Best camcorder for rookie pro

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    • #43176
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Advice on either prosumer or top end consumer camcorder for just starting out pro shooting team sports, individual sports tryouts, sports training… also possible real estate… very basic product shots… family histories. NO weddings and no big events – at least not yet! Ideally, I’ll be shooting video with minimal editing required. I think I need a camera with good optical zoom & audio input jacks, and absolutely need a camera with easy-to-operate controls, both manual and auto. I like the idea of a shoulder mount unit and also prefer the larger size of those cameras, but is that overkill? I would use a tripod for 90% of shots, but there will be times where being entirely mobile to get around crowds in bleachers and sidelines will be necessary. Is a mini-dv ok or should I look at hard drive/flash/memory card models? Budget – preferrably $1500.00 or less. Also, is buying used abig risk or pretty standard? Thanks!

    • #180923
      AvatarCville
      Participant

      In that price range I am aware of a couple of options. Sony has the HD1000u a single chip CMOSbut probably not very good for low light use for sports. Panasonic has a couple of 3ccd shoulder units in the price range and at least one the hmc70u which is tapeless and has xlr mic inputs. I have not used the Panasonics but maybe someone else can talk about them. I would look on the B&H website under prosumer models and do some comparisons. Once you find something in the price range you want to spend then I wouldlook for on line reviews of the models that peak your interest. Then I would come back here and post the models you are considering and see if someone can porvide you their real world experience with them.

      Good Luck. Half the fun of buying a new camera is the shopping and research for it.

    • #180924
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks! I had found quite a few mini dv tape models in my price range butit seems to me the better way to go is flash memory & SDHC cards. So I was looking for prosumer camcorders with that feature, but somehow the HMC 70U kind of fell through the cracks (although it’s pushing the $$ limits!). I had resigned myself to getting a high end consumer model like the Canon HSF10 or HSF100 (or similar in that line) but am/was concerned with the size of the camera (and controls) and my ability to hold it steady whennot on tripod. So I was looking at shoulder mounts.In the reviews I read of the 70U none specifically mention”sports”, but my application is for youth & high school games, as well as tryout tapes and coaching drills so I’m not too worried about its ability to handle that. In the long run I’ll probably be happier with the bigger camera despite the add’l cost, although anyone with recommendations on shooting games, I’d appreciate hearing advice from! Thanks again.

    • #180925
      AvatarXTR-91
      Participant

      At this point I’d go with Sony’s HD1000 camcorder. Not the best for recording under low light, but will do better than the average consumer camcorder. It’s really the only good, professional controls, shoulder mount, large size camcorder that fits in a 1-2k budget. It retails for around $1,800, but have seen plenty of deals online for lower.

      http://www.google.com/products?q=Sony+HD1000&hl=en-GB&aq=f

    • #180926
      AvatarXTR-91
      Participant
    • #180927
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      More good suggestions! So now the debate tape vs. hard drive/flash/sd ?? From what I’ve read, editing with an SD card is easier than tape, and the recording time on memory cards are longer, too. Is this the direction future cameras will all be heading? Or am I missing something with tape vs. memory cards that I need to understand better?

    • #180928
      AvatarXTR-91
      Participant

      Capturing from tapes tends to be a more tedius process than SD/HDD importing, but tend to give most people an easier time editing, particularly with the new world of High-Def editing. Non-tape SD camcorders typically record in the MPEG-2 format that is give you a clunkier time than the old DV-AVI, but shouldn’t be too unbearable, particularly if you’ve got a dual core. Solid HD camcorders (hard disk and flash memory) will generally record in the AVCHD format (some will do MPEG-2) that, from what I’ve heard, is a serious pain to work with. Most people convert their videos before editing. There’s not much of the “non-comsumer” stuff you’ll find for HD solid media around $1,500. At this point, I’d go with tapes if you’re looking for something in High-Definition, like the HD1000. Otherwise, a solid media SD camcorder will probably do good.

    • #180929
      AvatarSafetyMan
      Participant

      I hve the Sony HVRA1 that I use to record Elementary school soccer games (and school plays, standard 1 on 1 interviews, and group training sessions)and I have been very pleased with the results. B&H has it used for $1600 (a bit out of your price range), but it is worth considering. It is taped based, which may not fit your desires.

    • #180930
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Well I’m not real technically oriented so I’m trying to find the simplest camcorder-to-editing-to-final product package I can. All of your suggestions have been great – made me do add’l research I didn’t realize I should consider at first. You are correct XTR – sounds like some real problems with the mpeg4 editing if you don’t have the blowtorch computer equipment to handle it (which I don’t). But I also think some folks will expect (or at least appreciate having available) HD as an option when filming keepsake events. I’ve been around youth sports for years and I suspect an HD quality game video shown on a family’s 50″ wide screen would bepretty cool. Conversely, a college tryout film would probably bycollege request be shot in SD, and other stuff I’m contemplating would be adequate in SD as well. My approach in getting started is very meat and potatoes -just some very verybasic videos – in addition to a variety of sports applications, maybe some real estate, used cars, product shots – nothing of great length or difficult filming/editing. The SD cameras I’ve found don’t seem to be enough cheaper to not go ahead and get a camera that has HD – so the Sony HD1000 is becoming more appealing, tape and all.Seems like in this price range in order to get one thing you’ve got to sacrifice something else, and at this point, ease of production from start to finish is the goal,and the media is probably secondary. Thanks again foreveryone’s input!

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