What camcorder?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by theLane, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. theLane macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2008
    Hi all,

    I have been using a low-end camcorder to learn FCE and am now ready to get a high-end camcorder. My goal is to start a side-business doing video editing/production... mainly as a hobby. I'd use it at events like sports, weddings, etc.

    I want high-def video capability. What video camera would you recommend for this?

    I was looking at the JVC GZ-HD3 (http://camcorder.jvc.com/product.jsp?modelId=MODL028148&pathId=141&page=10) Is this overkill?

    PS: I am no expert in these area's :)

    Thanks in advance for the help,
  2. polyethyleneguy macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Did you specifically want a tapeless camcorder? Only if you are using the newest version of FCE can you easily start editing the tapeless forms. The best in this class is the Canon HF100 or HF10 (there is also a new HF11). If you go tape, I would go with the HV20 or HV30, also by Canon.
  3. theLane thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2008
    Well no, I have no preference to tape or tapeless actually. I will check out those camcorders you mentioned, but is there a different brand that you can recommend as well?

  4. Courtaj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    Take a look at the Sony SX11 / SX12 (HD camcorders recording to harddrive and Memory Stick) and the Sony CX12 (no harddrive, records to Memory Stick only and is possibly branded the CX11 if you're in the States).

    I wouldn't say the Canons are "best in class" though they do have a good following. Sony make an HDV (tape) camera comparable to the HV30, namely the HC9. They're all (Canons and Sonys) excellent cameras. Pore over the specs, make a decision on the kind of recording format you prefer, and - above all - make sure you handle them to get a feel.
  5. INGRIDPM macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2008
    Canon Camcorder Dc310

    After I Have Recorded I Can Not Pla My Mini Dvd On My Laptop. I Don't Know What To Do. Can Anyone Tel Mne How To Play The Dvd Disk. I Have Vista And Windows 2007 Installed On My Laptop.
  6. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2008
    I'd go for the GZ-HD7 if you want tapeless. You want a FOCUS ring, most of the newer cams don't have it unless you go for a prosumer cam.

    There is a panasonic for a little more, a tape based one for a little over 1200, that I saw on Amazon, I forgot the model.

    If you can get buy with a Focus dial, rather than a ring(which is best), get the Canon HV30.
  7. DaveLadely macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2008
    digital camera, semi-pro thru pro

    For any HD video even remotely in the pro category, the recommendations I read in this forum are off base, and strictly consumer camcorders, not even qualifying for the "pro-sumer" label, for a lot of reasons.
    For one thing, they look like consumer camcorders, hardly impressive to customers. The microphones don't have pro connectors, are all poorly positioned, tend to pick up zooming and other noises. They are so light they are hard to hold steady. They are so small, your fingers can cover the mics, etc.
    They don't do as well as pro camcorders do in low light. Etc. How can one fair chip compare with three good/excellent chips?
    I own the Canon XH A1, have used it both pro and hobby, take on vacation with me. It is about the best performing and highest accepted reasonable costing HD camcorder - it has the "guts" of their $8K camcorder, and the optics are very fine, great zoom, with very good low light performence. It is relatively light, but heavy enough to be able to hold steady. Quite easy to use. It is impressive looking - in fact, when the guards at a Hillary Clinton appearance in Seattle saw my Canon, they assumed I was a press photographer and let me into the press area, where I was able to video next to CNN, KING, KOMO, etc. Needless to say, I got some great footage!! Ask professionals, not wannabe mentors! Also, with mini tape, iMovie loves it as it can control the camcorder.
    For consumer use, Canon has come out with three new camcorders, one uses flash cards. Otherwise the HV30 seems to get the best overall reviews.

  8. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Sonys world leader in camcorders. Also try Canon.
  9. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2008
    In this forum? I think you mean thread :p

    The guy asked if the GZhd3 was OVERKILL (around $800), so I based my recommendations on this budget level.

    THe GZHD7 will get you buy, it at least has a focus ring, something even the lowly HV30 doesn't have(just a ***cough*** focus dial).

    Although now reading over the post, if you want to do this as a business, you really should look to spending more now, it'll pay off in the long run. Try looking at the Canon GL1 or GL2 if you don't mind tape. Search Sony, Canon, and Panasonic on Amazon and look at all the camcorders around $2,000+ , I remember seeing a card based storage camcorder for around $2,000.
  10. DaveLadely macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2008
    HD camcorder for light pro use and hobby

    You can't use a boy to do a man's job, and in this case "professional" was mentioned, which means money is expected. How in the world can anyone actually try to even get a sale for even a light professional gig like a simple wedding or even a birthday party when the equipment shown to the customer is obviously pure "consumo" - must be dreaming!!!
    He was talking "HD", which I took to mean he wanted HD quality, which he could down-convert to decent DVD quality and keep the master for later Blue Ray if the customer so desired. Or, better yet, get a Blue Ray recorder and make two DVDs for the customer, one Blue Ray and one standard. HD is an awfully good format and super deal for the quality, and it is not only the present but is the future.
    The Canon XH A1 is pretty much acknowledged to be the best for the money. Going tapeless is significantly more money for even near the same quality, prices will go down eventually, of course. Canon seems to generally beat others on real image quality and that is of primary importance.
    Getting a three chip non-digital camcorder is like getting in a time machine and buying the best of 2002. Offering HD to a customer provides a great deal of satisfaction and good will, and good word-of-mouth, whereas offering a near obsolete SD format is a shame.

    When I do my rare professional shoots, customers are impressed with the pro look of my Canon XH A1. First impressions are very important. They feel assured you are not a hobbiest using them as guinea pigs and charging them for it. I show them raw footage in HD, and they are very impressed. If they don't have a Blue Ray player, very very few do, I tell them I can downconvert to SD and that the result of downconverting to SD is slightly better than shooting in SD, though my HD camcorder can shoot in SD also, which is nice. I also tell them I can record in Blue Ray so that they will have a Blue Ray DVD if and for when they do get a Blue Ray player.
    If he cannot afford such a camcorder, he should stick to pure hobby. The newest Canons outperform others in comprehensive reviews; there are three versions, one flash card and two combo hard drive/32 gb memory. If he shoots his friends weddings, he will have a good HD video he can provide for the cost of materials and be considered a cool, generous friend.

  11. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    i just got the canon vixia hf100 and its really great! even better then sony also because sony doesnt have sd memory cards that are cheap, they only use their own sony memory sticks and they are so expensive. thats also a reason i got a canon. from amazon
  12. Courtaj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    Precisely. No budget was mentioned, though one was implied.

    I'd say "Get your hand off it" but that kind of thing gets me into trouble.

  13. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2008
    Nowhere was 'professional' mentioned. Re-read the post.

    He said "side-business doing video editing/production... mainly as a hobby"

    and asked if the "GZ-HD3 was OVERKILL".

    I don't think he was looking into spending 3K+ for a camcorder right now. Imagine spending that and realizing you don't want to do it anymore as a hobby :p

    I think the GZ-HD7 is prosumer looking, especially with the focus ring. It may not have the XLR inputs, but I was recently talking to a professional sound man on a short I was working on what I was planning to do and he said it's not that important if it has those on the cam as you can record it separately and sync it later in editing.

    Right now I am looking into whether to get a GL2(though I read about tape problems with it), or a Sony(there's one for about $2400 at Amazon). However, when I saw a card based cam for around $2K I believe at Amazon, it made me think also, as professionals are using card based cams know as well(albeit better quality ones, P2's).

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