Hey all. It looks like this thread hasn't gotten much love in a while, and I'm her to give it some. I oversee the video of sermons at our church and we've been using an M40 for years and it has served us so well because of the low-light performance. I'm always looking for the next upgrade move (as the tech moves fast!), so I picked up a Panasonic G7 to match our primary (close-shot) camera, but found out that it doesn't output HDMI while recording (a MUST for us). So I picked up a GH3, and low and behold, the lenses I have are just not fast enough to compete with the Canon M40 still. I really thought the sensor size of the GH3 would overcome this, but I'm still learning. Anyway, I'm back to thinking we either need to stick to the M40 for a while longer OR upgrade with another Camcorder (not DSLR type). I love the mirrorless formats for certain uses, but for this purchase we need the flexibility of a camcorder. However, LOW LIGHT is the name of the game in our space. If it cannot BEAT the M40 in terms of low light and dynamic range, for a budget of $650 or less, we'll just have to wait...no one is complaining yet.
The only other MUST is a mic input. This camera will grab our wide shot and double to send an HDMI feed to our overflow space, so we're fortunate on this one that the zoom is usually pretty far out at 75 feet from the platform, which keeps that aperture open. So, to recap:
Our needs ($650 max budget):
- Camcorder (not mirrorless)
- Better low light performance than M40
- mic input
- clean HDMI output while recording to SD card
- remote available (I know traditionally this is a shoo in for camcorders, but now some models are skipping the remote in favor of a phone app, and this doesn't work well for us with different volunteers starting cameras, etc....and we mount this one up high so we cannot get to it easily when the starting and stopping of recording is needed.)
- Not a must, but I prefer to get the option of 28Mbps if possible, as I've recently been amazed at what the extra 4Mbps gives us for post production...AVCHD recompression is a mess. But, any higher than that and we'll start to run into space issues.)
- Also, I'm not sure if using another Panasonic would better match the G7 or not, but I've learn to color match well enough over the years, so again, Panasonic is not a must.