Question by ON my Way: Film making camera that is not to expensive?
im planning on getting into film making, so I’ve been looking for a great camera to help me out. Preferably, a professional camera but not anything that’s going to pull my arm off and not to expensive. It will be used for independent filmmaking so I want it to have a great picture.
Answer by Little Dog
Any camcorder – if used within the camcorders specifications – can provide good results.
Use the camcorder outside its specs and you will get poor results.
As well, someone with experience can use any camcorder and get compelling content. Someone with no experience can get the most expensive camcorder made and produce poor results.
That said, there are things common to prosumer and professional grade camcorders…
1) Mic jack. This lets you connect a microphone so the camcorder can be further away that the built-in mics can deal with. Consumer and prosumer use 1/8″ (3.5mm) stereo jacks. Pro grade uses XLR connectors.
2) Manual audio control. Loud audio will overwhelm the auto-mic gain. An external mic alone will not fix this – You need to be able to control the level of the audio going in to the camcorder. Most consumer cams do not have manual audio control – those that do control the audio level from their menu. Prosumer and prograde have control on the outside of the camcorder – easy to get to and use.
3) Big lenses and imaging chips. Since you never know when you need to capture video, you need to be able to handle as many different lighting conditions as possible. Capturing video under good lighting conditions, any camcorder can do that. Low light conditions means big lenses to allow the lighting in and big imaging chips to capture that light. A starting point for prosumer lenses is 72mm diameter.
4) Cheap storage and video archive capability.
In the consumer camcorder environment, the closest you can get is the Canon HV40. The lenses and imaging chips are small like any other consumer cam, it is the least expensive camcorder with manual audio control. But it does DV and HDV and 24p and has a mic jack and uses miniDV tape.
In $ order: Canon GL2, Panasonic AG-DVX100b, Sony HDR-FX7, HDR-FX1000, Canon XHA1, Panasonic AG-HVX200, Sony HVR-Z5, Canon GY-HM100, HVR-Z1, HVR-Z7… and they go up from here.
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