Hi guys,

I don't really know where to start and was hoping I could get some advice. I've only ever owned one camcorder (SONY DCR-SR42) and before that I used a basic camera that had low quality recording. The SONY has malfunctioned and the lcd screen doesn't work, it is so outdated now and I am willing to buy another than repair the old.

I primarily film acrobatics (tumbling and other gymnastics). But I am most certainly becoming more interested in film making and envision writing and shooting horror, comedy, drama and doco projects in the future. I love experimenting with angles for the acrobatics and hope to get a cam with a variety of lenses I can choose from ranging from el-cheapos to more expensive kinds and also an external mic input (I hope I said that right, a connection that allows me to connect an external mic so that people in front of the camera can be heard clearly without being drowned out by any other external noise). I am use to or comfortable with the SONY brand and also the files being stored onto a hard drive built into the camera but I am obviously willing to change that depending on the advice given. I also want it to record in full HD.

I also have a question regarding people who use camera's that record in full HD. Are these camera's just as good as camcorders of similar price in terms of quality of picture? For example the most expensive camcorder available for sale at my local electronics store is between 900 - 1000 dollars yet they have cameras for 1700 dollars. Could I assume that the camera will (most likely) record just as well, if not better than the camcorder?

Thank you for reading if you got this far. If you just skimmed to the bottom here is a summary of my camera hunting so far and what I need:

-Full HD
-Lenses available to buy for it (fish eye and wide angle)
-external mic
-files compatible with Macs and Final cut pro

I was hoping to get a chunk of advice from you guys on the forums, to see what you recommend.