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Thread: Best Digital Camcorder for me 2,000-10,000 ????

  1. #1

    Default Best Digital Camcorder for me 2,000-10,000 ????

    Whoops this should go here, posted it in wrong section:

    Hello all.

    Just a quick (and potentially stupid) request for information:

    I would like to buy a film camera, which one is best.

    Ok, (to make an unanswerable/dopey question slightly less dopey, and almost answerable) ... for what purpose, and at what price point am I looking at?

    Like I said I dont know or have any knowledge base in this area. But I know what I want.

    Its being used to video stand up comedy. And at a level of recording that should be good enough to release in some form or other onto DVD. After buying this I will probably be buying Apple Final Cut Studio. Or whichever editing suite is best on the Mac.

    So I would like:

    Superb Sound. Needs to be built in. As theres no boom operator. So a really good, broadcast quality in built mic.

    And needless to say brilliant picture.

    The camera will be locked off, so it will just be pointing at an area where I hope all the action will happen. Not sure if this makes a difference. There being no camera man.

    Security. How do I stop someone walking off with the camera?

    Hard drive. I want to record many shows. And just transfer any good ones onto the Mac. And just record over all the ones that dont make the grade. So Im guessing I dont want tape, but some kind of hard drive. Ideally enough space to record for at least 6-7 hours. As we have multiple shows on some nights.

    Battery life? Will it always need to be plugged in. Or do camera batteries last longer than my parents old VHS camcorder? Battery life of 6-7 hours in record mode?

    The camera will also be used to record sketches and the like.

    And are there any other things I need to think of/ask?

    Like lighting? Is there a better type of camera for what will be in effect recording action on a fully lit stage?

    I think thats the techno stuff out of the way.

    I cant stress how much I would love the camera to be top/best there is.

    But thats all down to price.

    I would love to spend no more than 2,000.

    But if thats too low, then I could go to a max of about 10,000.

    Though my girlfriend may never talk to me again.

    So I would love to know, if theres an awesome camera at around 2,000. 5,000. And 10,000.

    Those are the three sorts of price ranges Im looking at.

    I really do appreciate you reading this, and anyone who chips in with advice, or even just abuse for my naivety/and balls in asking other people to do all my leg work. I have to make this clear, I dont have any clue about cameras. So any and all help, however simple/obvious it may seem to you, will be really helpful.

    Hmm, now Ive outted myself as being film camera challenged I bet I get a deluge of people trying to sell me an Etch-a-Sketch for ten grand.

    Thanks again,

    All the best.


    P.S. Im in London (UK) so film in PAL

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    First things first, a film camera uses FILM. you need a video camera. you don't want film for your purpose, you need a digital camera.

    if your going HD, you can choose from HDV and XDCAM and there are some others, but those are the main ones. For SD, you have DVCAM and DV.

    if the stand up comedian has his own mic, use a link from the mixer, even if it's his/her monitor mix, as long as teh audio sounds good thats all you need. have the feed from the mixer in one channel and ambient sound on the seccond, ambient sound would come from the camera mic, or a mic in the middle of the room, it's to get laughing, echo etc to make it sound more natural. in post production, you would mix these two inputs together.

    A big cmos or ccd sensor will give you a better picture, especially in dark situations so keep this in mind when chooseing a camera.

    You really need a camera person to get footage that is worth using. you can also check focus and esposure and your not hoping that everythings going to be alright, it's fine for a wide shoot the have a "lone camera" if you're going to have a multicamera shoot but that requires a lot of work and experience to execute well.

    You're question of security, that is one fo a roles of a pa in a full crew situation, you should never leave a cerma on its own anyway, you could probably chain it down to something but there's always the high risk of theft, another reason to have a camera person there.

    If you want to have a camera with a hard drive you can either get a consumer AVCHD camera (which honestly may suite you better until you get more experience), one of sony's XDCAM EX which records onto SxS cards or a HDV camera with a HDV hard drive recorder.

    All the camera batteries i have can do about 2 hours, i doubt that you can find anything that will do more that 3. I reccomend pugging into tha mains if possible when the camera is staionary.

    Also since your in london, you may want to take some of these corses, they will deffinatly help you. BBC Training & Development > Television Courses

    Have a look about on Creative Video > Camcorders. For 2000 you can probably get an entry level HDV camera, which really is porbably still too much for your experience.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    As smifis has hinted you are going about this the wrong way entirely.

    You cannot home to produce good footage from a static camera - no matter how good.

    Even if by some fluke the exposure remains OK and the act keeps within the frame (and you sort out the sound - as smifis say take a feed from the desk or use an independent recording device that you can monitor) you will then have some high quality CCTV footage.

    With the exception of the act himself who will want to check out his looks/presentation/timing NOBODY is going to watch more than a few seconds of this.

    You need cuts from different angles, closeups, audience reactions. It's an absolute two camera minimum (one static, one roaming) shoot. Or you might just get away with just one roaming camera so long as you've got loads and loads of cutaways, are very good at editing and are prepared to lose at least half the gig.

    Sorry to be blunt, but making a watchable video if about much more than having a good camera.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    The camera's we use are not exactly top spec. it's not the size that matters, it's how you use it, but it's great to be big and have all the manual features though.

    TBH all i really think thats lacking in consumer cameras is how hard it is to get to any sort of manual function and the common lack of a mic input let alone an xlr input.

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