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Thread: Entry-level short film camcorders.... which are most appropriate?

  1. #1

    Default Entry-level short film camcorders.... which are most appropriate?

    I am about to embark on several short film projects. My level of experience is very basic; however I did make a few short films at uni. I want to begin to really develop my skills and learn more about advanced methods of shooting on movie cameras. To begin this process I am looking to purchase the best possible camcorder available within my budget (600-800).

    My brief research has revealed that a used Canon DM-XM2 can be purcahsed for around the 700 mark on ebay.

    Also, for a little less I could buy a used Canon Legria HV40.

    However, for a few pounds more I could embrace something newer and purchase a Canon Legria HF S21 or S20.

    Is it time to embrace the new recording format and relinquish DV tapes? I intend to have the computer power to edit any footage with a mid-spec Apple Mac so perhaps the latest 'consumer' camera will enable me to create the visual quality I am hoping for.

    Any thoughts are welcome!

  2. #2


    Hi there,

    Do you need to get good audio too or just visual?

    For HD visual the Canon Legria HFS series (I have the HF S200, which is virtually the same as the 20 and 21) are excellent BUT the audio is very unprofessional (which I imagine would be the same with any consumer camcorder). I only use it for visual shots without sound.

    If you need good quality audio you probably need to get a professional camera.


  3. #3


    Trinity is right, you would be best with something with XLR inputs but this will probably blow your budget and you need a good mic as well. Life is never simple is it.

  4. #4


    Hi Trinity,

    Thanks for the info! I didn't have my hopes set too high for sound quality with these cameras so I am planning on investing in some decent external audio equipment aswell.

    All I require is high-quality visuals and the ability to make good manual adjustments for each shot.

    I think the Canon Legria series looks like a worthy purchase then. Coupled with some above-average sound gear should give me the creative base I need.

    Have you had any issues editing the HD footage? As I said, hopefully a good spec Mac should be powerful enough!


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