cooldark, I went to cnet.c

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cooldark,
I went to cnet.com to see their review of the PV-GS500. It does have a mic input, but doesn’t seem to have any of the other special features a serious moviemaker wants. Quoting their summary:
"While its predecessor had prosumer aspirations, the Panasonic PV-GS500 is strictly for casual videographers who want top-notch video on autopilot."
BTW, when they say "predecessor", I assume they mean the PV-GS400.

If you want to go the inexpensive route for now, and save money for an HD "dream camera" in a couple years, find an inexpensive consumer model with a mic input, such as the Canon Elura 100. Videomaker calls the Elura 100 Best Consumer Camcorder of the Year. And it does have a mic input (but no manual level adjust :'( ).
From what I’ve seen, Canon gives exceptional value for mid-range consumer camcorders.

Otherwise, get the DVC7 (about $1000), or spend a little more and get a prosumer camcorder like the GL2, DVC30, or VX2100. (bhphotovideo.com has a USED EQUIPTMENT department.)

Good luck! πŸ™‚
Ken Hull

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