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Old November 18th, 2012, 08:10 PM   #1
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The $1000 used camcorder

These are my choices, all about the same price:
Sony - FX1/Z1U, FX7/V1U
Canon XH-A1
I'm doing a video soon featuring some (amateur) models for a project to show off different looks (no live audio). Setting is part indoors, part outdoor *evening* with as little extra light as poss. I've been doing an occasional video for years with SD cams but they want HD. Truth be told I've been shooting 16:9 in SD for awhile and nobody seems to notice it wasn't HD! I edit with Vegas. Obviously I'll be using whatever I choose in the future for other things but this is my immediate concern. Any thoughts appreciated.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #2
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Re: The $1000 used camcorder

Hi Joe,
If shooting in low light, then out of those camera's i would be looking at the FX1/Z1U as they will be far better in low light than the V1U or FX7. The Z1 has better audio options than the FX1 & not sure, but may also have better connectivity in the form of SDI output. This will help future proof this camera as you would have the ability to use an external recorder with it & bypass the HDV codec if you ever wanted to. For that reason, & probably only that reason, i would take it over the XH A1.
Hope this helps,
Bryce
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Old November 18th, 2012, 11:57 PM   #3
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Re: The $1000 used camcorder

Digging up some older tech there - any reason you're looking at tape based, several generations old cameras?

For more current cams, I'd look at a used VG10 or VG20, or at least think about it. Most of the $1K small handycams will get better image quality, just because tech has moved onward since the cams you mention...

And of course lots of SLR/SLT cameras shoot video and open up a lot of options, IF you are comfortable with the form factor... SLT-A57 or A65 are well under your budget NEW. $1K buys a lot of imaging capability at the moment, albeit in some "alternative" packages.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 08:52 AM   #4
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Re: The $1000 used camcorder

Considering you're not going for sync audio - Currently discounted due to impending GH3 rollout:

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-GH2-Interchangeable-Free-Angle-Black/dp/B0043VE27Y?tag=battleforthew-20?&tag=din0a-20
Add on a Lumix 20/1.7 or Leica 25/1.4, or good fast legacy lens of your choice for ~$100-400; still gets you there under budget.

Canon T3i is also a viable option.

Owned the Z1U, HVX200 (another ~$1000 option. preferred that for people and interviews), and shot with the XHA1; unless you need the deep focus and CCDs, the GH2 and T3i will kick the crap out of all three of them visually.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:11 PM   #5
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Re: The $1000 used camcorder

It really boils down to two things, maybe three.

If these are planned shots, where you have the time to set focus - the above mentioned HDSLRs will give you much nicer depth of field, plus you move into the 21st century ditching the tape, but you will have to get used to the odd handling.

If your shots are run and gun, go for a real video camera.

If older technology makes you more comfortable, nothing wrong with that either, in the right hand those oldies will still shoot good video. If you stick with tape, the clear winner is the Z1 - down the road you will at some point need XLR audio, PLUS, it has one feature that makes it best in low light: black stretch.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 06:22 PM   #6
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Re: The $1000 used camcorder

Unless you plan to shoot 24p... Which the Z1U won't do. Great cam otherwise.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 07:24 PM   #7
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Re: The $1000 used camcorder

Still using my old Z1 for a few projects, mainly web based. With a slightly warm color balance, loved the skin tones.
Be aware the 'extra grunt' you will need to edit HD footage, something to consider.
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