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Old December 3rd, 2018, 06:14 PM   #1
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Suggestions for run n gun companion camera?

Hey all. Im looking for reccomendations for a camcorder to use in run and gun situations for some documentary type personal projects. I am just starting out in all this although I did use to be a professional stills photographer back in the day and even further back I was big into sound engineering as a hobby. So I can fumble my way around a camera and sound. Basically if I have the chance to setup a tripod, then Ill shoot on my trusty old 5d2 with a seperate audio setup. Its old and fiddly for video but good enough for me. But I wanted to get something small and light that could be used more on the go with good image stabilization hand held, autofocus, and decent sound (ideally without an extra mic if that exists, but a shotgun mounted on top is okay) to grab more on-the-go moments. Something that takes minimal fiddling to get going so I can focus or composition and catching the action in uncontrolled scenarios. Im partial to used or refurbished equipment to save cash, and was hoping to spend around $1k to $1.5k or less if possible.

Other nice to haves but not requirements:
-long zoom range so I could use it for long tele shots if needed (long lenses beyond 200mm for the 5d are too big for me to generally haul)
-ability to shoot 60fps or faster for slomo
-Would be awesome if it didnt look so drastically different form the 5d2 so I could use it as a second camera during interviews,

Thanks for any suggestions and let me know if you need more info to help guide me!
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Old December 3rd, 2018, 07:41 PM   #2
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Re: Suggestions for run n gun companion camera?

Hi,
Welcome to the forum.
theres so much to choose from! the combination I use for video is a mix of Sony and Canon depending on the project, although it's not great to match them. so I have a Sony AX100 handy cam it's 4K so thats good for zooming in if your on a 1080P timeline, the optical zoom is 12X, I have two of these and they are constantly in use. I wouldn't depend on autofocus on these as from time to time they will lose it hunt and then regain focus so it's manual focus all the way on these. I also have a Sony AX 53, a smaller cam with Balanced Stabilisation System again 4K, resolution isn't as clean as the AX 100, but has a 20X optical zoom, very good for hand held shots. I've used it wide with auto focus and it's pretty steady. I'm sure these can be got for around your budget second-hand.
I use a Canon EOS 5D Mk III which produces good quality video and I sometimes use a Canon EOS 70D, I havent had much luck with this as I've had to get it repaired twice now at this stage, does ok with video and I'd say the 80D would be similar too.
Would you consider a Sony RX 10 Mk II it can do 4K video and has an equivalent reach of 24 - 200 mm constant max aperture of f/2.8 throughout the range, there should be deals around for one of these too.
Good luck

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Old December 3rd, 2018, 10:09 PM   #3
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Re: Suggestions for run n gun companion camera?

The AX53 looks great! Thanks for the suggestion! Certainly open to other thoughts if people have them.
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Old December 5th, 2018, 10:33 AM   #4
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Re: Suggestions for run n gun companion camera?

I’m partial to the JVC HM620. One of the easiest cameras I’ve ever used. All the essential controls are physical buttons, everything is well thought out. Flip a switch for full auto or set what ever you want to manual. It’s targeted for news gathering. Generally speaking most any prosumer eng style camera will be good at run and gun.
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Old December 11th, 2018, 01:16 AM   #5
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Re: Suggestions for run n gun companion camera?

I would highly recommend the Sony AX100 as well.

What I like is it has the "large" 1 Inch sensor (much better than most other camcorders! Such as the AX53), which makes SDOF a little easier and better lowlight / image.

The "pro" version of the AX100, the Sony X70 is worth checking out as well (they've been updated with newer models too).

Sony RX10 series or Panasonic FZ1000/FZ2500/etc are worthwhile taking a look at as well.
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Old December 11th, 2018, 06:37 AM   #6
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Re: Suggestions for run n gun companion camera?

The Sony z90 is reported to have really good auto focus which would be good for run and gun.
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