I'm in the market for a new camcorder after my tax return comes in.
I'd like to get a good quality camcorder (subjective, I know) and have aspirations for making some movies with my family/friends. I currently have an old Sony Hi-8 camera that does not do well with green-screen effects and video looks just plain bad.
There were a few cameras I was looking at, and was trying to stay around $1000. I met a guy at the local political caucus that has a used Canon XL-1 and is asking $1200. I was also looking at the Sony HDR-HC7 ($970), the Panasonic PV-GS500 ($700) and the JVC GZ-HD7 ($1000). I know there's some variety there.
I'm not sure I need HD - I don't currently have a HDTV, nor computer equipment. I do use Vegas Movie Studio Platinum v7, so it is able to edit HD video, though my computer is near the minimum requirements that Sony recommends for editing HD content.
I thought that getting a 3CCD camera would help on the green-screen effects and picture quality in general, but have also read decent reviews on the Sony camera. Is a 3CCD camera that important - or will the HD quality suffice?
I'm not picky about the hard drive vs. tape issue. I like the idea of the focus ring on the JVC and XL-1 cameras and some manual controls were high on my list of requirements. I don't want to spend $1000 and then find out I picked the wrong camera - if you know what I mean. I also wanted to get a camera with mic and headphone jacks and other features that the 'pro' cameras have. Should I be looking at different models altogether?
Ease of use for the rest of the family is somewhat of a concern, though rather low on the list.