Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Production Gear › Need camcorder recommendations fast!
- This topic has 10 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 11 years, 8 months ago by Anonymous.
June 19, 2009 at 2:58 AM #44028AnonymousInactive
I’m in a pickle. Father’s day crept up on me this year. My dad has started taking up film making as a hobby and I want to buy a camcorder for him. Can you please recommend a good camcorder for amateur film making. Also can it please be within a $500 price range. Please no refurbised camcorders either. I realize that this is not a lot of money but I’m only asking for the best bang-for-the-buck as they say.
June 19, 2009 at 3:36 AM #184556CraftersOfLightParticipant
Have you looked at B&H Photo http://www.bhphotovideo.com/?
You can look through their online catalog to see quite a few consumer cameras that are in your budget and read their reviews. Another source of reviews I use is Amazon. Once you have a chosen camera, shop for the best price/delivery.
I am sure others will chime in as well.
June 19, 2009 at 4:37 AM #184557AnonymousInactive
My biggest question is why not a refurb unit? For your budget, it will be hard to find anything that isn’t used, and in that case wouldn’t a renewed factory warranty and knowledge that the manufacturer had recently brought it completely back to initial specs bring a sense of relief? I’m not trying to be a hard-butt, just wondering why you purposely said no to it in an effort to better steer you to a great cam.
With a close look at B&H I found that your best bet is a used consumer grade camera such as the HV30 or the SR11 by canon and sony respectively, you may be able to find a prosumer SD cam on ebay but I would be worried about its functionality.
Hope that helps some.
June 19, 2009 at 4:52 AM #184558AnonymousInactive
I’m a professional video producer, and I’m not too good to buy used/refurbished gear. I’ve bought dozens upon dozens of cameras in my life, and maybe just a couple of them were new. Looking back, I think I should have bought those used, and saved the cash.
If you’re willing to go used, and you get lucky, you can get some pretty fair cameras in that price range. I’ve seen a lot of Canon GL-1’s and Sony VX-2000’s in that zone. Both are older, but give a pretty darn good picture. A used GL-1 is going to give you a much better picture than any consumer grade camera you can get new for that price.
Just a thought.
June 19, 2009 at 6:29 AM #184559NormanWillisParticipant
Canon HV 30. Hands down. Check it out.
June 19, 2009 at 3:56 PM #184560AnonymousInactive
Well my only problem with refurbished camcoreders was the functionality and usability. Since i thought camcorders were pretty delicate I was scared that many refubrished ones would be damaged. Are there any indications to buying a good refurbished one? Any reliable websites or should i just use amazon?
June 19, 2009 at 6:49 PM #184561CvilleParticipant
You can get a brand new sony HDR-CX100 from the sony USA website or from Bestbuy for $499. Hi-def cam records to 8gb of internal memory.
June 20, 2009 at 3:12 AM #184562AnonymousInactive
If B&H sells it, you can be almost positive it’s going to be in good working order. Their used section lays out exactly the condition of each camera.
I would think twice before trusting fairly anonymous sites like eBay, but I’d trust B&H with my life.
The other alternative is buying locally through craigslist or similar sites.
One word of warning: If you do buy a canon GL-1, ask when the heads were last serviced by Canon. GL heads are notorious for needing servicing. I didn’t believe this as I’ve had mine for years without issue, but recently one of them started going on me and I’ll need to service it soon. Just a thought.
June 20, 2009 at 3:22 AM #184563XTR-91Participant
A mid-priced ($350 – $500) consumer camcorder is not hard to find. I’d look around at some stores, and also check out JVC’s Everio hard disk camcorder models.
There is one problem with hardrive camcorders, though. Many havemade complaints overthe MPEG-2 (usually .MODor .TOD)video file format that they record in. This won’t be a problem, though, if your editing software supports it.Free conversionsoftware is not hard to find either.Here’s a link that should help with this problem.
June 20, 2009 at 4:54 PM #184564AnonymousInactive
This is a bad idea. Don’t do it. If your father is taking up the hobby, chances are he’s researching his own cam. Then, you run out and buy him some POS…great. He may be looking at upper end stuff for $3-4000. Now he’s supposed to smile andyell “WHOOOOOOOOOPIE!” with some 3 inch handycam you’ve bought him…Oh brother. Do yourself a favor and just forget buying anything high tech with zilch research at the last minute. This is something wives do at Christmas trying to please their hubbys…They end up in the return lane. How about a purple polka-dotted tie? ROTFLMAO!
July 10, 2009 at 3:13 PM #184565AnonymousInactive
I have to put a vote in for the Canon HV20 or HV30. It is an excellent camera. I got mine for 500 ish. Look around.
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