I'm writing on behalf of my filming partner who has a bit more experience with filming, editing and camcorders than I do but I have been placed in charge of research whilst she is away in Italy.
Basically we have both been wanting to do something creative together for a long time btu never quite known what and never gotten round to it until now. We feel like this is the year to make something beautiful. We want to create quite a professional and arty looking short-film, where we will have lots of different clips and scenes edited together but all following some sort of theme or story line, perhaps narrated by words on the screen or shown on typewriter clips, and maybe a bit of stop-frame animation.
We were first advised that DSLRs where the best thing for film-making within our budget, then we were recommended bridge cameras, which we have since ruled out.
We then went into a couple of camera shops to grill the sales assistants.. this is what we got out of that -
The first guy ended up recommending a small video camera (£400) because apparently sound quality would not be good on bridge and SLR's, they would pick up the wind etc.. and also the zoom would be further on a camcorder.. He did mention you could get a better lens and a mic for an SLR but he assumed we weren't willing to pay and continued to push the camcorder. Said that although some of these camcorders go up to £800 the main differences are just storage and zoom, which we weren't too bothered about paying extra for and that the actual visual quality doesn'tget better until you pay around about £3000 for a video camera. He said still's would obviously be much better on an SLR or bridge cam though but jess (my friend) only wants photos as an added extra, she's not that bothered about stills, mainly filming..
THEN in the second shop the guy highly recommended getting the canon 600d and getting a better lens with it, which would be suited to filming (£90) and also buying a mic (around £80) although it's a lot more money apparently the quality of the movies would be a LOT better than a £400 ish video camera and we would also have a lot more creative control of what was in focus and what wasnt etc.. it wouldn't look as flat.. he said it was the camera a lot of film students buy and that to get better you have to buy a professional video camera into the thousands..
I would love to get everyones opinion here too to help us make up our minds. It will be jess's camera in the end so she doesn't want to regret spending all that money on something that doesn't even do what we want it to. The budget is about £600 preferably with added extras but then if the £600 was just for the camera itself and we paid extra and got a better quality film at the end of the day she wouldn't mind payiing extra for the accesories.
Thanks in advance and excuse my newness to filming. I am used to SLR's for stills, but my old one doesn't have a filming option so it's all new to me!