I'm looking to buy my own camcorder so I don't have to depend on rentals and borrowing other people's gear. I'm a Media Studies major at Hunter College graduating at the end of this year. It isn't the most renowned or in-depth film program by any means, but I like it nonetheless. I've already taken a couple of video production courses, as well as a course on writing documentary budgets and proposals. (Whee.) This is my best work so far which isn't saying much:
I shot it and other projects on the Sony PD-150 Mini-DV camcorders used by the college. While they were nice beginner tools, the digitizing process was laborious and cringe-inducing, and I hope not to have to use them again in the remaining production course I have to take.
In subsequent courses, my professors have made these suggestions to students looking to buy camcorders:
- HD video output (natch)
- Have inputs for external mics such as shotguns and lavalieres. Preferably XLR inputs.
- Output variable frame rates.
They also mentioned to look out for chip sizes (i.e. 3 CCD, CMOS) which I'm not too familiar with.
In putting together my (faux) documentary budget, I found that I may have to spend upwards of $800 on an entry-level camcorder for a jabroni like me. Does that sound about right? Regardless, could ya'll suggest me any good camcorders? Any help would be appreciated. Tanks.