If you decide to buy new,


If you decide to buy new, DO NOT buy from an online dealer until you check them out on ‘resellerratings.com’. There’s an awful lot of online scam stores out there that offer lower-than-everyone else prices, then make you pay extra for everything else in the box.

Here’s the places that I trust for my online purchases:

B&H Photo
Amazon (Direct, not through a member store)

In person:

Best Buy
Fry’s – ONLY if you know exactly what you want. They prefer to hire minimum-wage morons, so don’t expect a lot of technical help.

From what I’ve read and understand about you, here’s my suggestion… Don’t rush, but for some reason the date seems to be pushing you. After Christmas, BestBuy, Frys and other stores will have “clearance” sales that may knock another $50-100 off the price.

DV is OK for now. I don’t know why you want HD unless “someone” told you it’s the best for YouTube. It is, but marginally. If YouTube is your primary delivery for your productions, or even if DVD’s are in your plan, HD is not a high requirement. Many, many great YouTube productions are done in DV or less. (Cellphones). I have two “prosumer” HDV cameras and rarely shoot in HDV. My deliverables are on SD-DVD and the difference from shooting in HDV and editing down to DV for DVD is not great enough to justify the extra editing headaches. (However, DV shot on an HDV camera is superior in quality to DV shot on a DV camera).

For professional use, I emphasize the need for professional wireless microphones. However, you are dealing with one microphone and one camera – and very short range (I.E. the interview). A cheap consumer wireless mic will likely serve you well. Even the $80 Radio Shack (Model 2179605). Others to look at:

Azden WMS-PRO Wireless Microphone System
Sony WCS999 Wireless Camcorder Microphone

Any camcorder with an external microphone input will work with these consumer-level wireless microphones.

Last – anything you buy today will be insufficient in three years. Live with it.

Also, don’t forget resellerratings.com can save your butt.

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