Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Other Camcorders › Reasonable cam for amateur film-making? › gnish, As a general rule,
As a general rule, the larger the CCD, the better the low-light performance.
And, again as a general rule, 3 CCDs will give more accurate color reproduction than a single CCD. However, my first camcorder, a Canon Optura 300 which had a single CCD, had very good color. From what I’ve read, the Canon Optura line had good color for single CCD units.
Useful features for serious amateur movie-making include: manual focus, manual exposure, zebra-stripe exposure indication, manual white balance, mic input, manual ajustment of mic levels, and headphone jack.
The camcorder manufacturers seem to be getting away from full-featured standard-definition consumer camcorders. Canon has just introduced their HD20 HDV model, which is a hi-def unit with a lot of features for the ambitious amateur videomaker. I think it’s selling for $1100. Another option is to search eBay for a used Panasonic GS400, Sony HC1000, or Canon Optura XI. All 3 of those standard-def camcorders had the desirable features. Also, there were some less expensive Canons that at least had adjustable mic levels, like the Optura 300, 50, 60, and a few others. Of course, with eBay, it’s a bit of a gamble. Check out the sellers record to see if he has a good history of satisfied customers.
Good luck, 🙂