I wonder if anyone can help me out - I'm looking to set up a camera rig with a decent prosumer HD camera. My budget is about £2000 - £2500 for camera plus another £500 for peripherals (mic, tripod case etc). I'm not precious about this division of resources, its just a ball park. I have experience but its going back a few years and its all DV so HD is new to me, including the different compression types. I'm buying this for a theatre company myself and my girlfriend are starting. Therefore it will mostly be used to film workshops and live productions, with probably wedding gigs on the side to make money, live music concerts, budget music videos and experimental 'pretty' footage for arty installations. Good low light performance is essential, as is a pro form factor, 1080p recording, xlr inputs with auto sound levels options as I'll mostly be shooting on my own. I'll be editing in either final cut studio (or occasionally premiere pro cos i'm quicker on it) on a decent macbook pro. I have a longer term plan to buy a desktop just for editing so provided the MBP can handle the data for now I can work with it and catch up later with a better system. I understand there are workflow issues with this.
Any camera advice up to here would be really helpful. I'd love someone to just recommend a camera but I understand its down to taste and various other things
There are a few cameras in this range and the panasonic hmc150 seems to do a lot for the price when compared to apparently equivalent sony and canon models (I've looked at millions, someone more learned than I could elucidate this comparison). But I have used z1s and xl1s' and understand the form and menus of these manafacturers better than panasonic. Without hiring any or all cameras in the 2 grand range, is there anywhere its possible to get your hands a few, even for ten minutes? There don't seem to be any outlets near manchester but I can't believe the only way to have a go is to hire or purchase straight away having never properly checked out a full HD work flow. It is well too big an investment to just point and choose I think.
What would anyone else in my position do? I'm a little stuck which is a drag as i've got the money but feel paralysed by indecision.
Thanks in advance for any tips or direction