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Flash Camcorder recommendations

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey all,
Can anyone recommend a good and affordable HD camcorder?
I'm looking for one that does:
- High Definition 1080p (1080/60P would be nice, but 1080/24p would be fine. One that gives an option for BOTH WOULD BE GREAT!)
- Also has the option to record in Standard Definition in a standard DVD MPEG2 format (not AVI, MP4, MOD, or anything else).
- Can use a flash SD card to record video on.
- Hopefully $300 - $800 price range.
- Has a place to plug in an external mic (a mini jack for a mic).
- Has a built-in light.

Any ideas would be helpful! I keep searching and searching but can't find much that fits these criteria.

Thanks!
Edited by infamous_pb - 11/12/12 at 4:36pm
post #2 of 5
The Panasonic HC-X900M pretty much meets your criteria:

- High Definition 1080p (1080/60P would be nice, but 1080/24p would be fine.)

1920 x 1080p / 60 fps
1920 x 1080i / 60 fps
960 x 540p / 30 fps

I think the previous model had both 60p and 24p.

Also has the option to record in Standard Definition in a standard DVD MPEG2 format (not AVI, MP4, MOD, or anything else).

Don't worry about trying to find a format-specific camcorder. Almost all the newer camcorder shoot in AVCHD/produce .mts files (MPEG AVC/H.264).

Just get a decent editing program, like Sony Vegas Platinum, and render to any format or resolution you want. If you are shooting high definition video, you will want to edit. The included Panasonic software may have some options, also.

Can use a flash SD card to record video on.

Yes and also has 32gb built-in.

- Hopefully $300 - $800 price range.

$798

- Has a place to plug in an external mic (a mini jack for a mic).

Yes.

- Has a built-in light.
Yes.

The HC-X900M also has a focus ring/which can also be used for other functions, such as zoom...it has a big 3.5" touchscreen...16 megapixel still photos...5.1 Channel Surround Sound...3MOS Sensor...and more

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/838813-REG/Panasonic_HC_X900M_HC_X900M_High_Definition_Camcorder.html
post #3 of 5
The X900 does have 24p and like the previous TM900, it's within a 60i stream. Basically you would have to reverse the process to have native 24p files. Sometime like Cinema does that very easily but it's usually $99 to $129. Their are free ways to do it but it's not as simple as Cineform. Both Amazon and B&H had the X900 for $700 but went back up to $800. If you don't need the camcorder right away,, you might want to wait a week to see if it'll drop down to $700 again. I'm not sure if it'll ever go down to $600 but you never know since that's what happened to the TM900.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xfws View Post

The Panasonic HC-X900M pretty much meets your criteria:

- High Definition 1080p (1080/60P would be nice, but 1080/24p would be fine.)

1920 x 1080p / 60 fps
1920 x 1080i / 60 fps
960 x 540p / 30 fps
I think the previous model had both 60p and 24p.

Also has the option to record in Standard Definition in a standard DVD MPEG2 format (not AVI, MP4, MOD, or anything else).

Don't worry about trying to find a format-specific camcorder. Almost all the newer camcorder shoot in AVCHD/produce .mts files (MPEG AVC/H.264).
Just get a decent editing program, like Sony Vegas Platinum, and render to any format or resolution you want. If you are shooting high definition video, you will want to edit. The included Panasonic software may have some options, also.

Can use a flash SD card to record video on.

Yes and also has 32gb built-in.

- Hopefully $300 - $800 price range.

$798

- Has a place to plug in an external mic (a mini jack for a mic).

Yes.
- Has a built-in light.
Yes.
The HC-X900M also has a focus ring/which can also be used for other functions, such as zoom...it has a big 3.5" touchscreen...16 megapixel still photos...5.1 Channel Surround Sound...3MOS Sensor...and more
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/838813-REG/Panasonic_HC_X900M_HC_X900M_High_Definition_Camcorder.html

Unfortunately this doesn't work.
I tried the Panasonic HC-V700M. It does 960 x 540p / 30 fps at 24mbps in an MP4 format. Geez. So it is not saving any space when putting it to this setting (a minute of 960 x 540p / 30 fps takes almost about as much space/size as a minute of 1080 / 60fps. ).
The problem is that I record hour long clips and when I do, and because the file size, it splits the clips into two files because of the 4GB limitation. I cannot have this split and I have no desire to take extra steps to join them in software. My PC already takes too long to re-encode files...
It would be different if the 960 x 540p / 30 fps setting did only 9mbps OR a real DVD standard 720x480 24fps...

Are there no HD camcorders that also has the option to record a real DVD standard 720x480? I know I can always just re-encode it, but I'm trying to skip that option like with my standard definition camcorder.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by infamous_pb View Post

Unfortunately this doesn't work.
I tried the Panasonic HC-V700M. It does 960 x 540p / 30 fps at 24mbps in an MP4 format. Geez. So it is not saving any space when putting it to this setting (a minute of 960 x 540p / 30 fps takes almost about as much space/size as a minute of 1080 / 60fps. ).
The problem is that I record hour long clips and when I do, and because the file size, it splits the clips into two files because of the 4GB limitation. I cannot have this split and I have no desire to take extra steps to join them in software. My PC already takes too long to re-encode files...
It would be different if the 960 x 540p / 30 fps setting did only 9mbps OR a real DVD standard 720x480 24fps...
Are there no HD camcorders that also has the option to record a real DVD standard 720x480? I know I can always just re-encode it, but I'm trying to skip that option like with my standard definition camcorder.

I need to reiterate to not base a camcorder on it's format. Almost all of the new HD camcorders record in the AVCHD format. Regarding space - if you are going to record HD, you need backup hard drives. External drives are cheap.
Quote:
The problem is that I record hour long clips and when I do, and because the file size, it splits the clips into two files because of the 4GB limitation. I cannot have this split and I have no desire to take extra steps to join them in software. My PC already takes too long to re-encode files...

This is the norm. Like I said, if you buy any of the recent versions of Sony Vegas Platinum (versions 10 through 12) you can edit and it will also stitch the files together using the "Device Explorer". You can either do it via USB from the camcorder or put the card in a reader. It will stitch and import it onto the timeline as one big file.

Once on the time line you can save it as a project file and render it to anything you want. If you are concerned about time to render, you can get a better PC with a better CPU, more RAM and better graphics card. Vegas has a GPU render option which allows you to use the graphics card to render/which speeds up the process.

With HD, you are casually dealing with gigabytes of space. You want to record the highest quality possible/which takes up the storage space.
If you're going to worry about bitrate and storage, etc. - maybe consider standard definition.

I think there is a Sony HD camcorder that will also let you shoot standard definition - maybe someone here knows/remember - not sure if it will have all the things you want, though.
Perhaps a DSLR or micro 4/3's, also.

Black Friday is coming up soon - you may want to wait for those deals.
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