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Old January 25th, 2011, 08:23 AM   #1
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Finding the right camcorder

Hoping I can get some insight from users of this board on finding the right camcorder.

This camera needs to be easy enough for the average person to use and will be used indoors 95% of the time.

Requirements:
HD
Digital tape-less format
Gain control
white balance
audio input for good wireless mic

Preferred but not required:
XLR audio inputs
3CCD


A side note, Looking for a camcorder/microphone that will perform well in a tradeshow environment. Something that is good at blocking out unwanted background noise will still capturing the speakers audio well. If such a thing exist. :)

Thanks in advance,

-Paul
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Old January 25th, 2011, 08:59 AM   #2
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Wow, you have a lot of choices with those requirements. You didn't mention budget or how soon you need the camera. Most of these cameras also have CMOS chips. But here are some that are all under $10,000:

Lower priced, under $4,000:

Canon XA10 (not available yet, maybe in a few months)
Canon XF100/105 (due shortly)
JVC HM100 (CCD)
Panasonic HMC150 (CCD)
Panasonic HMC40 (XLRs w/ adapter)
Panasonic HMC80
Panasonic HPX170 (CCD)
Panasonic HVX200a (CCD)
Sony AX2000
Sony MC50U (no XLR inputs, not sure about gain)
Sony NX5U
Sony NEX-VG10 (no XLR inputs)
Sony MC2000U


Higher priced:

Canon XF300/305
JVC HM700/790 (CCD)
Panasonic HPX370 ($2K rebate going on now!)
Panasonic AF100
Sony EX1R
Sony EX3

I might have missed one or two, but there are a lot for you to choose from. Some HDV cameras can record to solid state external recorders, but I left all HDV cameras off the list. If you want to save even more money, go for the cameras that record to SD cards.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 09:11 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. I'll have to do more research on the cameras listed.

I did not mention price, since it needs to be easy to use, I assume that rules out most camcorders over 5K. As usual, the cheaper the better.

I'm a canon fan and the XA10 looks pretty nice.

Also, I want to avoid any DTE drive attachments since that would add more trouble for the user.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 09:49 AM   #4
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Yeah, I thought more about this, and for a camera for "everyman," that pretty much eliminates the higher-end cameras. Price wise, I would also rule out the HVX200A and HPX170, as the P2 cards are pricey. The NX5U might be a bit complicated to operate. The VG10 has interchangeable lenses and a large sensor, and that can bring up issues with controlling your depth of field.
So, a revised list:

Canon XA10 (not available yet, maybe in a few months)
Canon XF100/105 (due shortly)
JVC HM100 (CCD)
Panasonic HMC150 (CCD)
Panasonic HMC40 (XLRs w/ adapter)
Panasonic HMC80
Sony AX2000
Sony MC50U (no XLR inputs, not sure about gain)
Sony MC2000U

I agree, the XA10 looks like a fun little camera. It has the same lens and sensor of the XF100, but $1,000 cheaper. AVCHD, of course.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 02:26 PM   #5
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Does anyone know if the canon XA10 has the zebra line functionality?
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Old February 9th, 2011, 10:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Does anyone know if the canon XA10 has the zebra line functionality?
Just updating for other peoples references, I did find out that the XA10 does have zebra pattern functionality.

Side note, pretty sure this is the camcorder that will be selected. Hope they release it soon.
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Old February 9th, 2011, 10:18 AM   #7
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One thing about tradeshow environments -- no camcorder
is going to give you good audio in that type of setting (unless
the show is dead and it's just exhibitors exhibiting to other
exhibitors). In a loud, noisy place it'll be a good idea to use
a wireless mic clipped to the lapel of whoever your speaker
is... just be sure to get it back when they're finished!
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Old February 9th, 2011, 10:58 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input.

That is exactly why I want a camcorder with XLR-inputs. Next step is to find a good wireless mic or two.
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