Currently I own a Canon Vixia HF11, which is has been decent, but I'm frustrated with the lack of manual controls and DOF control.
I am an amateur photographer I shoot with a Nikon D700 camera, and mostly prime lenses as I love shallow depth of field and creamy bokeh.
The dilemma is: I want a smallish camcorder with excellent manual controls (not buried in menus, specifically focus and exposure.) and good DOF control. The lack of easy exposure control is probably my biggest pet peave with most camcorders as I feel many shots are incorrectly exposed (typically over exposed in the case of Canon.)
Anyway, I don't want a DSLR as I have one, I want full time autofocus and decent sound without having to rig up some strange beast.
I have looked at the Sony VG20, but the Eseries mount lenses are limited and even some of the 50mm 1.8 looks soft wide open; also the manual controls might be sub par with a wheel on the bottom, so I'm not certain about it.
The XF100 looks like what might work, but again, not sure about how the dedicated lens could control DOF, I can't find much on that issue.
The G10 seems ok, but I've heard terrible wind sound on the stock mics and it really doesn't have good DOF.
Not sure about the XA10...
So, to some up, I am looking for a camcorder with:
Decent on board mic (I don't really use XLR)
Easy manual controls for Focus, exposure, gain, apperature, shutter
Obviously good image quality and low light capability
I'm pickly about lenses, they need to be fast and have no barrel distortion
Around $2,500 or less.
FYI - I don't make anything professionally, I just like to make videos of my family, vacations, etc and it is a hobby to me - also I edit all video in Vegas Pro.
Thanks for any input or recomendations.