I've been a bit unlucky yesterday, wrote my questions, and than avsforum went down and couldn't post.. so I hope I'll remember everything
Anyway, I'm looking into buying my first HD cam, and main purpose would be shooting next season of ice hockey games. I was very glad that there was a line about Panasonic having no problem tracking ice hockey player, I just thought "geez, what are the odds"
Anyway, except Panasonic (TM700,my first choice), and Sony (CX550, my second choice), which are mostly discussed here, there is also a possibility of taking Canon HF S20. I'm not bothered by amount of integrated memory, as 32GB should be plenty for my needs, and SD cards are usually cheaper (and more versatile) than going for higher-capacity camera. But I do have an issue with Canon having only stereo microphone built-in (?). I've read specs 10x, but Id' still like to check with you people, I mean, both Sony and Panasonic state they've got 5.1 surround mic on camera, I don't expect it to be eye-popping-wow quality, but I do want 5.1 if I'm spending 1000€ (Europe prices :/ ) on camera.. And Canon asks 250$ (€ in EU) for 5.1 external mic, which is quarter of cam price! That's main reason why Canon is third on my list...
So if anyone can clear that sound thing that's bothering me I'd be thankful.
And again, back to my hockey skaters.. I'm gonna shoot games from hand, from crowd, indoors of course, not under terrible, but not either great lighting, and you know how fast action can sometimes be, specially catching the puck flying to the goal and stuff.. For something like this, I'm presuming that Panasonic with 60p would be perfect. Right? Or is that kind of lighting, combined with a lot of shakes already enough for Sony to have upper hand despite not having progressive recording?
And I've seen several people here saying that Class 6 SD card is bare minimum. But at 28Mbps (at Panasonic, and ok, some mention 30-32Mbps peaks), wouldn't even Class 4 be enough? Class 4 is 4 megabytes per second, x8 if I'm not mistaken, that's 32 megabits per second. Sure, if peaks are around 32, that's mighty close .. I'm asking cos I've already have class 4 16GB card, so I'd like to check your opinion
EDIT: One more thing. Do cams bought in USA have a choice in menu for PAL/NTSC or not? As I'm thinking of perhaps ordering one through family friends from US, due to USD/EUR "conversion" which would save me some 25% in price that I can than spend on additional equipment