I’m assuming, so correct me

#208088
AvatarJoseph
Participant

I'm assuming, so correct me if I'm wrong, that you're going the live music recording route, as in shooting concerts as opposed to shooting music videos. So this answer is tailored to that idea.

 

For a future B camera, you need one that you can fire and forget.

 

Some people are pushing the GH3, but seriously, if you aren't a photographer who's used to dealing the complexities of a DSLR, don't punish yourself.

 

As a sound guy, you'll appreciate the ability of a traditional video camera to easily shoot solid video. Will you get the artsy 1.5" depth of field or be able to shoot by candle light? No. But you will get a camera that doesn't make you want to pull your hair out as you mentally calculate how the ISO, shutter speed, aperature, correct lenses, etc. You'll also get a camera than can hit your 2-3 hour mark with the right sized SD cards. Also, in the wildly varying lighting conditions you may find at a concert, you would likely have to shoot with some automatic features to compensate – defeating the purpose of a DSLR.

 

My first suggestion is the budget (for a prosumer camera) route – the Canon Vixia G30 (although the G10 and G20 are also good.) It's the same camera as the XA20 but without the handle with XLR inputs and an IR emitter for the nightvision. It even has the wi-fi functions. This is a very solid camera which should perform reasonably well in low light. Yes, the GH3 will beat most any camcorder in low light, but remember, it's going to be WAY easier to use. The biggest drawback to this camera is that most functions are in touch screen menus.

 

The Panasonic AG-AC90 might be worth a look in the under $2k range. It's got a lot of buttons on the outside that makes using it more convenient than the G30. It also has XLR inputs and a 3-chip sensor although they're way smaller than the G30's sensor. (Larger sensor = better low light and shallower depth of field shots. Three sensors = better color – theoretically. YMMV. I haven't personally seen a comparison of the two.) B&H is offer Sony Vegas Pro 12 free with a purchase of this camera right now. I'm sadly an Adobe guy but I hear good things about Vegas.

 

Both of these cameras have a great zoom range which you won't get in the GH3. (20x and 23x respectively.) You might be surprised how important a good zoom is, especially when you're stuck in the back of a musical venue. Video camera zooms are WAY better than DSLR zooms.

 

I usually just scroll through the list of cameras at B&H and often prefer their listings for specs over the manufacturers site. You can compair a lot of cameras and see user reviews pretty quickly there.

 

Good luck!

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