Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Consumer Camcorders › Price Point about $500 Which camcorder? › Hi John – at the $500 price
Hi John – at the $500 price point, your best option is the $520 Panasonic DMC-FZ200 bridge camera. With its 1080/60p and 720/120p slow motion, amazing 24x constant f2.8 lens and external mic input jack, you can get results like these:
Natural light documentary:
Special Effects (please watch at 720p):
Well lit interior (paired with Panasonic LX7 point and shoot):
Low light interior (please watch at 1080p):
This really is a unique camera. At your price point, no entry-level DSLR will give you its 24x constant f2.8 lens, no camcorder will give you 720/120p slow motion and no other bridge camera will give you an external mic jack (that said, the FZ200's mic jack is a non-standard 2.5mm, and you'll need a $4 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter for it to work with standard microphones).
Hope this is helpful!