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Hello! First post on your forum (sorry for the first being a question)!
I hope this isn’t a toughy for you, but here is my situation: I am a film student and I would like to buy a camera to do some independant work with. Currently I am looking at the Sony VX2100, Canon GL-2, and Panasonic AG-DVC30. The reason I am looking at these cameras is because I want manual controls on my camera, most importantly manual focus, manual color balance/white balance, shutter speed, audio controls (these are least important, but would be nice to have). I also like the zoom ring on the Sony model, but this is not necessary either, just a luxury at this point. One thing, that’s not really a feature, but is for my peace of mind, is a waranty, preferably 2 years at least (which basically means I’d have to buy new).
Here’s the catch. My budget is only about $1500USD, and could stretch to 1600 if I really needed to (but I’d rather save that extra 100 for another battery). This puts all three of these cameras out of my price range. I have seen several sites that claim they sell the camera for only 1200 or so, but checking on reseller ratings and such, they turn out to be scams (the old too-good-to-be-true thing!). I’m also a little uneasy about ebay and other auction sites because these cameras won’t come with a waranty and could be broken to begin with.
So, my questions to you are: which camera of the three I listed do you think is the best? Are there any reputable sites that might offer a cheaper price than B&H?
Are there any other cameras out there that could offer those manual features I listed but for a cheaper price? I am willing to sacrifice 3 CCD and drop down to 1 CCD as I probably don’t need quite that high image quality to ‘start’ (I use start loosely, as I have helped out on other people’s projects for a while, just nothing of my own), but I feel for the kinds of projects I want to do, the manual settings are a must (indie films, maybe help film my college’s hockey games, some documentary-style work).
I see that Canon has listed a $150 rebate, this could be the camera I go with if anyone knows a good site that sells it for 1750 or cheaper.
One last thing to mention, I’d like to try and stick with the smaller, non-shoulder mount cameras if possible, since dorm rooms are small and I have tried shoulder mounted ones and don’t like them all that much (plan to use with a tripod often anyway).
Thank you for any suggestions and sorry for the long post!