mark V line is pretty affordable at about $5000 last time i checked, beyond that you are looking at the more professional level cameras running for much more money.

    Wish I could be more helpful. I heard Virgin was working on a Professional type Film camera (digital in reality, but shoots like large movie productions would use), but even that was going to be in the tens of thousands to buy. I think for a normal movie they have to rent the film camera from panavision for about $28000 a day.
     
  3. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #3
    You can get really good results from a Canon T2i DSLR, but you'd need some accessories too (out of the box a DSLR isn't very ergonomic for video use). You'd be needing a decent lens, some sort of audio recorder (Zoom H1 maybe) and some sort of viewfinder (Zacuto?).

    DSLR video is great for creative movie making (low depth of field, manual focus pulling, low light). If you spent your money on a regular HD camcorder, you'd end up with a more convenient video package, but the quality of result wouldn't be as high and your scope for creative effects would be a lot lower.
     
  4. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #4
    I'm not sure what you mean by the Mark V line. There's no such thing. I can only guess you're talking about the 1D Mark IV which is in that price range, but no one is really using that much for video. In the world of DSLR video, the main players are the Canon 5D Mark II, 7D, 60D, t2i, Panasonic GH1, and GH2. But even the t2i starts at $700.

    Based on his budget of $500 I'm willing to guess he knows what kind of quality to expect at that range. My recommendation to the OP is to look at how seriously you want to get into film making. Is this something you're looking to do just pass some time as a hobby, or is it something you'd like to get into more seriously down the road? If it's the latter, then I'd recommend saving up a little while longer. Try to get into the $2000 range. From there you can get a pretty good video camera new or used, or it's a decent starting budget in the world of DSLR video should you choose that route.

    Also, Panavision cameras don't rent for $28,000 a day. I'm not sure of the exact going rates these days, but their flagship camera (Genesis) rented for $4,000 a day and that was well over 5 years ago.
     
  5. jayeskreezy macrumors 65816

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    #5
    I get irritated when people suggest things out of the OP's budget. Clearly if they had all that money then they'd ask for that budget. You can do decent things on sub $500 equipment-just don't necessarily expect an Oscar. The canon e-store had a great sale last weekend. I think HV40's were like $380 shipped.

    Either way I'm a Canon fan so that's who I'd recommend. Make sure you have an external mic jack on whatever you get and a way to monitor your levels (headphones).

    Prices have gone back up, but here's the link: http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/subCategory_10051_10051_-1_17252

    Check there periodically. They get stuff on and off in there. I got an HV30 from there a few years ago. Quality camera.
     
  6. EliteF50 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 28, 2009
    #6
    Thanks for all the help guys, and special thanks to jayeskreezy. I did say I only want to spend $500 on it.

    But to answer your question, I'm using it for small films for Youtube. I just need an HD camera that'll do the job, not a really expensive pro camera.

    I do plan on pursuing film making, but not yet. So I have a bit of time before I need to buy a $2000+ camera. :)
     
  7. bmcgonag macrumors 65816

    bmcgonag

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    #7
    Apologies for the mistype on the $5000, should have had one less 0, at $500, and was just thinking of the DSLR line, guess 5D mark II came to mind from the podcasts I had been watching. Glad some folks with a bit more info were able to come to the rescue.
     
  8. EliteF50 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    No worries, I ended up paying $1000 ($750 Camera, $100 Warrenty + Taxes) for the T2i anyway.

    :)
     
  9. EliteF50 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Thanks! :D
     
  10. bmcgonag macrumors 65816

    bmcgonag

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    #11
    I'd be interested in seeing some of your work when it's ready, pm me with a link when you've got some video up.
     
  11. Richardthe4th macrumors regular

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    #12
    If your main goal is youtube, why not go for an SD cam? In 16x9 (anamorphic) mode. It has more than enough resulution for youtube.

    You can get a former top-model for a decent price I guess (didn't search), and you can practice. I am still using the Panasonic PV-GS150 Mini DV Camcorder for my home movies and it has excellent performance. If needed you can manually adjust all settings. For pro work I use a pro cam.

    I don't know your experience, so I cannot say in what to invest, but a DLSR has an additional price tag for all other equipment. (Sound, etc). Invest in trainings, books, software, etc.

    Good luck.
     
  12. Sdougherty macrumors member

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    Nov 8, 2009
    #13
    I hate to sound like the jerk here, but Film making is when you shoot using film, digital video is a different thing entirely!

    and to answer your question, buy a Flip Ultra HD or something of the sort, sub $200 with some room for accessories * tripod, magnet wide angle lens, microphone, etc etc* for youtube, thats the way to go
     
  13. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Yeah, you do sound like a jerk and you're also wrong. The term "filmmaking" has evolved over the years to expand beyond the scope of just using film. In fact, according to the dictionary, filmmaking is the practice of making motion pictures. There's no defined medium that must adhere to.

    Everyone in here is well aware of the technical difference between shooting film and digital.
     
  14. bmcgonag macrumors 65816

    bmcgonag

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    #15
    I also have to disagree with buying a cheaper quality camera for Youtube, just because that is the arena he wants to start in, doesn't meant that's where he'll stay long term.

    As well, a camera for "film-making" should be an investment. However, it sounds like he's made a choice, and most likely a solid one for a good start.
     
  15. EliteF50 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    I currently use a Flip HD and it's decent, but I want to make a huge upgrade now so I won't need to make a second upgrade later on.



    Well, my friends and I formed a film channel on Youtube. So far we don't have any serious films, just small tests to get us used to film making. But if you'd like to check it out, here's the link:

    http://www.youtube.com/rzrfilmz
     
  16. Richardthe4th macrumors regular

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    #17
    I don't want to stop the enthousiasm, but perhaps I am missing something...

    Huge upgrade for under $ 500,- :confused:

    I checked your youtube movie. Nice.
    But below you see it says 360p, that means 360 lines. SD (PAL) has 576, HD has 720/1018.

    Keep on filming!
     
  17. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #18
    The t2i is a pretty substantial upgrade over a flip camera.

    Also, 360p is the default youtube playback resolution. If you click on that you can choose the higher resolutions to watch it, including 1280x720.
     
  18. EliteF50 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    Like handsomepete said, the T2i is a major upgrade from the Flip HD. I ended up spending $1000 for it, whereas the Flip was $180.

    Also, click 720p. There are usually four or five options (240p, 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p), depending on the video.

    Thanks!
     
  19. alamein macrumors member

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    Nov 22, 2010
    #20
    That!

    You won't find 2Ti for 500$ unless it's used. It's a very good camera though, I happen to own one. It's been said that the video recording is of the same quality as EOS 5 Mark2

    Check out the following videos, first one is mine and the second one is from a guy who uses Canon 5d2 (he confirmed over PM in youtube).

    Don't forget to toggle the resolution

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT6AEb2UK34

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcAZESRR4R4

    You do need extra accessories as mentioned by handsome pete. One thing which kind of pissed me off is how fast you run out of memory with these recordings... but 5 mark2 IS used for film making.

    but 500$... is a tight budget
     
  20. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #21
    Not quite. The t2i, 60D, and 7D share the same quality video wise. The 5D Mark II is a full frame camera and is a bit better.
     

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