Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Brand new newbie needs your help!!!! › For I’d recomend the Sony
For I’d recomend the Sony HVR-Z1U, the HDV camcorder from Sony. This gives great resolution and professional features for only $1000 more than its SD coutnerpart. It’s the best camera for the money. B&H photo video has them for around $4500.
It sounds like you’re quite new to the whole process in general. I’d reccomend learning editing before jumping into this head first. Once you get a good handle on editing you’ll know why having 2 or more cameras are important during a one time event and you’ll have a better handle on what you need at the time of capture (ie good mics for audio, lights, etc.)
As far as software, the "industry standard" is Avid, although Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro are putting out some great products (my new employer uses Final Cut Pro). In fact just about all non-linear programs operate on one simple editing practice: Mark in, mark out, lay it in the timeline. Anyway, back to Avid. You can download a free copy of a downgraded version of their software from their website. It’s called Avid Free DV. That’s a watered down version of what big hollywood studios have been using for a decade or more. There are tutorials all over the web on how to use it, probably even from Avid themselves.
Computers these days are like Ford vs. Chevy. I prefer Macs and I also like Fords. I personally just seem to have less problems with those names.
I was a combat camera videographer in the USMC for years. I’ve done very little wedding work, only favors for close friends and family, but events are events no matter what the subject matter is. I never had to worry about the marketing aspect either. We pretty much had the market cornered for the Marines.