Hi MusicMan – when you say


Hi MusicMan – when you say you "…love the cinematic look of professional footage", you're probably talking about the shallow depth of field "look" that is produced by large sensor cameras.  


I won't go into the optical physics, but you won't get that look from the $1700 Panasonic AG-AC90, the $1547 Canon XA10 (or the $1849 Sony NX30).


These are all great cameras, but their tiny 1/3" sensors make it difficult to get the "blurry background/foreground" look.


For that reason, of the cameras you listed, I recommend the Sony NEX-VG30.  It has a large sensor for the shallow depth of field look and is very good in low light, as seen in this classical choral concert video:






And in this hard rock music video:






You can get this camera with the 18-200 power zoom for $2698 new from Amazon or a demo unit with a 1 year warranty for about $1600 from photocdm via eBay.


If you buy it body-only, and purchase your lenses separately, a new one will cost you $1798 from Amazon.


If you buy the camera body-only, you can get a relatively fast Sigma 19mm f2.8 lens for less than $200 to get started and still stay under your $2000 budget limit.


If you plan to put the camera in the back of the room and record long concerts in addition to shooting edited music videos, you will want to avoid Canon/Nikon/Sony/Pentax DSLRs and their 12 to 30 minute continuous recording limits.


There are two still/video cameras, however, that can record continuously for hours instead of minutes. Those cameras are the $649 (on sale with kit lens) Panasonic G6 and its big brother, the $898 (body only) Panasonic GH3.


In my view, the extra money for the GH3 is worth it for its headphone jack, all-metal splashproof body and wider choice of recording bit rates and codecs.


Here is what the G6 can do:





And here is what the GH3 can do:





If you're not set on the camcorder body style, in my view the Panasonic GH3 is the best value for money interchangeable lens camera you can buy below $2000.



Hope this is helpful and best of the holidays!



Hybrid Camera Revolution

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