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Old January 13th, 2012, 11:16 AM   #1
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Deciding on a camcorder...

Hi guys,

I'm used to shooting professional videos currently with my Canon 7D, but since i've recently started taking on more jobs for bigger clients, i'm looking to add a more suitable camera to my arsenal.

The 7D is great (mostly visuals, DOF and low light), but unless i'm using a tripod or steadicam, the footage needs to be very carefully planned.

I'm looking to spend a few thousand on something with good visuals, reasonable shooting in low-light, but mostly a camera with good image stabilization where you don't need a tripod or steadicam to get non-shaky footage. I'll be using the 7D for some shots as well but this new camcorder will probably be my main cam.

I'm confused since there are so many out there, i've been looking at everything from the Sony AX2000, NX5U, Canon XHA1, XF300 etc. I really like the XF300 but at about $7,000. I haven't started looking at any of the other brands yet, but hoping I can find similar functionality from another brand for a better price.

Any experience or advice from your end would be great guys!

Thanks
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Old January 13th, 2012, 11:30 AM   #2
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Re: Deciding on a camcorder...

you might want to look at the Panasonic AG-AC130/160. They might fill the bill for you and both are at a really decent price point.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 12:33 PM   #3
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Re: Deciding on a camcorder...

The canon xf100 is great for doing a lot of handheld work. Image stabilization is killer, it's pretty decent in low light, shoots 4:2:2, and it's super lightweight.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 03:48 PM   #4
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Re: Deciding on a camcorder...

Ammar,

There are still alot of questions you need to ask yourself before purchasing your new camcorder.

How far will the talent/subjects be from the camera will significantly determine the type of lens that will be needed. Say for instance if you are shooting corporate events in large rooms and the camera has to be located at the back of the room, the XF100 with 10X zoom lens might not be sufficient for the job.

$7K for the XF300 might be a bit expensive to you now, however, if your jobs are getting more frequent with bigger clients, thereby bringing in more income, $7K can wind up being a small investment compared to the new growth your company is taking!

Even the XF300 might not be the answer for you as you evidently want mobility without being confined to a tripod. Handheld camcorders without a tripod, monopod, stedipod or any type of steadicam equipment starts to get heavy if your shoots are an extended amount of time. A shouldermount camcorder may be the direction you need to be looking. The JVC GYHM750U, Panasonic AGHPX370 or Sony PMW320K might be a better suit for your application, which, of course, requires a bigger budget. However, once invested, they can also open up even bigger opportunities.

What is your current workflow and where do you want it to be in a year or even 3 years from now? Are you editing on a Mac or PC? Avid, Premiere or FCP? The various codec's available can assist in determining which camcorder will be best suited for you now and in the future.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #5
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Re: Deciding on a camcorder...

Look here:
Camcorders

Eliminate every camera that uses tape or doesn't have three lens rings.

Look at the features and keep moving down the list till you find a couple that have most or all the features you want. Now you have identified a shortlist of cameras that probably have what you want. If they are in your price range, search here on DVinfo for each one and read the many many many posts bragging or ragging on that camera. If they are above your price range, go earn more money and come back when you have it. It's worth it.

Then, absorb the information and YOU decide. Only you can decide the best camera for you. Then buy it from any of the sponsors of DVInfo cause that's where you got the smarts to pick it. haha

Having said that, it's been said many times that the Sony EX-3 is the best $7820 camera ever made. :-)
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Old January 13th, 2012, 04:43 PM   #6
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Re: Deciding on a camcorder...

The following list can assist as well

TapeWorks Texas | Camcorders - Professional Video Call us 866-TAPEGUY
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Old January 16th, 2012, 09:02 AM   #7
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Re: Deciding on a camcorder...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ammar Alaradi View Post
I'm used to shooting professional videos currently with my Canon 7D,
The 7D is great (mostly visuals, DOF and low light), but unless i'm using a tripod or steadicam, the footage needs to be very carefully planned.
Are you looking for a camera that can shoot handheld and without very careful planning?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ammar Alaradi View Post
I'm looking to spend a few thousand on something with good visuals, reasonable shooting in low-light, but mostly a camera with good image stabilization where you don't need a tripod or steadicam to get non-shaky footage.
I don't want to be a downer, but please leave that idea before you got used to it, you can shoot hand held your home videos, but paid job? Maybe couple shots, just to give it a modern camera drift look, and for that Canon IS lenses work very well, have you tried 17-55mm on your 7D? Even 70-200mm IS hand held looks very decent, but again, just for couple shots;
but if you looking for a camcorder I would recommend you Sony FS100, it is a great camera with decent sound, great low light performance (depending on the lens) and acceptable IS (again - depending on the lens). It is only my opinion, but today I wouldn't use camcorder with smaller than APSC(H) size sensor and fixed lens, unless you're doing event or sports ;
best
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