Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Other Camcorders › Camera Choice › Hi WC. I noticed that you
I noticed that you referred to the camcorders Hank and I listed as expensive and high end. I know you’re just coming into video production, so maybe you haven’t researched the market as long as I have, or maybe you know something I don’t, but my perspective is that those aren’t "expensive" cameras.
Honestly, for any sort of film-making, even if your immediate friends and family will be your only captives, or rather, audience ( 🙂 ), a $1700 camera is the bottom of the tolerance zone for decent quality.
As I mentioned in a response to something you said elsewhere, there’s a lot of technology that has to get crammed into a camcorder. For the technology that works, allows manual adjustment, and gives you broadcast quality, you simply can’t expect to find what you’re looking for below about a $1500 range. Less than that, and the camera quality goes noticeably down hill.
Additionally, indie filmmakers usually show their films at film festivals, on near-theatre sized screens. A camera with any less quality than the near-$2000 range will look like crap on a big screen, plain and simple. Honestly, I’d almost suggest that filmmakers spend twice as much and go High Def.
Look around some pro video camera sites. You’ll soon discover that an "average" pro video camera can cost $10-20k or more. I’ve seen cameras that went for almost a quarter million dollars. That’s what the big shot pros use. Those cameras are the high quality expensive ones. The $2000 price range is the minimum, borderline crappy end of the "pro" series. It’s really the least you can spend and still call yourself a pro.
So yes, I would still suggest that someone who’s just getting into film-making start on a $2000 camera. Doing so, and learning the basics of a simpler, cheaper camera like these ones Hank and I have suggested, are a starting point. If he gets better at his art, he’ll no doubt eventually start spending $10,000 or more on cameras. Such is the life of independent filmmakers.
Having owned several $500-$1000 cameras as well as several $2000-ish models, I could honestly say I’d be embarrassed to use anything less than my $2k cameras in a pro setting.