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Old May 16th, 2013, 09:47 PM   #1
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Best camera for under $3500

I'm looking to replace my canon GL1, and looking to spend between $2,000 and $3500. I was looking at the Canon XA20, however I think maybe its too small. I could probably get used to doing the menu thing.. but I do like to have some controls on the "outside" of the camera. My priorities are image quality and I would like something that is decent with low light shooting.

So, what do you think?

Canon XA20? Sony HDR-AX2000?

I'm up for some input!
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Old May 17th, 2013, 01:21 AM   #2
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Re: Best camera for under $3500

Consider the Panasonic AC130 as well, it's about $3300 at B&H at the moment and gives a lot of manual controls and a great lens.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 02:13 PM   #3
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Re: Best camera for under $3500

Dang, now I have three to decide between! ugh!
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Old May 17th, 2013, 02:55 PM   #4
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Re: Best camera for under $3500

Alex, the big question is what you want to use it for, and what your needs are.

The "big cameras" in this spec area (i.e. good range of manual controls, including NDs and XLRs), are:

Panasonic AC130 or AC160
Sony NX5
JVC HM600 or HM650
Canon XF300 or 305

Those are the "big handheld" cameras. The Panasonic AC90 sort of bridges the small cameras and big cameras ranges, though you lose manual ND filters for really bright sunshine (it has a built in one for lower levels of ND).

In your price range, the only ones available are (I think) the Sony NX5 and the Panasonic AC130. The NX5 is getting a bit old, but still a great camera. I think the AX2000 is a slightly lower-specced version of the Sony NX5.

Cameras at the smaller end are: Sony NX30 or NX70. Panasonic AC90. Canon XA10 (and now XA20 and XA25). JVC HM150. The JVC is getting on a bit now. The NX70 is over-priced and under-specced (I owned one). But all these cameras need you to poke around in a touchscreen menu to some degree, which I hate.

They all have pluses and minuses, which doesn't help you choose! That's just a list of cameras.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 03:13 PM   #5
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Re: Best camera for under $3500

if you are coming from a gl1 then I think the panasonic ag ac90 would be a worthy replacement that won't break the bank.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 09:02 PM   #6
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Re: Best camera for under $3500

From a techs point of view the Canon XA20 (XA10 is) or XF100 should be pretty reliable. The Sony AX2000 has a very nice and sharp lens and sensor but we have seen some issues with this camera. Not sure if we've seen more of these in because also its a very popular camcorder. Panasonic stuff hmm well, you,ve got to deal with Panasonic and if you have issues with the camera that could turn into a big problem. Parts are also MUCH costlier with the Panasonic cameras. I recently looked up a lens block on a Panasonic camera that retailed for around $4500 and the lens cost was around $3800, GEEZ!!! JVC, not real sure about but last I dealt with them their quality was not so good. If you could pick up a Canon XF300 for a good price you should be good with that. They are sweet camcorders.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 07:24 AM   #7
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Re: Best camera for under $3500

Buy a used EX1 or EX1R. I see there's one in your price range here on DVinfo:
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/private-...cessories.html
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 08:58 AM   #8
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Re: Best camera for under $3500

EX1
AGAC90 (if you want money left over)
EA50 (for DSLR style video)
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