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Thread: Budget (Semi) Professional Camera

  1. #1
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    Question Budget (Semi) Professional Camera

    Hello, I'm looking to buy a semi-professional camcorder for high-quality recording (mainly stock footage and documentary style shooting).
    My main aim is to record documentary/presenter sort of films but to make up for the price of the camera I want to record stock footage too.

    The problem is I can only spend around 1000, and that's a stretch, more looking at around 500 which is really not going to cut it.

    I feel the need to get a HD camera for stock footage but that bumps up the price, though I think if I don't have HD fewer people will want to buy the stock footage.

    So, really I'm looking for something less than 1000, the following features would be ideal but obviously I'll end up with only one or none of them:

    - Professional style, shoulder mounted/handle
    - HD
    - Hard drive rather than tapes, though flash storage would also be good. Really don't want tapes though.
    - XLR inputs
    - If no XLR inputs then a good microphone or microphone support.
    - Firewire or some other form of connecting it to the computer for Adobe OnLocation recording.
    - Chunky is fine, I couldn't care less about how lightweight it is.
    - Suitable for stock footage recording.

    So if you know of anything that lives up to this or have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them,
    Thank you, Alex.

  2. #2
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    Shoulder mounted at 500? Not a hope. You'll get a Sony HVR HD1000E for around 1100 to 1400 and it is a HDV/Mini DV camcorder. What you are really buying is an image. It's a small camcorder with a large body built around it to give the impression of a 'professional' shoulder mounted design. Hard drive camcorders are rubbish, and XLR's, not on anything under 2000.

  3. #3
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    Yea - not a hope of a pro hd cam.

    Real professional DV cmaeras are a bargain at the moment - but you want hd, so meh.

    I am not so sure that anyone ever makes much from stock video sites.

    AVOID hard drive cameras AT ALL TIMES.

    Tape is best up to 4000 and still it is dominant with sd catching up. SD at comsumer level has simlialr probs to h drive cameras - very compressed video - almost uneditable codec used.

  4. #4
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    Well I really can't go above 1000, would getting a handheld make much of a difference?
    What's wrong with hard drive camcorders? I'd prefer not to have tapes.
    It looks like handheld is my only option at the moment then, so do you know the best one to get that would support lavalier or boom mics the best?
    Thanks.

    edit. Just caught your reply. Well I wouldn't mind if it wasn't HD too much, so long as it's high enough quality to sell on. I found a panasonic 'professional' camcorder somewhere for around 700, I can't remember the name of it at the moment though.
    Last edited by alexgeek; 05-17-2009 at 09:57 PM.

  5. #5
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    You will rue the day if you get a HDrive cam - we only give good advice - up to you what you do with that advice.

    Check for mic inputs - varies at the price point. Most have I tink.

    Dont get hung up on your camera - it's only like a pen for films.

    I have a full on pro camera and a 90 quid crap dv cam off ebay - I have made great films with them both.

    Content is king.

  6. #6
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    Look for a Canon HV 30 or HV 40 - handheld, both are tape but shoot in High Definition and have a mic input socket. A good sturdy tripod and a HV 30 or HV 40 would be a good combination.

  7. #7
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    Okay, the cannon HV 30 looks pretty nice, I was also looking at the sony hdr-xr105e (or tape equivalent).
    What sort of tapes should I get by the way? Is there some brand to especially avoid or are they all pretty much the same?
    Thanks for the help, appreciate it.

    Edit. This is the 700 "professional" camcorder. Buy Panasonic NV-MD10000 Professional Camcorder (PAL), Black at Plemix.com

    What do you think? Is it worth the 200 more than the canon/sony HD handhelds?
    Last edited by alexgeek; 05-17-2009 at 10:46 PM.

  8. #8
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    That pana is a bit of a wannabe - nothnig special at all.

    The HV30 reccomendation above is one you should take on board - some of our fussiest regualrs use one.

  9. #9
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    Last edited by alexgeek; 05-17-2009 at 11:55 PM.

  10. #10
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    I've decided that I was jumping in at the deep end so I'm going for this bargain:
    Full HD 1080p Camcorder > Maplin

    Does anyone know the best option for using XLR mics? A cheap phantom power XLR to TRS converter would be great... but I'm not exactly sure what to search for nor the best option for my budget.

    Thanks for all the help so far.

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