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Old July 28th, 2007, 10:12 PM   #1
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Best 3 CCD or 3 CMOS under $1000...

What is your suggestion on the best new 3 CCD or 3 CMOS camera with mic input ability and headphone jack.

Price should be bases on new, and it should be a model that can be found now. (The Panason PV-GS 200 and PV-GS 250 meet this criteria, but you can't buy them new anymore).

This is for a nonprofit community looking to start an after-school video training program for at-risk teens. Please stay under a grand, but if it's slighly over, send it to me as well.

Thank you all.

One more thing. Would prefer minidv, but at this point am willing to consider DVD cameras.
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Old July 28th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #2
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I'm not aware of any 3 CCD camera under 1K that can really do this...
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Old July 29th, 2007, 10:15 AM   #3
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Since it is a training program, I would say that you could use a single CCD camera. Yes, 3 CCDs are better, but under good lighting conditions and with some smart shooting, 1 CCD will works nicely. I work at a university, and we have single CCD cameras for general check out and some of the students make very nice looking video. I usually start at B&H when looking for cameras and prices. After a quick search, for under 1k, your choices are very limited. You have to sacrifice something. Either the 3 CCDs, mic input or headphone input. It's quite a shame that all three are not being offered in consumer cameras anymore. The Canon HV20 is just under your price and has mic inputs and heaphone jacks, but it is a single CMOS. The Sony HC7 is a couple hundred dollars over, but still is a single CMOS. There are some 3 CCD Panasonic but they don't have headphone jacks. Since they are around 6-700, you could invest in an external audio mixer and good mic, then use the mixer to feed into the camera and use it for monitoring. Either that or maybe look at some higher end used cameras. Just some ideas. Good luck.
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Old July 29th, 2007, 10:40 AM   #4
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I would say that you could use a single CCD camera. Yes, 3 CCDs are better, but under good lighting conditions and with some smart shooting, 1 CCD will works nicely...
There are two kinds of single CCD camcorders... those with primary (RGB) color filters and those with complimentary (CMY) color filters. In the $1,000 price range, any single-chip RGB camcorder will match any 3CCD camcorder of equal price because they build color information the same way, with primary color values. The original poster should not concern himself so much with finding a 3CCD camcorder at that price but should consider instead a 1CCD camcorder with an RGB color filter. That would include the single-CMOS Sony and Canon HDV camcorders mentioned above.
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Old July 29th, 2007, 07:57 PM   #5
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I agree. The biggest problem is try finding a sub 1k camera that has mic input and headphone jacks. Forget about a manual focus ring. We just got some new cameras for checkout. The originals that were looked at had mic inputs. They sent us the newest models and they didn't come with mic inputs. Panny dropped that option. Kinda sucks.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 12:16 PM   #6
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Great information on Primary vs Complimentary regarding color chip. Is this info normally given in the specs? I didn't see it, or I wasn't looking for the right thing.

I do like canon cameras, and the HV20 is in the price range. So I will give that one a close look.

But here is another possibility brought up in another post. I can monitor my sound with another source. We will be using a shotgun mic and boom pole. So if I find another way to monitor the sound, then I don't need a camera with a headphone, and that opens up a lot of possibilities, one of them being the Panasonic PV-GS500 which we can buy at B&H for under $700.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 12:33 PM   #7
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Alfred, trust me when I say you will find the picture of the HV20 to be 4 times better than the GS500. I previously owned the 500 and now own the HV20. And I'm not necessarily talking about the HD resolution but even with it scaled down to SD resolution it is much much better. Grant it, I consider the (edit:GS500) to be the absolute best in "consumer" SD cams.

I use a multitrack recorder for audio. This way I can record all sorts of ambient sounds along with my video. Syncing in post is not a real big deal. It's just at the start of every take I make references to the scene which helps later in matching it up on the timeline.

Last edited by Ian G. Thompson; July 30th, 2007 at 02:38 PM.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 12:38 PM   #8
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Great information on Primary vs Complimentary regarding color chip. Is this info normally given in the specs?
If it has a primary color filter, it's often stated so in the marketing material as "RGB color." If it has a complimentary color filter, usually no mention is ever made of it. Most inexpensive single-chip SD camcorders (sub $500) have complimentary color filters. When they do have primary color, it'll be a more expensive camcorder and it will usually say "RGB" somewhere. All of the current single-chip HDV camcorders are RGB.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 01:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Alfred Diaz View Post
But here is another possibility brought up in another post. I can monitor my sound with another source. We will be using a shotgun mic and boom pole. So if I find another way to monitor the sound, then I don't need a camera with a headphone, and that opens up a lot of possibilities, one of them being the Panasonic PV-GS500 which we can buy at B&H for under $700.
I had a GS120, I passed on to a family member after I got my HV20. Image was so superior.

With HV20, Sound monitoring can be an issue. Basically the AV jack can be set to headphones, or AV out. If I am using an external monitor, that eliminates headphones off the camera, but my external monitor does have sound input too, that I can in turn monitor on phones..... Of course if you monitor off the component output or HDMI, then it is not an issue.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 03:19 PM   #10
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I think I would look at the HV20 as well, but I'm sure the GS500 will work too. For monitoring, you might want to look at the Beachtek line of mixers. They offer xlr input that is adapted to mini-pin for your camera. They have a couple different versions. At work I have the lowest end version to complement a GL-1 that is hardly used anymore. It works fine, but if I had a chance to buy again, I would look more closely at their higher end model that has meters on it. Although they are not the best meters, there is something I like about having a visual representation of my sound as well as what I here on the headphones. Let use know which way you decided to go.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 06:11 PM   #11
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All right. After reading the specs, various reviews online, and what you guyts wrote, I am leaning toward the Canon HV20. The only problem is we may be short on our budget. If I can pencil it out, I will go with the Canon. It has the Mic input, headphones, and works well with Premiere Pro. And as an added bonus it will do HD and SD.

But the budget is tight. So...

I am willing to entertain other options, but a grand really is the max. There is still a lot of audio equipment we have to buy.

Thanks for the guidance. More guidance is welcomed.

FYI: Under my supervision, the kids will be writing, shooting and editing a 30 second spot that will air on our local cable stations. So I do need high quality video and audio, or the cable company will reject the spots.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 11:10 PM   #12
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Check first with the cable company to make sure they'll accept your footage. This seems a prudent first step. Also, check out the forums here in the HV20 area and look at some of the sample footage people have posted. I'm certain the quality is up to par..

Good luck...
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Old July 31st, 2007, 06:23 AM   #13
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The Sony HDR-HC7 is also in the $1k range with Mic in and Headphone jack.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 06:56 AM   #14
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Canon & Sony

Without a doubt, the best investment in a $1000 (give or take) camcorder at this moment in time is one of these four cameras: Canon HV10/HV20 or the Sony HC5/HC7. See this chart for an incomplete comparison: http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...s-Compared.htm (prices have dropped since that comparison). Just Google for either model name and tons of other links will come up, there is a lot of useful info (together with some rubbish) on the internet.

To me the Canons are a tad on the fragile side, something you may want to think about, considering that you will give the camera to teenagers not particularly famous about being responsible. The Sonys have a more "secure" feel in the hand compared to the almost all plastic Canons, and unless I'm mistaking, the Canons don't have the LANC controller option should you need it.

Almost all of the electronics stores have these cameras and most would be more than happy to assist you in shooting some footage on a tape you supply; so give them a try and decide.

Good luck,
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Old August 12th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #15
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I think I have picked a camera. After all of your good input and doing lots of online research, and heading down to the local electronics superstore to check out the models, I am going to buy the Canon HV10 or HV20. If we have the extra cash in the budget, we will get the HV20. If we don't, we will get the HV10, which B&H sells for just under $700.

Great stuff on CMOS vs CCD. It steered me in the right direction. And at $700, it sounds like just the right camera for us.

Thanks guys.
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