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Old February 1st, 2013, 04:39 PM   #1
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Ok gents... a name that camera challenge for you!

Here's the deal... my buddy Shaun Roemich and I have been sitting here drinking quad Americanos arguing over the best cameras to fit the following rolls. I thought I'd open it up to DVinfo'ers to see if you guys can add any thoughts. These are both cameras we're buying for a project, so your opinion is actually going somewhere. Will probably buy them used to save some cash and don't mind if they aren't still in production.

Camera #1 price range $800-$1300 (used)
Must have:
- 1080 - 24p mode
- SD cards
- manual controls
- available XLR input (even if not on camera)
- It must look more expensive/"pro" than the average handycam, for example XF100 yes, XA10 not quite.
Yes, this is a little subjective but it's part of the game.

Camera #2 price range $200-$300 used (I need 4-6 of them so they have to be cheap)
Will be used as an in car camera for car reviews.
-SD cards (or any card really)
-Flip around LCD screen
-minimum 30mm wide end (35mm equiv)
-bonus points if it has any audio inputs.
(note, a point and shoot camera may be perfect for this, but only if it has a full flip around screen)

If I end up buying the camera you pick, I'll buy you something random off Ebay. :)
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Old February 1st, 2013, 08:40 PM   #2
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Re: Ok gents... a name that camera challenge for you!

Camera #1:
JVC GY-HM100 (pushing budget limits)
Panasonic AG-HPX170 (again, upper budget limits)


Camera #2
Canon Vixia series


That's all I got...
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Old February 4th, 2013, 07:46 AM   #3
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Re: Ok gents... a name that camera challenge for you!

Camera 1:
Panasonic HMC-40, or better yet, the aforementioned Canon XF100. I've used both but prefer the XF100 - more features and better in low light. It hasn't been out as long so it might be hard to find a used one to fit the budget. And, despite what most pros might say, in the "advanced amateur" circles I run in, I've gotten numerous comments with both cameras on how they look like very serious, cool, professional gear, especially when tricked out with extras - wireless receiver, on-camera shotgun (even if not used), the xlr box for the HMC-40, etc. The Canon XA10 w/xlr handle might suffice, but to me would be too small.

Camera 2:
Get the recently discontinued version of the mid-range model of the Panasonic X900 (or whatever it's called now). A year ago I got the HDC-SD90 - same 1080/60p as the 900, long zoom, palm sized, <$300. I don't know what the current equivalent would be, but just get last year's discontinued mid-range model.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 10:06 AM   #4
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Re: Ok gents... a name that camera challenge for you!

Camera #1 is tricky, especially as you want something that looks the part and isn't expensive.

range of possible "pro looking" SD card cameras is:
- Sony NX30 - (too small, it's more XA10 size, and no 24p that I can see)
- Sony NX5 - maybe hard to find used at that price
- Sony NX70 - again, hard to find used at a good price
- Panasonic AC90 - brand new, $1850+
- Panasonic AC80 - big shoulder-mount "pro" camera look
- JVC HM100/HM150
- Canon XF100 is not SD cards, and not cheap

The Panasonic AC-90 is the cheapest "new" camera I can think of that looks impressive, though it is $1850 at B&H, a bit outside the budget range. It'd be a push to find one used so soon after release though. A Panasonic AC80 might be good if you could find it used, it certainly looks the part.

Otherwise, the JVC HM100 might be the best option. I see one on eBay USA for $1400. Someone on eBay UK is selling 2 for 2200, to give an idea of the price.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 10:10 AM   #5
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Re: Ok gents... a name that camera challenge for you!

If you're going budget with decent quality, then you're probably looking at Panasonic. Sony and Canon hold their value longer even when they're not better cameras, and especially when they are. JVC simply isn't as easy to find used.

#1:
- (if you ditch the SD requirement) Panasonic HVX200. This was absolutely the cat's underpants a mere 5 years ago, and is still a heck of a lot of camera for it's going used price.
- (if you don't ditch the SD requirement) Panasonic HMC150 (difficult yet possible to find under $1300)
- (alternate) HMC40 w/ MYA30g XLR adapter (less camera, but easy to find in that budget)

#2:
- Panasonic TM300. Mighty easy match with the HMC40 (essentially same imaging)
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Old February 4th, 2013, 10:55 AM   #6
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Re: Ok gents... a name that camera challenge for you!

Pana AC-90 and last year's model Panasonic 700/800/900 series handycams. If you're spending close to $1,500 anyways, why not get the latest and greatest AC90 as opposed to a HMC-150 or HVX. I think the picture is far superior... Otherwise the Vixia M40 is a nice cheap piece of gear that would match well with a XF cam of some sort.
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