Originally Posted by jaspenn
...I'm looking for: HD camcorder or vid camera rig for real estate, wide angle (24mm would be great) and decent low light but not that critical. Prefer a mic jack, simple video formats, nothing exotic. $500 price range.......
For what it is worth, if you are in the States and have access to a Costco; I am no expert but I am pleasantly surprised with the quality of image I have been getting with a Sony camcorder I just bought; one step up from their HDR PJ340, it is a model offered at Costco called the HDR PJ350 (PJ indicating that it has a built in projector) being a big box 'special' it has a special model number but is basicly a cross between the Sony PJ340 & PJ380 with 32gb of built in memory. Costco is selling it right now for $400 after an instant rebate.
The one option it does not have is a mic input, which I would have preferred as well (although if like me you are looking at adding narration you might consider doing it afterwards with a editing software where you will have better control), but it does have a wider than normal Lens, 28mm I believe, low light is not bad (does not have a built in light or even shoe to attach one) BUT much to my surprise has threads for filters and such which I do not see on images of the 340 or the higher end 380; that for me was a deciding factor.
You can record either to the on-board memory or use removable media like a MicroSD or Memorystick dou card (by default it records to the on-board memory; you will need to make a change in the menu to have record to the card) you can also have it just record to the on-board memory and then have the camera copy the files to a card.
I didnt focus on the fact that the camera had a built in projector; thought it might be a bit of a gimmick, but the image quality is pretty decent; it might be something you can use for showing off a property to a potential buyer without having to play with cables; just project it on a wall.
The camera is also surprisingly lightweight and small; almost too small for my large sized mans hands; weight wise I can barely feel it. I wont paste a link here but you can find it doing a search for "costco sony hdr pj350"
I have only had it for a week or so now, it is by no means a full frills prosumer camera or as feature packed as my old dcr-trv730, but it is a decent basic home video enthusiasts camera.
Dont know if it is something you are interested in, but there it is. if you cant get to a costco for that model then maybe the more common HDR PJ340 is something you can look at; basically similar features but 16gb of built in memory instead of 32gb, (for that you need the 380) and apparently no option for filters. If you really
need the mic input look at the 380 but be prepared to pay more.
Have a Magical Day