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“A lot of the problem is consumer grade camcorders, which is where most newbie videographers start. When is the last time you saw one with a mic in jack?”
You’re definitely on point. A while back as an inexpensive supplement for hd shooting, I picked up an HD capable point-n-shoot. The built-in mic was horrible, but I came up with a good way to tone down the audio and use that purely for reference sound. When shooting something where audio is critical, I put together a rig so I can shoot with the cam and use a Zoom H1 (wanted to keep it light) to do sync audio with. Having a proper recorder on board makes one heck of a difference. Syncing audio is not that tough if you take the steps to do a proper slate during the shoot.
The experience has been very good and as I also do photography, being able to switch back and forth is invaluable. However, I’m leaning more towards a rig like the Canon C300. I’m just sorry it doesn’t do stills like a DSLR, but a Mark III would be a great back up. But I’ve found it’s good to have a recorder on set to fill in any sound holes that might pop up.