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Old June 8th, 2005, 09:09 AM   #1
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High Quality/ Low Cost

A buddy of mine called me the other day wanting me to give him the names of some good DVcams in the range of $1000 to $1500.
I don't really know much about that end of the market, can anyone give me some help here?

EDIT- Actually I talked him up into that price range thinking that he would get much better bang for the buck, as some of the $1000 to $1500 cams would have 3CCD's. Any ideas in his origional price range of $500 to $1000 or is it even worth discussing cams in that price range? Again, I don't know much about that segment of the market.

-Ethan
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Old June 8th, 2005, 09:32 AM   #2
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Tough at that price. Although just a bit higher, two cameras come to mind:

Panasonic DVC-30: $1,800 minus $150 rebate = $1,650
Sony PDX-10: $1,800 minus $200 rebate = $1,600

Both are good cameras. The Sony has pro audio features (XLR's and shotgun mono mike), BW viewfinder, DVCAM recording and (most important for me) true 16:9. Downside: small chips, not good in very dark situations.

The Panasonic has slightly larger chips, is better in dim conditions and has XLR's as an added cost option. It doesn't shoot real 16:9 however.

There are cheaper options, but they get into 1/6" CCD's, more limited manual controls, less battery capacity and other compromises. The Sony HC-1000 has many of these limitations, but uses the same chips and is theoretically capable as the same quality of the PDX-10. It sells for $1,400 but I would spend the extra $200 on the PDX-10 instead.

If your friend's budget is this limited, has s/he considered all the other things? Larger batteries, a good tripod, WA/Telephoto lenses, audio gear, computer software, hard drives,etc? Better allow a minimum of $500 for that as well
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Old June 8th, 2005, 11:37 AM   #3
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thanks Boyd.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 12:08 PM   #4
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It depends on his goals and what he is going to do with it. For casual shooitng I would buy a Panny gs-400. It is a 3ccd, has a nice 4MP still cam in it, manual controls for all needed functions including iris (I hate touch screens now that I have one).
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Old June 8th, 2005, 12:12 PM   #5
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OTOH, I can think of lots of people that would be really happy with a $300 tinycam.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 05:35 PM   #6
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I work at Best Buy and are much more familiar with cameras in that price range than $5000+ models. From my own personal experience I would take the Canon Opturas over the Panasonic GS250/400 anyday, even with the 3CCDS the panasonics dont deliver as accurate color as the canon models. If 500-1000 is his top price range w EVERYTHING, meaning batteries, bags, tripod, tapes, computer hardware software, service plans, ect. the Optura 50 is a good choice and we carry it at most locations...with aboslutely everything he needs he'd be looking at around 1000-1150 before tax not including hardware/software for the computer (firewire PCI card, 1394a cable, cheap editing software) with all that, no more than 1400...

GS400 is great for photos/video, but still its better to have the two separate devices in my opinion (you'll never see a 1DsmarkII/XL2 combo would you?)
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