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  1. #1
    Airplane Junkie MinnArtist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Minnesota USA

    Help the new (old) guy find a camera!

    Hi Folks!

    I am looking for a new video camera. But allow me to give you a brief background first...

    I bought my first video camera back in the early 80's before the term "Camcorder" was coined. I was one of the first people who could provide the service of "Videotaping your wedding or other special event"

    I got away from it for a while, but for the last few years I have been writing product reviews for an on-line magazine for Radio Control Airplane Enthusiasts where part of the review is a video tape of the airplane flying.

    I want to improve the quality of my videos, so I am looking for a new camera. I currently use a Sony Handy Cam (DCR-TRV250) and I edit my videos in Adobe Premiere 6.1

    I have been looking at several cameras including (but not limited to) the Canon GL2, XL1, XL1S and XL2

    I don't have a huge budget, so I am looking at used equipment.

    Some of the features I would like are:

    The easily accessable rocker-type zoom

    External Mic capabilities

    Good picture quality

    Image stabilization

    A viewfinder that you can actually look through without banging your nose on the battery pack (My handycam is good in this department, but I have seen many other cameras where the viewfinder doesn't pull out, or doesn't even HAVE a viewfinder - those view screens are worthless on a sunny day!)

    One thing I DO NOT want is one of those newer tiny cameras that you cannot operate without accidently picking your nose while doing so.

    I am also thinking of possibly getting back into shooting weddings and such, so while I don't need HD or wide screen for my product videos, I wonder if it's not something to keep in mind. (?)

    So what do you video gurus think? Am I aiming too high by looking at Prosumer cams like the XL series? I'm sure the GL2 would be good enough, but what about the rewind problem I have heard bout? Is it for real, or are some people just having bad luck?

    I would also like some feedback on my video editing software (Premiere 6.1) is there something else that's better (And cheap?)

    Info from knowledgable people greatly accepted

    BTW, here are some links to a few of my past projects. The first is an earlier work where we used the smaller 320x240 format. The second is the newer 640x480 that we currently use and as you can see, the picture quality is lacking.


    Giant Ultimate Biplane Video

    Cessna 310 Video

  2. #2
    Hi MinnArtist
    You are probably going to get tons of replies saying "buy this" "buy that" but what it comes down to essentially is personal choice, usage and budget!! Most will tell you go to High Definition but be very careful as the computer and playback equipment also need a HUGE upgrade to handle the new format. Yes, most new gear is tiny and controls even tinier!!! I'm used to shoulder mount cameras with decent sized viewfinders too and enough weight to keep it stable so most even prosumer camcorders are too small for me.
    If I was doing weddings I would seriously think about a used Sony DSR camera. They are shoulder mount have a huge viewfinder and with DVCAM tape you can do lengthy recordings too!! Here in Australia they tend to go on eBay for around the $3000 mark.
    I didn't want to spend that much and bought DV Panasonic units and then beefed up the viewing and shortcomings with some DIY extras
    You can use LCD screens outdoors with a simple LCD hood to shade it!!!

    Otherwise I suggest to hire a few camcorders for a day and try them out as it's really a personal choice!!! Editing too is a personal choice!! I use (and swear by) Vegas NLE's but then others will insist on can get trial versions so try before you buy!!

    Chris (nother oldie!!!)

  3. #3
    Airplane Junkie MinnArtist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Minnesota USA
    Thanks for the Info Chris. Ok, so I will probably rule out HD. As far as make/model, I was just hoping to avoid buying make/model "A" only to discover that make/model "B" was much better.

  4. #4
    Hi Minnartist

    Most well known brands are good (otherwise they wouldn't be out there). It's really a question of personal preference and budget!!
    I could probably give you some suggestions if I knew roughly how much money you are comfortable with spending. I admittedly only wanted to part with about $300 !!! but wanted a camera that was MiniDV but felt like a bigger camera!! Hence the camera rig designs that give me what I want and still at a budget price.
    This is what I use at the moment and it's only a cheap panasonic bought on eBay for $230!! With the added DIY stuff it's quite useable!!


  5. #5
    I would personally stay away from the cannons. If the lenes is not detachable, i do not want it. that is just me, and the XL series is not the best at picking up true light
    Manoni Productions
    Pass me another beer...You are still ugly!


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