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Old April 4th, 2013, 06:37 PM   #1
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Help with camera choice

I know this topic has been discussed a lot because I have read many of them. However, I would still like to ask for recommendations for my personal situation.

I currently have a Canon HF 11. I am a hobbyist that is starting to transition to paid work, and still some volunteer stuff. I am looking to upgrade to a better camcorder because I would like to take more control of how I shoot my video. I have recently helped a personal trainer produce a 2 dvd set with the Canon as well as some smaller videos for another trainer. I am going to be shooting a live concert at the end of April and will need 2 cameras in order to produce a decent video (most likely for website use) of some or all of the songs.

My plan was to use the HF 11 as a stationary straight on view, and purchase another camcorder to carry around and get closeups and crowd shots etc. This new camcorder would then become my primary piece for future projects including a dvd for a triathlete trainer.

My budget should probably remain under $2k as I just bought a Blackbird stabilizer. I have been looking at many units in this range including the Canon HF g10,20, Panasonics, Sony's and JVC.

Please let me know what you think. I was excited that Canon has the G30 coming out, but I need to have 2 cameras for April 27th and it is not going to be available until June. (Aaarrgghh!)

My other option is to acquire something that is equal/similar to my HF 11 and work with that. The hf 11 has been a round for a while, so I would like to get a more recent model to complement it.

I need to invest in some audio equipment in the near future to help with videos that I will be making with a personal trainer. So, all things considered, I have a lot to consider.

Thanks in advance for you help. I hope I chose the right forum for this topic.

Paul

Last edited by Paul McDaniel; April 4th, 2013 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Additional comments.
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Old April 4th, 2013, 06:57 PM   #2
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Re: Help with camera choice

Hi Paul

Buy a camera the same as you buy a car! It's a personal choice basically but listen to others who have one too. I certainly would be hesitant buying a brand new release..rather wait a few months and see what users have to say about it first...that's the real test! If you do want the new Canon ..let someone else buy one and check the forum for likes and dislikes.

Since you are a Canon person and you budget is under $2K then look at the XA10 definately!! Also take a look at Panasonic's AG90 ..it's a huge amount of bang for buck and also under $2K...I was a Panny users for 23 years until Sony released the EA-50 camera.

Chris
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Old April 4th, 2013, 11:35 PM   #3
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Re: Help with camera choice

The HF 11 is actually my first Canon camcorder. Before that I had 2 Sony's that served me well. I am not loyal to any particular brand. Thanks for the input.

I always research before I buy. I am merely asking for people to let me know what they have learned from their own experiences with certain brands or models. Everything helps.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 07:57 PM   #4
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Re: Help with camera choice

Hi Paul would recommend you think about audio almost as much as video. Get a camera with two XLR inputs with mic/line/+48v switches and with meters and manual control of mic levels. You'll need this when you start putting wireless mics on people or you want to plug into an external audio source.

Maybe Chris H. can suggest a better forum for this question? This one is supposed to be reserved for SPC topics.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 09:13 PM   #5
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Re: Help with camera choice

Hi Keith

If the OP is intending working as a solo shooter then probably the forum is correct and he obviously wants a camera that he can handle alone..I have no idea so I just assume a solo operator since it's in the SPC forum. Yes, audio is critical once you do paid shoots so at least a prosumer camera with XLR's ..the Canon XA10 has XLR's as does the AC-90 which is why I suggested them and excluded cameras under $2K like the cheaper Sony, JVC and Panasonic event style cams which only have a 3.5mm audio input.

Chris
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Old April 5th, 2013, 10:27 PM   #6
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Re: Help with camera choice

Hey Chris Good point about the forum. I don't know exactly when we're supposed to post here or elsewhere. (I did re-read the March 13th discussion)

I have a client who has a Canon Vixia consumer camcorder, and she shoots quite a bit of video herself. Mostly simple interviews with LOTS of light. I pick up the SD card and do the edit. Have to say that some of the footage is really very good even when I take a peek at it on my 50" plasma. And when the video is only displayed on the web, it's of course harder to tell the difference between these consumer cameras and our pro cameras. I was just looking online at the AC-90 you mentioned and it looks very capable for the price. Would be tempting to use something like that as a b-cam for seminars.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 11:38 PM   #7
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Re: Help with camera choice

Chris,

You are correct that I am single person. That was why I chose to post this question here. Audio is definitely a concern of mine. For my last dvd project, I used a Zoom H4 for the audio which was pretty good except for the internal clock issue. The XA10 is very appealing, but I have to be very careful of price since the WAF is somewhat low at this point. Especially since I still need to consider microphones. Although, audio is not at the top of the list of needs based on what I know I will be doing in the next month or two.

Is it not possible to get good audio using the 3.5 jacks on lesser cams?
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Old April 6th, 2013, 10:05 AM   #8
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Re: Help with camera choice

Hi Paul,

I have just bought the Canon HF-G25 (aka HF-G20), which does not have XLRs, and am in the middle of uploading a video about its sound recording abilities so you're very welcome to check that out of course (look for YouTube channel UKAirscape)

But also note that if the XA10 is too costly, you can always add a Beachtek or Juicedlink XLR adapter to any 3.5mm-equipped camcorder such as the G20 for around 200, which together is less than the cost of the XA10.

Regards
Dave

Last edited by David Johns; April 6th, 2013 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old April 6th, 2013, 03:05 PM   #9
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Re: Help with camera choice

Thank you for those videos. I watched the unboxing 1 & 2, normal and lowlight tests, and the accessories. Very helpful. So much to process.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 02:26 PM   #10
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Re: Help with camera choice

Thanks! The audio tests is now uploaded too (I had a problem with rendering which set me back a bit).
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