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Old June 2nd, 2019, 09:38 AM   #1
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Camera recommendation for about $1200

A friend who is a birder much more than he is a photographer/ videographer wants to get some video footage of the migrants birds he sees. Visible migration (birds actually on the move) is his main interest and he has been recording numbers for years, and now he wants to capture this on video.

His budget is only $1200. My feeling is he should get a bridge camera or one of the Panasonic Lumix line, but I'm a bit out of touch with new products so any comments/recommendations would be welcome.

I'd also be interested in any recommendations on a cheap, but reasonably capable video editing package suitable for a beginner.

Thanks in advance

Paul Doherty
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Old June 2nd, 2019, 02:53 PM   #2
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Re: Camera recommendation for about $1200

Why a DSLR? I'd be looking at a 2nd hand shoulder type camera on a 2nd hand tripod/head with a proper head that pans and tilts smoothly. A decent zoom that stays in focus and does video properly. Sharp focus is critical and once sharp, staying sharp. If he can live with tape, there are some bargains in the HD camera dept. Things like JVC 200 series go for very little and often an HD drive can be picked up too. Add a satchler/miller/vinten setup depending on where in the world you live and you have a serious system. Although I don't use my DSLRs for video, I can appreciate what they can do - my preference for wildlife and other fast moving things is a real video camera with decent battery life, unlimited shot lengths and buttons gloved fingers can operate.
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Old June 2nd, 2019, 05:56 PM   #3
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Re: Camera recommendation for about $1200

Spoiled for choice, but you're right, Lumix FZ2500, Rode Videomic if he needs to capture chirps (very directional and sensitive) and don't know about tripods, I'm using a Benro Air for portable. But for a beginner I'd suggest just a Pana HVC180, FHD only, but good IQ on a 50X zoom - count a finch's eyelid hairs, shoots 60P standard so you get a bit of slomo, lightweight, compact and well under $300, and any cheap tripod is better than none.
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