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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
For VIXIA / LEGRIA Series (HF G, HF S, HF and HV) consumer camcorders.


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Old April 7th, 2013, 04:33 PM   #1
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Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

Hello everyone,

I currently have a Canon HF 11 that I have been using for several years. I am recording a live concert at the end of the month and would like to do it using two camcorders. One from a set, straight on position, and the other will be with me on a Blackbird.

At first, I was looking into purchasing a new one (HF G20, XA10, etc). Now I am considering the less expensive alternative of finding a used consumer or prosumer camcorder that will compliment my HF 11 and help out in this one time event.

Since the purchase of my HF 11, I have not kept up with the models that have come along since, so I am hoping some of you can enlighten me. Also, if anyone has something sitting on the shelf that they might be willing to part with, let me know.

If it costs me more than a couple hundred, I will probably just invest in a new HF G20.

I don't particularly want to rent do the time involved in learning a new unit.

Hopefully someone can offer me some suggestions. I may have to purchase from eBay, but I do not have loads of calendar to work with.

Thanks in advance.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 06:43 AM   #2
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Re: Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

If it is a one time requiement, renting (or borrow from a friend) may be the best approach (cost wise), unless you really want a new or another camcorder.

What we need to know to make maningful suggestions is the level of your use, will it be for fun (hobby) or for money? what is your budget? how serious are you about video? and so on.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 01:16 PM   #3
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Re: Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

I'm kind of stuck in the middle right now. I am doing some work for people in a bartering agreement. I also have some people ready to pay me to help them make videos for website or dvd. Of course I would like a new camcorder like a HF G20 (who wouldn't), but I can't sure I can lay it out as the logical thing to do.

The need for 2 camcorders is limited to this particular event as of right now. Thats not to say that I wouldn't put a 2nd unit to use on other projects if it was available. So I think I would use a 2nd one more often if I had one.

Am I making any sense at all.

I recently found a used version of my cam for a very good price. I am tempted to go ahead and get that which will take care of my 2 camera needs and keep the budget way down. I have already gotten approval from the boss (read: wife) to get an HF G20, but I wonder if the money would be better spent on other things (audio,lights,etc). Sometimes I tend to get a job, and spend the money on equipment for that job. Of course, this equipment is then used on future jobs also.

What a pain. Thanks for your ideas. I hope that helps you help me.

I have been doing video as a hobby for almost 10 years. I enjoy it enough that it would be fun to get paid to do it. Keeping in mind that I will probably not take jobs unless I know I will enjoy it. Basically, the money coming in would feed the hobby as well as some regular life expenses.

Last edited by Paul McDaniel; April 8th, 2013 at 01:18 PM. Reason: Additional thoughts
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Old April 9th, 2013, 08:02 AM   #4
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Re: Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

The need for lights, audio gear (e.g., wireless mics), and so on will depend on what types of events/programs you are shooting, and how they will be edited and prepared for distribution. For example, there likely is minimal need for lights and special audio gear if just shoting highschool sports from the press box, but you will need better than the camcorder mic audio gear for wedding work. About the only extra gear you will want for sure is extra batteries and media. From that stand point a second camcorder that uses the same batteries and media is convenient.

Picking up the good used camcorder may well be the best alternative if you cannot borrow/rent one for now. It also give more time to refine your list of actual needs. Give serious consideration to what you think you need, then consider how you will use it, it mayhj just eb a costly "want." Many people buy stuff that sounds good to have, and then never use it. And always keep in mind that what works well for me, or for some one else, may not fit your situation.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 11:46 AM   #5
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Re: Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

I guess I was looking more for people to say "Hey I have a Canon (fill in the blank) and it works great and may work ell with your HF 11.

Anyone out there like that?
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Old April 11th, 2013, 06:42 AM   #6
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Re: Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

I have an XA10. It works great. The video it shoots should integrate well with the HF11 output (provided both are used within their performance envelop), but once you use the XA10 you may not want to pick-up the XF11 again.

Seriously, output from any of the AVCHD Vixia series should integrate well with the HF11, and the newer camcorders at similar relative position in the product line probably do it a bit better. But if you see what sounds like a good deal, read the reviews online to confirm it has no reported limitations that might be a deal breaker for you.

The issue is that there are a lot of variables that go into a camcorder decision/recommendation. It is bit like saying you need to clear a trail and already have a machette, and need another tool. Then asking should you buy another machette, a hatchet, and axe, or a chain saw? Without knowing details about what kind of trail and what needs to be cleared any response is just guess work.
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Old April 13th, 2013, 08:26 AM   #7
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Re: Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

In this video shoot in a club in New York the guy use a G10 and a Sony on it. Where is why he said on what the band thought. "The band today contacted me and they all LOVED the look of the g10 footage."

Here the video he shoot.

I have a G10 but I'm learning how to use it. One thing poeple have found about it is to shoot in manual mode and trun off the Dynamic OIS and put it in standard IS mode.
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 03:57 PM   #8
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Re: Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

I'm really close to buying a G20. However, I am running out of time. What to do, what to do...
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 04:47 PM   #9
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Re: Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

i've just taken the plunge and bought a canon hf g10 as it is 300-400€ cheaper than the g20 and fits my needs (at least it should according to the reviews etc i've seen). it's to complement my canon 7d as i wait for the xa20 to arrive. buying something is always tough but sometimes the price is right and you have to go for it
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 10:42 PM   #10
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Re: Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

Thats surprising that the HF G10 as cheaper. Here in the states, they are pretty much the same price. I like the idea of waiting for the HF G30 in June, but I could really use a second camcorder this weekend.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 06:43 AM   #11
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Re: Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

I'm in the same position as you. I need the camera for this weekend! In the end the price difference was 200 and I ended up buying a g25 as it was in stock and I would have had to have waited for the g10
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Old April 24th, 2013, 06:56 AM   #12
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Re: Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

With technology prices changing the way they do it usually is best to wait to buy until you need it (and can bill its use). Just be sure to allow enough time to learn to use it, and ring it out to be sure there are no issues with the unit you received.

Over the years I''ve read too many post by uses who bought gear on a Friday afternoon and then tried to use it on a money shoot Saturday, only to find they did not get usable audio and/or video - most often due to a "nut behind the pause button" problem.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 08:28 AM   #13
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Re: Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

Good point don. I've got a few days to test it and a shoot on sunday. It's going to be a b cam. I usually shoot with just one camera so as long as the tests go well I should be reafy for sunday!
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Old April 24th, 2013, 10:38 AM   #14
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Re: Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

This particular event is not paying me anything, so that's one of the reasons I have been dragging my feet. Since I am doing this to help out, I have to be careful how much money I throw at. Especially since a lot of what I do for video is for free or for family.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 06:23 AM   #15
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Re: Looking for budget conscious 2nd camcorder

Maybe it gives you a tax deduction at least if used for charity work?
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