Originally Posted by ak44
I hope you can help me. I am a complete novice when it comes to camcorders. I bought one in 2008, used it 3 times and now it seems pretty obsolete (mini-tapes).
I want something for my professional career which is singer/musician. I am on a tight budget (I'd say $600 max, $300 preferred).
Important to me (in order):
(1) I want to be able to make high-quality youtube videos of live performances (and also video blog).
(2) The camera will need to have the capability for high-quality sound (which I assume simply means external mic capability).
(3) I'd like to also be able to make artistic videos (stuff that looks like Super 8 for example and sync music to it)
(4) I am a novice so quality auto-focus would be needed.
(5) I also understand low-light capabilities would be very helpful too as I may be filming performances in questionable lighting.
(6) I'd like to be able to take quality still photos with the camera (less important)
(7) I'd like to use the camera as a webcam too (much less important).
Forgive me if my questions seem so low level for you. Any guidance would be appreciated. If I should consider other features given my expected uses, please enlighten me. I am a blank slate. :-)
Thanks so much
Hi Mary - at your price point, the best pro quality audio, video and stills solution is probably something like the Canon EOS M still/video hybrid camera
combined with an inexpensive external recorder with XLR inputs.
With the latest firmware upgrade, the EOS M
has quick and accurate autofocus - and with the 22mm f2 kit lens, it is very good in low light.
Here is what this camera can do:
It is also a very
capable still camera - able to produce DSLR-quality still images. Here are some examples from the EOS-M
group on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/eos-m/pool/
And when you are no longer a novice, this camera can grow with you in a way that a consumer camcorder will not (e.g., better lenses, Magic Lantern RAW video recording).
You can get the EOS-M, with the 22mm kit lens, for $345 new on eBay
. It is the about same price for the camera with the 18-55 zoom lens on Amazon
(but that lens will not be as good in low light). I recommend the 22mm kit. You can always "zoom with your feet" by moving closer to, or farther away from your subject.
You can add a Tascam DR-40 4 track recorder with XLR inputs and phantom power for $199.
A Sescom cable that will match the output of the recorder to the input of your camera is $27
With this setup, you will be able to produce high quality sound, stills and video for a total price that fits your budget. You will, of course, still need some kind of camera support, mics and lighting - but that can come later.
One caveat - this camera has a 30 minute continuous video recording limit. If you plan to leave the camera running to record very long live performances, a camcorder (or a Panasonic hybrid) may be a better option.
Hope this is helpful,
BillHybrid Camera Revolution