Beginner filmmaker – first camcorder recommendations

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    • #43988

      Hey, I am a beginner filmmaker, and want to start out slow and steady. I hope to spend no more than 200-250 on the camcorder. I am pretty much a rookie, and don’t know much so please also explain to me what the different types are. Any help is greatly appreciated. thanks!

    • #184329

      You might find EarlC’s discussion on this topic of interest.

      As for which camera, might I suggest you look through the ones available through or B&H Photo? Read their descriptions/functions and follow with their reviews from users to see if any will fit your specific needs.

      Read magazines like Videomaker. Look up their product reviews.

      View the Videomaker Vidcasts here to learn some of the basic needs and skills.

      Don’t forget about resources like wikipedia. they do a very good job of discribing the differences and with the interactive links, help to answer some of your followup questions as well.

      And don’t forget the forum archives here. You are not the first one to ask such questions (and won’t be the last) so search the forums for responses to others. Theyare a great resource and mayalso help you with focusing on what you really want to do in video.

    • #184330

      You’ll have to research the cams yourself. However, I can tell you is the best value these days is a refurbedCanon HV20. It’s a small handycam that shoots HDV and has a good audio setup including input. Right now, you won’t be able to beat the value. It’s about $420 US. Be aware that PAL cams can’t send the video back to the cam forvarious reasons. However, you can simply store your productions on cheap HDD’s these days.

    • #184331

      Actually, it would be a better deal to go with the HV30, even the HV40, rather than purchase a refurbushed camera that is two generations old. Only, at best, a couple hundred dollars difference for a mega-difference in technological improvements over the HV20. Might even last long enough to outlive availability of MiniDV tape.

    • #184332

      For any purchase, chart out price versus performance&features, then simply choose the widget that’s closest to the “knee on the curve”.

      However, this tactic isn’t always practical for a newb. The OP is budget-limited and videography might not end up being his cup of tea. Ergo I gotta agree with zoobia’s approach.

    • #184333

      Go to They have great reviews, it will sure make your choice easier.

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