Need help choosing a camcorder

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    • #48835

      I am totally new to camcorders. I
      administrate a group called Guitar League I want to buy a camcorder to accomplish the following:

      1. We have performances and presentations on guitar related
      issues. I want to be able to video them. They run about an hour.
      2. I want to be able to edit and upload to YouTube.
      3. I want to be able to video my own rehearsals to use as a
      practice tool.
      4. I want the unit to have the capability to record external
      audio, either from a mic, or from a direct feed from a mixing

      I have researched a lot of info on the subject but it is like
      reinventing the wheel for me and the more I read, the more
      confused I get. I am looking for someone in the know to tell me
      basically what camcorder to buy, and what editing program to

      My budget will be in the $500 to $1000 range, though price is
      certainly an issue. In other words, I need to get a camcorder to
      meet my needs, but at the lowest price possible.


    • #200218

      Stevieman; I currently have the Sony DCR-SR47. I wish I had not bought it after realizing that for video you really need to go better. I am currently thinking about this JVC I know it is out if your price range and it was mine until I started looking at video quality. If you can get by with medi-orka quality then the Sony is a good bet. it is around $350.00 depending where you buy. Here is a link to several in that price range

      But there are much better qualified people on this forum to suggest lower priced cameras then I am.

      As for software, You will NOT be able to download a free good editing program.
      I use Videostudio Pro X3 you can download a full function that you can save the finished product without any marks for 30 days FREE.

      I have been using Corel products since the days of 3.11 and love them. As far as VS X3 goes it is the quickest, fastest easiest editing program to use with tons of professional features See my work with it ( and if you buy as you get better you can add more and more to it. The abilities are endless.

      But I will leave the cameras to the other guys

    • #200219
      Luis Maymi Lopez


      Now that I have a professional camcorder I finally
      understood what other Videomaker members keep bragging about “you cannot
      expect professionals results with such low budget”. Hopes are not
      lost my friend, in your case I recommend the Kodak Zi8 because you can connect 1/8″ mics and it record “HD”. Its around $150. You can buy an SDHC card to record up to 10 hours in HD, a cheap tripod, a decent 1/8″ mic, some cheap lights at your hardware store or on Ebay. For editing software start with what you have, Windows Movie Maker for Windows or iMovie for Mac. Check Videomaker Editing Software Buyer Guide for more info on video editing software.

    • #200220

      If your budget is for the camera only, I would go with a Panasonic HDC-TM700. I use 2 Z5Us in my business, and this little Panasonic almost performs better when both are set to full auto. Of course manual adjustments will help you get the best video. But if you don’t have the need to really dive into video and need something that performs well straight out of the gate, $750 for the Panasonic goes a LONG way for the novice.

    • #200221

      You can often pick up a nice used Canon GL2 on ebay within that price range. Quality and features are tough to beat for that kind of money, in my opinion.


    • #200222

      I’m a huge fan of Sony and any of their consumer HD cameras. I would personally avoid tape, it slows up the process.

      For editing Final Cut Express or just stick with iMovie (if you’re a MAC)

      Jeff Roldan

    • #200223


      In the price category you should look at the Canon HF M300. It shoots full HD, has an external mic input and a 15x zoom

      You are limited to the size/duration of the video that you upload to YouTube. So you would have to edit your videos to less than 10 minutes.

      You would also need a tripod which will add a few hundred dollars to your budget.

    • #200224

      Features I’d try to look for in this situation are manual controls and low light performance. Lower end Canon camcorders do a pretty good job in this. You won’t have to plan on paying for a more than $30 tripod if you don’t want to move the camera. You’ll end up paying at least $100 for a “Fluid Head” tripod if you want to pan at all while recording.

      O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabalization) is certainly something to look for if you plan on panning or taking handheld shots.

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