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Thread: Buying first camcorder

  1. #1

    Default Buying first camcorder

    Hello everyone!

    I studied Film Production Technology at university, and now i've graduated i'm looking to work on some videos to boost my portfolio. While i was at uni, i mainly focused on the post production side of things, so i'm a bit lost when it comes to camcorders. During my course i used Canon XL1s and XL2.

    I'm now looking to buy a camcorder for myself, but i don't know where to start, really. Ideally i want the best value for money for under 500 (i'm only working part time at the moment). Buying a second hand camcorder is a very real possibility if it means i can get a better product.

    I'm not worried about HD, but i'm ideally looking for the best value-for-money camcorder. If anyone can point me in the right direction to get started i'd be very grateful!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    You say you want to work on some videos? Does this mean you have already made some videos or plan on making some? If you want to get into editing which I highly recommend then get yourself a mini dv camcorder, I'm slightly biased towards Panasonics and JVC's, but I will recommend Panasonics here. If you can find a 3 ccd model (as opposed to 1 ccd) with a manual focus ring, external microphone (essential for better sound recording) and headphone sockets then I would say look at it.

    They are older models now such as the NV-GS300/320/330 and 400, there was another model number 450 or maybe 550, I can't remember which now, it was a slightly larger camera but was also very good. The mini dv models are very good at editing and connecting to a computer with Firewire/IEEE 1394 (2GB Ram, Intel Pentium 4 or AMD running at 2.4Ghz, 800Mhz FSB and 2 hard disks if possible) that will give you very low compression, high quality pictures and very good sound (as long as you are not standing on top of a mountain and a tornado is blowing). You need a high spec computer to capture, edit and render High Definition video but if all your work is for an online portfolio? or demo reels on dvd then mini dv is very good as a format. You can also pick up an NLE for around 70 such as Adobe Premiere Elements 7, which has lots of video and audio tracks plus all the other stuff.

    Download a few 30 day trials of the NLE's listed on this forum and try them out as everyone has their own favourite(s).
    Last edited by Nikosony; 05-01-2009 at 08:42 PM.

  3. #3


    Well, as i stated i studied at university so i have made a fair few videos. I previously used Canon XL1s and XL2, and i've seen quite a few older XL1 camcorders for sale. The majority of my videos will be online, but i will certainly be keeping the full quality versions also. I am currently looking start off creating cheap music videos for local bands.

    As for editors, i spent my three years at uni using Avid, After Effects and Combustion, but for now i'll stick with Adobe as it handles all i need for now.

    Can anyone tell me if the XL1 is considerably worse than the XL1s, or is it a fine camcorder?
    Last edited by Uberg; 05-02-2009 at 11:30 PM.

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