Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Best semi-pro camcorder under $800
I am looking for a semi-pro camcorder under $800. I would be using this camcorder mainly to record interviews mostly indoors (a few outdoor interviews). So I guess low light performance is crucial. Also it will be nice to have 24p recording option. Please let me know your recommendations.
And by the way which one performs better in low light and has better picture quality: Sony Exmor R or Panasonic 3MOS or Canon HD CMOS or the upcoming Canon HD CMOS Pro?
Others may disagree but I wouldn’t think you can find a new prosumer grade camera at that price point (I spent $1000 on a camera I would consider a high end consumer model).
I would just go for the most features you need that comes in within your budget – You may have to sacrifice some features so come up with three lists – Must have, like to have, makes no difference – Then go for the one you can afford that has the most on list #1 (use #2 as a tie breaker).
Also, remember to do your homework and research – You don’t want a camera that works great on paper but is lousy in your hands.
Hmm.. How about Panasonic HDC-TM700? or Sony HDR-CX550V (which is a little more expensive around $900)?
My opinion, you would be better off with a used GL2 to fit that price range for picture quality. I tried the”under a grand” price range to see what I could get. Don’t get me wrong, those cameras can take some great footage under the right conditions but you have to have control of those conditions and you did mention outdoors and lowlight.
The other issues I found with cameras in that rage was a narrow field of view and not enoughmanual control to adapt to most conditions. Also as far as 24p goes. The smaller chips tend to have more “Rolling shutter” type effects from my experience andmixed with a slowerspeedhad some crazy effects for me. The “Skew” effectturned into the”Turn the world upside down”effect.
So compare that to the control and 3ccd’s of the GL2 for the same price range and I believe you would adapt to more situations and get better image quality over all. Unless you are burning to Blue Ray the only time anyone is going to notice is when they hit the fulll screen button on a youtube or vimeo player.
I know a lot of people think SD is a dead horse now but I’ve seen enough noisy and poor high resolution footage that it seems to have the same effect as CPR on that horse for me. Now if you could find a way to raise the budget to 2-2,500 it would be a totally different story regarding HD.