Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Help!! DSLR or Camcorder › I would highly look into the
I would highly look into the Sony RX10 or, even better, the Sony RX10 II. It can shoot in 4K or 1080HD, has a 1″ sensor, it’s decent in low light (sensitivity to iso 12,800), has a 24mm-200mm zoom range, and can do insane slow motion (up to 960fps), although I wouldn’t go past 240fps in most cases because the quality degrades at rates higher than that. It has a built-in zoom lens with a constant f2.8 aperture, a headphone jack and a mic jack for recording audio, too, along with decent autofocus if you need it. It does have a max single clip length of 29 min. and 59 seconds though (as most still cameras that shoot video do), so be aware of that. It retails for about $1398, which is a bit more than your $1000 budget, but it seems to tick all the boxes you’re looking for, and you might be able to find it used for closer to $1,000. If you need a longer zoom range, there’s the RX10 III (24-600mm), but the aperture stops down to f4 at about 105mm thru 600mm. Plus, it’s more expensive at about $1600 brand new, although you might be able to find it for less used.
Another great option might be the Panasonic GH4 (although slow motion only goes up to 96fps in HD and the quality isn’t that great), since it does not have the 30 minute limit, but it’s not the best in low light plus you’ll have to buy a lens (or multiple lenses) separately. It’s a little more expensive (just under $1500) new, but again, you may be able to find it for less.
Here’s a great review of the RX10 II:
And another one with several video samples:
Finally, if you prefer them, there’s dedicated camcorders such as the Canon XA10 (1080 only up to 60fps interlaced, no 4K) which has a zoom range of 30.4-304mm, or the JVC GY-HM170UA (4K and 1080p up to 60fps) with a zoom range of 29.5-354mm, but they both run about $1300 new and will not be very good in low light. Plus, the slow motion on either of those cams will be nowhere near as sweet as on the RX10s.
I hope this helps somewhat.