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What Camera Should I Get?

jgproductions96's picture
Last seen: 3 years 12 months ago
Joined: 04/24/2010 - 4:08am

Hello, i am a young filmmaker that needs a new camera. I wanted a Canon Vixia HV40, but i dont have a firewire port on my laptop. I want an HD camera that easy to use but has features that i can control the exposure and white balance to make my movies look better. I want to pay under 1000, so i have money left for other things, but i thought i would come here because i know the people on this forum are very knowledge full and have all been in my place at some point in their life. so if anyone can tell me the name of a decent priced HD Camcorder thats good for yong filmmaker, Thank you!

-John




dsonnen's picture
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 07/16/2011 - 2:53pm

I've found that the Canon Vixia M32 has all the basics plus a nice range of capabilities that suit it for a lot of pro work. The M32 has 64 Gb of on-board memory, SD card slot, jacks for external mics and headphones, simple viewscreen interface, very good image quality and manual modes that let you control as much as you want. The camera is about the size of a pop can and light. I'm still finding useful capabilities that I didn't know it had when I bought it.

B&H Photo has the M32 on sale for about $600 -- about $400 bucks off of MSRP.




jamieburns99's picture
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Joined: 10/20/2010 - 2:01pm

I gotta say, although I'm still new to video, that I love my Canon T3i! Of course it does have draw backs...the biggest one that I didn't know about before buying is that it will automatically shut off after (I think around 11 min) of shooting full HD video (or once 4gb worth of video has been shot). But that doesn't bother me so much as I'd rather shoot short clips anyway. The picture quality is just awesome and I like how it comes in QuickTime clips that I can drag and drop to my computer.



D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 3 months 16 hours ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

I'm not sure why you think the Vixia is not compatible with macs.... possible some software bundle on cd with the camera is pc only, but who cares? imovie, iphoto, Aperture and final cut can handle nearly everything you can throw at them... worth checking apple's website and forums before you dismiss a good camera on here say...

for eg:

http://www.macworld.com/article/156544/2011/01/vixiam32.html


bishopm's picture
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: 07/22/2011 - 6:38am

Well I'm a young filmmaker like you. I had $700 in my pocket when I was searching for a good HD camcorder. Turns out I only needed $160. I ended up buying myself a JVC Everio GZ HM320 it was refurbished (Buy USED saves money and never fails when your buying from a well known retailer) and I got it from Best Buy so I had enough to make myself a mini studio soon after. It's full HD, doesn't have all the features you need to do professional work but will do you well until your confident in your skills. You just have to be creative with it. When you feel you are good enough to kick it up a notch and you are ready upgrade to a more professional camcorder.


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 11 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

Good advice from Matthew for anyone just getting their feet wet with HD production and editing.


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 3 months 16 hours ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

the irony here for me is, I am using my go-pro a lot lately, and have much fun with it. I am seriously considering using it for some professional "Live interview" work for out in the field... I will post a photo of how I got it set up and a short clip, later today or tomorrow!


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 3 months 16 hours ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

Go pro steady cam rig. manfrotto arm, zoom h1 audio recorder, go pro skeleton case with tripod mount, video out from go pro to video in on old sony digital 8 camcorder... allows the camcorder view screen to be used as a video monitor while shooting. Also easy to spin it around for "live interview shooting"


ophelia's picture
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 10/03/2009 - 9:35pm

@Don:

Dang cool DIY steadicam+ ! Will you be posting footage that you shot with this setup?


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 3 months 16 hours ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

sooner or later.. can't say when, right now.. but it does work!

it can also be inverted for low level shooting...


maxheadspace's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 08/05/2007 - 10:27am

John, you get what you pay for, but I understand budget constraints all too well. My recommendation is to look at used HDV cameras. Most of what's coming out now in the under-$1000 bracket are MPG4/H264 type. Highly compressed video. HDV uses MPG2, which is not as compressed. My suggestion is a Sony A1 camera (A1U in the USA). You can still buy then new, last time I looked, but they were in the$2000 range.You should be able to geta used one under $1000 if you shop well. It has external shotgun mic, great white-balance control, and a rich selection of image enhancements built in. I have a pair of them that I use togenerate 3D video. Only one imaging chip, but picture quality is very good. Good luck!

Max


jgproductions96's picture
Last seen: 3 years 12 months ago
Joined: 04/24/2010 - 4:08am

Thanks, it looks like a good camcorder but im only 14 and dont need a complex camera, i just need a regular consumer camera like the M32, thanks for your time though!

-John


swingrays's picture
Last seen: 2 years 8 months ago
Joined: 08/04/2011 - 6:19pm

I'm also looking to get into video. I currently teach Multimedia and Animation, lots of After Effects, but I'd like to jump into video. Lots of posts say you need to decide what you will be doing with the camera, and all I can think of is EVERYTHING! Of course, I want to (eventually) do this for profit. I've been a semi-pro musician for years so my weekend nights are filled with gigs. I'm getting laid off next year, so it's time to make the move! I have used the schools cameras in the past, but they're not HD and look pretty crappy.

I need a versatile camera, probably two. If I had a magic wand I'd like to do music video shooting (creative), live performance as well as, well, not live? But, I also would love to do local commercials (bread and butter). I've been reading about the debate between DSLR and Camcorder. The images I've seen from DSLR's are so rich and cinematic with DoF, but so many say go with a camcorder as a first camera.

What camera should I be looking at???

swing


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 11 hours 31 min ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

As wonderful as the world of DSLR is and can be, as many options (often highly expensive) as there are and with all the hoopla about them, and 3D production, it is easy to see why people who aren't already oriented that way would be confused.

It is my perception and experience that photography is about photos and video production is about ... well, you know. And in my experience, though I will get slammed for a variety of rationales regarding this, DSLR work still requires a LOT of extra planning, knowledge and experience, and is mostly better suited for shooting where you have the option to do sets, takes and controlled production work.

I seriously believe that the run-and-gun operations of event production work such as weddings and other celebrations of life, even extended performance videos of dance recitals, drama clubs, school events, youth sports, etc. usually one-hour, often two, in duration are better suited to a camcorder that will provide extended recording abilities without the overall hassle of trying to be overly creative. IF, however, the object is to be involved in controlled, creative cinematic endeavors, then DSLR might be the path to salvation.

On the other hand I prefer two separate units for their specified purposes. I prefer the Nikon D90 or above, for the photography work I do in conjunction with my weddings and often my funeral productions, and while I continue to shoot in SD using my Canon XL1 and GL2 units (I have a few, capable of multicam work) I am not at all under the illusion that I can continue much longer with SD only capabilities. I WILL be moving into HD, probably by the last quarter of 2011, or first quarter 2012.

At this time my camcorder of choice remains the Panasonic HMC-150, although a variety of CMOS-based units, and other Panasonic, Sony models remain in enough contention (not to mention some newer Canon models ... canon lenses are to die for) that the jury is still out until I drop the hammer, pull the trigger, spend the money ;-)

After a good bit of research, clip comparison and listening to a number of my close associates in the business who have gone with the HMC-150s, they remain happy, and remain dedicated to using them. Mark (or is it Marc) VonLanken, is well-known in professional video production circles and sometime ago did a full series on the HMC-150 comparing it to some of the (THEN) popular alternatives, or even a more expensive Sony model. A Google search of his name or the Panasonic HMC0150 should bring up links for that, though somewhat dated, still pertinent information.

There are many newer and more current models from Canon, Sony and Panasonic, and some much cheaper based on CMOS, as opposed to the 3-chip CCD used on the 150, that have outstanding capabilities. I would avoid consideration of anything with a chip smaller than 1/3" (1/4" for example) if I were wanting/planning to pursue a multi-faceted video production operation and business. Again, there are justifications for any and all prices, sizes and capabilities, but the better quality (read, more expensive) units would better lean toward extended professional production work IMHO.


fadlywychowvski's picture
Last seen: 6 months 5 hours ago
Joined: 07/27/2011 - 9:39pm

Why don't you go around and research on what camera suits you best? I personally think that dslrs are more worth it for the cash that you put on it. I mean, if you buy a palmcorder now, maybe in the future you would want to use a camera that's of a prosumer level. If you were to get a dslr, you would have already become 'prosumer' because the quality is equivalent to video cameras in most respect but wayyyyy cheaper. besides, you could take pictures with it.

You could also go for prosumer video cameras which will cost you a bomb but definitely worth the buck. but that's for another day...

Think about it in the long run. I recommend you this entry level dslr: Nikon D5100

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVuu8Hne1H0