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(Panasonic, ..) Need help choosing my first camcorder!

johnnycau's picture
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: 06/11/2011 - 9:35pm

Hi, I need to buy my first camcorder. Sorry, I'm new here but I hope this is the right place even though it's about Panasonic's only. I couldn't find any other place for this topic.

Anyway let's get to the point. I've a very low budget: max 450 . And here's what I need:

- Full HD 1080p (50/60p).

- Optical Stabilizer.

- I don't need it to shoot very well with low light since I will shoot only with daylight. Outside and inside.

- If possible Optical Zoom 20x and more (this is more like an optional)

- I will use it to record short film and other scenes that later will be edited with Adobe Premiere Pro and I'll also add effects with After Effects.

I've already seen some models from Sony (CX130 and CX115) and Panasonic (SD90 and SD90) and some models from Canon. I read lot of stuff about these cams and about its features, but I'd like to be advised on something that suits my needs (my work with it).

Also I'd like to know what is best, the 60p, 60i, or 30p for the things I will do? I guess 60p is better for editing but I'm not sure.. And also about the AVCHD codec that those camcorders use to compress the finished video, it seems a camcorder standard today and I read it is not the best one to be edited but I tested some samples on Premiere Pro (last version CS5.5), and it's just a bit slow editing but I don't think it's a problem..

So that's it. Waiting for your advices. thanks.


vid-e-o-man's picture
Last seen: 4 months 1 week ago
Joined: 02/06/2010 - 4:20am
Plus Member

Johnny, I noticed that your maximum budget is stated in Euros (I think). Are you shooting and will this video be used in Europe? If so you mayhave to use a PAL based camcorder. I don't knowmuch about which camcorder models are available in this format, but that may limit thesuggestions. BHPHOTO, and probably other suppliers, list a separate section in their catalogue for PAL models. Second point, consider purchasing a good used camcorder as your first and as your skill and experience level increase you can upgrade. Money saved buying used could be put towards tripod, lighting, microphone, etc. Third, AVCHD produces excellent results (in my opinion) but is a bit of a challenge for your computer to process. Make sure that your software is set up to handle (I'm not familiar with P pro CS5.5) AVCHD and that your computer has the guts to process. There are many threads on this forum about computers/software/AVCHDprocessing. Presently I shoot with a Sony SR11 (which is discontinued but available used) but this doesn't have 20x zoom but does have microphone input which is something you might consider.


johnnycau's picture
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: 06/11/2011 - 9:35pm

Yeah actually I'm from Italy and we use PAL standard that's 50p not 60p.

Yes I know my low budget is actually too low and it limits my choice but I also have to consider that It's my first, right? So I don't want to spend too much.

About my pc, I've a good rig:

I've a AMD Phenom II quad core 965 - 3.4 Ghz; 6Gb ddr2 RAM; Nvidia GTX 275; 1Tb + 350Gb HDD.

Ok now I'll go check that website. And I think you're right I should consider buying a used camcorder so I can get lower prices for higher level cams, but I've checked some websites and couldn't find anything.

Can you tell me one website (in Europe if possible) where I can find used camcorders like the ones I'm looking for?


Charles Schultz's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 10:38pm

Johnny, your computer should be able to chunk out AVCHD, depending on the length of the video it may take a while. Have you looked at www.ebay.com for a camera, you can get some pretty good deals from all around the world, just make sure you check the sellers ratings and shipping cost to Italy. I know that shipping from the USA can be costly, not sure about shipping costs from Europe. www.bhphotovideo.com also has a used camera department that has some pretty good deal but the same as E-Bay, check the shipping costs. Good luck.


johnnycau's picture
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: 06/11/2011 - 9:35pm

Yeah Charles. I've checked on ebay too. But can't find anything. bhphotovideo seems a great website, there are all cams existing xD but shipping taxes are too high. so I'll have to buy something in my country.

Anyway... anyone of you can tell me something about some camcorders like Sony CX130 or some good Canon's staying on my budget? the Panasonic SD90 has now too high prices...