Camcorders around $500?

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    • #73236

      Hello there!

      I am going to build a very mini, semi-professional recording studio in my small apartment.

      I have a ATR3350 lavalier microphone that works just fine in my room without any annoying background noise or echoing.

      I am going to purchase two cheap 10W Led spotlights (around $40 each) as lightning and I will use oven paper to make the light soft and I will use board pieces to direct the light more.

      What I am looking for now is a camera that can record in ~24fps or 30fps (or whatever YouTube likes most since these will be the kind of videos I will be producing).

      I will record how-to videos where the camera will stand still and only focus on me standing in front of a white screen or green screen (depending on what will work for me in my small apartment).

      So I don’t need any fancy camera controls, as long as the picture is clear and has very little “image noise” (which I’ve read about).

      However, is it even possible to find a suitable camcorder for this purpose to this price around $500? My external mic is 3,5mm stereo. Or will I have to go for a camcorder around $1000 to achieve my goals of recording 1080p videos with smooth YouTube-fps?

      I’ve been asking on a Swedish technical forum but people don’t seem to be so smart there, I imagine you guys are much smarter than them! ^^,

      Thanks in advance!

    • #209826

      The consumer camcorder market is loaded with camcorders under $500 that shoot 1080p video on SD cards, many with zoom lenses of 12X or more. Check the B&H website ( and take a look at some of the cameras currently on the market. I would guess most of the cameras on their site are available in Sweden. 


      I don't know of any that shoot 24fps but assuming you're editing in a non linear editor, you can always change the frame rate at that time and add any effects to simulate the "film look."

    • #209828

      Thank you very much for your reply! πŸ™‚


      When I asked this question on Swedish forums where many photographers hang out, they insist me on buying a DSLR camera. But I think this is overkilling and more pixels than I need.


      I am not after being able to take 14-24MP pictures, I am after crystal clear 1080p@30fps videos that I can upload to YouTube where they will look great due to great lightning (will use 2 LED 10W Spotlights) and the inbuilt imaging chip/image sensor in the camera.


      I have read some and if I understand correctly DSLR are supposed to have very great imaging chip (more MP??) compared to consumer cameras but they still lack other common functions that you find in consumer cameras?


      I don't really ask for much and I understand the picture will still never be as good as "prosumer camers" or real "professional cameras" but I think still should be able to find a camera that can give crystal clear 1080p@30fps YouTube-videos with the correct lightning and postproduction! πŸ™‚

      What do you think? Which camera would you advice me on that site?

    • #209832

      AplAySweden, part of the fun of shooting video is the shopping. That said if you use the filters on the BHPhoto site (price<$500, brand, etc) you can shortening your task. I would suggest that you get the largest sensor you can afford (1/3 is larger than 1/5). Check the details as you shop, make sure that the camera has a mike input for your lavaier. There is a video, today, on this site 'Lighting in Tight Spaces' that is a good tutorial on lighting. Ample light will give great results in our situation. A little money spent at a big box hardware store on extra lighting can give a good return your money. Keep shooting.





    • #209834

      Hi AplAySweden – for $500 US, you might want to consider the Panasonic FZ200, with its 1/2.3" sensor and constant f2.8 lens.  With 1080/50p recording, a mic input and full manual control of ISO, aperture and shutter speed, it is a capable video camera.  Here is a video from Marlene Hielema demonstraing what this camera can do:






      It has a 2.5mm mic jack, so you need would need an inexpensive adapter like the Hosa GMP-467 to plug your ATR3350 into the camera (about 4€ at and £3 at


      You can get the FZ200 for 339.66€ from or for £359.99 from – whichever is the most convenient for you.


      Hope this is helpful!



      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #209836

      Hi AplAySweden


      My friends used their iPhone camera to film their web series. The picture was vivid although some of the sound quality was poor. 


      Have you seen GoPro? You can do amazing things with the camera – extreme video filming. It is a small company in Californa that is soon to go public. Check out the website at The price range 199 to 399 and you can get deals on the web. They have interesting videos available so you can see the video cam's capabilities.



    • #209850

      First, Stay away from DSLR's.  Unless you spend $4000.   The lower end video capable ones heat up after 10 minutes of video.. Second, go to B&H photo or Adorama and buy a good used Sony or Canon prosumer Mini DV camera (easy to edit).  You can get these for $500 to $700 and they will give you the video quality you are looking for at a bargain rate.  Yes they might be outdated equipment but have all the things you are looking for.  I have never purchased a brand new camera. Why? because I can get a 2 or 3 year old one that originally sold for $3000 for $500-$700. And both of the above companies offer a 2 year warranty for around $80

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