Seeking Camcorder recomendations - Criteria: Under $400.00 and has Extenal Mic input - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-21-2012, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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The title says it all, I am looking for a new Camcorder that cost under $400.00 and has an external mic input. So far it looks like the Sony HDR CX-260 is the only option as the Canon equivalent will require an additional battery that cost over $100.00 dollars due to poor battery performance with the stock battery.

Can anyone suggest an alternative camera model?

Is the Sony HDR CX-260 a good deal at $400.00?

Thanks in advance

Dave S
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dschmitz1 View Post

The title says it all, I am looking for a new Camcorder that cost under $400.00 and has an external mic input. So far it looks like the Sony HDR CX-260 is the only option as the Canon equivalent will require an additional battery that cost over $100.00 dollars due to poor battery performance with the stock battery.
Can anyone suggest an alternative camera model?
Is the Sony HDR CX-260 a good deal at $400.00?
Thanks in advance
Dave S

Dave - that's a very good deal - I haven't been able to find one for less from a reputable dealer than $448 from Amazon.

If you're able to stretch your budget one more dollar, the $449 Panasonic HC-V700 is the camera that gives the CX260 a run for its money - with a built-in video light for indoors, a larger sensor than the CX260, and the potential to upgrade to 3D in the future with the VW-CLT2 3D conversion lens.

Good luck with your decision!

Bill
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply brunerww, Costco is where I found that deal, also comes with a carrying case, it is not advertised on their web site but all three Costcos near me have them in stock. I will look into the Panasonic v700 - but I haven't seen any of those locally.. Costco also has the Panasonic v500, but it is $356 I think, but i dont think it has an external mic input.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 04:09 PM
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I too have been looking at camcorders. I am looking at the Canon Vixia HF M300. Granted I don't know much about camcorders..this seems like a good one. It sells for over $500, but canon does have the Canon Vixia HF M301 which is only for Costco. I asked Canon what the difference between the 300 and the 301 is other than the price and they said the 301 can hold a 64gb card but the 300 can only hold up to 32g..otherwise they are the same. Costco has th 301 for $349, but Canon offers it refurbished for $199. This is probably the one I am going to get. As the specs seem to be really good.
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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That sounds like a good deal, but all of the Canon reviews i have read indicate that the battery that comes with the camera lasts for only 30 min and an additional battery that runs for an hour costs $100.00, that is why im not getting a Canon, bumps the price out of my price range.

Anyone else have any advice?
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 06:37 PM
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The reviews I have read have showed it lasts about 90 minutes. At the 199 cost you could afford to get 2 batteries for $100 each (I would check around..i bet you can find them cheaper) and still have a 400 camcorder that has 3 batteries which could record for 4 1/2 hours. Just a thought.
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 08:57 PM
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There are also generic, decoded batteries (works just like Canon battery/shows remaining time).

BP-827 (record 4 hours) $29:

http://lacoloronline.com/product/?BP827N-Canon-BP-827-Fully-Decoded-Compatible-Battery


(Doesn't work with newer HFM50 series.)
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I went to my local Costco tonight to buy the Sony CX-260 and the price was at $499.00 and no $100.00 instant discount like it was last week. I asked to talked to the manager and he said he could not do anything and I mentioned to him that I had bought the Sony last Friday at the Costco by my work, but when I went to pick it up (they keep them at merchandise pickup) they discovered they were out of them and that they returned my money. He looked up the transaction in the computer and decided to sell it to me at the $399.00 price.

Hopefully this camera does what I need, i will test it out tomorrow.

I also went to Sams after I went to Costco tonight (they are near each other) and they had the Canon HF R300 for $289.00, but was on backorder and they said they should get some by wed and the other Sams about 8 miles away has some in stock, Since this was the first time I had seen one of these, I noticed it has an external Mic and a headphone jack. So I now need to compare the too to see which one is better.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 10:26 PM
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I'd still consider getting the M301 from Canon for $199...it holds a bigger card than the M300 (assuming you don't like your sony that is)
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-22-2012, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I looked up the specs on the Canon HF R300 and It appears it has a 1/4.85-inch CMOS sensor and 3.28 Megapixels and the Sony has a 1/3.91" CMOS sensor and 5.43 Megapixels - not sure what exactly that means but I guess the Sony sensor is bigger which should be better. The headphone jack would be nice but I can also monitor the sound from the wireless mic I have. If Sony was smart they would make a cable that plugged into the A\V Remote connector that allowed headphones to be connected (from looking at the instructions, the A\V Remote connector is used for a wired remote control and also for an A\V out for older televisions (three RCA connectors, White and Red for audio and Yellow for video).

So far i like the slow zoom, but I am confused on the video settings - need to work on understanding that.
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post #11 of 16 Old 06-23-2012, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neublet View Post

I too have been looking at camcorders. I am looking at the Canon Vixia HF M300. Granted I don't know much about camcorders..this seems like a good one. It sells for over $500, but canon does have the Canon Vixia HF M301 which is only for Costco. I asked Canon what the difference between the 300 and the 301 is other than the price and they said the 301 can hold a 64gb card but the 300 can only hold up to 32g..otherwise they are the same. Costco has th 301 for $349, but Canon offers it refurbished for $199. This is probably the one I am going to get. As the specs seem to be really good.

guys, any thoughts on panasonic HC-V500?..amazon is selling it for $300 ..50 less than costco minus 8GB card and case
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post #12 of 16 Old 06-24-2012, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by macho1 View Post

guys, any thoughts on panasonic HC-V500?..amazon is selling it for $300 ..50 less than costco minus 8GB card and case

macho one - If you're on a budget, and you don't need the $450 V700's 1/2.33" sensor or mic jack - or the $900 X900M's 3MOS sensor, mic/headphone jacks and viewfinder, I suggest you get it.

Positive review at trustedreviews (UK) here: http://www.trustedreviews.com/panasonic-hc-v500_Camcorder_video_review

And camcorder.info likes its manual controls, and gives it an 8.7 out of 10: http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Panasonic-HC-V500M-Camcorder-Review.htm

I don't think you can beat this camera for $300!

Good luck with your decision,

Bill
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post #13 of 16 Old 06-24-2012, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

macho one - If you're on a budget, and you don't need the $450 V700's 1/2.33" sensor or mic jack - or the $900 X900M's 3MOS sensor, mic/headphone jacks and viewfinder, I suggest you get it.
Positive review at trustedreviews (UK) here: http://www.trustedreviews.com/panasonic-hc-v500_Camcorder_video_review
And camcorder.info likes its manual controls, and gives it an 8.7 out of 10: http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Panasonic-HC-V500M-Camcorder-Review.htm
I don't think you can beat this camera for $300!
Good luck with your decision,
Bill
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thanks brunerww...HCV700 seems to be a crowd favourite..will check out the reviews and see if I can stretch my budget..
this is my first camcorder, and wondering how future proof is this HCV700..how long can I use it before the next gen of camcorders arrive..just trying to decide what am I getting for $450...my kid is an year old now if that matters.. smile.gif
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post #14 of 16 Old 06-25-2012, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by macho1 View Post

thanks brunerww...HCV700 seems to be a crowd favourite..will check out the reviews and see if I can stretch my budget..
this is my first camcorder, and wondering how future proof is this HCV700..how long can I use it before the next gen of camcorders arrive..just trying to decide what am I getting for $450...my kid is an year old now if that matters.. smile.gif

If you can afford the HC-V700, I'd say get it. The larger sensor and the built-in movie light will give you better video indoors - and the external mic jack will allow you to produce videos with better sound in the future.

Trusted Reviews likes it better than the V500, giving it a 9 out of 10: http://www.trustedreviews.com/panasonic-hc-v700_Camcorder_video_review

The V700 can produce pro quality results. Here is what can be done with it: https://vimeo.com/42652472

And a couple of long form outdoor tests:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JRInOcaXrI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dysBR4Z1uwU

Hard to guess how future-proof a camera is or what format we'll be using when your child graduates from college. I bought an expensive VHS-C camcorder when my children were small 20+ years ago - and I don't even have a VHS player anymore!

That said, the V700 is a brand new 2012 model and should give you many years of enjoyment.

Again - good luck!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
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post #15 of 16 Old 06-25-2012, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dschmitz1 View Post

I looked up the specs on the Canon HF R300 and It appears it has a 1/4.85-inch CMOS sensor and 3.28 Megapixels and the Sony has a 1/3.91" CMOS sensor and 5.43 Megapixels - not sure what exactly that means but I guess the Sony sensor is bigger which should be better. The headphone jack would be nice but I can also monitor the sound from the wireless mic I have. If Sony was smart they would make a cable that plugged into the A\V Remote connector that allowed headphones to be connected (from looking at the instructions, the A\V Remote connector is used for a wired remote control and also for an A\V out for older televisions (three RCA connectors, White and Red for audio and Yellow for video).
So far i like the slow zoom, but I am confused on the video settings - need to work on understanding that.

Just an FYI you can easily connect a RCA to 3.5mm headphone adapter to have your headphones plugged into this.
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post #16 of 16 Old 11-12-2012, 10:17 AM
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The Canon HF-R300 does come with a low capacity battery, but the "high capacity" generics are now under $10 with shipping the wall chargers are also $10 with shipping. They last over an hour but don't have a chip to communicate with the camcorder, so you don't get the nearly worthless charge inidcator display and you can't charge them in the camcorder. You should never charge a generic lithium-ion battery in a camcorder anyway. Most of the time I am at the back of an auditorium and am able to hook into the PA system mixer. The 32x zoom on the HF-R300 is very good for me as is the external mic input. The stage is well lit so the slightly smaller CCD is not a problem.
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