No need for hi-def, so som

#184210
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No need for hi-def, so some standard-def camcorders with mic inputs, manual volume control, and focus/zoom rings would be:

Canon GL2: Good versatility and quality. This has been a popular camcorder for those just starting out in serious video production.$1900

Panasonic AG-DVC20: This has a shoulder-mount design, so you can easily take it off the tripod and walk around shooting video for an extended time. $1200

Panasonic AG-DVX100B: A very professional camcorder with lots of versatility. The mic inputs are the professional XLR type. $2350

Sony DSR-PD170: Another very professional camcorder, which also has the professional XLR mic inputs. This model excels under low-light conditions. (I suspect it’s being discontinued, so it might be difficult to find.) $2500

Note: The reason for the external mic inputs is to get a microphone near the subject, so you don’t get that “recorded in an echo chamber” sound. For the 1st 2 camcorders I mentioned, the Rode Videomic would be a good choice at about $150. For the DVX100B or the PD170, there are good XLR mic choices (somewhere around $250) from Rode, Azden, and Audio Technica.

Good luck,

Ken

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