I am new to the world of high end filming. Rather than ask a vague question like “what's a good camera?”, I figured I'd start out listing what I am doing and my priorities, so I could perhaps get a more useful suggestion. Right now I am using the cheapest JVC Everio that was out two years ago and am looking to get something better in the $500-$2000 range. Here are some examples of the type of video I am creating.
I am looking for a camera to be used for repair videos. The camera will be stationed to my side, or over my shoulder, so you can see what I am working on, alongside an HDMI microscope camera. The resulting video will be a split screen view at times between the camcorder and the microscope camera. I already found an excellent microscope camera, now all I need is a standard camcorder and a better tripod.
I do not need high speed capture, 29.97 FPS is more than enough for me. I will be using it with a new tripod most of the time. I want something with a relatively quick setup as these videos usually get done on my work time; many of them would not get done if I had to put real work into setting up the camera. Anything that requires complex setup is out, even if better quality video would come of it, because the video would not be produced. I'm fairly new to high end video so a camera with many options may be wasted on me since I might not really understand many of them.
I'd like for detail to come out on small components because the key to these videos are the numerous components that are close to one another, the location of a wire I am pulling up, etc. I would like good performance on little areas that get blacked out or hidden with the everio – detail is important.
I don't care much for that DSLR effect where everything that isn't the object of focus is out of focus. While that is amazing for cinema movies, it has no place in this type of educational video.
I'd appreciate an SDI output since I have an SDI capture card, and also would need audio input of some kind to plug something into. Whether the camera only accepts line level input, or has its own microphone preamp, I can work with it either way - so long as it is something I can work with. I have a Crown CM-311 I bought to up the audio quality in the videos.
Any other suggestions appreciated. I am looking to up my game here, and I understand there are many factors outside the camera that will affect the quality of the end product.