Best camcorder less than $2K

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    • #49451

      I am looking for a camcorder to record my son’s high school basketball games. Here are some of the features I’m looking for: a) wide angle lens; b) that takes good quality videos in low light; c) records in HD; d)) records onto a card and/or internal memory; e) a large, easy to see LCD; f) a relatively big camera for my big hands; and g) less than $2k. What do you pros and serious amateurs recommend, please?

      Thanks in advance. Charles.

    • #202437

      Charles – most of the prosumer (and some of the pro) camcorders that might meet your needs are small (e.g., Canon HF G10, Canon XA10). If you need a camera for big hands, though,I suggest the pro Panasonic HMC-40 for $1690 – or its big brother, the shoulder-mounted HMC-80 for $2076.

      Good luck with your decision,


      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #202438

      Thanks. I ended up with the Canon XA10.

    • #202439

      Charles, once you’ve put that Canon through its paces would you be so kind as to come back here and share your personal (objective, if possible 😉 evaluation. I always appreciate hearing from someone with information direct from the trenches regarding the many cameras available. I think others would as well.

    • #202440

      Yes, I’ll be happy to do that.

    • #202441

      [quote] Thanks. I ended up with the Canon XA10. [/quote]

      Is it the best Cam , would you like it to recommend it to other also??

      convert 8mm to DVD

    • #202442

       Charles, I haven’t any experience with the camera you have chosen but I have heard good things about it. I can give you some info from my experiences shooting my son’s basketball games as well as other paying gigs doing same. From my experience, I tried to get to the games early to get a spot as near to center court and at the top level fo the bleachers. Using a tripod (with fluid head if possible but not necessary) will give much better results and save on shooter’s fatigue. Set tripod as high as possible to shoot over the crowd. You may have to stand on the top bench seat to see the screen. I tried to shoot from court level but you have to choose one end (offense or defense?) or enlist another camerman. One things that I had to teach myself was to have the camera follow the action and not just my head turning to follow the ball. Start with lens on wide angle and as skill develops you can tighten in on the action. You will probably have to suppress your urge to cheer (or at least inappropriate remarks to the refs). Good luck with your shooting you will probably have a great highlight reel. Keep shooting.

    • #202443

      Charles – I have 30 years experience in shooting sporting events everything from game film to player evaluation film with many game films that have been used to put the player into a college program. One of the things I have found is that at many of the basketball games I film it is hard to use a tripod in the stands. The last few years I have been using a mono-pod with much success.

      The one thing I tell those who want to film their child’s games is that you actually don’t really get to watch the game like you think you will. You need to be watching the camera monitor while recording (i use the monitor rather than the eyepiece). You need to be able to anticipate the action of the game. Following a player many times will miss the actual action – you need to become very good at leading the player and anticipating the game. No need for continuous filming unless you like cutting in post production. No need to film timeouts or if the ball gets knocked out of bounds (except for the throw in). Keep the shot wide enough to see the play that is being run but tight enough to see the players numbers – this will come with practice. SO keeping this in mind you want a camera that has a wide-to-zoom rocker that is easy to get to and easy to use. You want to be able to gradually zoom in and out without having the zoom or open to wide be a distraction in your recording.

      Something else to consider is depending on the equipment you use, what format you record in battery life becomes an issue. You want to make sure you have a backup charged battery with you. Don’t plan on being able to plug in to a power source. Also make sure you have plenty of media to record to, not only enough to cover the game but a few backup media cards. The worse thing that could happen is your card goes belly up and no extra card. I learned this very very early on with tape. I brought two cassettes certainly enough to cover a football game – sure if one of the tapes don’t go bad. So make sure you have both backup charged battery and extra media cards with you.

      Feel free to drop me a PM if you have questions.

    • #202444

      I am becoming a considerable fan of my Panasonic HDC SD-900, due to its great image-quality; but then, my speciality is natural history, so instead of basketball players screaming up-and-down the court, mine is likely to be crabs, creeping over mudflats ahead of an advancing tide. Also, the SD-900 is not one for ‘big-hands’ in my experience. And just for the benefits of converts, like myself. If ever carrying this camcorder tripod-mounted, ‘between-shots’, slip a rubber band around the flip-out screen to secure it to the camcorder body, since, somewhat incomprehensibly, this device has no positive lock, andthe implications of it getting caught-up in an overhead branch, don’t bear thinking-about.

      Anyway, you’ve already made your purchase; so why am I telling-you-this?


      Ian Smith – Dunedin, New Zealand.

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