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  1. #11
    Unforunately there seems to be a gap between up to $1000 and up to $2000 for prosumer machines!! At the $2000 level you can often pickup Canon XL1's, Sony VX2000/2100 Cameras that are fairly good for semi-pro use. Since you are going to make an "amateur film" I would waste too much on what is essentially a better class domestic camera. You should be able to pick up a reasonably good camera in the $600 -$700 range and still have some change. To jump up to the next level you definately need to go $2000 +++

    I would look for a Panasonic GS400/500 or a Sony TRV900/950 both have 3 CCD's and fall in that price range but if you can't find any then you can always get a cheaper camcorder just to start with and then sell it and upgrade.
    I started digital with a Pansonic DS30 and then a DS50 Both are one chip cameras and give an excellent image. I got 'em both for under $250 on ebay and sold then later to $200...added some extra cash and bought a GS500 for $650...I sold that for $700 on eBay and then moved to a DVC15 shoulder mount cam because I prefer working with a decent sized camera. (That has since gone and I'm used 2 Panasonic MD10000 (Japanese models) for weddings as they are again shoulder mount)

    Shooting events usually needs 2 cameras so why not start off small and work your way up??? By the time you have got to the stage where you can afford a better camera you will also probably have a better idea of what you really want!!

    Chris

  2. #12
    Okay bluceree201, my position: Start really small.. but complete.

    Crucial starters:
    1. Canon HV30 HDV camcorder and a filter (UV will do)
    2. High capacity battery (at least one)
    3.
    A firewire cable
    4. Couple of DV tapes (Try to bargain for some when you are buying your camera, that is , if there's no promotion going on. Otherwise, I believe Chris can possibly point you to stores with great prices)
    5. Cleaning lens cloth/tissue, blower and a small paint brush (for brushing and cleaning your eqpt)

    Better to get as-soon-as-you-can:
    1.
    External mic (maybe a little later if you're tight) like Audio-Technica ATR55
    2. A steady tripod (if you do not have one already, or are planning to do lots of handheld actions like some do in concerts)

    About the Recommendation
    First we face the 'Chris & Eric'* test.

    3CCD, MiniDV, an external mic facility, headphone facility and at LEAST manual control on shutter, iris AND mic input


    3CCD - fail
    ext mic facility - fail
    headphone facility - pass
    manual ctrl on shutter, iris and mic input - pass
    firewire

    This camera was released only Jan this year. It has a following after its predecessor the HV20. The sister model's likely the Canon XHA1. I believe it is fine for your usage, until your next purchase. With pretty hard usage but proper care, it will survive at least 2 and a half yrs. Some realistic set-backs are: it costs really close, if not a little above your budget and, you can only buy one for now.

    Vegas Movie Studio or Premiere Elements I guess will be fine.

    Eric, I have not come across a DV camera that does not have a firewire... only those that does not have one on the body, but includes a dock with a firewire output, like the Sony
    DCR-PC1000E I have for general purpose.

    * No offense guys, but I agree with your inputs that I believe my recommendations must fulfill most, if not all of what you have mentioned, where realistically possible. I'm also taking bluceree201's possible age and his spending power into consideration. So cheers. And there goes the 'rattler' again... perhaps I should be named rattling nagar instead.. you hear that Dave?
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

  3. #13
    Hi Nagar
    The HV30 is Australia is around the $1250 price range!!! and NO external mic???? Are you sure??? The HV20 has it and costs about the same.
    Then again Panasonic had the GS400 and the newer GS500 had no headphone socket.

    I still think a cheaper camcorder to start with would be a good idea..but he can make up his own mind.

    Chris

  4. #14
    ext mic facility - fail
    headphone facility - pass
    manual ctrl on shutter, iris and mic input - pass


    Oh dear, Chris. When you wrote about ext mic facility, I thought you meant a 2-channel independent audio recorder level control module like most of the pro or prosumer cams have. That's why it failed that part, but not the later as it received a pass for mic input!

    Yes, I do agree that bluceree201 should get a complete system within his total budget, just could not resist offering this option

    I will likely be investing in two for training purpose in the near months.
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

  5. #15
    Hi Nagar
    Not many cams under $1500 have XLR controllable dual channels. However as long as it has an external mic input which can be switched to manual then it's a good camera.

    I shot the majority of my DIY videos on Metacafe.com on my little DS30 and DS50 and they came out pretty good. (Just search for "softweigh" under DIY and you will see a bunch of them!)
    Most of my older videos were shot on domestic VHS cams and I WON the video of the year once using a JVC saticon tube camera and an old portable VHS recorder .... it's behind the camera what counts!!!!
    A $100,000 Betacam Digi setup can still produce lousy results if an idiot is behind it!!

    Chris

  6. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    16
    Thanks guys!, your helping me heaps.
    I reckon the best thing for me to do is get a list of things that would be good at bare minmum, like mic output etc., got any suggestions?

  7. #17
    Well, I guess my list is clear as daylight. Chris merely differs on the cameras portion.

    Most importantly. do a little search on our lists, how they work, and what's likely the best for your usage and budget, and start shooting!

    Cheers!
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

  8. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    16
    yeah, I was just seeing if you had any other suggestions.
    anyone got a website that does descent reviews on Australian cameras?
    for free by the way lol.

    I actually might aim for the canon HV30, but, I will be saving until about December, so I believe there will be something to surpass it, and price drops etc. I could probably afford something worth 2000 by christmas, the only trouble is to find a good deal.
    as always, thanks!

  9. #19
    About the best review site (technically wise) is camcorderinfo.com
    They cover new and older models and give VERY comprehensive tests on each camera including resolution charts PLUS compare the reviewed camera with others in roughly the same price range.
    It will give you an idea of what to look at and what you will get for your money. However, just make sure that you choose a cam that is suitable for the job not just cos your mate has one and says it's cool looking!!!

    Chris

  10. #20
    just make sure that you choose a cam that is suitable for the job not just cos your mate has one and says it's cool looking!!!

    I'll definitely take note of this pointer!
    And I do visit camcorderinfo.com as one of my reference sites occasionally.

    The Canon HV20 and Sony HDR-HC7 replaced by HV30 and HDR-HC9 respectively in a short span of about a year from their release. As you have mentioned, it is possible new models will be out in the early part of 2009. Also a reality that is coming true is the migration towards tapeless systems (consumer), and it is arriving faster than I think. Depending on which part of the world you're in, the timing will differ slightly. But it is food for thought.
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

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